The holiday season is upon us, which means schools and universities will soon be beginning their winter breaks. This time off provides a great opportunity for friends and family to gather, for holiday shopping, and for kids to get a well-deserved break from schoolwork. For parents, especially those with younger children, Christmas break means having to plan activities to keep kids entertained.

Asheville and the surrounding towns, such as Black Mountain, Weaverville, Hendersonville, and Brevard, are all nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains, and there are a host of family-friendly adventures to be had in this beautiful corner of North Carolina. Each of the charming towns has events scheduled throughout the holiday season for visitors and residents alike.

Fortunately, the weather in the Asheville area in December is not too cold, so outdoor activities are still on the table, but for those who don’t want to brave the lower temperatures, Asheville also has plenty of indoor entertainment.

Family Activities To Enjoy Over Christmas Break

Here are some ideas for parents to keep kids busy over Christmas break while getting them off their devices and away from the television.

Get Outdoors

There is never a bad time for a hike in western North Carolina. Some of the best winter hiking trails in the Asheville area include:

  • Chimney Rock State Park: Winter is an ideal time to visit this popular spot because the crowds are much thinner, but the views are just as spectacular. There are a number of hiking trails within the park.
  • Bent Creek: Located in the Pisgah National Forest and adjacent to the North Carolina Arboretum, Bent Creek features several easy trails, ideal for kids and families.
  • Catawba Falls: This 1.5-mile trail runs along the Catawba River and ends with a waterfall view.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway- The already high elevation of the Blue Ridge Parkway makes many of its trails perfect for beginners without much elevation gain. Some popular trails are the Craggy Gardens Trail, Graveyard Fields Trail, and Sam Knob Trail.

For those who enjoy skiing or snowboarding, there are several ski resorts within a short drive of Asheville, including Wolf Ridge, Sapphire Valley, and Cataloochee. Each of these places also has snow tubing available. 

Gorgeous scenery abounds in the Asheville area, so those who prefer not to venture outside can still enjoy the natural beauty by taking a scenic drive. From waterfalls to rivers to mountains, to lakes, there is plenty to see from the comfort of your vehicle. 


The Christmas season is a wonderful time of year to give back, and there are ample opportunities for families to do so together. Whether you are visiting with nursing home residents, serving a meal in a soup kitchen, or buying Christmas presents for a family in need, volunteering can remind everyone what the season is truly about and can bring joy to others.


Baking Christmas goodies is an activity in which the entire family can participate. Put on some festive music, pick a few of your favorite recipes, and put together some delicious treats for your holiday gathering or to take to your neighbors.

Christmas Festivities

With the holidays come a host of free, family-friendly events, festivals, and happenings around Asheville. The most popular Christmas light displays in the region include Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum, Christmas at Biltmore, Grove Arcade, Deck the Trees in Black Mountain, Lake Julian Festival of Lights, Smoky Mountain Christmas Light Spectacular in Bryson City, and Montford Historic District.

Numerous other seasonal events include the following:

  • Polar Express Train: Bryson City, NC
  • Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum: Brevard, NC
  • National Gingerbread House Competition: Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC
  • Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas: Flat Rock, NC
  • Candlelight Stroll: Weaverville, NC
  • Winter Wonder Walk: Asheville, NC
  • Santa on the Chimney: Chimney Rock, NC


Asheville is home to shopping districts like Grove Arcade, Biltmore Village, the River Arts District, and Biltmore Park, but with the holiday season comes pop-up markets featuring unique gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. These markets bring together vendors from across the region to showcase the artwork and handcrafted items for which the area is known.

Other Family Activities

If you are looking for an activity that will be perfect for all ages and create lasting memories for your family, consider visiting Black Mountain Adventure Zone. Black Mountain Adventure Zone has a variety of activities available, including the following:

  • Gellyball: Uses battery-powered blasters to launch hydrated gel orbs at targets and at other players in a game similar to paintball but with no mess and lower impact
  • Lasertag: No bulky gear or heavy equipment with this version of laser tag, which utilizes LaserWar taggers and head sensors 
  • Battle Cage: “An exciting sword fighting game that is fun for players of all ages. Players strap on a belt, grab a sword and step into the cage to face off in this exciting attraction that is not only fun to play but fun to watch.”
  • Virtual Reality Games and Escape Rooms: Choose from several team virtual reality games or virtual escape rooms

Have a Blast at Black Mountain Adventure Zone!

At Black Mountain Adventure Zone, you can schedule a time to come and participate in the activities of your choice with your group. Whether you want us to host a party for you or to just bring your friends and family for a fun time together, we have packages available to fit your needs. Contact us today to make a reservation!

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