As the holiday season approaches, you may be looking for fun activities to do around Asheville that instill a sense of Christmas spirit and allow you to create memories with your loved ones. There are numerous events in Asheville and the surrounding towns, such as Black Mountain, Bryson City, Weaverville, and Brevard, many of which have become favorite traditions for residents and visitors alike.
From light displays to Christmas markets, there is no shortage of things to do in western North Carolina during this time of year. With kids out of school for winter break and family members visiting from out of town, keep everyone entertained and happy by exploring all that our beautiful hometown has to offer.
Asheville Area Holiday Events
Nothing screams Christmas like a good light display, and this area has multiple displays that attract people from miles away. The lights and decorations highlight the natural beauty and scenery of our idyllic mountain towns.
- Winter Lights
This open-air walk-thru light show, located at the North Carolina Arboretum, is made up of over one million lights. There is also live music scheduled each night at the Education Center. Fire pits and heaters are scattered throughout the gardens, and s’mores kits can be purchased from the Bent Creek Bistro. Guests can also warm up with hot cocoa from the Cocoa Shack as they stroll.
- Winterfest at Tryon Resort
This event, hosted by Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort, includes a drive-thru light show, ice skating, and Winterfest Village. Free activities at Winterfest Village include live performances, a nightly Christmas tree lighting, meetings with Tryon’s mini horses, shopping, dining, and a closing parade.
Those who wish to see the Grinch, take photos with Santa, ride on the giant ice slide, ride the carousel, jump in the bounce house or ride a bucking horse can purchase a Winterfest Village ticket.
- Forest City Christmas Lights
Forest City, NC, is just sixty miles from Asheville, and historic Main Street is lit up with over a million lights each year. This tradition dates back to 1930 when the town hung its first set of lights on two trees. On certain nights, those who come to see the lights can also reserve a horse-drawn carriage ride, take a hayride, visit with Santa, or go ice skating.
- Lake Julian Festival of Lights
This annual light show is open nightly during the month of December. Twenty percent of the event’s proceeds are donated to the Buncombe County Special Olympics, making it a great way to give back to the community by coming to see the twinkling lights over the lake.
- Smoky Mountain Christmas Light Spectacular
This new event, in Bryson City, NC, is a drive-thru display, with all proceeds going directly towards local non-profits. While you are in Bryson City, there are plenty of other holiday happenings, including the Polar Express train ride, an ice skating rink, and Christmas at Darnell Farms.
National Gingerbread Competition
In 1992, a small group of gingerbread houses was built by members of the Asheville community. Over time, this transformed into the National Gingerbread House Competition, which is now hosted every November by the Omni Grove Inn. After the competition, the gingerbread houses remain on display at the resort.
Christmas at Biltmore
From November to January, America’s largest home is decked out with ribbons, Christmas trees, greenery, ornaments, and lights. When the lights come on in the evenings, Biltmore House and Antler Hill Village are a sight to behold.
Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas
Each year, Flat Rock Playhouse and Pat’s School of Dance put on an unforgettable Christmas show for all ages. Before the show, visitors can stop at nearby Hendersonville, NC, for a daytime Christmas tour of Historic Johnson Farm or embark on a Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt downtown.
Winter Wonder Walk
“The Winter Wonder Walk is a one-stop shop for holiday memories. Nowhere else can you immerse yourself in outdoor live-action theater, shop locally for all your holiday needs, climb a ropes course amongst thousands of glow lights, take on the Snow Sprites in a snowball fight, order a Mellow Mushroom pizza, enjoy fresh hot donuts, and enjoy a delicious local adult beverage!”
Book a Party at Black Mountain Adventure Zone!
GellyBall at Black Mountain Adventure Zone
“Gellyball is a new, lower impact shooting experience for players as young as five and yet still exciting for teens and adults!”
With a variety of gaming settings, players shoot at targets and other players using our battery-powered, automated blasters. The unusual gel-based water orb ammo has a rubber band-like sensation when a player is hit. There is no mess to clean up, either, so you can come out and play, then go holiday shopping!
Laser Tag at Black Mountain Adventure Zone
“Laser tag at BMAZ is not your typical arcade-style activity. Featuring LaserWar technology with multiple games and weapon modes, so every battle is different and exciting.”
VR at Black Mountain Adventure Zone
We are excited to announce the launch of our VR Games and VR Escape Rooms in time for the holiday season!
“Depending on your selected type of event, age group, and the number of players, we currently have 5 VR Games to choose from or 7 VR Escape Rooms. Your BMAZ Host will organize and run the games during your party.
There’s plenty of holiday adventure available at Black Mountain Adventure Zone! Book your party today!