Looking for things to do in Hendersonville, NC? Whether you’re a local or just passing through we’ve got loads of great tips and events to help you find your perfect adventure.

Friday, November 22, 2019
Asheville Holiday Parade Volunteers Needed
Nov 22 all-day
Downtown Asheville

We are still in need of volunteers for the parade coming up on November 23rd. If you can help us spread the word or come give us a hand it would be greatly appreciated. We are looking forward to this years parade “Peace on Earth” theme and can’t wait to see everyone.

As always thank you for your support, we couldn’t do our events without our volunteers help!

Barnes & Noble – Biltmore Park Holiday Book Drive
Nov 22 all-day
Barnes & Noble

This Christmas Season marks our fifth year for our wonderful partnership with Barnes and Noble in Biltmore Park for their Annual Saint Nicholas Project Book Drive.
The books are given to every child as a bonus gift to the families as they begin shopping in the Ingles Toy Store on December 11th. Last year, more than 3,000 books were collected and given to delighted parents.
“Books open up worlds of learning, adventure, and fun, and kids who have books and read at home do better at school. Reading with children is a great way for families to spend time together, too! Donating books through the Barnes and Noble Saint Nicholas Project Book Drive gives children and families a great opportunity to experience all the marvels to be found between the covers of a book!”
Nancy McLean- Volunteer Coordinator for the Saint Nicholas Project and former retired teacher
When you are out shopping, stop by Barnes and Noble at Biltmore Park and pick up a few books for the Eblen Saint Nicholas Project / Ingles Toy Store and thank everyone there for their kindness and hard work that brings so much joy to so many this Christmas. We would love to be able to give each child a book again this year.
Winter Wonderland at the Grove Arcade
Nov 22 2019 @ 8:00 am – Jan 2 2020 @ 8:00 pm
Grove Arcade

Image may contain: text and outdoor

Discover the magic and craftsmanship of Omni Grove Park Inn’s Annual Gingerbread House Competition. From November 20th through January 2nd, these miniature worlds will be on display at Grove Arcade.

Intricately designed by hand, each Gingerbread House will fill you with a sense of childlike wonder. Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic. ✨

All are welcome!

Tweetsie Christmas
Nov 22 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tweetsie Railroad

Celebrate the holiday season as Tweetsie Railroad transforms into a winter wonderland for Tweetsie Christmas! Enjoy a nighttime train ride among thousands of dazzling lights, meet Santa in his Gingerbread House, larger than life snowglobes to play in, a live Christmas show, and more!

Tickets are for a specific date and train ride time. A limited number of guests are admitted nightly, so advance tickets are strongly recommended. Adults: $44, Children (age 3-12): $38, Children 2 and under: Free

Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum
Nov 22 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The North Carolina Arboretum

Winter Lights

Experience Asheville’s BRIGHTEST holiday tradition at Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum. Open nightly November 22, 2019 – January 4, 2020, from 6 to 10 p.m. Walk through an outdoor winter wonderland and see the Arboretum’s gardens and landscapes dressed in more than half-a-million holiday lights. Listen to the sounds of your favorite holiday tunes or enjoy a cup of holiday-inspired cocoa, cider or beer.

$18-$8. See website for tickets and specials.

Specials

Friends & Family Discount Night – Tuesdays

Tickets are reduced to $15 for adults and $10 for children. Arboretum members receive an additional $2 off each ticket. (Excludes Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve.)

Available on Thursdays through Saturdays only, this special ticketed event offers visitors the chance to enjoy a holly, jolly ride from downtown Asheville or Biltmore Village to Winter Lights courtesy of The Trolley Company. Upon arrival, guests will receive a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and access to the Winter Lights. Pick-up is at 6:00 p.m. from the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville and 6:15 p.m. from the DoubleTree Hotel in Biltmore Village. Guests will be dropped back off at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 per person (children 4 & under are free) and can be purchased through The Trolley Company’s website here(Note: Arboretum member discounts do not apply for this tour). For additional questions, please call Eva Ritchey at The Trolley Company at 828.606.8606.

In The Nick of Time: Mountain Political Action Committee Meets Again!
Nov 22 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
The Magnetic Theatre

a world premiere by honor moor

The Mountain Political Action Committee has to meet again to protect Asheville – In the Nick of Time! This group of local native Democrats will have to take matters into their own hands in order to stop threats of facism. Per usual, their mountain, southern, un-orthodox ways of handling a tough situation is the only way to stop it from happening. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the hilarity of the true south that is often hidden in plain sight in Asheville. Run, don’t walk, and get your ticket for what is becoming a local favorite!

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Nov 22 @ 8:15 pm – 9:30 pm
Bryson City Depot

About This Trip

Over 90,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2018 and we hope to see you in 2019! The 1¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS™, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ begins November 8, 2019, and operates through December 31, 2019.

Saturday, November 23, 2019
Barnes & Noble – Biltmore Park Holiday Book Drive
Nov 23 all-day
Barnes & Noble

This Christmas Season marks our fifth year for our wonderful partnership with Barnes and Noble in Biltmore Park for their Annual Saint Nicholas Project Book Drive.
The books are given to every child as a bonus gift to the families as they begin shopping in the Ingles Toy Store on December 11th. Last year, more than 3,000 books were collected and given to delighted parents.
“Books open up worlds of learning, adventure, and fun, and kids who have books and read at home do better at school. Reading with children is a great way for families to spend time together, too! Donating books through the Barnes and Noble Saint Nicholas Project Book Drive gives children and families a great opportunity to experience all the marvels to be found between the covers of a book!”
Nancy McLean- Volunteer Coordinator for the Saint Nicholas Project and former retired teacher
When you are out shopping, stop by Barnes and Noble at Biltmore Park and pick up a few books for the Eblen Saint Nicholas Project / Ingles Toy Store and thank everyone there for their kindness and hard work that brings so much joy to so many this Christmas. We would love to be able to give each child a book again this year.
Christmas at Biltmore adds a touch of Downton Abbey
Nov 23 all-day
Biltmore

Known for its monumental scale of traditional holiday décor and dazzling lights, this year Biltmore’s annual Christmas at Biltmore celebration will offer even more than ever before.

 

A yuletide feast for the senses, Christmas at Biltmore begins Nov. 1, 2019. One week later, on Nov. 8, the estate will welcome Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, an immersive experience that celebrates the global hit television series and new feature film.

Biltmore House aglow with five dozen Christmas trees

Biltmore House interiors will shine with the sparkle of more than 50 hand-decorated Christmas trees, ribbons and garlands measured by the mile, and thousands of lights. A majestic 35-foot Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall is the home’s holiday centerpiece. For the first time, hand-decorated Christmas trees will be displayed on the balcony that wraps around the home’s two-story Library.

 

Candlelight Christmas Evenings

During Candlelight Christmas Evenings, candlelight, firelight, and live music will create a magical environment that elevates seasonal celebrations inside Biltmore House. A 55-foot Norway Spruce on the home’s front lawn lit with 55,000 lights will greet guests as they arrive to enter Biltmore House.

 

The warm welcome continues at Antler Hill Village & Winery with a constellation of holiday lights leading to the Winery and estate restaurants. A towering tree of lights will illuminate the Village Green, with a sea of lighted grapevine spheres nestled in the landscaping. Lights cascading from the trees that surround the bonfire area near Antler Hill Barn will offer a unique touch to the experience.

 

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will feature interactive elements that connect fans to their favorite characters, fashions, locations, and historic events of the era. Showcased in two estate locations, the exhibition pairs seamlessly with the real-life story of the Vanderbilt family at Biltmore. Amherst at Deerpark will host multimedia presentations and some of the series’ most recognizable sets—including Mrs. Patmore’s hectic kitchen and the gossip-fueled servants’ quarters. At The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village, a gallery of more than 50 costumes from the series will be on view.

The exhibition will run through April 7, 2020. Access to Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is included with daytime admission, Candlelight Christmas Evenings admission, or an overnight stay that includes daytime admission.

 

Christmas at Biltmore 2019 Event Calendar

  • Christmas at Biltmore daytime experience – Nov. 1, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020
  • Candlelight Christmas Evenings nighttime experience – Nov. 1, 2019, through Jan. 4, 2020 
  • Illumination of Antler Hill Village – Nov. 1, 2019, through Jan. 4, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to midnight
  • Downton Abbey: The Exhibition at Biltmore’s Amherst and the Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village – Nov. 8, 2019, through April 7, 2020
  • A Gardener’s Place How-to Seminar: “Illuminated Holiday Tablescapes” – daily Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019, at 1:30 p.m.
  • Conservatory’s annual seasonal display – Nov. 1, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020
  • Complimentary wine tasting at Biltmore Winery. Winery specialty tours available with additional price and reservations required – Nov. 1, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020
  • Bonfires in Antler Hill Village with s’mores kits available for purchase at The Creamery – Nov. 1, 2019, through Jan. 3, 2020, select dates, 3 to 10 p.m.
  • Roving Holiday Carolers in Antler Hill Village – select dates
  • Candlelight Winery Tour with a look into the winemaking process and tasting with light cheese pairing. Additional price and reservations required.
  • Visits with Santa at the bandstand in Antler Hill Village – select dates
  • The Inn on Biltmore Estate’s Annual Gingerbread House Tea – additional price and reservations required – Dec. 14 through 22, 2019, select dates, 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Festive holiday meals prepared by award-winning chefs served in all of the estate’s restaurants – ongoing
“Dressing for the Occasion: Mid-Century Sandburg as Celebrity and Family Man”
Nov 23 @ 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Carl Sandburg Home

Sandburg Clothing on Exhibit

“Dressing for the Occasion” offers visitors a window into the style, culture, and feel of mid-century America. The family’s clothing and accessories weave together the roles of Carl Sandburg as a prominent writer, celebrity, father, and husband. This temporary exhibit offers an exciting opportunity for the public to view objects that are normally in storage or in the possession of Sandburg family members. Tours of the Sandburg Home are offered daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Tickets are available first come, first served, each day from the visitor information area in the ground level of the Sandburg Home.

Nearly every room in the historically furnished house museum will be included in the exhibit. Visitors will see the characteristic scarves Carl Sandburg wore as he played his guitar and sang folk songs to entertain his family and guests, the dress Lilian Sandburg wore to meet President Lyndon B. Johnson, and many other mid-century pieces worn by the Sandburgs and their daughters. Historic photographs, paired with the clothing, will provide context.

Ho Ho Ho! FREE Santa Photo Experience
Nov 23 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Asheville Outlets

November 16 through December 24, 2019

11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, Sundays, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Christmas Eve, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. inside Food Court

FREE Santa Photos are back! From November 16th through December 24th, every family who visits Santa will receive two FREE 4”x6” Santa photo prints and a digital download of a single image. Additional photos and Christmas merchandise are available for purchase. FREE Santa Photo is located inside the Food Court and is sponsored by N.C. Arboretum Winter Lights.

Marshall Handmade Market
Nov 23 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Marshall Handmade Market

The Marshall Handmade Market is held the weekend
before Thanksgiving in the Marshall High Studios, a
charming 1920s high school nestled on an island in
the French Broad River. From 10am to 5pm Saturday
and Sunday, the sunny auditorium is filled with
some of the most talented makers in Western North
Carolina, and the resident artists of Marshall High
spruce up the classrooms-turned-studios and open
their doors to share their process and art with visitors.

Grab some bites from the food truck and relax on
the back deck or stop for coffee and sweet treats in
the upstairs lounge. Come enjoy a delightful day of
handcrafted holiday shopping, a stroll around the
island, and a wander through historic downtown
Marshall, NC.

Plan to come – and spread the word!!

Santa Claus Is Coming to Asheville Mall
Nov 23 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Asheville Mall

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling all the way to Asheville Mall! Santa Claus is on his way to Asheville, and we’re celebrating his arrival on Saturday, November 16. Your little elves-in-training are invited to visit Santa at Center Court, near Barnes & Noble and ULTA, to share their Christmas lists and holiday wishes.

 

Santa will be available from November 16th to December 24th, when he begins his holiday trek around the world. Your elves-in-training can visit with Santa Monday through Saturday from 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm, and 6pm to 9pm; and Sundays from noon to 3pm and 4pm to 6pm.

Asheville Holiday Parade Peace on Earth
Nov 23 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Downtown Asheville

The 2019 Asheville Holiday Parade, presented by Bojangles and with the theme Peace on Earth, is Saturday, November 23 from 11am to 1pm throughout Downtown Asheville.

The 2019 Grand Marshal is Madeline Delp, Ms. Wheelchair USA 17/18. Madeline is a graduate of UNC Asheville and a resident of Buncombe County. She learned at a young age that sometimes almost losing your life can be the catalyst to truly finding it in a way you never had before.

Madeline Delp is an entrepreneur, speaker and pageant “roll-model” who loves to chase bold adventures. Her journey of going from being a terrified ten-year-old with a T-10 spinal cord injury to climbing Mt. Rushmore, traveling the world and winning Ms. Wheelchair USA shows the truth that we can all define our own potential. Her passion is to share this message while on speaking tours with anyone dealing with life “disabilities”. Madeline continued her passion of inspiring empowered living in 2016 by founding a nonprofit organization called Live Boundless, which helps to deliver wheelchairs to medically-underserved countries around the world. Her next adventures include being the first girl in a wheelchair to compete in Miss North Carolina USA and traveling to the Philippines and Ecuador for wheelchair delivery projects – along with shark cage diving in Florida!

For the fourth year the NC Arboretum, City of Asheville and Asheville Downtown Association are partnering for Downtown Local Lights, an artistic holiday light display in Pack Square and in Pritchard Park. Stay tuned for more info.

Kids at Hart present SEUSSICAL JR.
Nov 23 @ 2:00 pm
Haywood Arts Regional Theater

Book by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Co-conceived by Eric Idle
Based on the works of Dr. Seuss

Directed by Shelia Sumpter

The Performing Arts Center Main Stage

Join us as we bring the magical world of Dr. Seuss to life in this hit Broadway Musical featuring our talented KIDS AT HART.

Readers Theatre: The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Nov 23 @ 2:30 pm
Asheville Community Theatre

Performed as Readers Theatre by The Autumn Players! Director Wendy Strauss leads a cast of 7 in this play that’s both a comedy and a drama!

Only three performances of this play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Alfred Uhry.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Nov 23 @ 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Bryson City Depot

About This Trip

Over 90,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2018 and we hope to see you in 2019! The 1¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS™, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ begins November 8, 2019, and operates through December 31, 2019.

The Fantasticks Musical Auditions
Nov 23 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
ACT

THE FANTASTICKS

MUSICAL

Music by Harvey Schmidt, with Lyrics by Tom Jones

Directed by Mark Jones; Music Direction by Rob Blackwell; Choreography by Jessica Garland

AUDITIONS: November 23-24, 2019
Saturday, November 23: 6:00-9:00 pm
Sunday, November 24: 12:00-3:00 pm

PRODUCTION DATES: February 7 – March 1, 2020; Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm; Additional Thursday night performances February 20 and 27 at 7:30 pm; Cast must plan to arrive at least 1 hour prior to show time.

REHEARSALS: December 15 – February 6, 2020; Rehearsals generally held Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6:30-9:30 pm. All actors will not necessarily be needed for every rehearsal or for the entire rehearsal. Full rehearsal calendar available at auditions – you are able to list any conflicts you have with the rehearsal schedule at this time.

DIRECTOR SEEKS: 6-7 men, 1-2 women (Read character descriptions here!) All roles open to actors of any race or ethnicities.

Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum
Nov 23 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The North Carolina Arboretum

Winter Lights

Experience Asheville’s BRIGHTEST holiday tradition at Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum. Open nightly November 22, 2019 – January 4, 2020, from 6 to 10 p.m. Walk through an outdoor winter wonderland and see the Arboretum’s gardens and landscapes dressed in more than half-a-million holiday lights. Listen to the sounds of your favorite holiday tunes or enjoy a cup of holiday-inspired cocoa, cider or beer.

$18-$8. See website for tickets and specials.

Specials

Friends & Family Discount Night – Tuesdays

Tickets are reduced to $15 for adults and $10 for children. Arboretum members receive an additional $2 off each ticket. (Excludes Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve.)

Available on Thursdays through Saturdays only, this special ticketed event offers visitors the chance to enjoy a holly, jolly ride from downtown Asheville or Biltmore Village to Winter Lights courtesy of The Trolley Company. Upon arrival, guests will receive a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and access to the Winter Lights. Pick-up is at 6:00 p.m. from the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville and 6:15 p.m. from the DoubleTree Hotel in Biltmore Village. Guests will be dropped back off at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 per person (children 4 & under are free) and can be purchased through The Trolley Company’s website here(Note: Arboretum member discounts do not apply for this tour). For additional questions, please call Eva Ritchey at The Trolley Company at 828.606.8606.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Nov 23 @ 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm
Bryson City Depot

About This Trip

Over 90,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2018 and we hope to see you in 2019! The 1¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS™, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ begins November 8, 2019, and operates through December 31, 2019.