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.

Sunday, December 8, 2019
Santa Visits in a Sensory-Friendly Environment at Asheville Mall
Dec 8 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Asheville Mall

Children with special needs are invited to share a magical moment with Santa Claus at Asheville Mall. From 9am – 11am on Sunday, December 8, we’re hosting our annual Santa Cares event, a compassionate, sensory-friendly experience exclusively for families of children with special needs. The mall entrance near ULTA and Barnes & Noble is the recommended entrance.

During the event, accommodations are made to support sensory, physical, and developmental needs of our attendees, including muting mall music and keeping lights dimmed or off entirely.

Santa Cares is held in partnership with Autism Speaks, a leading autism science and advocacy organization. The event is free, but space is limited and families are encouraged to reserve their spot in advance at https://santa-cares-ash.eventbrite.com. Photo packages will be available for purchase during the event.

 

“Dressing for the Occasion: Mid-Century Sandburg as Celebrity and Family Man”
Dec 8 @ 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.

Deck The Trees
Dec 8 @ 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
The Monte Vista Hotel

Named for two years by Explore Asheville as one of the top 5 events in the Swannanoa Valley at Christmas, you are invited to come experience 25 Christmas trees that bring joy to the whole community. The public is invited to view the trees and then vote with money for their favorite tree. Every cent raised through Deck The Trees goes to the Fuel Fund for Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry. Be a part of creating something beautiful that also gives back to the community.  Prizes are awarded for the tree that raises the most money and for the tree that most represents the theme.

Calendar of Events:
Dec. 6, 2019 – Jan. 6, 2020
Visit Deck The Trees from 10 AM to 9 PM

Dec. 9, 4:30 – 7:00 PM
Photos and a Visit with Santa Claus
$15.00 per photo

Dec. 10, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Deck The Tree Christmas Tea with Highland Farms

January 6, 2020   6:00 to 8:00
A Final Celebration
-Which tree most represents the theme?
-Which tree raised the most money for the Fuel Fund for Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry?

Santa Claus Is Coming to Asheville Mall
Dec 8 @ 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.

Winter Wonderland at Carolina Ace Hardware
Dec 8 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ace Hardware

This year’s Christmas display theme is “Winter Wonderland.” Come take your family photos at this magical display. Santa will be available on special dates, contact store for more details! Display also open when Santa is not there.

Ho Ho Ho! FREE Santa Photo Experience
Dec 8 @ 12:00 pm – 6:00 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.

Rocky Cove Railroad Exhibit
Dec 8 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
NC Arboretum

On exhibit Saturdays and Sundays from 12 – 4 p.m., Rocky Cove Railroad is a G-Scale (garden scale) model train that demonstrates the coming of trains to western North Carolina at the turn of the 20th century. The exhibit is located below the Grand Promenade. Please note, Rocky Cove Railroad will not operate in rainy or wet conditions.

Santa Clause Visits Mountain Made (in Grove Arcade)
Dec 8 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Grove Arcade

Santa Clause Visits Mountain Made (in Grove Arcade)

Santa Clause returns to Mountain Made this Sunday, December 8th from 1-4pm!

Have a special gift that you want for the holidays? Now is your chance to ask the man himself!

This event is FREE to attend.

Mountain Made is located in the historic Grove Arcade in the heart of downtown Asheville.

Let it be, Christmas
Dec 8 @ 2:30 pm
Event Center at Biltmore United Methodist Church

All proceeds benefit Eliada Homes, a local non-profit supporting the children of WNC.

Experience this contemporary rendition of the beloved Nativity story beautifully told through the gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, George and Ringo. Travel with Mary and Joseph down the “Long and Winding Road” to Bethlehem while savoring dozens of classic Beatles hits. This entertaining Christmas event profoundly reminds us – “All you need is Love”.

Miracle on 34th Street
Dec 8 @ 2:30 pm
Asheville Community Theatre

Kris Kringle, an old man living in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s where he surprises employees and customers by claiming to be the real Santa Claus. Seen as deluded by Macy’s vocational counselor, he’s thrown into a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly, his authenticity. Especially at stake is one little girl’s belief in Santa. The whole family will enjoy this funny, poignant and faithful adaptation of the classic 1947 film.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 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 POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Dec 8 @ 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.

WinterFest at Tryon Equestrian Center
Dec 8 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tryon International Equestrian Center

 

Nov22-24 Winterfest Schedule

Tickets are $1 each. Tickets are non-refundable.

Bouncy House: 1 ticket per session
Bucking Horse: 3 tickets per ride
Carriage Rides: 5 tickets/child (15 or younger) or 10 tickets per adult
Carousel Rides: FREE!
Face Painting: 3 tickets per painting
Petting Zoo Admission: 1 ticket; Pet Food: 2 tickets
Pony Rides: 5 tickets per ride
S’mores: 4 tickets per kit
The Grinch’s Whoville Village: 1 ticket per person

SANTA’S HOUSE: Free Admission
5 tickets/digital photo or 10 tickets/print framed photo
(cash/debit/credit also accepted at Santa House)

ALL ACCESS NIGHT PASS: $20 per person

Good for unlimited ticketed activities from 5pm-10pm good for one Winterfest night; does not include Santa’s House photo

Click here to see EVERYTHING happening at Tryon Resort this holiday season!

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” Tryon Resort
Dec 8 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Grinchs Whoville Village 800x450

We are thrilled to bring “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to life at Tryon Resort this holiday season!

Kids will have the opportunity to interact with Whoville characters and the Grinch himself at the Grinch’s Whoville Village. Located in the Legends Plaza, guests can enjoy multiple photo-ops with Whoville props and characters, as well as a meet-and-greet with the Grinch! You don’t want to miss this holiday fun.

COST:
1 ticket/person to visit The Grinch and Whoville. Tickets are $1 each and can be purchased from 5pm-9:30pm in the ticketing booth in Legends Plaza near the carousel.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Dec 8 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tryon International Equestrian Center

Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland presented by Ingles
Tryon Resort is thrilled to be the newest location on the Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland circuit. This two-mile journey weaves through hundreds of thousands of animated Christmas lights coordinated to music for an estimated 30 minutes of holiday enchantment. The Wonderland also features giant, custom-built displays of Santa and his pals on vacation in the mountains, hang gliding, rock climbing, ice fishing, lounging around the campfire, and more. This playful portion of the show is sure to please everyone, young to old.

The tour finishes in Tryon Resort’s Winterfest Village filled with more fun for the whole family. The tour is $25 per carload with additional pricing for group vans and buses available. Tickets are available online in advance or at the exhibit entrance, and discount tickets are available at any Ingles location. Tours are self-driven and open from 6pm-10pm seven days a week beginning November 15, 2019 and ending on January 5, 2020.

Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum
Dec 8 @ 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
Dec 8 @ 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.

Let it Be, Christmas
Dec 8 @ 7:30 pm
Event Center at Biltmore United Methodist Church

 

 

 

 

All proceeds benefit Eliada Homes, a local non-profit supporting the children of WNC.

Experience this contemporary rendition of the beloved Nativity story beautifully told through the gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, George and Ringo. Travel with Mary and Joseph down the “Long and Winding Road” to Bethlehem while savoring dozens of classic Beatles hits. This entertaining Christmas event profoundly reminds us – “All you need is Love”. 

  • Fri Dec 6th 7:30pm Opening night / Reception following
Monday, December 9, 2019
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Dec 9 all-day
Hendersonville

November 29
Downtown Street Lighting & Santa’s Arrival
5:00pm  

The lighting of downtown holiday lights and Santa’s arrival kick off the holiday season in Downtown Hendersonville.  The evening features entertainment, sing-along, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa Claus at the Historic Courthouse on Main Street. Click for more information Downtown Hendersonville

November 8 – 17
Flat Rock Playhouse presents:  “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”
Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion! The play was based on the novel by C. S. Lewis. 828-693-0731 Click for tickets Flat Rock Playhouse

November 29 – December 23
Peppermint the Bear Scavenger Hunt
Free
Peppermint Bear will take you on a fun-filled bear hunt through downtown Hendersonville looking for her cubs.  As you search for the cubs, visit at least 12 of the 22 downtown participating businesses to be eligible for prizes. Complete the entry form in the brochure and drop it in Peppermint’s mailbox, located in front of the Visitor Center, by December 23rd. For more details about the Scavenger Hunt, stop by the Visitor Center at 201 South Main Street.

December 7
Hendersonville Christmas Parade

10:00am
A traditional hometown Christmas parade travels along Main Street from Five Points to Caswell Street. Sponsored by the Hendersonville Merchants & Business Association. This year’s theme is the “The Magic of Christmas”. Visit the Hendersonville Merchants & Business Association web site to download a Parade application. 828-692-4179

November 29 – December 22
Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage presents:  “A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas”
An all-new Christmas production follows up last year’s smash holiday hit. This original musical revue performed by your favorite Flat Rock Playhouse singers and dancers is filled with holiday cheer. Celebrate the holidays Vagabonds style!  Click for tickets Flat Rock Playhouse

December 6
Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas

Main Street / 5pm – 8pm
The Downtown merchants open their doors and invite holiday shoppers in with a festive window displays, decorations, caroling, music, and refreshments. 828-697-2232.

December 8
Holiday Tour of Historic Inns and Cookie Caper
1pm-4pm
$20

The Holiday Tour of Historic Inns and Cookie Caper is a self-guided tour of several inns and the Cookie Caper part of the tour is a delicious Christmas treat at each inn. The inns on tour include the 1898 Waverly Inn, Charleston Inn, Mill House Lodge, Echo Mountain Inn and Brightwaters Guesthouse. 828-697-3010

December 18 – January 1
Iceless Skating Rink

Regular Hours 11am-6pm, EXCEPT Christmas Eve 11am-3pm, Christmas Day Closed, New Year’s Eve 11am-3pm, and New Year’s Day from 1pm-6pm
Admission: $10, Children 10 & under $5 (payment by cash or check only)

Enjoy ice-skating in Downtown Hendersonville this holiday season. The  iceless rink is located at the Visitor Center on South Main Street. The synthetic surface is made from special polymers that does not require liquid, so it can be enjoyed year-round in any temperature.  A curling lane is also available. Curling involves players sliding stones on the ice towards a target. Play a variety of free games while you wait your turn on the ice. Skate rental included in admission price. Admission: $10, Children $5 for ages 10 & under, with group rates available for groups of 10 or more, but must call to reserve a time for groups, $5 for for 30 minutes of curling. Regular Hours 11am-6pm, EXCEPT Christmas Eve 11am-3pm, Christmas Day Closed, New Year’s Eve 11am-3pm, and New Year’s Day from 1pm-6pm. Operates weather permitting. Benefits the Henderson County America In Bloom Program, 828-768-4413 To learn more go to: Henderson County America in Bloom

December 20 – 22
Main Street Holiday Hayrides

5pm – 8pm
Free

Take a magical hayride through Historic Downtown Hendersonville among its twinkling lights and festive decorations. Board the tractor-drawn wagon ride at the Visitor Center, located at 201 South Main Street. Reservations are not accepted, first-come, first-served basis.

Peppermint the Bear Scavenger Hunt Hendersonville
Dec 9 all-day
Downtown Hendersonville

Peppermint the Bear is a special friend of Santa and she needs your help finding her missing cubs! They were sent out to get holiday decorations and a tree, and have not come home. Find Peppermint at the Visitor Center, and then head out to shops along Main Street to look for her cubs. If you help her find 12 of her cubs, you will be eligible to win a prize. The scavenger hunt is available from 11/29-12/23, so that the bears will be home in time for Christmas!

More information can be found at the Visitor Center.