Hendersonville.com’s family friendly calendar is a community hub for all types of kid and family-friendly events and activities in Hendersonville, NC.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Continuum Art Market
Dec 7 2022 – Jan 7 2023 all-day
Continuum Art Gallery

[HENDERSONVILLE, NC, Saturday, September 4th, 2021]
On the first Saturday of each month, Continuum Art hosts an art market to showcase local artists and makers. Ranging in mediums from paintings, to textiles, to jewelry, you’re guaranteed to find something you love! Each market also hosts live music and local caterers. A free, family-friendly event and a great way to check out our space and upcoming events. Visit us from 12-5pm on September 4th!
If you’re interested in vending at one of our art markets, email [email protected] or DM on Instagram @continuumgallerync

Give!Local fundraiser! Nature Center and Weiler Woods for Wildlife
Dec 7 all-day
online w/ WNC Nature Center

From November 1 to December 31, you can support the WNC Nature Center through Mountain Xpress’ Give!Local fundraiser!
Your donation gives you great incentives from the Nature Center and Mountain Xpress, and your gift will be matched by Weiler Woods for Wildlife up to $2,500, with the entire donation coming to the Friends of the WNC Nature Center!
This is a powerful way to support local nonprofits and your community during the holiday season!
Here are a few of the awesome perks of supporting the Friends:
  • Donate $25+ and get a day pass to the WNC Nature Center.
  • Donate $50+ and get an animal sticker and a day pass.
  • Donate $100+ and get an animal tracks necklace, animal sticker, and a day pass.
  • Donate $250+ and get a a guided tour of the Nature Center with animal enrichment for two people, plus the necklace, sticker, and day pass. PLUS, you’ll be entered to win a chance to go on habitat with red pandas Leafa and Phoenix in 2023!
Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt
Dec 7 all-day
Downtown Hendersonville

Downtown Hendersonville
Peppermint Bear takes you on a fun-filled bear hunt in downtown Hendersonville in search of her lost cubs. Hint: the cubs are hiding in downtown businesses.

Once you have found a lost cub in at least 12 of 26 participating businesses and the shopkeeper has punched your brochure, you are eligible to win scavenger hunt prizes. Complete the entry form in the brochure and drop it in Peppermint’s mailbox in front of the Welcome Center, by Dec. 23.

For more details about the Scavenger Hunt, watch this video or stop by the Welcome Center at 201 South Main Street. Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt brochures are available at the Hendersonville Welcome Center.

Tuckasegee River Excursion
Dec 7 all-day
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot

Join us for a relaxing ride through quiet countryside on your way to small town life in western North Carolina on the Tuckasegee River Excursion. Departing from Bryson City, this 4 hour excursion travels 32 miles round-trip to Dillsboro and back to the Bryson City Depot. Pass by the famous movie set of The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford!

The Tuckasegee (tuck-uh-SEE-jee) River Excursion includes an 1 hour and 20 minute layover in the historic town of Dillsboro, where you’ll find more than 50 shops, restaurants, a brewery, and country inns. There is time to shop, snack, and visit the many unique shops before returning to Bryson City.

Virtual Angel Giving Tree
Dec 7 all-day
online

Our Virtual Angel tree is up for this holiday season. This gift tree provides our broader YWCA community a path to join us as we aim to support our program participants and their families with a holiday season full of love and support.

If you would like to adopt a family this holiday season please click here or email Taleese Morrill in our Programs team to get the details of how you can fulfill a family’s holiday wish.

If you prefer please select a gift from our Amazon wish list by December 1st, 2022. Gifts from the list will be mailed directly to our building and will be sorted and distributed by our YWCA elves. All items on the list have been selected by the families and are items they are wishing for or are in need of this holiday season.

All gifts must be ordered by December 1.

Programs Served by the Angel Tree

MotherLove
YWCA’s MotherLove program supports pregnant and parenting teens throughout Buncombe County. Our goals are to help young parents to stay in school and graduate, access higher education and vocational training, develop the skills and knowledge needed to become strong parents, and delay another teen pregnancy.

Getting Ahead In a Just Getting By World
YWCA’s Getting Ahead program aims to provide financial empowerment for low-income women of all ages and backgrounds to make choices that positively impact themselves, their families, and their community.

Early Learning Program
YWCA’s Early Learning Program provides 5-star childcare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Our experienced and compassionate teachers not only provide exceptional care for little ones, but also prepare young children to succeed cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. We prioritize families using childcare vouchers or caring for children in the foster care system.

Empowerment Childcare
The YWCA provides up to 12 hours of free childcare per week for parents who are in transition, continuing their education, accessing social services, or looking for employment. ECC works closely with the Family Justice Center, Buncombe County Health and Human Services, A-B Tech, Green Opportunities, and Mary Benson House.

Santa Claus at Carolina Ace Hardware
Dec 7 @ 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Carolina Ace Hardware

Immerse yourself in a Winter Wonderland with Santa and his elves and of course, Santa’s reindeer at Carolina Ace Hardware. Bring the whole family and take your Christmas pictures in the magical Christmas display in the Garden Center. Free to the public. Bring your cameras.

front of carolina ace hardware store

Deck The Trees “Let Heaven and Nature Sing!”
Dec 7 @ 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Monte Vista Hotel

Come experience the charm of Black Mountain and get in the Christmas spirit. You will discover beautifully decorated Christmas trees at the Monte Vista Hotel and in stores and businesses throughout Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley area. Each tree, uniquely decorated around the theme: Let Heaven and Nature Sing, will be created by businesses, organizations, or individuals to help raise funds for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Fuel Fund. This fund keeps our neighbors warm during the winter and raised an amazing $41,330 in 2021. Let’s beat that this year! Share in the Christmas spirit and support your favorite tree by donating with cash, check, or online by clicking the trees image below.
Deck The Trees presents: Let Heaven and Nature Sing!, December 1, 2022 – January 2, 2023 Come experience the charm of Black Mountain and get in the Christmas spirit. You will discover 35 (and possibly more) beautifully decorated Christmas trees situated at the Monte Vista Hotel and in stores and businesses throughout Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley area.

Each tree, uniquely decorated around the theme: A Black Mountain Christmas, will be created by businesses, organizations, or individuals to help raise funds for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Fuel Fund. Come join us! Share in the Christmas spirit and support your favorite tree by donating with cash, check, or on-line at svcmblackmountain.org.

Daytime Christmas Tours at Historic Johnson Farm
Dec 7 @ 10:30 am
Historic Johnson Farm

Hendersonville Christmas Tours at Historic Johnson Farm Home for the Holidays

Guided tours of the decorated 1880 farmhouse, one of the oldest brick structures in Henderson County. Experience what Christmastime was like in the late 1800s and early 1900s at this restored farm owned and operated by the local school system. Pick out unique holiday gifts on property at the gift shop of Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Dec 7 @ 3:59 pm – 4:59 pm
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is back in 2022! The 1¼ hour round-trip passenger 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.

Weather

We encourage guests to plan ahead and stay apprised of the latest weather developments. Cancellations of a POLAR EXPRESS departure because of inclement weather are very rare. If you’re staying in the Gatlinburg/Sevierville, Tennessee area, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service announces road closures and openings on Twitter, or call (865) 436-1200 extension 631 for a recorded message. In such case Highway 441 is closed through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Interstate 40 typically remains open. Use 45 Mitchell Street, Bryson City, North Carolina 28713 as your destination to find an alternate route.

Festival of Lights
Dec 7 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Lake Julian Park

News article image

A holiday tradition for many mountain families returns to Lake Julian Park (37 Lake Julian Rd. in Arden) in December. Festival of Lights continues with all its illuminated magic and more, as the annual event now finds itself on a mission.

Festival of Lights is a fun, inexpensive way to celebrate the season and make memories. As the original – and longest running – drive-thru holiday light show in the area, is excited to once again turn on the tradition of making spirits bright.

Mark your calendars, Lake Julian Festival of Lights will thrill visitors of all ages, nightly from 6-9 p.m. from Dec. 2-23, with two special walk-thru nights on Dec. 2 & 3. The festival thrives from its connection to the community; twenty percent of proceeds are donated to Special Olympics Buncombe County, while the remaining income is reinvested to enhance the festival for the following year.

Get your tickets for the Walk-Thru Nights

Get your tickets for the Drive-Thru Nights

Visitors can expect the drive circling Lake Julian Park to transform into a magical journey with tunnels of dazzling animated and stationary light displays. Watch the lights twinkle over the lake and listen to your own favorite holiday music while taking in the sights.

Vehicle entry for the Festival of Lights is $10 per passenger vehicle, $25 for large vans, and $50 for motor coaches and buses.

Inclement weather note: December can be month for inclement weather in Buncombe County. Make sure to stay up to date with all the latest information by signing up for alerts and notifications from Buncombe County. Text bcalert to 99411.

The North Carolina Arboretum Winter Lights
Dec 7 @ 6:00 pm
The North Carolina Arboretum

Winter Lights is a spectacular open-air walk-through light show made from over one million lights! Located at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, this year’s event features favorites like the famously tall 50-foot lighted tree and the Quilt Garden, along with enchanting new details designed to delight and surprise.

alternatetext  The Lights!

This year’s show features over a million lights and mixes enchanting new displays with old favorites like the 50ft tree and Quilt Garden. Winter Lights is a walk-through light show with countless opportunities for photos. Use our hashtag #NCWinterLights22 to share the magic!

View the photo gallery here

   Live performances

Live performances are scheduled nightly at the Education Center, near Bent Creek Bistro. View the music schedule here.

  Rocky Cove Railroad*

During Winter Lights, our beloved g-scale model train offers nightly service to the North Pole. All aboard!

  Storytime at Woodland Cove

Visit the Education Center for a whimsical window display that follows a young bear’s journey to discover new habitats. This is an educational exhibit that will delight the whole family.

  Gift Shops

Still have a bit of shopping to do for the holidays? our Connections Gallery Gift Shop in the Baker Visitor Center and Winter Lights Shop in the Education Center are open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily, and from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. nightly, during Winter Lights.

  S’mores and Firepits*

If the winter nights turn a bit chilly, cozy up to the fire pits and heaters throughout the gardens.

S’mores kits are available for purchase at the Bent Creek Bistro, where there’s an especially large fire pit for all your marshmallow-roasting needs!

 Wishing Trees

A favorite Winter Lights tradition, the Wishing Trees return this year in a new location! Look for them near Rocky Cove Railroad, and make sure to leave a wish for the coming year.

  Eat and Drink**

Looking for something to warm you up while you stroll? Cocoa, beer, and wine are available at both the Cocoa Shack and Bent Creek Bistro.

View the menu for Bent Creek Bistro

Bent Creek Bistro Hours: Full menu: 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Snacks: 9:30-10:00 p.m.

 

*The Rocky Cove Railroad and the fire pits cannot run in certain weather conditions, and may be closed without notice.

**Alcohol purchased on-site may only be consumed in the event area and is not permitted in the parking lot or on the trails. Outside alcohol is prohibited at all times, on all parts of the property. This includes the parking lot and trails.

The Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour
Dec 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm
The Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour

  • Hop on board the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley for a fun and festive celebration of the season featuring live music!

 

  • This seasonal favorite features an entertaining blend of holiday storytelling and traditional Christmas caroling. Enjoy stories of local lore and holiday traditions, then join-in with our on-board musician singing classic carols and songs of Christmas. And all the while the Holly Jolly Trolley is rolling past festive holiday decorations in downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and the Montford and Grove Park neighborhoods.

 

This has all the makings of a jolly good family tradition!

  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Admission: Adults $29; Children (5-11) $13
  • Phone: 
  • Email:
Greenville Swamp Rabbits vs. Florida Everblades
Dec 7 @ 7:05 pm
Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Greenville Swamp Rabbits  vs. Florida Everblades

 

The Greenville Swamp Rabbits are much more than a professional hockey franchise playing in Upstate South Carolina; it is truly Greenville’s hockey team. Formerly known as the Road Warriors, the club rebranded to the Swamp Rabbits on August 26, 2015 in an effort to really ingrain itself in the fabric of the community. The name is inherently Greenville – specific to the city and unique in the sports world.

It’s the electrifying energy and unstoppable passion of Swamp Rabbits fans inside The Well combined with the award-winning game presentation that make attending a Swamp Rabbits game the BEST fan experience in the ECHL! From the moment you step inside the arena, you’ll find FREE concourse activities for the whole family, including sign-making, temporary tattoos, interactive games, music and there’s always a good chance you’ll run into the Swamp Rabbits mascot Stomper! Throughout the season, fans can also expect a lineup of special theme nights and exciting giveaways.

Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas
Dec 7 @ 7:30 pm
Flat Rock Playhouse
A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas. Nov. 25 - Dec. 22

The WNC tradition continues! This show has become a Playhouse favorite with a brand new show every year. Join the merriment of sleigh bells and mistletoe, miracles and Santa Claus, and so much more. Showcasing a cast of Flat Rock favorites, the Flat Rock Playhouse Chorus, and Pat’s School of Dance, this holiday revue promises to leave you feeling merry and bright!

Thursday, December 8, 2022
Give!Local fundraiser! Nature Center and Weiler Woods for Wildlife
Dec 8 all-day
online w/ WNC Nature Center

From November 1 to December 31, you can support the WNC Nature Center through Mountain Xpress’ Give!Local fundraiser!
Your donation gives you great incentives from the Nature Center and Mountain Xpress, and your gift will be matched by Weiler Woods for Wildlife up to $2,500, with the entire donation coming to the Friends of the WNC Nature Center!
This is a powerful way to support local nonprofits and your community during the holiday season!
Here are a few of the awesome perks of supporting the Friends:
  • Donate $25+ and get a day pass to the WNC Nature Center.
  • Donate $50+ and get an animal sticker and a day pass.
  • Donate $100+ and get an animal tracks necklace, animal sticker, and a day pass.
  • Donate $250+ and get a a guided tour of the Nature Center with animal enrichment for two people, plus the necklace, sticker, and day pass. PLUS, you’ll be entered to win a chance to go on habitat with red pandas Leafa and Phoenix in 2023!
Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt
Dec 8 all-day
Downtown Hendersonville

Downtown Hendersonville
Peppermint Bear takes you on a fun-filled bear hunt in downtown Hendersonville in search of her lost cubs. Hint: the cubs are hiding in downtown businesses.

Once you have found a lost cub in at least 12 of 26 participating businesses and the shopkeeper has punched your brochure, you are eligible to win scavenger hunt prizes. Complete the entry form in the brochure and drop it in Peppermint’s mailbox in front of the Welcome Center, by Dec. 23.

For more details about the Scavenger Hunt, watch this video or stop by the Welcome Center at 201 South Main Street. Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt brochures are available at the Hendersonville Welcome Center.

The Best of the Beach and the Rainforest
Dec 8 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

With the beautiful ocean view from your cabana, it’s hard not to stay in, relaxing in the luxurious accommodations in Belize. But there is adventure to be had! This trip offers the best of both world’s combining tropical ocean activities with jungle adventure, while you and your companions enjoy flexibility in your choice of daily guided activities and adventure levels.

Beach Activities

  • Swimming
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Sunrise Yoga
  • Fly Fishing

Rainforest Activities

  • Mayan Ruin Tours
  • Nocturnal Jungle Walks
  • Hiking Antelope Falls
  • Ziplining
  • Rappelling
  • River Tubing

Bucket List Traveler

Voted in the top 5 best winter vacation locations by U.S. News Travel, the Galapagos offer so much adventure in the archipelago!

 

An eco-enthusiasts bucket list trip!  Set sail to lesser-explored islands and spot giant tortoises, sea lions, Galápagos penguins, and marine iguanas! Snorkel, surf, hike, and experience the islands and their unique ecosystem.

Remote Tropical

Uncrowded point breaks, warm water, predictable waves, friendly locals, great food and drink…this is a real surfer’s paradise! Join us on a surf safari in the Ecuadorian town of Mompiche.

Great waves and a multitude of other activities from surf lessons, SUP, horseback riding, massages and more, enjoy it all from your ocean front home away from home!

Sandy Sunsets

In Baja, some can simply sip drinks, eat local fish tacos and watch the sun disappear into the Pacific, while adventure seekers can choose the rush of surfing a perfect wave, hiking the coastline or sea kayaking with turtles, sea lions and breaching whales. Walk through sherbet colored canyons or soak up the night’s canopy of scattered stars. On  our multisport adventure to Baja, you can do it all!

Tuckasegee River Excursion
Dec 8 all-day
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot

Join us for a relaxing ride through quiet countryside on your way to small town life in western North Carolina on the Tuckasegee River Excursion. Departing from Bryson City, this 4 hour excursion travels 32 miles round-trip to Dillsboro and back to the Bryson City Depot. Pass by the famous movie set of The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford!

The Tuckasegee (tuck-uh-SEE-jee) River Excursion includes an 1 hour and 20 minute layover in the historic town of Dillsboro, where you’ll find more than 50 shops, restaurants, a brewery, and country inns. There is time to shop, snack, and visit the many unique shops before returning to Bryson City.

Virtual Angel Giving Tree
Dec 8 all-day
online

Our Virtual Angel tree is up for this holiday season. This gift tree provides our broader YWCA community a path to join us as we aim to support our program participants and their families with a holiday season full of love and support.

If you would like to adopt a family this holiday season please click here or email Taleese Morrill in our Programs team to get the details of how you can fulfill a family’s holiday wish.

If you prefer please select a gift from our Amazon wish list by December 1st, 2022. Gifts from the list will be mailed directly to our building and will be sorted and distributed by our YWCA elves. All items on the list have been selected by the families and are items they are wishing for or are in need of this holiday season.

All gifts must be ordered by December 1.

Programs Served by the Angel Tree

MotherLove
YWCA’s MotherLove program supports pregnant and parenting teens throughout Buncombe County. Our goals are to help young parents to stay in school and graduate, access higher education and vocational training, develop the skills and knowledge needed to become strong parents, and delay another teen pregnancy.

Getting Ahead In a Just Getting By World
YWCA’s Getting Ahead program aims to provide financial empowerment for low-income women of all ages and backgrounds to make choices that positively impact themselves, their families, and their community.

Early Learning Program
YWCA’s Early Learning Program provides 5-star childcare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Our experienced and compassionate teachers not only provide exceptional care for little ones, but also prepare young children to succeed cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. We prioritize families using childcare vouchers or caring for children in the foster care system.

Empowerment Childcare
The YWCA provides up to 12 hours of free childcare per week for parents who are in transition, continuing their education, accessing social services, or looking for employment. ECC works closely with the Family Justice Center, Buncombe County Health and Human Services, A-B Tech, Green Opportunities, and Mary Benson House.

Santa Claus at Carolina Ace Hardware
Dec 8 @ 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Carolina Ace Hardware

Immerse yourself in a Winter Wonderland with Santa and his elves and of course, Santa’s reindeer at Carolina Ace Hardware. Bring the whole family and take your Christmas pictures in the magical Christmas display in the Garden Center. Free to the public. Bring your cameras.

front of carolina ace hardware store