How to Enjoy Christmas at Biltmore (7 Festive Things to Do + Our Tips)

Last Updated on December 1, 2022

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Christmas at Biltmore is the perfect holiday season event in Asheville and Western North Carolina if not all of North Carolina. I mean, is it possible to top Christmas trees and lights in and around America’s Largest Home?

And that doesn’t even cover all the things you can do during Christmas at Biltmore, but the rest of our guide will do exactly that. We want you to be as prepared as possible for your trip to America’s Largest Home in Asheville, one of North Carolina‘s most interesting cities.

Because there is a lot to cover, we’ve organized the guide into the following sections:

  • The History of Christmas at Biltmore (Quick Facts)
  • Dates
  • Ticket Options and Prices
  • Parking Info (Biltmore House and Antler Hill)
  • Things to Do During Christmas at Biltmore (Our Tips and Year-Round Biltmore Estate Activities)
  • How to Enjoy Christmas at Biltmore Estate (Our Tips)
  • More Holiday Season Events in NC

You can skip ahead to any of the above sections or keep reading some interesting facts about the Estate and how Christmas at Biltmore began!

Read More: 50+ Great Things to Do in Asheville

The History of Christmas at Biltmore

Christmas at Biltmore

Before we share what to expect at Christmas at Biltmore, it’s important to understand how America’s largest home became…well, America’s Largest home.

Here are a few interesting facts and Biltmore Estate background info:

  • Biltmore Estate took six years and 1,000 craftspeople to build.
  • It was built for George Vanderbilt, who had fallen in love with Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Biltmore officially opened on December 24, 1895. Vanderbilt hosted guests, including his mother, greeting them at the train station built in his newly built Biltmore Village.
  • On Christmas day, Mr. Vanderbilt greeted workers and their families in the Banquet Hall.
  • Members of his own family handed out the gifts to the hundreds of people in attendance.
  • Gifts included Christmas trees and trimmings for estate workers to decorate their own homes.
  • The only year on record where Christmas at Biltmore was held elsewhere was 1897. Because Mr. Vanderbilt was away, the celebration took place at nearby All Souls Parish.
  • Festivities returned the next year and George’s new wife Edith became a huge factor in Christmas at Biltmore’s continuation.
  • Mr. Vanderbilt died in 1914 and Edith, along with her daughter Cornelia, kept the holiday festivities going.
  • Christmas at Biltmore continues today, with an annual Christmas party for employees of the estate.
  • This includes a 35-foot tall Christmas tree centerpiece in the banquet hall—a tradition started by George Vanderbilt himself. Complementary events the softness of candlelight evenings. 

Read More: 15 Things We Love About The Omni Grove Park Inn

When is Christmas at Biltmore? (Dates)

Christmas at Biltmore living room

The Christmas celebration differs from year to year, but you can typically expect it anywhere from November to January.

  • For the 2022/2023 holiday season, Christmas at Biltmore starts on November 4, 2022.
  • Candlelight Christmas Evenings run from November 4, 2022, to January 7, 2023.
  • Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebrations is from November 4, 2022, to January 8, 2023.

Purchase Christmas at Biltmore Tickets

Ticket Options (and Prices)

The ticket prices depend on what special features you prefer on the tours. Here are the ticket options for Christmas at Biltmore:

  • Audio-Guided Visit
  • Audio-Guided Visit
  • Expert-Guided Visit Plus

Below are some of the features of each package and the Biltmore House Ticket prices:  

Audio-Guided Visit

  • A daytime visit to Biltmore with an Audio Guide
  • The sightseeing of 8,000 acres of the Garden and Grounds
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Wine tasting—while supplies last 
  • The view of Antler Hill and the winery
  • Price: $119 to $154

Audio-Guided Visit Plus

  • A daytime visit to Biltmore House with an Audio Guide
  • The sightseeing of 8,000 acres of the Garden and Grounds
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Wine tasting—while supplies last
  • The view of Antler Hill and the winery
  • Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius.
  • Price: $149 to $189

Expert-Guided Visit Plus

  • A daytime visit to Biltmore House with an Audio Guide
  • The sightseeing of 8,000 acres of the Garden and Grounds
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Wine tasting—while supplies last
  • The view of Antler Hill and the winery
  • Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius.
  • Expert-guided 90-minute group tour: Guest of the Vanderbilts
  • Price: $384 to $424

Please note that complimentary daily-use tickets do not permit access to special events like Christmas Candlelight Evenings and Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius.

Parking Info

Christmas at Biltmore winery lights

There are parking lots for both Antler Hill Village and the Biltmore Mansion.

Biltmore House Parking

After passing through the entrance and the admission gates, you will find complimentary parking lots A and B for the Biltmore House.

From the parking lot, it’s a 10-minute walk to the estate. 

Antler Hill Parking

Antler Hill Village shops have a complimentary parking lot as well but are not accessible without an admission ticket to the entire property. 

Christmas at Biltmore Things to Do

There are plenty of fun things to do during Christmas at Biltmore and also beyond the holiday season.

Christmas Daytime

Christmas at Biltmore gingerbread house

A daytime visit to Biltmore is a feast for the senses, featuring fragrant wreaths, glittering garland, and the sparkle of thousands of ornaments from Biltmore House to Antler Hill Village!

Wrap yourself in the magic of this most beloved holiday tradition: Christmas at Biltmore.

Candlelight Christmas

Spend an evening at Biltmore’s Candlelight Christmas. You’ll be greeted by a huge Norway Spruce, luminaries, thousands of Christmas ornaments, and other magical scenes.

Antler Hill Shoppes

If you are longing for last-minute Christmas presents, the Antler Hill Shoppes may be the answer to your prayers. Take time to explore the magnificent collection inspired by George Vanderbilt’s exquisite taste! 

How to Enjoy Christmas at Biltmore Estate (Our Tips)

  • Christmas at Biltmore is one of the busiest events of the year, so one of our top tips is to purchase your ticket far in advance.
  • We also recommend visiting during the week if you can.
  • While the Candlelight experience at Biltmore truly is the most beautiful, tickets sell out fast.
  • If you don’t manage a candlelight experience, then our tip is to get an early house tour, leave and have a delightful dinner, and then come back to the estate to see the outside all lit up! Your admission is good for the entire day and you can leave the estate and return.

Read More: The Asheville Art Museum (How to Visit + 7 Great Things to Do)

More Things to Do at Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate is a wonderful place to visit throughout the year, as we’ve found.

Biltmore Gardens

Christmas at Biltmore conservatory

Biltmore Gardens offer multiple sections to admire. These formal and informal gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. He also designed Central Park in New York, in case the name sounds familiar.

These gardens offer blooms throughout much of the year, and you can keep up with them by coming back.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find:

  • The Italian Garden
  • The Shrub Garden
  • The Spring Garden
  • The Walled Garden
  • The Rose Garden
  • The Conservatory
  • The Azalea Garden
  • The Bass Pond
  • The Boat House 

Read More: The Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in North Carolina

Antler Hill Village

Christmas at Biltmore Billard Room

Antler Hill Village is a nice collection of shops and restaurants to round out your visit (or stay). Enjoy a complimentary tasting at the winery, a meal at Bistro (approachable bistro dishes) or Cedric’s Tavern (elevated pub fare), and shop your way through the village.

Read More: Awesome Restaurants in Asheville

Other Fun Things to Do

Other fun things to do beyond Biltmore at Christmas include the following:

  • Falconry 
  • Horseback Riding
  • River Trips 
  • Biking and Hiking Trails
  • Sporting Clays

Read More: 75+ Great Hikes near Asheville

Ready to Enjoy Christmas at Biltmore? 

Every time we visit Biltmore, something new comes out and awes us. Whether it is the history, beautiful landscaping, or the celebration of Christmas at Biltmore, each new trip creates a lifelong memory (or more)!

If you’ve experienced Christmas at Biltmore before or visited any other time of year, we’d love to know what you thought of this places. Share your thoughts in the comments below or by email.

Before you do that, here are some other holiday season events in North Carolina and guides covering things to do in Asheville.

More Holiday Season Events in NC

Read More: Winter in North Carolina

More Things to Do in Asheville (Beyond Christmas at Biltmore)

Here are guides to more activities in and around Western NC’s largest city.

2 thoughts on “How to Enjoy Christmas at Biltmore (7 Festive Things to Do + Our Tips)”

  1. Several years ago my grandmother who has since passed away brought me and my brother to the biltmore house as a christmas gift from her to us. At such a young age we took it for granted and thought as kids we wouldnt care for it at all but to our surprise we were wrong. Every year since I have wanted to come back as I will never forget how much our grandmother loved us and above all else simply wanted to spend time with us at one of the most beautiful places on earth. We felt like royalty inside the home and gardens as everything seemed magical from all the christmas decor and I will never forget how much she loved taking us through the shops to look for a christmas ornament to buy and keep to hang on our tree from year to year. Im glad we were able to experience this particular christmas with her I will never forget the love and memories we all had and were able to share with her and for making it one of the best christmas’s to remember through the years. I hope to bring my wife, daughter, grandson and my brother back to biltmore this year. Looking back I now know why she wanted to take us to biltmore and I will never forget the love she had for us. I love you granny I know one day we will see each other again on the other side of eternity. I love you

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