December 2017 Events

Events Running Throughout December

  • Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas, Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds, Cherokee, NC. Friday and Saturday nights, 5 - 10 pm. Stroll under the lights through fun, interactive displays that tell ancient Cherokee Christmas legends. Plus many more family friendly attractions.

Through December 31

  • Carolina Christmas at Smith McDowell House, 283 Victoria Road, Asheville. The 1840s antebellum mansion houses a local history museum and will be authentically decorated with fresh trees, garlands, ornaments and toys of the Victorian Period. Six period rooms are decked out with gold, silver and glassware from the museum's permanent collections.
  • Bonfire Nights, Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, every Friday from 8-11pm at the lawn fire pit. Live music from 7-10p m, S'mores packages ($5 each), and an outdoor bar with drink specials. No reservations are necessary.

Through December 31

  • Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum, Asheville. Nightly 6 to 10 pm, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Walk through a winter wonderland and enjoy uniquely-lit displays and landscapes composed of nearly 500,000 energy-efficient LED lights. Tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets available at the gate.

Through January 14, 2018

Through January 5

  • Holiday Lights in Forest City, NC. Half a million decorative lights provide a warm setting for shopping, chats with Saint Nick at the Santa House on Main Street and other holiday activities.  
  • Festival of the Trees, Central Park at Cashiers Crossroads, Cashiers, NC. The park becomes a winter wonderland with twinkling lights and festive decorations from Thanksgiving through New Years.

Through January 7

  • Christmas at Biltmore, Asheville. Seventy Christmas trees, more than 1,000 poinsettias, and miles of garland and lights cast a magical spell over Biltmore House at Christmastime. This year's theme is "Hearth and Home," inspired by stories of Vanderbilt family hospitality with special attention to Biltmore House’s many fireplaces.
  • Polar Express Train, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City, NC. A family favorite, this 1.25 hour train ride is set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack. Riders enjoy cocoa and cookies while reliving the magical story, and Santa is there to greet passengers at the station.

Other December Events

December 1

  • Christmas Gallery Crawl, downtown West Jefferson, NC. Seventeen galleries will be open from 5 to 8 pm, showcasing the latest artwork by Ashe County favorite artists. 

December 1-2

  • Open Air Art Market, Foothills Arts Council, downtown Elkin, NC. Friday 5 to 9 pm, Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. Old world-style market with food, wine and beer, live music, craft demonstrations, and more.   
  • Balsam Range Art of Music FestivalLake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. A two-day festival featuring some of the top bluegrass and acoustic musicians in the nation. In addition to two nights of performances by a variety of artists, the event will also include workshops on traditional music, instrument-building and dance. Lodging and meal packages are available.

December 1-3

  • Toe River Arts Council Studio Tour,Yancey and Mitchell Counties. Friday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Meet the Artist Reception Friday, Dec. 2, 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the TRAC gallery in Spruce Pine.One of the largest and the longest running studio tours in the country with more than 100 craftspeople and artists in nearly every medium, many tops in their field and several new-to-the-tour participants. Download tour brochure here.

December 2

  • Christmas Arts and Craft Fair, Emerson Black Exhibition Building, Alleghany County Fair Grounds, Sparta. 9 am to 4:30 pm. Juried show with handmade items from area craft artisans. Nearby more than a dozen Christmas tree farms will be open for Choose n' Cut opportunities.

December 2-4

  • Appalachian Potters Market, McDowell County High School, Marion, NC. 10 am to 4 pm. 66 North Carolina potters will offer many styles of claywork, including raku, sgraffito, decorative stoneware, earthen cookware, and traditional folk pottery. $5 entry fee.

December 2 & 9

  • Holiday Sales, Southern Highland Craft Guild, Folk Art Center, Asheville.
  • Santa on the Chimney, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, NC. 11 am to 2 pm both Saturdays. Watch Santa practice for his big night with multiple 200-foot rappels down this iconic rock. Price is included in park admission.

December 3

  • Fireside Sale, John C. Campbell Folk School. 10 am to 5pm. Stroll through the beautifully decorated Keith House and shop for holiday gifts made by local and regional artists. More treasures await in the Music Studio, and don't miss the Craft Shop's annual sale. Free admission.

December 7-10

  • Appalachian Christmas at Lake Junaluska, Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. Festivities include a performance of Handel’s Messiah, the Lake Junaluska Singers Christmas concert, a matinee performance by The Cockman Family and the Appalachian Christmas Craft Show. Special events during the celebration:
  • December 8-Handel’s Messiah Performance, Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. 7:30 pm.
    December 9-Appalachian Christmas Craft Show, Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. The Appalachian Christmas craft show brings together vendors from all over the Appalachian region to sell their unique and beautiful crafts. 
    December 9-The Cockman Family in Concert, Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. 2 pm.
  • December 9- Lake Junaluska Singers in Concert, Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. 7:30 pm.

December 8

  • Winter's Tune: Zoe & Cloyd, Broyhill Chapel on the Mars Hill University Campus.  7:00 p.m.  Click on link for ticket information.

December 8-9

  • Holiday Sip & Shop at Grovewood Gallery, Asheville.  10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Shop unique holiday gifts handcrafted by local and regional artists.
  • An Appalachian Christmas Carol, at Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace, Weaverville, NC.  5:00-9:00 p.m.  Ticketed Event, click on link for ticket information.

December 9

December 15

  • Brevard's Holiday Gallery Walk, Downtown Brevard. Art galleries, stores and restaurants open late from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.  Click on link for additional information.
  • Holiday Sip & Shop at Grovewood Gallery, Asheville.  10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Shop unique holiday gifts handcrafted by local and regional artists.


December 16

  • Holiday Sip & Shop at Grovewood Gallery, Asheville.  10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Shop unique holiday gifts handcrafted by local and regional artists.

December 22

  • A Carpenter’s Christmas, Peacock Performing Arts Center, Hayesville. Lisa Rock recreates Karen Carpenter's sultry voice in her tribute to one of the greatest pop duos of all time. This 8 piece band transports you back to another time. The night will include all your favorites like "Merry Christmas Darling", "Close to You" along with traditional Christmas songs. Adults $25; Students $12; Children under five $6.