Are you spending the holidays in western North Carolina? The southern Appalachians are the perfect place to have a quintessential Thanksgiving and Christmas experience. There is no better holiday wonderland on the East Coast than our area. 

If you are visiting or hosting family in WNC, here are a few activities to help keep the kids (and adults) busy and make the most of your time in our area. 

Four Holiday Activities in Western North Carolina 

1) Thanksgiving and Christmas Events in WNC

76th Annual Asheville Holiday Parade | Asheville | 11 am November 19

This year will be the 76th annual Asheville Holiday Parade

“Parade entries include a little something for everyone with the Grand Marshal entry sponsored by Apple Tree Honda, decorated floats, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations; our Honored Veterans float sponsored by Deerfield, marching bands, performances, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.”

Night Before Christmas | Waynesville | 6 pm to 9 pm December 10

Night Before Christmas is an annual Christmas ceremony that takes place downtown.

Candlelight Stroll | Weaverville | 6 pm to 9 pm December 10

From 6 pm to 9 pm on December 10th, Main Street Weaverville will be lit for the Candlelight Stroll, which will feature carolers, Santa, children’s activities, and more.

Christmas at Biltmore | Biltmore Estate | November 4 – January 7

One of the most magical holiday events in the Asheville area is Christmas at Biltmore. People travel here from all over the world to experience Christmas at Biltmore.

The Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries | Dillsboro December 2-3 and 9-10

The first two weekends in December, this mountain community of artisans is illuminated by the Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries festival.

Polar Express – Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

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.”

2) Get Outside in the Mountains

Hiking and mountain biking is still an option during winter in western North Carolina. The dreaded freeze-thaw cycles have often not set in during November and December, and many trail systems will still be open. 


A few winter hikes your family or visitors will enjoy include:

  • Mount Mitchell
  • Crabtree Falls
  • DuPont State Forest
  • Mount Pisgah
  • Rainbow and Turtleback Falls
  • Craggy Mountain and Gardens
  • Linville Falls

Mountain Biking

Some of the best winter mountain biking options include:

  • Ride Kanuga
  • Kolo Bike Park
  • Riveter
  • Dupont State Forest
  • Brevard/Pisgah National Forest
  • Biltmore Estate
  • Bent Creek Experimental Forest
  • Kitsuma and Heartbreak Ridge  – Old Fort and Black Mountain, NC

3) Choose Your Own Christmas Tree

Many people traditionally choose their Christmas trees over the Thanksgiving holiday. There are various Christmas tree farms in the area:

  • Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree Farm Waynesville, NC
  • Mehaffey Tree Farm Waynesville, NC
  • Smoky Mountain Christmas Tree Farm Waynesville, NC
  • Sandy Hollar Tree Farm Leicester, NC
  • Nesbitt Christmas Tree Farm Clyde, NC
  • Yeater’s Christmas Tree Farm Burnsville, NC
  • Hidden Cove Christmas Tree Farm Marion, NC

4) Dive Into Adventure 

Elite Action Gaming and Black Mountain Adventure Zone offer activities that you may have never experienced before. With your friends or relatives in town for the holidays, it might be the perfect time to try something entirely new. 

New Generation Laser Tag 

“This ain’t your grandma’s laser tag. You can choose the ideal experience for your event: Arcade, Casual, or Immersive. Casual players enjoy simple games with easy-to-use equipment, while those who want a more immersive experience can choose weapon and character modes as well as work through a series of objectives over the course of the time slot.

We host a variety of games, including team fights, capture the flag, traitor town, one-on-one or two-on-two championships, and more, depending on the sort of event, age level, and the number of players. The games during your party will be planned and overseen by your Elite Action Gaming Host.

VR at Black Mountain Adventure Zone

We are excited to announce the launch of our VR Games and VR Escape Rooms in time for the holiday season!

“Depending on your selected type of event, age group, and the number of players, we currently have 5 VR Games to choose from or 7 VR Escape Rooms. Your BMAZ Host will organize and run the games during your party.

Up to five players at a time can play together in our VR Arena. Every play is different. We allow players as young as five because the equipment is easy to use; however, your players may need some assistance from an adult in your party. 

GellyBall with Elite Action Gaming or Black Mountain Adventure Zone

“The new, lower-impact shooting game with no staining or mess. We provide bunkers, blasters, ammo, and game commander! Plus, the Mobile Arena (netting) & the Sharpshooter Challenge options are available for private events as well as fairs and festivals.”

We can bring this revolutionary new game to you, or you can experience it in our indoor arena at Black Mountain Adventure Zone. Reach out to us for more information about how you can experience adventure during the holiday season!