It’s the most wonderful time of year at America’s largest home. Christmas at Biltmore daytime tours begin on November 7 and run through January 11. Candlelight Christmas Evenings run November 7 through January 3. See photos, videos, tips and the latest info on ticket discounts at www.romanticasheville.com/biltmorechristmas.htm.
This year’s Christmas decorations inside the Biltmore House and throughout the estate draw inspiration from the theme “A Vanderbilt Christmas Celebration.” Décor will trend toward the opulent to create a sense of the Gilded Age, while incorporating elements that nod to George Vanderbilt’s legacy in Western North Carolina and the surrounding mountains. Vanderbilt hosted his first family Christmas celebration in Biltmore House in 1895, and this year’s celebration is modeled on that first Christmas.
The grand Banquet Hall will mix vintage and opulent accents with burgundy, red, gold and blue ornaments tucked into the centerpiece 34-foot tall Fraser fir Christmas tree. The annual tree raising is November 5, as guests watch Santa deliver the tree and workers maneuver this huge tree through the front doors to the Banquet Hall. Two additional 14-foot trees will flank the triple fireplace. A deep red velvet runner edged with holly and red berries will accent the Hall’s dining table, with potted poinsettias and fresh cut flower arrangements completing the look. The pipe organ plays on a regular schedule. Elsewhere inside the house, see 60 intricately designed and decorated trees. Miles of fresh garland and wreaths draped throughout the house.
On Candlelight Christmas Evenings, a 55-foot Norway spruce tree, lit by 45,000 tiny white lights, will be the focal point on the front lawn. Magical Candlelight evenings feature local choirs and small musical ensembles stationed in the Winter Garden and throughout the house. Included in these tickets is daytime admission to Biltmore’s gardens, Antler Hill Village and Winery.
In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children of all ages. Cedric’s Tavern will host live music nightly. Tour the Winery, enjoy free wine tastings and purchase wines, including the limited release Christmas at Biltmore blend. Special wine seminars are available by reservation.
Biltmore’s floral arranging and gardening experts will conduct free, daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place retail gift shop from October 17 through January 11. Seminars are “Winter Wreaths” at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and “Front Door Swags” at 1 and 3 p.m.
There are many dining options. Select from the Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Café, Cedric’s Tavern or The Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate. The Inn will offer its annual Gingerbread House Tea on December 18, 19, and 20. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate offers several packages for holidays, including special Thanksgiving, Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve packages.
And don’t forget the variety of retail shops, all perfect for holiday gift shopping. Other activities include taking a horse and carriage ride; exploring acres of walking and biking trails and more.
See photos and a video of the decorations inside Biltmore House: www.romanticasheville.com/biltmore_christmas_photo_tour.htm. And see hotel packages!