When George Vanderbilt opened The Biltmore Estate to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895, it began a tradition at Biltmore that is carried on to this day. Christmas at Biltmore this year reflects the theme of “Hearth and Home,” getting right to the heart of what Vanderbilt intended for his North Carolina home.
Running through to Jan. 8, 2017, The Biltmore’s holiday celebration will provide guests with a completely immersive experience. The wonders of Biltmore House—masterpieces of art, architecture, and Vanderbilt family treasures—are enhanced with more than 70 intricately decorated trees along with hundreds of poinsettias and garlands. The towering 34-foot-tall Fraser Fir in the home’s immense Banquet Hall is the star attraction.
While the sheer volume of Christmas décor is staggering, the resulting beauty is a testament to the expertise of Biltmore’s floral staff. This year, the team has interpreted the theme of “Hearth and Home” throughout the house, emphasizing fireplaces and mantels in the grand spaces with warm colors, soft textures, and vintage-inspired ornaments.
Guests may also enjoy the entire estate as part of their admission. The glass-roofed Conservatory anchoring the Walled Garden is filled with blooms, and daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place shop provide tips for guests’ own holiday décor. At Antler Hill Village & Winery, the Winery offers free tastings of Biltmore wines—including the new Christmas commemorative wine—and additional in-depth tours and programs to further wine appreciation. Weekends in the Village bring carolers sharing traditional Christmas favorites, and Santa making guest appearances at the bandstand to hear wish lists from guests of all ages.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings
From fireplace mantels draped with evergreens to towering trees festooned with lights, Candlelight Christmas Evenings provide a warm welcome on a frosty night. By reservation only, these evenings in Biltmore House have become a cherished holiday tradition for many who enjoy a uniquely different view of holiday lights and live music.
Setting the scene is a 55-foot Norway spruce sparkling in the center of the sweeping Front Lawn, flanked by rows of softly glowing luminaries. Candlelight Christmas Evenings are offered Nov. 4 through Jan. 7.
Christmas at Biltmore features the following holiday activities and events:
- Nov. 4 through Jan. 8, daily: Christmas at Biltmore daytime experience
- Nov. 4 through Jan. 7: Candlelight Christmas Evenings
- Nov. 4 through Dec. 31, daily: A Gardener’s Place Holiday Seminars in the Conservatory. “Winter Wreaths” is offered at 1 p.m. and “Tabletop Topiaries” is offered at 2 p.m.
- Daily: Complimentary wine tasting at the Winery. The “Red Wine and Chocolate” seminar is offered, as well as the “Biltmore Bubbles” tour. Additional price and reservations required for the seminars.
- Nov. 6 through Jan. 10, evenings: Live music in Cedric’s Tavern in Antler Hill Village.
- Nov. 5 through Dec. 23, Saturdays and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.: Visits with Santa in Antler Hill Village.
- Nov. 5 through Jan. 8, Saturdays and Sundays, 3 p.m.: Roving Holiday Carolers in Antler Hill Village.
- Dec. 15-18, 1 p.m. daily: Inn on Biltmore Estate’s Annual Gingerbread House Tea. Guests assemble gingerbread homes with the help of a pastry chef while enjoying afternoon tea. Additional price and reservations required.
- Ongoing: Festive holiday meals prepared by award-winning chefs will be served in all of the estate’s restaurants.
Overnight Stays At Biltmore
Guests looking to extend their holiday visits at Biltmore will have several options. Those seeking a retreat with personalized service, The Inn on Biltmore Estate offers four-star accommodations with sweeping views in a private hilltop setting. Special holiday packages starting with Thanksgiving will be available during Christmas at Biltmore.
Biltmore’s newest lodging offering, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, is designed for the guest looking for a casual overnight stay. Village Hotel is located in the lively setting of Antler Hill Village and offers a convenient home base steps away from shopping, dining, the Winery, live music in Antler Hill Village and outdoor activities. Special holiday packages are available during Christmas at Biltmore.
For tickets, reservations, and more information about Christmas at Biltmore, visit www.Biltmore.com/visit.