What to do in Asheville over the Holidays

Holidays In WNC Are Magical

One of the best things about the mountains of WNC are the holidays.. Whether you love the outdoors or prefer to be warm and cozy, there is plenty for you to do and add to your favorite holiday. Here are some favorite things to do in the area.


Biltmore Estate Is A Favorite

The Biltmore Estate is one of the oldest manors in the country and they certainly know how to bring out the fabulousness to the holiday glitz and glamour. Festivities are already in full swing at the estate and will no doubt put you in the holiday mood. Starting in early November, they provide a Christmas tree raising that includes plenty of fanfare as the 35 foot Frasier tree arrives in a carriage and is erected in the Banquet Hall. The theme for 2017 is A Vanderbilt Christmas and harkens back to the Gilded Age. Each evening from November 3 to January 6 there are Candlelight tours offered in addition to their usual daytime tours. The home and several of the other annexes, such as the Winery and Antler Hill, will be decked out in holiday décor as well. Tickets range from $40-$75 each for the daytime tours and $70 to $85 for the Candlelight Evenings. We recommend pre-purchasing the tickets a week or more in advance to take advantage of any discounts available. Due to the popularity of the event, many tickets sell out quickly so buy now!


Ride The Polar Express

Each year Great Smoky Mountains Railroad brings the popular movie, The Polar Express, to life with their holiday themed ride through the mountains. Rides begin November 10 and end on December 31 with some days closed so employees can enjoy the holidays with their families. An easy hour and a half trip begins and ends at the Bryson City Depot. Featuring music from the movie soundtrack and picking up Santa along the way will sure to excite children of all ages. Hot chocolate and caroling are sure to make your holidays extra special. In 2016 over 84,000 people rode The Polar Express and has certainly become a favorite tradition for many. Tickets sell out fast so rush to get them now while you can. A wide variety of options are available to fit any budget and experience you want to enjoy.


See The Lights At The Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a favorite amongst the residents due to beautiful views, fantastic learning experience, and amazing hiking trails. From November 17 to December 31 the Arboretum opens up at night for a special viewing of holiday lights. If you enjoyed cruising neighborhoods at the light displays as a child, you will love the impressive light displays in the gardens. Since the event is held outdoors, dress warmly for the walk through the grounds. All tickets much be purchased in advance to ensure admittance at the gate, no ticket sales at the gate. Don’t forget to take pictures of these memorable light displays.

Run The Holidays In

Asheville and WNC locals love to run and there is no shortage of 5K’s to enjoy during the holiday. Work up an appetite for Thanksgiving with the Turkey Trot in downtown Asheville on Thanksgiving Day. If you aren’t a serious runner, or looking for a fun new tradition, join the one mile Gobble Fun Run that precedes the 5K.

On December 10, the Asheville Jewish Community Center is hosting a Hanukkah 8K. All proceeds to the fabulous run will benefit the Shalom Children’s Center, a pre-kindergarten program for area children. Bring the kids out for a fun, free 8 lap race to see how well they can do.

In Fletcher, Trinity of Fairview is hosting a Joy To The World 5K that benefits a mission trip to Nicaragua next summer. Deck out in your favorite holiday race gear for the fun on December 16th.






Finding Work In Asheville

Earlier in the year, it was reported that Asheville saw a drop in unemployment at an impressive rate of 3.2%. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, employers have been struggling to find employees to fill their needs. This was especially true for part-time positions! This means that now it’s a lot easier to get work than it has in previous years. Let’s take a deeper look at what it means to work in Asheville.


Home Of The Local Biz

Asheville locals love to support local businesses. Even with the rise of chain stores and restaurants, many prefer quaint shops, small service shop, and local artists to purchase their goods and services from. If you are someone looking to boost your own small business, Asheville is a great place to do that sort of thing. Creating pottery, painting masterpieces, beading fabulous jewelry, and metalsmithing or those things that really do well here. If you provide home care services such as personal assisting, pet sitting, and nannying you will also find a slew of work. Want to do office work from home? Join the local Chamber of Commerce to connect with other businesses and see who is the right fit for you.


Be The Professional

Professional positions in health care and office work are on the rise as the city grows. If you are a highly skilled nurse, doctor, administrative assistant, or accountant you will find lots of opportunities, both part-time and full-time depending on your needs. However, this is the one sector that is still highly competitive so bring you’re a-game!


Home Of The Tourists

We aren’t just talking about the minor league baseball team, The Asheville Tourists. Asheville has always been a tourist town and the boom in tourism in recent years means more jobs. Right now we are seeing an incredible high rate of hotels being built all over the city and many need workers to cover everything from housekeeping to front desk to valet services. Restaurants are also plentiful in our food haven and staff is often needed. If you can cook amazing food or wait tables with efficiency, you will have no trouble finding work. Have that entrepreneurial spirit? Food trucks are the “it” thing and the locals love supporting the food truck scene. For a small investment and unique food it can be an easier endeavor to give a little bit of local love. One thing is for sure, we love ethnic foods and if you can offer ethnic yummies you will become popular in a heartbeat.


Spend The Day Driving

While Asheville has plenty of cabs and mass transit options, many locals are finding driving services to be a great way to make cash on their time. Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular and many locals prefer to use those services over taxis due to the price differences. Locals that have chosen to drive with these companies prefer the flexibility it offers and the chance to meet new people. If you have bus driving skills, and a license, check into our mass transit. It is growing each year and there is discussion of adding more lines to the already incredible service they offer. Drivers are currently needed and will be needed in the future. If you have skills in maintenance and office work, positions occasionally pop up.


Educate Your Peers

If you have a skill that you can teach, consider starting your own courses in the area. If you have a degree to teach a specific area of knowledge, check in with University of North Carolina – Asheville (UNCA) or Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (AB-Tech) to see if they need any positions filled. Several local elementary and secondary schools may be hiring within the city or the county of Buncombe.


Asheville is well-known for being a hotbed of tourism and hosts a unique flavor of artistry. Any service you can provide or any position you can fill will certainly improve the area and help us flourish.