Known as one of the Southeast’s most beloved and storied holiday travel destinations, Christmas at Biltmore is set to run through Jan. 12, 2014. Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, take place Nov. 9 through Jan. 4, 2014.This year’s Christmas displays throughout Biltmore House, the gardens and grounds will draw inspiration from nature, with designs that evoke thoughts of forests, birds and other woodsy elements.
On Christmas Eve 1895, George Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House for the first time to his friends and family. In subsequent years, he and his wife, Edith, welcomed family, friends and the estate’s employees and their families into the Banquet Hall for the annual Christmas party.
Biltmore’s modern-day Christmas celebration is modeled on that first Christmas, with an elaborately decorated, 35-foot tall Fraser fir dominating the Banquet Hall. Guests will see 56 trees throughout Biltmore House, each intricately designed and decorated by members of Biltmore’s floral team. Miles of fresh garland and wreaths create a yuletide scent throughout the House, with around 1,000 red and white poinsettias in the Winter Garden and other areas.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Nov. 9 through Jan. 4, 2014
Biltmore House takes on a warm glow during Candlelight Christmas Evenings, creating a unique holiday experience. Local choirs and small musical ensembles stationed in the Winter Garden perform music of the season as guests enter Biltmore House. Soloists perform traditional Christmas music throughout the house while guests wander among the decorated rooms. The front lawn will glow with a 55-foot Norway spruce, lit by 45,000-plus tiny white lights. Guests may also visit Antler Hill Village when they attend Candlelight Christmas Evenings.
Additional holiday activities
In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 9 through Dec. 22, and also on Friday, Nov. 29. Antler Hill Village links to the Winery, where visitors may take guided tours, enjoy free wine tastings and purchase wines from Biltmore’s diverse portfolio. Special wine seminars are also available.
Biltmore’s floral arranging and gardening experts will conduct free, daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place retail gift shop from Oct. 28 through Jan. 12. Seminars are “Caring for Christmas Plants,” 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and “Decorating with Christmas Wreaths,” 1 and 3 p.m.
Holiday dining and lodging on the estate
Guests may enjoy a festive meal at Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Café, Cedric’s Tavern or The Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate. For guests looking to extend their stay at Biltmore, the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate offers several packages for holidays, including special New Year’s Eve packages. Biltmore boasts retail shops, all perfect for holiday gift shopping. Other activities include taking a horse and carriage ride and exploring acres of landscaped gardens.
For more information about Christmas at Biltmore, visit www.biltmore.com.