Asheville is a wonderful city for families of all kinds. Whether you’re looking for an ice cream gathering or an outdoor excursion, Asheville.com is your guide to all family friendly events.

Friday, December 2, 2022
Give!Local fundraiser! Nature Center and Weiler Woods for Wildlife
Dec 2 all-day
online w/ WNC Nature Center

From November 1 to December 31, you can support the WNC Nature Center through Mountain Xpress’ Give!Local fundraiser!
Your donation gives you great incentives from the Nature Center and Mountain Xpress, and your gift will be matched by Weiler Woods for Wildlife up to $2,500, with the entire donation coming to the Friends of the WNC Nature Center!
This is a powerful way to support local nonprofits and your community during the holiday season!
Here are a few of the awesome perks of supporting the Friends:
  • Donate $25+ and get a day pass to the WNC Nature Center.
  • Donate $50+ and get an animal sticker and a day pass.
  • Donate $100+ and get an animal tracks necklace, animal sticker, and a day pass.
  • Donate $250+ and get a a guided tour of the Nature Center with animal enrichment for two people, plus the necklace, sticker, and day pass. PLUS, you’ll be entered to win a chance to go on habitat with red pandas Leafa and Phoenix in 2023!
Nantahala Outdoor Center 2023 Adventure travel trips
Dec 2 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

Adventure is what we do.

Nantahala Outdoor Center has a long history of venturing where many haven’t, pioneering new adventures, and bringing opportunities to experience the outdoors to millions of guests over five decades. Our International Adventure Tours offer unique destinations, exciting adventures and activities, experienced guides, and world-class hospitality. These all-inclusive, small group excursions will redefine how you travel. Experience some of the most breathtaking places in the world without feeling like a tourist.

If your idea of fun is a rafting trip on the Chilko, a quiet lake paddle in Argentina, surf lessons in Ecuador, or trekking in Iceland, our trips have something for every adventure and skill level. Enjoy kayaking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, yoga, surfing, ziplining, wine tastings, or cultural experiences, along with the flexibility to customize your own adventure. Settle in after your travels in some of the most unique accommodations in the world; from cozy lodges and five star resorts, with local cuisine and tastings, every detail is meticulously planned so you can soak up every moment.

We hope these guided, off-the-beaten-path expeditions will foster the same spirit of adventure we encourage in our Southeastern locations, while giving you the opportunity to explore beyond your own backyard.

 

We have officially announced our new 2023 Adventure travel trips for you to explore new destinations, try new adventures, and experience new cultures! Our trips are small groups, offer world-class hospitality, unique lodging and the most diverse activity options for you to try! We’re giving “revenge travel” new meaning.

Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt
Dec 2 all-day
Downtown Hendersonville

Downtown Hendersonville
Peppermint Bear takes you on a fun-filled bear hunt in downtown Hendersonville in search of her lost cubs. Hint: the cubs are hiding in downtown businesses.

Once you have found a lost cub in at least 12 of 26 participating businesses and the shopkeeper has punched your brochure, you are eligible to win scavenger hunt prizes. Complete the entry form in the brochure and drop it in Peppermint’s mailbox in front of the Welcome Center, by Dec. 23.

For more details about the Scavenger Hunt, watch this video or stop by the Welcome Center at 201 South Main Street. Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt brochures are available at the Hendersonville Welcome Center.

The Best of the Beach and the Rainforest
Dec 2 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

With the beautiful ocean view from your cabana, it’s hard not to stay in, relaxing in the luxurious accommodations in Belize. But there is adventure to be had! This trip offers the best of both world’s combining tropical ocean activities with jungle adventure, while you and your companions enjoy flexibility in your choice of daily guided activities and adventure levels.

Beach Activities

  • Swimming
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Sunrise Yoga
  • Fly Fishing

Rainforest Activities

  • Mayan Ruin Tours
  • Nocturnal Jungle Walks
  • Hiking Antelope Falls
  • Ziplining
  • Rappelling
  • River Tubing

Bucket List Traveler

Voted in the top 5 best winter vacation locations by U.S. News Travel, the Galapagos offer so much adventure in the archipelago!

 

An eco-enthusiasts bucket list trip!  Set sail to lesser-explored islands and spot giant tortoises, sea lions, Galápagos penguins, and marine iguanas! Snorkel, surf, hike, and experience the islands and their unique ecosystem.

Remote Tropical

Uncrowded point breaks, warm water, predictable waves, friendly locals, great food and drink…this is a real surfer’s paradise! Join us on a surf safari in the Ecuadorian town of Mompiche.

Great waves and a multitude of other activities from surf lessons, SUP, horseback riding, massages and more, enjoy it all from your ocean front home away from home!

Sandy Sunsets

In Baja, some can simply sip drinks, eat local fish tacos and watch the sun disappear into the Pacific, while adventure seekers can choose the rush of surfing a perfect wave, hiking the coastline or sea kayaking with turtles, sea lions and breaching whales. Walk through sherbet colored canyons or soak up the night’s canopy of scattered stars. On  our multisport adventure to Baja, you can do it all!

Tuckasegee River Excursion
Dec 2 all-day
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot

Join us for a relaxing ride through quiet countryside on your way to small town life in western North Carolina on the Tuckasegee River Excursion. Departing from Bryson City, this 4 hour excursion travels 32 miles round-trip to Dillsboro and back to the Bryson City Depot. Pass by the famous movie set of The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford!

The Tuckasegee (tuck-uh-SEE-jee) River Excursion includes an 1 hour and 20 minute layover in the historic town of Dillsboro, where you’ll find more than 50 shops, restaurants, a brewery, and country inns. There is time to shop, snack, and visit the many unique shops before returning to Bryson City.

Virtual Angel Giving Tree
Dec 2 all-day
online

Our Virtual Angel tree is up for this holiday season. This gift tree provides our broader YWCA community a path to join us as we aim to support our program participants and their families with a holiday season full of love and support.

If you would like to adopt a family this holiday season please click here or email Taleese Morrill in our Programs team to get the details of how you can fulfill a family’s holiday wish.

If you prefer please select a gift from our Amazon wish list by December 1st, 2022. Gifts from the list will be mailed directly to our building and will be sorted and distributed by our YWCA elves. All items on the list have been selected by the families and are items they are wishing for or are in need of this holiday season.

All gifts must be ordered by December 1.

Programs Served by the Angel Tree

MotherLove
YWCA’s MotherLove program supports pregnant and parenting teens throughout Buncombe County. Our goals are to help young parents to stay in school and graduate, access higher education and vocational training, develop the skills and knowledge needed to become strong parents, and delay another teen pregnancy.

Getting Ahead In a Just Getting By World
YWCA’s Getting Ahead program aims to provide financial empowerment for low-income women of all ages and backgrounds to make choices that positively impact themselves, their families, and their community.

Early Learning Program
YWCA’s Early Learning Program provides 5-star childcare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Our experienced and compassionate teachers not only provide exceptional care for little ones, but also prepare young children to succeed cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. We prioritize families using childcare vouchers or caring for children in the foster care system.

Empowerment Childcare
The YWCA provides up to 12 hours of free childcare per week for parents who are in transition, continuing their education, accessing social services, or looking for employment. ECC works closely with the Family Justice Center, Buncombe County Health and Human Services, A-B Tech, Green Opportunities, and Mary Benson House.

Santa Claus at Carolina Ace Hardware
Dec 2 @ 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Carolina Ace Hardware

Immerse yourself in a Winter Wonderland with Santa and his elves and of course, Santa’s reindeer at Carolina Ace Hardware. Bring the whole family and take your Christmas pictures in the magical Christmas display in the Garden Center. Free to the public. Bring your cameras.

front of carolina ace hardware store

Deck The Trees “Let Heaven and Nature Sing!”
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Monte Vista Hotel

Come experience the charm of Black Mountain and get in the Christmas spirit. You will discover beautifully decorated Christmas trees at the Monte Vista Hotel and in stores and businesses throughout Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley area. Each tree, uniquely decorated around the theme: Let Heaven and Nature Sing, will be created by businesses, organizations, or individuals to help raise funds for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Fuel Fund. This fund keeps our neighbors warm during the winter and raised an amazing $41,330 in 2021. Let’s beat that this year! Share in the Christmas spirit and support your favorite tree by donating with cash, check, or online by clicking the trees image below.
Deck The Trees presents: Let Heaven and Nature Sing!, December 1, 2022 – January 2, 2023 Come experience the charm of Black Mountain and get in the Christmas spirit. You will discover 35 (and possibly more) beautifully decorated Christmas trees situated at the Monte Vista Hotel and in stores and businesses throughout Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley area.

Each tree, uniquely decorated around the theme: A Black Mountain Christmas, will be created by businesses, organizations, or individuals to help raise funds for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Fuel Fund. Come join us! Share in the Christmas spirit and support your favorite tree by donating with cash, check, or on-line at svcmblackmountain.org.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Dec 2 @ 3:59 pm – 4:59 pm
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot

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. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS™, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

Weather

We encourage guests to plan ahead and stay apprised of the latest weather developments. Cancellations of a POLAR EXPRESS departure because of inclement weather are very rare. If you’re staying in the Gatlinburg/Sevierville, Tennessee area, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service announces road closures and openings on Twitter, or call (865) 436-1200 extension 631 for a recorded message. In such case Highway 441 is closed through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Interstate 40 typically remains open. Use 45 Mitchell Street, Bryson City, North Carolina 28713 as your destination to find an alternate route.

Dickens in the Village Festival
Dec 2 @ 4:00 pm
Historic Biltmore Village

The magic and charm of Historic Biltmore Village, filled with dickens carolers and lit with holiday lights after dark, is truly unparalleled. As in years past, a fully decorated 15+ foot Christmas Tree will be lit on the Village Green (adjacent to the intersection of Boston Way/Kitchin Place/Biltmore Plaza). We invite everyone to come and visit, warm their heart, and get into the holiday spirit.

Experience the enchantment, complete your holiday shopping and dine in seasonal splendor during the Biltmore Village “A Dickens Christmas” and begin your own holiday season tradition.

Dates & Schedule

FRIDAY (Dec. 2):

  • 5 – 8 PM Roving acts/entertainment throughout the village and on stage at Village Green.

  • 4 – 7 PM Christmas Market & Carnival Games for Kids (NEW AND HEAVILY DECORATED), including food vendors and live music (Spartina Parking Lot).

  • 6:30: Santa will appear at the Christmas Market area and lead folks to tree lighting.

SATURDAY (Dec. 3):

  • 11 AM – 6 PM Roving acts/entertainment throughout the village and on stage at Village Green.

  • 1 – 6 PM: Christmas Market (NEW), including food vendors and live music (Spartina Parking Lot).

  • 1 – 6 PM: Merchants hosting various holiday attractions.

Old-Fashioned Christmas
Dec 2 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Main Street, Hendersonville

Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration in Hendersonville NC near Asheville

Step into a Hallmark movie with the annual Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration, hosted by the Downtown Merchants Association. Stores, boutiques and galleries stay open extended hours and serve holiday treats, carollers stroll the sidewalks, Santa visits with kids on the courthouse plaza and carriage rides take place along the serpentine Main Street.

Dec. 2 • Santa Claus on the Square

Visit with Santa at Hendersonville's Home for the Holidays celebration

5:00 to 8:00 pm on Main Street
Jolly Ol’ St. Nick visits with kids of all ages on the square of the Historic Courthouse on Main Street. Santa takes time to meet with all the good little children and get their holiday wish list under the lights of Hendersonville’s 35-foot town Christmas tree.

The festivities will include games, crafts, hot chocolate, carriage rides, special guests and, of course, photos with Santa.

Click here for more details.

Dec. 2 • Downtown Holiday Carriage Rides

Holiday Carriage Rides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Hendersonville NC

5:00 to 8:00 pm on Main Street
Get into the holiday spirit with carriage rides on Hendersonville’s beautiful Main Street. Experience the twinkling Christmas lights and decorations of downtown Hendersonville at the leisurely pace of a horse-drawn carriage.

The free rides begin in front of the Historic Courthouse. They are free and on a first-come, first-serve basis. The carriage rides are part of the Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration by downtown merchants. Stores, shops and boutiques stay open late and Jolly Ol’ St. Nick makes an appearance.

Candlelight Christmas Tours at Historic Johnson Farm
Dec 2 @ 5:45 pm – 8:00 pm
Historic Johnson Farm

Candlelight Christmas Tours in Hendersonville, NC

The Historic Johnson Farm, one of the oldest brick structures in Henderson County, hosts candlelight tours of the decorated 1880 farmhouse. Experience what Christmas was like in the 19th Century, visit with the Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists, listen to live music by local students, and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies.

The farm is owned and operated by the local school system. There are five tours each evening. Advance tickets are required as space is limited.

Disney’s Newsies JR – Wed. Cast
Dec 2 @ 6:00 pm
Asheville Performing Arts Academy

Disney's Newsies JR - Wed. Cast

Seize the day at the APAA with Disney’s Newsies JR! Come and see the Prep & Community Cast fight against all odds through music and dance.

Newsies JR. is a 60-minute version of the 2012 Broadway musical, based on the 1992 film. Inspired by the rousing true story of newsboys in turn-of-the-century New York City, Newsies JR. features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein.

When powerful newspaper publishers raise prices at the newsboys’ expense, the charismatic Jack Kelly rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions. Together, the newsies learn that they are stronger united and create a movement to fight for what’s right.

Including the now-classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” Newsies JR. is a timeless story full of spirit and heart.

This performance is for the Wednesday Cast consisting of APAA’s Prep Students and Community Students. Please check with your cast members before purchasing tickets to ensure you are seeing the correct cast.

Festival of Lights
Dec 2 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Lake Julian Park

News article image

A holiday tradition for many mountain families returns to Lake Julian Park (37 Lake Julian Rd. in Arden) in December. Festival of Lights continues with all its illuminated magic and more, as the annual event now finds itself on a mission.

Festival of Lights is a fun, inexpensive way to celebrate the season and make memories. As the original – and longest running – drive-thru holiday light show in the area, is excited to once again turn on the tradition of making spirits bright.

Mark your calendars, Lake Julian Festival of Lights will thrill visitors of all ages, nightly from 6-9 p.m. from Dec. 2-23, with two special walk-thru nights on Dec. 2 & 3. The festival thrives from its connection to the community; twenty percent of proceeds are donated to Special Olympics Buncombe County, while the remaining income is reinvested to enhance the festival for the following year.

Get your tickets for the Walk-Thru Nights

Get your tickets for the Drive-Thru Nights

Visitors can expect the drive circling Lake Julian Park to transform into a magical journey with tunnels of dazzling animated and stationary light displays. Watch the lights twinkle over the lake and listen to your own favorite holiday music while taking in the sights.

Vehicle entry for the Festival of Lights is $10 per passenger vehicle, $25 for large vans, and $50 for motor coaches and buses.

Inclement weather note: December can be month for inclement weather in Buncombe County. Make sure to stay up to date with all the latest information by signing up for alerts and notifications from Buncombe County. Text bcalert to 99411.

Festival of Lights two special walk-thru nights
Dec 2 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Lake Julian Park

News article image

A holiday tradition for many mountain families returns to Lake Julian Park (37 Lake Julian Rd. in Arden) in December. Festival of Lights continues with all its illuminated magic and more, as the annual event now finds itself on a mission.

Festival of Lights is a fun, inexpensive way to celebrate the season and make memories. As the original – and longest running – drive-thru holiday light show in the area, is excited to once again turn on the tradition of making spirits bright.

Mark your calendars, Lake Julian Festival of Lights will thrill visitors of all ages, nightly from 6-9 p.m. from Dec. 2-23, with two special walk-thru nights on Dec. 2 & 3. The festival thrives from its connection to the community; twenty percent of proceeds are donated to Special Olympics Buncombe County, while the remaining income is reinvested to enhance the festival for the following year.

Get your tickets for the Walk-Thru Nights

Get your tickets for the Drive-Thru Nights

Visitors can expect the drive circling Lake Julian Park to transform into a magical journey with tunnels of dazzling animated and stationary light displays. Watch the lights twinkle over the lake and listen to your own favorite holiday music while taking in the sights.

Vehicle entry for the Festival of Lights is $10 per passenger vehicle, $25 for large vans, and $50 for motor coaches and buses.

Inclement weather note: December can be month for inclement weather in Buncombe County. Make sure to stay up to date with all the latest information by signing up for alerts and notifications from Buncombe County. Text bcalert to 99411.

The North Carolina Arboretum Winter Lights
Dec 2 @ 6:00 pm
The North Carolina Arboretum

Winter Lights is a spectacular open-air walk-through light show made from over one million lights! Located at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, this year’s event features favorites like the famously tall 50-foot lighted tree and the Quilt Garden, along with enchanting new details designed to delight and surprise.

alternatetext  The Lights!

This year’s show features over a million lights and mixes enchanting new displays with old favorites like the 50ft tree and Quilt Garden. Winter Lights is a walk-through light show with countless opportunities for photos. Use our hashtag #NCWinterLights22 to share the magic!

View the photo gallery here

   Live performances

Live performances are scheduled nightly at the Education Center, near Bent Creek Bistro. View the music schedule here.

  Rocky Cove Railroad*

During Winter Lights, our beloved g-scale model train offers nightly service to the North Pole. All aboard!

  Storytime at Woodland Cove

Visit the Education Center for a whimsical window display that follows a young bear’s journey to discover new habitats. This is an educational exhibit that will delight the whole family.

  Gift Shops

Still have a bit of shopping to do for the holidays? our Connections Gallery Gift Shop in the Baker Visitor Center and Winter Lights Shop in the Education Center are open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily, and from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. nightly, during Winter Lights.

  S’mores and Firepits*

If the winter nights turn a bit chilly, cozy up to the fire pits and heaters throughout the gardens.

S’mores kits are available for purchase at the Bent Creek Bistro, where there’s an especially large fire pit for all your marshmallow-roasting needs!

 Wishing Trees

A favorite Winter Lights tradition, the Wishing Trees return this year in a new location! Look for them near Rocky Cove Railroad, and make sure to leave a wish for the coming year.

  Eat and Drink**

Looking for something to warm you up while you stroll? Cocoa, beer, and wine are available at both the Cocoa Shack and Bent Creek Bistro.

View the menu for Bent Creek Bistro

Bent Creek Bistro Hours: Full menu: 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Snacks: 9:30-10:00 p.m.

 

*The Rocky Cove Railroad and the fire pits cannot run in certain weather conditions, and may be closed without notice.

**Alcohol purchased on-site may only be consumed in the event area and is not permitted in the parking lot or on the trails. Outside alcohol is prohibited at all times, on all parts of the property. This includes the parking lot and trails.

HOLIDAY MOVIE: THE GRINCH
Dec 2 @ 6:30 pm
Peace Center--TD Stage

Celebrate the holiday season with a FREE screening of “The Grinch” at the TD Stage at the Peace Center on Friday, December 2 at 6:30 PM. Let us know you’re coming

The Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour
Dec 2 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm
The Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour

  • Hop on board the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley for a fun and festive celebration of the season featuring live music!

 

  • This seasonal favorite features an entertaining blend of holiday storytelling and traditional Christmas caroling. Enjoy stories of local lore and holiday traditions, then join-in with our on-board musician singing classic carols and songs of Christmas. And all the while the Holly Jolly Trolley is rolling past festive holiday decorations in downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and the Montford and Grove Park neighborhoods.

 

This has all the makings of a jolly good family tradition!

  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Admission: Adults $29; Children (5-11) $13
  • Phone: 
  • Email:
The Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in Greenville
Dec 2 @ 7:00 pm
Peace Center--Gunter Theatre

 

Nutcracker: Once Upon a Time in GreenvilleA European inspired production that brings all of Clara’s adventures and excitement home to Greenville. Continuing the reinvented holiday classic, this production highlights Victorian societal expectations and prosperity while Clara and her beloved Nutcracker dance their way through the cherished landmarks and stunning scenery of Greenville and into the hearts of the audience.

 

The libretto is adapted from E.T. A. Hoffmann’s classic story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Choreographed by Hernan Justo, the refreshed ballet is based on the original Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov ballet.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dec 2 @ 7:30 pm
Flat Rock Playhouse
Studio 52 Presents: A Charlie Brown Christmas. Dec. 1 - 4.

Everyone’s favorite holiday classic comes to life in a spectacular new production of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adapted from Charles M. Schulz’s timeless story and featuring the music of Vince Guaraldi,  A Charlie Brown Christmas is a present the whole family can enjoy. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as they sing, dance, and learn the true meaning of Christmas!

HOLIDAY DOUBLE CHEER
Dec 2 @ 7:30 pm
Hendersonville Theatre

Book and Lyrics by Jim Christian
Music by Kenneth Plain

DIRECTED BY CHANDLER SMITH

FIVE CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS

It’s 1954, and five best friends – all named Carol – as they prepare for their annual holiday performance at the local high school on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, egos, miscommunication, and a power outage turn their quest for perfection into a madcap misadventure that somehow manages to salvage their camaraderie and the spirit of the holidays. Bursting with wonderful new songs and lush arrangements of Christmas classics, this riotous romp is heartwarming and absolutely hilarious.

JINGLEJACKS

Four Canadian lumberjacks, isolated in a cabin, are living out their dreams of becoming internet sensations with their Christmas webcast featuring favorite holiday songs sung in the style of barbershop, classical, hip-hop, smooth jazz, rap, glee club, rock, and many more. And just like every pop star wannabe, they hold contests, sell merchandise, and send shout outs to their loyal fans, “The Jackals.” Through it all, their warmth, charm, and quirkiness provide a big ol’ holiday bear hug loaded with traditional song favorites and fresh new melodies.

Saturday, December 3, 2022
Give!Local fundraiser! Nature Center and Weiler Woods for Wildlife
Dec 3 all-day
online w/ WNC Nature Center

From November 1 to December 31, you can support the WNC Nature Center through Mountain Xpress’ Give!Local fundraiser!
Your donation gives you great incentives from the Nature Center and Mountain Xpress, and your gift will be matched by Weiler Woods for Wildlife up to $2,500, with the entire donation coming to the Friends of the WNC Nature Center!
This is a powerful way to support local nonprofits and your community during the holiday season!
Here are a few of the awesome perks of supporting the Friends:
  • Donate $25+ and get a day pass to the WNC Nature Center.
  • Donate $50+ and get an animal sticker and a day pass.
  • Donate $100+ and get an animal tracks necklace, animal sticker, and a day pass.
  • Donate $250+ and get a a guided tour of the Nature Center with animal enrichment for two people, plus the necklace, sticker, and day pass. PLUS, you’ll be entered to win a chance to go on habitat with red pandas Leafa and Phoenix in 2023!
Nantahala Outdoor Center 2023 Adventure travel trips
Dec 3 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

Adventure is what we do.

Nantahala Outdoor Center has a long history of venturing where many haven’t, pioneering new adventures, and bringing opportunities to experience the outdoors to millions of guests over five decades. Our International Adventure Tours offer unique destinations, exciting adventures and activities, experienced guides, and world-class hospitality. These all-inclusive, small group excursions will redefine how you travel. Experience some of the most breathtaking places in the world without feeling like a tourist.

If your idea of fun is a rafting trip on the Chilko, a quiet lake paddle in Argentina, surf lessons in Ecuador, or trekking in Iceland, our trips have something for every adventure and skill level. Enjoy kayaking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, yoga, surfing, ziplining, wine tastings, or cultural experiences, along with the flexibility to customize your own adventure. Settle in after your travels in some of the most unique accommodations in the world; from cozy lodges and five star resorts, with local cuisine and tastings, every detail is meticulously planned so you can soak up every moment.

We hope these guided, off-the-beaten-path expeditions will foster the same spirit of adventure we encourage in our Southeastern locations, while giving you the opportunity to explore beyond your own backyard.

 

We have officially announced our new 2023 Adventure travel trips for you to explore new destinations, try new adventures, and experience new cultures! Our trips are small groups, offer world-class hospitality, unique lodging and the most diverse activity options for you to try! We’re giving “revenge travel” new meaning.

Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt
Dec 3 all-day
Downtown Hendersonville

Downtown Hendersonville
Peppermint Bear takes you on a fun-filled bear hunt in downtown Hendersonville in search of her lost cubs. Hint: the cubs are hiding in downtown businesses.

Once you have found a lost cub in at least 12 of 26 participating businesses and the shopkeeper has punched your brochure, you are eligible to win scavenger hunt prizes. Complete the entry form in the brochure and drop it in Peppermint’s mailbox in front of the Welcome Center, by Dec. 23.

For more details about the Scavenger Hunt, watch this video or stop by the Welcome Center at 201 South Main Street. Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt brochures are available at the Hendersonville Welcome Center.

The Best of the Beach and the Rainforest
Dec 3 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

With the beautiful ocean view from your cabana, it’s hard not to stay in, relaxing in the luxurious accommodations in Belize. But there is adventure to be had! This trip offers the best of both world’s combining tropical ocean activities with jungle adventure, while you and your companions enjoy flexibility in your choice of daily guided activities and adventure levels.

Beach Activities

  • Swimming
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Sunrise Yoga
  • Fly Fishing

Rainforest Activities

  • Mayan Ruin Tours
  • Nocturnal Jungle Walks
  • Hiking Antelope Falls
  • Ziplining
  • Rappelling
  • River Tubing

Bucket List Traveler

Voted in the top 5 best winter vacation locations by U.S. News Travel, the Galapagos offer so much adventure in the archipelago!

 

An eco-enthusiasts bucket list trip!  Set sail to lesser-explored islands and spot giant tortoises, sea lions, Galápagos penguins, and marine iguanas! Snorkel, surf, hike, and experience the islands and their unique ecosystem.

Remote Tropical

Uncrowded point breaks, warm water, predictable waves, friendly locals, great food and drink…this is a real surfer’s paradise! Join us on a surf safari in the Ecuadorian town of Mompiche.

Great waves and a multitude of other activities from surf lessons, SUP, horseback riding, massages and more, enjoy it all from your ocean front home away from home!

Sandy Sunsets

In Baja, some can simply sip drinks, eat local fish tacos and watch the sun disappear into the Pacific, while adventure seekers can choose the rush of surfing a perfect wave, hiking the coastline or sea kayaking with turtles, sea lions and breaching whales. Walk through sherbet colored canyons or soak up the night’s canopy of scattered stars. On  our multisport adventure to Baja, you can do it all!

Virtual Angel Giving Tree
Dec 3 all-day
online

Our Virtual Angel tree is up for this holiday season. This gift tree provides our broader YWCA community a path to join us as we aim to support our program participants and their families with a holiday season full of love and support.

If you would like to adopt a family this holiday season please click here or email Taleese Morrill in our Programs team to get the details of how you can fulfill a family’s holiday wish.

If you prefer please select a gift from our Amazon wish list by December 1st, 2022. Gifts from the list will be mailed directly to our building and will be sorted and distributed by our YWCA elves. All items on the list have been selected by the families and are items they are wishing for or are in need of this holiday season.

All gifts must be ordered by December 1.

Programs Served by the Angel Tree

MotherLove
YWCA’s MotherLove program supports pregnant and parenting teens throughout Buncombe County. Our goals are to help young parents to stay in school and graduate, access higher education and vocational training, develop the skills and knowledge needed to become strong parents, and delay another teen pregnancy.

Getting Ahead In a Just Getting By World
YWCA’s Getting Ahead program aims to provide financial empowerment for low-income women of all ages and backgrounds to make choices that positively impact themselves, their families, and their community.

Early Learning Program
YWCA’s Early Learning Program provides 5-star childcare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Our experienced and compassionate teachers not only provide exceptional care for little ones, but also prepare young children to succeed cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. We prioritize families using childcare vouchers or caring for children in the foster care system.

Empowerment Childcare
The YWCA provides up to 12 hours of free childcare per week for parents who are in transition, continuing their education, accessing social services, or looking for employment. ECC works closely with the Family Justice Center, Buncombe County Health and Human Services, A-B Tech, Green Opportunities, and Mary Benson House.

Breakfast with the Elves
Dec 3 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Chimney Rock State Park

Join Santa’s elves for a festive breakfast and see what’s on the menu every morning at the North Pole! The elves will be serving up very special holiday pancakes for kids and kids-at-heart, and classic breakfast favorites will round out the menu. Warm up with a cup of coffee, then head to the Park and watch Santa prepare for Christmas Eve by rappelling down the 315-foot Chimney Rock!

Breakfast with the Elves
Dec 3 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Chimney Rock State Park

Join Santa’s elves for a festive breakfast and see what’s on the menu every morning at the North Pole! The elves will be serving up very special holiday pancakes for kids and kids-at-heart, and classic breakfast favorites will round out the menu. Warm up with a cup of coffee, then head to the Park and watch Santa prepare for Christmas Eve by rappelling down the 315-foot Chimney Rock!

Santa Claus at Carolina Ace Hardware
Dec 3 @ 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Carolina Ace Hardware

Immerse yourself in a Winter Wonderland with Santa and his elves and of course, Santa’s reindeer at Carolina Ace Hardware. Bring the whole family and take your Christmas pictures in the magical Christmas display in the Garden Center. Free to the public. Bring your cameras.

front of carolina ace hardware store

6th Annual Gingerbread Cookie Contest Winners on Display
Dec 3 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Narnia Studios

Come see the creations and winner of the annual Gingerbread Cookie Contest, contestants of every age are included in this Hendersonville tradition, this year’s theme is “historic designs.