Upcoming events and things to do in Asheville, NC. Below is a list of events for festivals, concerts, art exhibitions, group meetups and more.

Dec
17
Mon
2018
THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 17 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo @ Riverbanks Zoo
Dec 17 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bring the kids and the camera and see why Lights Before Christmas has continued as a family tradition for 30 years!

  • Nearly one million twinkling lights
  • Countless decorative images
  • Holly Jolly Christmas Parade
  • Animated Story Tree
  • Animal Characters
  • Nightly visits with Santa (start at 6:00PM through December 23)
  • Warm memories and holiday cheer around the Jingle Bell Bonfire
  • Hot cocoa, s’mores and other festive foods available for purchase

While you may spot a few night owls during Lights, most of our residents will be off-exhibit to catch some zzz’s.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 17 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.

Dec
18
Tue
2018
THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 18 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo @ Riverbanks Zoo
Dec 18 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bring the kids and the camera and see why Lights Before Christmas has continued as a family tradition for 30 years!

  • Nearly one million twinkling lights
  • Countless decorative images
  • Holly Jolly Christmas Parade
  • Animated Story Tree
  • Animal Characters
  • Nightly visits with Santa (start at 6:00PM through December 23)
  • Warm memories and holiday cheer around the Jingle Bell Bonfire
  • Hot cocoa, s’mores and other festive foods available for purchase

While you may spot a few night owls during Lights, most of our residents will be off-exhibit to catch some zzz’s.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 18 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.

A Christmas Together: An Evening of Stories, Songs & Family @ Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
Dec 18 @ 7:00 pm
A Christmas Together: An Evening of Stories, Songs & Family @ Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts

Come celebrate with the Overlook Theatre Company as we share some of our favorite stories and songs of the season. Featuring members of the theatre’s performance troupe, this evening of family, tradition (and a few surprises) is sure to inspire everyone’s holiday spirit.

Presented by the Overlook Theatre Company

Dec
19
Wed
2018
A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas @ Flat Rock Playhouse
Dec 19 all-day

All new! In 2017, we broke box office records with A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas. In 2018, come join us for a brand new version of this holiday tradition.

Matinees: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00PM

Evenings: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30PM. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM

Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
2661 Greenville Highway Flat Rock, NC 28731

THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 19 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo @ Riverbanks Zoo
Dec 19 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bring the kids and the camera and see why Lights Before Christmas has continued as a family tradition for 30 years!

  • Nearly one million twinkling lights
  • Countless decorative images
  • Holly Jolly Christmas Parade
  • Animated Story Tree
  • Animal Characters
  • Nightly visits with Santa (start at 6:00PM through December 23)
  • Warm memories and holiday cheer around the Jingle Bell Bonfire
  • Hot cocoa, s’mores and other festive foods available for purchase

While you may spot a few night owls during Lights, most of our residents will be off-exhibit to catch some zzz’s.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 19 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.

Dec
20
Thu
2018
A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas @ Flat Rock Playhouse
Dec 20 all-day

All new! In 2017, we broke box office records with A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas. In 2018, come join us for a brand new version of this holiday tradition.

Matinees: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00PM

Evenings: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30PM. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM

Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
2661 Greenville Highway Flat Rock, NC 28731

THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 20 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo @ Riverbanks Zoo
Dec 20 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bring the kids and the camera and see why Lights Before Christmas has continued as a family tradition for 30 years!

  • Nearly one million twinkling lights
  • Countless decorative images
  • Holly Jolly Christmas Parade
  • Animated Story Tree
  • Animal Characters
  • Nightly visits with Santa (start at 6:00PM through December 23)
  • Warm memories and holiday cheer around the Jingle Bell Bonfire
  • Hot cocoa, s’mores and other festive foods available for purchase

While you may spot a few night owls during Lights, most of our residents will be off-exhibit to catch some zzz’s.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 20 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.

Dec
21
Fri
2018
A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas @ Flat Rock Playhouse
Dec 21 all-day

All new! In 2017, we broke box office records with A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas. In 2018, come join us for a brand new version of this holiday tradition.

Matinees: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00PM

Evenings: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30PM. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM

Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
2661 Greenville Highway Flat Rock, NC 28731

THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 21 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo @ Riverbanks Zoo
Dec 21 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bring the kids and the camera and see why Lights Before Christmas has continued as a family tradition for 30 years!

  • Nearly one million twinkling lights
  • Countless decorative images
  • Holly Jolly Christmas Parade
  • Animated Story Tree
  • Animal Characters
  • Nightly visits with Santa (start at 6:00PM through December 23)
  • Warm memories and holiday cheer around the Jingle Bell Bonfire
  • Hot cocoa, s’mores and other festive foods available for purchase

While you may spot a few night owls during Lights, most of our residents will be off-exhibit to catch some zzz’s.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 21 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.

A Bluegrass Christmas with Sierra Hull @ Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
Dec 21 @ 7:00 pm
A Bluegrass Christmas with Sierra Hull @ Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts |  |  |

Sierra Hull is a singer, mandolinist and former child prodigy who signed with Rounder at age 13 and distinguished herself by becoming the first bluegrass musician to receive a Presidential Scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Though she is best known for her work as a mandolin player, Hull is also respected as a composer and lyricist, having worked closely with 15-time Grammy Award-Winner, Bela Fleck. And now, Sierra invites everyone to enjoy the musical sounds of a Bluegrass Christmas celebration.

A Rocky Mountain Christmas by Jim Curry featuring the Music of John Denver @ Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
Dec 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
A Rocky Mountain Christmas by Jim Curry featuring the Music of John Denver @ Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts

A family holiday tradition comes to life in “A Rocky Mountain Christmas” as Jim Curry performs the music from John Denver’s many Christmas Television specials and Christmas Music collections. Memorable melodies that speak to the heart of the holidays like “Silver Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “O Holy Night,” along with John’s own “Christmas for Cowboys,” “Noel, Christmas Eve,” “Aspenglow,” and “The Peace Carol.” Enjoy these songs along with John’s all-time hits like “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” and “Back Home Again,” as Jim Curry and his band “fill up your senses” in this heart-felt seasonal show.

Dec
22
Sat
2018
A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas @ Flat Rock Playhouse
Dec 22 all-day

All new! In 2017, we broke box office records with A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas. In 2018, come join us for a brand new version of this holiday tradition.

Matinees: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00PM

Evenings: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30PM. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM

Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
2661 Greenville Highway Flat Rock, NC 28731

THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 22 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo @ Riverbanks Zoo
Dec 22 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bring the kids and the camera and see why Lights Before Christmas has continued as a family tradition for 30 years!

  • Nearly one million twinkling lights
  • Countless decorative images
  • Holly Jolly Christmas Parade
  • Animated Story Tree
  • Animal Characters
  • Nightly visits with Santa (start at 6:00PM through December 23)
  • Warm memories and holiday cheer around the Jingle Bell Bonfire
  • Hot cocoa, s’mores and other festive foods available for purchase

While you may spot a few night owls during Lights, most of our residents will be off-exhibit to catch some zzz’s.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 22 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.

Dec
23
Sun
2018
THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 23 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo @ Riverbanks Zoo
Dec 23 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bring the kids and the camera and see why Lights Before Christmas has continued as a family tradition for 30 years!

  • Nearly one million twinkling lights
  • Countless decorative images
  • Holly Jolly Christmas Parade
  • Animated Story Tree
  • Animal Characters
  • Nightly visits with Santa (start at 6:00PM through December 23)
  • Warm memories and holiday cheer around the Jingle Bell Bonfire
  • Hot cocoa, s’mores and other festive foods available for purchase

While you may spot a few night owls during Lights, most of our residents will be off-exhibit to catch some zzz’s.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 23 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.

Dec
24
Mon
2018
THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Dec 24 all-day

All Aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season!

Over 88,000 guests rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2017 and we hope to see you in 2018! The 1¼ hour round-trip 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.

THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 9, 2018, and operates through December 31, 2018.

Tweetsie Christmas @ Tweetsie Railroad
Dec 24 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Open 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Advance Tickets Required. Enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train and more.