Christmas in Biltmore kicks off the holiday season | Culture & Leisure

ASHEVILLE, NC – Christmas in Biltmore, a centuries-old tradition spanning over 125 years, is underway in America’s largest private home. George Washington Vanderbilt first hosted his family, friends and estate employees to celebrate Christmas in 1895 at his new home.

Guests are invited each year to enjoy the enchantment of a vacation on the estate, inspired by that first Christmas at Biltmore House. Unique this year is the opportunity to also discover Van Gogh Alive presented by Grande Experiences, the first of three multi-sensory digital art exhibitions in a one-year series.


The Biltmore design team created this year’s Christmas decor throughout the Biltmore home based on traditional Christmas carols.

The banquet hall, for example, is decorated according to the song of “12 days of Christmas” and features traditional colors of red, green, blue, orange and shades of gold.

Biltmore House decor alone (not counting the other areas of the estate) includes 62 hand-decorated Christmas trees, over 14,000 ornaments, 45,000 Christmas lights, 250 candles, 1,000 feet of garland and 175 poinsettias traditional which are refreshed and replaced in mid-season. The decorations are scaled to the max to transform an estate like Biltmore into the great experience it is year after year.

Two experiences are available to enjoy Biltmore during the holiday season – the Biltmore Christmas Day Tour Experience (through January 9, 2022) and the Christmas Candlelight Night Tour Experience (through January 9, 2022) until January 8, 2022). The entire estate is open to guests as part of admission to either Christmas experience.


This beloved tradition includes a daytime visit to Biltmore House while the estate is adorned with holiday decorations that number in the thousands. A daytime visit to Biltmore is a feast for the senses, with wreaths, garlands and sparkle adornments. From Biltmore House to Winery and Antler Hill Village to Van Gogh Alive, guests will want to linger on the grounds to experience all that Christmas in Biltmore has to offer.


Biltmore House glows by candlelight and fire during this nighttime tour, changing the mood and experience of the daytime visit. Candlelight Christmas evenings at Biltmore House take guests back in time with an experience reminiscent of the Vanderbilts’ first Christmas spent at Biltmore House in 1895.

Musicians stationed throughout the house perform the favorites of the season. The setting is a sparkling 55-foot Norway spruce top in the center of the front lawn. Two hundred and fifty hand-lit light fixtures line the driveway to Biltmore House.

Those visiting for nighttime tours will want to arrive early to experience everything the estate has to offer during the season, from holiday cellar menus to Antler Hill Village and Van Gogh Alive.


The first part of a yearlong digital art series at Biltmore, Legends of Art and Innovation, lines up with the holiday season as Van Gogh Alive opened on November 5. Hosted at the Biltmore Event Center, Amherst in Deerpark, and until March 5, 2022, this multisensory experience is an immersion in the remarkable life of Vincent van Gogh through light, color, sound and scent. Highlights include savoring the wonders of van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and other masterpieces.

Designed by Grande Experiences, the Legends of Art and Innovation series features its SENSORY4TM system that combines multi-channel motion graphics broadcast through up to 40 high-definition projectors with cinema-quality surround sound. Advance tickets are required for entry to Van Gogh Alive and are included with the domain’s Audio-Guided Visit Plus or Expert-Guided Plus admission.


Seasonal activities are present throughout the area, including:

• The veranda in the walled garden is filled with blooming poinsettias, amaryllis, Christmas cacti, bromeliads, orchids, peace lilies and more. Specially designed poinsettias, bromeliads, and a fireplace mantel decorated with holiday plants are all great for photos.

• The estate’s winter gardens and miles of peaceful trails are also available to explore.

• The European-inspired Antler Hill Village of Biltmore offers photo ops with Santa who will listen to children’s wish lists on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as select weekdays through December 23.

• The Vanderbilt At Home & Abroad exhibit is open in the Biltmore Legacy Building.

• As evening falls over Antler Hill Village, a constellation of holiday lights illuminate the trees, quaint buildings, the vineyard tunnel and walking trails. In addition to the estate’s many shopping options, a pop-up Christmas store is in a new location – at The Barn Door in Antler Hill Village – with everything you need to celebrate the season.

• The estate’s restaurants offer favorite seasonal dishes and handcrafted cocktails.

• A visit to the Biltmore Winery is an essential part of a vacation experience. Reservations for free tastings of artisanal Biltmore wines must be made on the day of the tour due to the limited capacity of the tasting room. Reservations are not necessary to visit the Wine Shop and Wine Bar.


Biltmore’s health and safety measures will be maintained in all operations while sharing the joy and magic of the season with guests. For more information on visiting the estate during the holidays and to purchase entrance tickets, please visit

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About Bernice D. Brewer

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