This time-honored tradition dates back more than 125 years when George Vanderbilt celebrated the first Christmas with family and friends in his new home in Asheville, North Carolina: Biltmore House. Guests are invited to enjoy the enchantment of the holidays on the estate, inspired by that first Christmas in Biltmore House.
Olmsted-inspired Holiday Design
Throughout 2022, Biltmore has been part of the national celebration of the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, the estate’s landscape architect. Biltmore’s talented team of floral designers planned the theme “Winter Landscapes” that brings the outdoors inside and honors Olmsted’s grand achievements.
A wintry forest of trees flanking the front doors welcome guests into the home where they’ll encounter holiday finery suggesting snowy landscapes reminiscent of Boston Common, New York City’s Central Park, and other well-known parks and landscapes designed by Olmsted.
The Banquet Hall will be transformed into a dramatic and magical wintry scene where the home’s largest Christmas tree – a 35-foot tall Fraser fir – will spend the season.
Décor in Biltmore House alone includes 67 hand-decorated Christmas trees, more than 14,000 ornaments, 45,000 holiday lights, 250 candles, 1,000 feet of garland, and 150 traditional poinsettias.
Two Christmas Experiences at Biltmore
This holiday season, enjoy the Christmas at Biltmore daytime house tour experience and the Candlelight Christmas Evenings nighttime house tour experience. The entire estate is open to guests as part of admission to either Christmas experience.
Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration
November 4 – January 8, 2023
This beloved tradition includes a daytime tour of Biltmore House while the estate is adorned with holiday decorations that number in the thousands. From Biltmore House to the Winery, Antler Hill Village and Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius, guests will want to linger on the estate to experience all that Christmas at Biltmore has to offer.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings
November 4 – January 7, 2023
Biltmore House glows with candlelight and firelight during this nighttime tour, changing the daytime visit’s mood and experience. Candlelight Christmas Evenings allows guests to step back in time with an experience reminiscent of the Vanderbilt’s first Christmas spent in Biltmore House in 1895. Musicians stationed throughout the house perform seasonal favorites. Setting the scene is a 55-foot Norway spruce tree sparkling from the glow of more than 60,000 tiny lights in the center of the front lawn. Four hundred hand-lit luminaries line the walkway. Those visiting for evening tours will want to arrive early to experience all the estate has to offer, from holiday menus and the Winery to Antler Hill Village and Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius.
At the Conservatory: Hundreds of holiday poinsettias in different colors and patterns warm up the inside of the Conservatory in the Walled Garden along with a large and unusual array of tropical plants. A Christmas pop-up shop at A Gardener’s Place in the Conservatory will be stocked with everything needed to celebrate the season.
At Antler Hill Village: A visit to the Biltmore Winery is an essential part of the holiday experience. Reservations for complimentary tastings of Biltmore’s hand-crafted wines must be made on the day of a visit. Biltmore’s holiday commemorative wines – Christmas at Biltmore Red Wine and Christmas at Biltmore White Wine – will be available for sale in the Winery. Estate restaurants offer favorite seasonal dishes and craft cocktails.
As evening falls over the estate’s European-inspired village, a constellation of holiday lights illuminate trees, quaint buildings, the Winery, and walking paths for a mesmerizing light show – evenings from 5:30 pm to midnight through February 21, 2023.
Look for the toasty village bonfire on the way to Antler Hill Barn. Guests may purchase ingredients for s’mores at The Creamery. Available from 6 to 10 pm Fridays and Saturdays through December 16, then daily through New Year’s Eve.
Santa will also be making visits to the Antler Hill Village Bandstand, where he’ll pose for pictures and listen to wish lists from 1 to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays through December 18, with special appearances on Friday, November 25, and December 19-23.
Biltmore Welcomes Leonardo da Vinci
The third installment of Biltmore’s Legends of Art & Innovation series, Leonardo da Vinci, explains and draws together all aspects of da Vinci’s life and times, his key achievements, and how his talents, thoughts, innovations, and inventions are still just as relevant today, some 500 years later.
The exhibit was developed by Grande Experiences, SENSORY4™, a unique system that combines motion graphics, cinema quality surround sound, and up to 40 high-definition projectors to provide one of the most exciting multi-screen environments in the world. The resulting experience is dynamic, informative, and visually spectacular.
Twenty models of the machines that da Vinci designed are featured – each model constructed directly from the pages of da Vinci’s codices. Artisans used materials readily available in the 15th century, including wood, cotton, brass, iron, canvas, and chord.
Da Vinci’s achievements in painting are also examined. Of his well-known masterpieces, guests will learn about creation of the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Man, one of da Vinci’s most famous and recognizable illustrations.
For more information, visit Biltmore.com.