The annual Christmas at Biltmore activities begin on Friday, November 4 and run through January 1, 2012.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, take place from November 11 through December 31.
Christmas displays throughout Biltmore House, the gardens and grounds will center on the countries George and Edith Vanderbilt visited at the turn of the 20th century. Rooms in Biltmore House will feature the traditions and folklore of France, Germany, India, Egypt and Italy mixed with elements of the Vanderbilt family’s own Christmas traditions.
On Christmas Eve 1895, Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House, America’s largest home, for the first time to his friends and family. In subsequent years, the couple welcomed family, friends and the estate’s employees 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, 34-foot tall Fraser Fir dominating the Banquet Hall. Guests will see 57 trees throughout Biltmore House, each intricately designed and decorated by members of Biltmore’s floral team.
Miles of fresh garlands and wreaths create a yuletide scent throughout the House, with around 1,000 red and white poinsettias in the Winter Garden and other areas.
In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from November 5 through December 18, and the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Village links to the Winery, where visitors may take guided tours and enjoy a free wine tasting.
Christmas at Biltmore during the daytime includes tours of Biltmore House, the gardens and Antler Hill Village.
During the Candlelight Christmas Evenings, local choirs and small musical ensembles stationed in the Winter Garden will perform music of the season. String quartets and other musicians will perform throughout the house as guests wander among the decorated rooms.
The front lawn will glow with a 55-foot Norway spruce, lit by 45,000 tiny white lights.
Guests may also visit Antler Hill Village when they attend Candlelight Christmas Evenings.
During the festive season, visitors to Biltmore may partake of a festive meal at Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Cafe, 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 offers several packages for holidays, including special New Year’s Eve packages. For holiday gift shopping, Biltmore has retail shops. 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.
Biltmore is located near Asheville, North Carolina. To find hotel deals in Asheville, click here.