Photo by Pat Barcas.

CLTure Travel Guide: Asheville in December

By Lea LeFebvre

December 2, 2015

For locals and tourists alike, Asheville is a wonderful place to spend the Winter months. Whether you’re looking for some holiday cheer or a relaxing place to get away from it all, enjoy fewer crowds and cheaper travel deals in December. From holiday shopping to music festivals, Asheville offers a one-of-a-kind Winter experience.

Here are some of our recommended “CLTure Getaway” events in Asheville for the month of December:

Winter Lights at the Arboretum November 20 -January 2

Tickets for non-Arboretum members are $18 for adults 12+, $16 for kids ages 5 to 11

Winter Lights is a three-acre nightly walking tour of The North Carolina Arboretum’s nationally known gardens. Celebrate the holidays and discover the natural beauty of Western North Carolina through lighted garden exhibits and landscapes, animated displays programmed to holiday favorites, and interactive activities throughout the gardens. Produced in collaboration with former designer and manager of holiday decorations for Walt Disney World®, the Arboretum’s Winter Lights exhibit is designed with an artistic aesthetic and is composed entirely of energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which use 80% less energy than conventional lights.

The Big Crafty Hand to Heart Holiday Fair December 6

Free admission for all


The Big Crafty revives the tradition of the community bazaar, a lively celebration of handmade commerce, featuring local food, beer, music, and fine wares from a juried group of select indie artists and crafters. The Big Crafty has been voted Best Arts/Crafts Fair in the annual Mountain Xpress readers’ poll for five years straight and is back once again on December 6 from 12-6 PM. It’ll be hosted at the Asheville Art Museum in the heart of downtown Asheville for a full-hearted handmade holiday party. Buying handmade is good for the community and The Big Crafty makes it fun to do so.

27th Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam December 12

SOLD OUT – $60 general admission


Warren Haynes’ 27th Annual Christmas Jam is back to usher in the holiday spirit and rock Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center on December 12, 2015. One of the most celebrated and longest-running live concerts in the nation, Christmas Jam will once again benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity for the 17th year in a row. The proceeds go toward constructing energy-efficient houses as well as purchasing and developing land for entire Habitat subdivisions. This year’s event features Warren Haynes, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Doobie Brothers, Joe Bonamassa, Dawes, Blackberry Smoke, Electric Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby and more.

9th Annual Holiday Liquor and Dance Party December 12

$15 admission for adults 21+


What started out as a few college buddies throwing an old-school, throw-down dance party in a garage, has become a community-wide celebration of dancing, great music, and fun with friends. The 9th Annual Holiday Liquor and Dance Party returns to New Mountain for what some have called the “Best Dance Party in Asheville.” DJ Marley Carroll will be spinning music and all three floors of New Mountain will be open to the party. Of course, festive holiday attire is encouraged.

The Blind Pig Supper Club: Black Sheep December 12

$65 for adults 21+ plus fees


Discover a creative dinner experience like no other with The Blind Pig Supper Club, a fundraising organization and community building catalyst established by a network of chefs and volunteers. Supper events feature imaginative menus, family-style plating, unprecedented chef collaborations, and local and fresh ingredients. On December 12, join Chef David Santos of Um Segredo Supper Club NYC; Chef Todd Woods of Oak Table Columbia, SC; Steve Goff of Standard Foods Raleigh, NC; and Nick Hane of Cucina 24 Asheville, NC. Proceeds go to support Dani’s fund.

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