On Christmas Eve 1895, Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House 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. Each child who lived on the estate at that time received a gift from the Vanderbilts.
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.
Gingerbread House, Biltmore, Asheville NC
A six-foot long gingerbread replica of Biltmore House is a
favorite for youngsters in the Main Kitchen of Biltmore House.
[Copyright 2007 The Biltmore Company, all rights reserved]
Known as one of the Southeast’s most beloved and storied holiday travel destinations, Christmas at Biltmore will run through Jan. 1, 2012. Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, take place Nov. 11 through Dec. 31.
Christmas displays throughout Biltmore House, the gardens and grounds will center on the many countries George and Edith Vanderbilt visited at the turn of the century. The couple enjoyed taking journeys together to learn, explore and collect art, furniture and other items for their home. Rooms in Biltmore House will feature the traditions and folklore of France, Germany, India, Egypt and Italy with elements of the Vanderbilt family’s own Christmas traditions mixed in.
The Grand Staircase is twined with live
evergreen, filling the 250-room Biltmore
House with the scent of Christmas.
Guests can pick up Biltmore decorating secrets during free seminars offered at A Gardener’s Place in the lower part of the Conservatory, near the Walled Garden. Classes are offered four times daily: “Making Woodland Christmas Wreaths”; and “Making Heritage Kissing Balls”.
Biltmore House takes on a warm glow during Candlelight Christmas Evenings, even an air of mystery, creating a unique holiday experience for guests. Local choirs and small musical ensembles stationed in the Winter Garden will perform music of the season as guests enter Biltmore House. 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.
Biltmore House’s holiday centerpiece, a
34-foot Fraser fir, spends the holidays in
the 72-foot high Banquet Hall, adorned with
lights and surrounded by gifts.
In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 5 thru Dec. 18, and the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Village links to the Winery, where visitors may take guided tours and enjoy free wine tasting. Special seasonal seminars are also available. Christmas at Biltmore during the daytime includes tours of Biltmore House, the gardens and Antler Hill Village.
Biltmore’s restaurants will feature timeless holiday classics with modern twists. Guests may select from Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Café, 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. Biltmore boasts retail shops, all perfect for holiday gift shopping. Other activities include taking a horse and carriage ride (blankets provided) and exploring acres of landscaped gardens.
Known as one of the Southeast’s most beloved and storied holiday travel destinations, Christmas at Biltmore will run through Jan. 1, 2012. Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, take place Nov. 11 through Dec. 31. For more information about Christmas at Biltmore, visit www.biltmore.com