Nov. 22 — Dec. 28TWEETSIE CHRISTMAS: Tweetsie Railroad, known to change with the seasons, will spread Christmas cheer for the third annual year. Complete with a train ride, visits with Santa, a live Christmas show and life-size snow globes, there is no lack of opportunities to make holiday memories.
Tweetsie Christmas provides thousands of lights to marvel at through the course of six weekends for the months of November and December. The park opens at 5 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m. during these festive Friday and Saturday evenings on Nov. 22-23, Nov. 29-30, Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13-14, Dec. 20-21 and Dec. 27-28.
Tickets cost $44 for adults, $38 for children from age 3-12 and children younger than 2 years old are admitted for free. Tickets are purchased for a specific date and train ride, which are offered every half hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. each day of Tweetsie Christmas. For more information, visit www.tweetsie.com/special-events/tweetsie-christmas.
Nov. 29 — Jan. 27. 2010FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: Visit Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock to enjoy its Festival of Lights, featuring ice skaters, a Nativity scene and a colorful train. Thousands of lights will be illuminated at dusk on Nov. 29 and last until January 27, 2020.
Viewing the lights is free for the whole family. Chetola Resort can be found at 185 Chetola Lake Drive in Blowing Rock.
Nov. 29HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS: Join the town of West Jefferson in its annual Hometown Christmas Celebration from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 29. The event features the official lighting of the West Jefferson Christmas tree, visits from Santa, carolers, hot chocolate and rides on a 1947 fire truck with your family and friends.
To learn more, visit www.highcountryhost.com/west-jefferson-nc-christmas-2019.
CHRISTMAS CRAWL: Happening at the same time as the West Jefferson Hometown Christmas is the Christmas Crawl for the downtown arts district from 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 29. Visit downtown’s galleries and stores decked with their best holiday decorations.
For more information, visit www.highcountryhost.com/west-jefferson-nc-christmas-2019.
Dec. 5-8FESTIVAL OF TREES: The fifth annual Festival of Trees will take place at Chetola Resort on Dec. 5-8 to benefit the Western Youth Network. Guests are welcome from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 7 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8.
The festival is open to the public and will have trees and wreaths available for purchase through a silent auction that is accessible online beginning at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5.
Trees in the festival are uniquely designed by event sponsors, including one that presents an opportunity to purchase wish list items for children aided by the WYN.
To learn more about the Festival of Trees, visit www.wynfestivaloftrees.com.
Dec. 6TREE LIGHTING: During the Festive First Friday in Boone, the Jones House on King Street will be hosting the annual lighting of the town Christmas tree. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 with performances on the lawn by the Appalachian Youth Chorale and the WHS Honors Choir. This year, the Appalachian State University Sustainable Energy Society will assist at 6:30 p.m. with the solar tree lighting.
Afterward, the First Friday Celebration will continue in the Jones House with music and refreshments. This event is free and open to the public. To learn more, visit www.joneshouse.org.
FESTIVE FIRST FRIDAY: Boone’s monthly First Friday gets a Christmas make-over on Dec. 6. From 4-8:30 p.m., enjoy holiday wine tastings, refreshments, art shows, music jams, the annual Christmas tree lighting and horse-drawn carriage rides.
Both Santa and Mrs. Claus will be attending, along with the Grinch. Evening entertainment is endless with holiday dancers, performers and carolers on King Street and at various shops and other stops. Bring a bag of marshmallows and join in on a marshmallow “snowball” fight to cap off the evening.
To learn more about Festive First Friday, visit www.exploreboone.com/includes/calendar-of-events/Festive-First-Friday/19812.
Dec. 6-8BANNER ELK SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS: Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk begins Friday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m., with the lighting of the town tree and a holiday play performed at 7 p.m. by Ensemble Stage at the Historic Banner Elk School. Saturday, Dec. 7, events begin at 8:30 a.m. with the YMCA Reindeer Run 5K. Other Saturday events include the Polar Plunge and Parade of Lights.
Choose-and-Cut Christmas Trees from Avery County will be available at Small Town Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 8. For a full schedule and description of each of the events in Banner Elk during the annual celebration, visit www.bannerelk.com/latest-news/a-small-town-christmas/.
APPLE HILL FARM TOURS: Offered in Banner Elk during Small Town Christmas from Dec. 6-8, visit the Apple Hill Alpaca Farm for Christmas-themed walking tours. Tours are hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and cost is $12 for adults and $7 for children from age 4-10. For more information, visit Apple Tree Farm website at www.applehillfarmnc.com, call (828) 963-1662 or visit in person at 400 Apple Road in Banner Elk.
Dec. 13WINTER EXHIBITION CELEBRATION: Join the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum to celebrate new exhibits for the winter season from 4:30-7 p.m. on Dec. 13.
Four new exhibitions will be on display for the public. “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective,” will be on display from November to February 2020. The other three exhibits, “Sound Machines: Stringed Instruments by the Capozzoli Guitar Company,” “Sallie Middleton: A Life in the Forest” and “Shared Spaces: Wildlife Wood Sculptures by Pete Lupo” will be on display until March 2020.
The Winter Exhibition Celebration is free and open to the public. To learn more, visit www.blowingrockmuseum.org/welcome.html.
Dec. 13-15SUGAR FEST: Sugar Mountain Resort’s 50th anniversary celebration continues at Sugar Fest 2019 on Dec. 13-15. This weekend of winter fun will feature an adult preseason ski clinic hosted by two-time Olympic Super G Medalist, Andrew Weibrecht, along with snowy activities for the whole family.
To learn more or view a full weekend schedule, visit www.skisugar.com/sugarfest.
Dec. 14CHRISTMAS PARADE: Boone’s annual Christmas Parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Dec. 14, traveling down King Street with treats and Christmas cheer to spread. Santa and his elves will also be in attendance to wish a Merry Christmas to the community.
After the parade, the Jones House will be hosting a reception with hot cider and cookies. To learn more, visit www.joneshouse.org/holidays.
Dec. 31FAMILY NYE CELEBRATION: Beech Mountain Resort offers Family Night in the Lodge from 7 p.m. to midnight, free of charge, to ring in the new year. DJ Pete Welter will be spinning fun party tunes to get everyone moving. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Don’t forget to lace up your ice skates for a New Year’s Eve Late Night Ice Skate under the stars to festive music from 10 p.m. to midnight.There will also be a firework show at midnight to start 2020 off right. Visit www.beechmountainresort.com/event/family-new-years-eve-celebration/ for more information.
NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATION: Open to anyone and everyone, Sugar Mountain Resort will host a New Year’s Eve Celebration. The general public is invited, free of charge to an alpine torch light parade at 11:45 p.m. and the fireworks show at midnight. A fee, as well as reservations for the indoor festivities from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring live music by The Rockabilly’s, are required and should be made by calling (828) 898-4521 ext. 261.
To learn more about the offered events and related fees, visit www.skisugar.com/new-years/#.
Jan. 5WINTER TRAILS DAY: The 24th annual National Winter Trails Day event offers children and adults new to snow sports the chance to try snowshoeing for free. Discover the fun and fitness of snowsports. Guided tours are available on the hour from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2020. The program includes a 45-minute tour and snowshoe rental. Adult tours are for those who are 12 years old or older. Children’s tours are for those ages 8-11. Sign up at least fifteen minutes prior to your tour time at the ski/snowboard school.
To learn more, visit www.skisugar.com/event/winter-trails-day-winter-feels-good/.
Jan. 7SEPTUAGENARIAN PARTY: Sugar Mountain Resort offers complimentary skiing/riding to anyone 70 years old or older, for a processing fee of $20. Each January, the resort recognizes these resort members with a party. This season’s party will be held at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in the Last Run Lounge.
Jan. 11WINTERFEST BEER FESTIVAL: From 5-9 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2020, enjoy beer from 12 breweries, including craft brews, at the Beech Mountain Resort in Banner Elk. The Beech Mountain Brewing Company Taproom and Grill will offer a selection of food for the event. Live music will be provided by the Harris Brothers and The Common Heart.
Proceeds from the festival benefit SmileOn ADG, which awards grants and scholarships to schools, students and other charitable organizations.
To learn more about the festival, visit www.beechmountainresort.com/event/winterfest-beer-festival-2020/. The event is for adults age 18 and older.
Jan. 23-26WINTERFEST: Join in the fun of the 22nd annual WinterFest in Blowing Rock on Jan. 23-26, 2020. Popular events include the icy Polar Bear Plunge in Chetola Lake, the WinterFeast of 15 restaurants under one roof, ice carving in Memorial Park and winter art events at the museum.
This town-wide celebration is free to the public, but some individual events require registration or tickets. To learn more about specific events, tickets or registration, visit www.blowingrockwinterfest.com or call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851