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Christmas at Biltmore has begun with annual tree raising

Posted November 4, 2021 10:01 a.m. EDT
Updated November 4, 2021 1:31 p.m. EDT

— The holidays are in full swing at Biltmore. The estate celebrated the arrival and raising of its centerpiece - a 35-foot tall, 3,000-pound Fraser fir - on Wednesday.

The tree, which is from the Andrews Nursery in Newland, will be located in the Banquet Hall.

The annual arrival of the tree via horse-drawn carriage is normally a popular event for visitors, who would gather on The Biltmore House's front lawn to view it. For the second year in a row due to COVID-19 concerns, the tree's arrival and raising was not open to the public.

This year's Biltmore House's holiday decorations are based on traditional Christmas carols. The Banquet Hall will be decorated with a “12 Days of Christmas” theme with traditional colors red, green, blue, orange and shades of gold.

Biltmore House itself will be home to 62 hand-decorated Christmas trees, more than 14,000 ornaments, 45,000 holiday lights, 250 candles, 1,000 feet of garland and 175 traditional poinsettias that are refreshed and replaced mid-season.

Biltmore Christmas

Guests can choose from two experiences during the holidays - Christmas at Biltmore's daytime house tour or the Candlelight Christmas Evenings' tour. Both experiences start Friday, Nov. 5, and include access to the entire estate.

Christmas at Biltmore's Daytime Tour, which runs until Jan. 9, includes a look into the historic property during the holiday season.

During Candlelight Christmas Evening tours, the house glows by candlelight. The event is a nod to the Vanderbilt’s first Christmas spent in Biltmore House in 1895. There are musicians stationed throughout the house performing seasonal songs. A 55-foot Norway Spruce on the home’s front lawn lit with 55,000 lights will greet guests as they arrive to enter Biltmore House.

Antler Hill Village, the estate's European-inspired village, will host visits from Santa on Saturday and Sundays and select weekdays from Nov. 6, through Dec. 23.

New this year, there will be a Christmas pop-up shop in The Barn Door in Antler Village.

Biltmore has some COVID-19 protocols in place, including mandatory face coverings. The property is also limiting capacity inside Biltmore House and other buildings and requiring reservations for house and winery tours.

In addition to holiday events, Biltmore is also hosting Van Gogh Alive, a multi-sensory exhibit of the famous artist's most popular works. The exhibit opens Friday, Nov. 5, and runs through March 5. It will be located at the Amherst at Deerpark event space on the Biltmore's grounds.

Van Gogh Alive is the first in the Legends of Art & Innovation series. Following Van Gogh, Monet & Friends – Life, Light & Color will run March 9, 2022, through July 10, 2022, followed by Leonard Da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius running from July 14, 2022, through Jan. 8, 2023.

Christmas at Biltmore tickets start at $119. Tickets that include a visit to the Van Gogh exhibit start at $144.

More information is on Biltmore's website. Biltmore is about 4.5 hours from Raleigh.