Christmas at BiltmoreExplore the Biltmore House by candlelight during holiday eveningsThe Christmas at Biltmore celebration goes back 120 years to Christmas Eve 1895 when George Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House for the first time to his friends and family. In subsequent years, he and his wife Edith welcomed family, friends and the estate’s employees and their families 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, 35-foot tall Fraser fir dominating the Banquet Hall. Avid Biltmore fans know to mark their calendars for early November for the raising of the Banquet Hall tree. Santa Claus ushers in the giant Fraser fir on a horse-drawn carriage. When the magnificent tree has been hoisted into its place of honor, cheers and claps resound throughout the Hall.Exquisite DecorationsGuests who visit during the holidays will see 56 trees throughout Biltmore House, each intricately designed and decorated by members of Biltmore’s floral team. Miles of fresh garland and wreaths create a yuletide scent throughout the house, with masses of some 1,000 red and white poinsettias in the Winter Garden and other areas.Candlelight Christmas EveningsExplore Biltmore House during Candlelight Christmas Evenings when candles and fireplaces fill the grand home with a warm glow, delicate ornaments shine and sparkle, and music warms the heart. Luminarias dot the Front Lawn of Biltmore House and thousands of tiny white lights adorn the Front Lawn’s 55-foot tall Norway spruce. Inside the House, soloists and choirs perform traditional Christmas music. In addition to the Biltmore House, guests may also visit Antler Hill Village when they attend Candlelight Christmas Evenings.Candlelight Christmas Evenings run Nov. 6, 2015 through Jan. 2, 2016.Additional Seasonal DelightsOther festivities around the estate during the holiday season include free holiday craft seminars at A Gardener’s Place in the Conservatory, visits with Santa in Antler Hill Village, and the release of Biltmore’s special Christmas wine.In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 7 through Dec. 20, and also Friday, Nov. 27 (the day after Thanksgiving). Antler Hill Village links to the winery, where visitors may take guided tours, enjoy free wine tastings and purchase wines from Biltmore’s diverse portfolio. Special wine seminars are also available.Biltmore’s floral arranging and gardening experts host free, daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place retail gift shop. This holiday's seminars are “Decorating Christmas Wreaths” and "Creating Holiday Tablescapes."Holiday Dining and Lodging on the EstateSpecial holiday menus at estate restaurants and holiday packages at the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate complete the experience and promise a memorable visit. Guests can enjoy a festive meal at 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 on Biltmore Estate offers several packages for holidays, including special New Year’s Eve packages. Biltmore’s retail shops are perfect for holiday gift shopping. Other activities include taking a horse and carriage ride and exploring acres of landscaped gardens.Christmas at Biltmore runs Nov. 6, 2015 through Jan. 10, 2016.More FROM VISITNC.COMThere’s much to see and do in North Carolina, so read on.Holidays Sparkle in Signature Events Across North CarolinaFind everything from Santa on the Chimney to a Jonkonnu in picture-perfect destinations throughout North Carolina.Holiday Light Shows Glow with Seasonal CheerNorth Carolina celebrates the season with glowing gardens, festive neighborhoods, decked-out downtowns and star-bright boat parades.Holiday Shopping, North Carolina StyleFrom Seagrove pottery and Moravian treats to whitewater rafting and other adventures, we have local gift ideas for everyone on your list.Choose, Cut and Stay in the Christmas Tree CapitalEach year, families travel to our choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in search of the perfect evergreen and overnight adventures.Have a Merry Time Ice Skating Under City LightsFrom the state capital to a coastal town, these ice skating rinks – and accompanying special events – are sure to get you in the holiday mood.6 Destinations for Holiday WondersFrom the National Gingerbread Competition to the lighting of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree, these traditions are full of holiday spirit.