Enjoy live music while watching the tree outside the Jackson County Historic Courthouse light up for the first time this season. Before the ceremony, do a little holiday shopping at the stores downtown.
View 18th- and 19th-century period Christmas decorations and lights on a tour of the historic Hope Mansion and King Bazemore House. Then, head outside to enjoy live holiday music, refreshments, and horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides.
Celebrate the holidays during this outdoor festival at Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities. Visitors can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus; browse goods from vendors and artisans; indulge in hot chocolate, cookies, and other treats; view decorated window displays; and enjoy a variety of other activities.
Shana McDowell sells Mexican, milk chocolate, peppermint, and salted caramel hot chocolate bombs — among other flavors — at the WNC Farmers Market and her storefront bakery. photograph by Tim Robison
Enjoy a Hot Chocolate Bomb
Shana McDowell is the Asheville Cake Lady. photograph by Tim Robison
In the months leading up to Christmas, Shana McDowell — aka the Asheville Cake Lady — makes thousands of hot chocolate bombs with her daughters, Leigha and Lizzy. They meticulously measure homemade cocoa mix and count out every marshmallow that they place into a tempered chocolate ball. As they work, McDowell thinks of the kids who will drink her treats, their faces registering surprise and delight as they watch their dark chocolate raspberry, salted caramel, chai, or classic milk chocolate ball dissolve in warm milk, sending marshmallows floating to the surface. The McDowells know that holiday cheer doesn’t always come in gift-wrapped packages. Sometimes, it comes in mugs. — Chloe Klingstedt