Nae’s Tips for a Kid-Friendly Christmas Visit
Written By Nae Noelle, Contributor
Events & Activities
Recently, Biltmore had the pleasure of hosting Nae Noelle (@NaeNoelle) and her family for a holiday visit to experience Christmas at Biltmore! If your family is considering a visit to Biltmore during the holiday season, we invite you to read Nae’s recommendations for her top ways to share the magic of Christmas at Biltmore with your kids.
Is there anything more beautiful than Christmas at Biltmore in Asheville, NC?
Long answer short, I don’t think so. The illumination, the Christmas décor, the grandeur, the warm invitation of the stunning lit fireplaces—need I say more? There just isn’t anything quite like spending time at Biltmore for the holidays.
It especially does my heart good to see the joy on my children’s faces as they feast their eyes on the 55-foot-tall Norway spruce that currently decorates the Front Lawn of Biltmore House. With so much to do for all ages, we simply couldn’t say no to coming to see all the magic of Christmas at Biltmore!
It’s no secret that traveling with two small children (ages three and 17 months, to be exact) can be tricky, especially when looking for age-appropriate things for them to do. There is so much to do that it requires more than a one-day visit. This is a big reason why we chose to lodge at The Inn on Biltmore Estate® for the few days we visited Biltmore.
Here are my top 5 ways to experience the estate with small kids during Christmas at Biltmore:
1. Antler Hill Village
Antler Hill Village gives us small-town vibes with plenty to learn, see, and explore. It contains at least a day’s worth of activities for the entire family. I’ll elaborate on the kid-friendly things to do below, but from the beautiful Christmas light displays and the Winery to the many shops throughout, you want to set aside a day to experience all that Antler Hill Village has to offer.
During the day, enjoy a stroll throughout the Village, taking time to do some Christmas shopping at one of the many gift shops. Enjoy lunch at Cedric’s® Tavern or Bistro—both restaurants boast incredible menus and delicious food. The kids will enjoy visiting the nearby Farmyard and Pisgah Playground.
At night, the light show begins with a tall Christmas tree featuring colored lights synchronized to Christmas music near the entrance of Antler Hill Village. This is definitely a show in and of itself. Throughout the rest of the Village are buildings, pathways, and trees that are completely illuminated with Christmas lights.
2. Antler Hill Barn, Farmyard, Pisgah Playground, and G-scale model train
We enjoyed making a learning experience out of our Biltmore vacation by taking our children to the Farmyard to see the animals. Our kids learned about the chickens, enjoyed petting/brushing the goats, and watching the cows graze. Inside the barn, our son was able to pick out a coloring sheet and color away. We were also impressed by—and stocked up on—some homemade goat milk soap while there. The smell of lavender filled our noses and we simply couldn’t resist picking up a couple of Christmas gifts for family members.
Directly adjacent to the Farmyard is Pisgah Playground, an area for the kids to get their wiggles out before dinner later in the evening. It is a full-sized playground equipped with a swing set, a sand play area, climbing logs, a slide, and a small area where kids can be musicians, playing their hearts out on the metal xylophone.
In another part of Antler Hill Village is the Ciao! From Italy, a sculptural postcard display equipped with a G-scale model train that is fun for all ages. This exhibit featured beautiful, handcrafted sculptural postcards with messages written by Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt, outlining places he visited more than a century ago. A train travels past each postcard, capturing the attention of adults and children alike. We spent a lot of time in this area. You don’t want to miss it!
3. Carriage Rides
A carriage ride* is something you’ll want to include in your Christmas at Biltmore itinerary. In just 30 minutes, you’ll be able to meet the horses, learn about some of Biltmore’s history, and experience breathtaking views as you stop on a hill that gives you a gorgeous view of the back of Biltmore House. You won’t be able to get these views anywhere else on the estate! Both of my kids absolutely loved this ride and the opportunity to pet the horses along the way. In addition, one-hour private carriage rides and Farmyard Wagon Tractor Rides are available—both of which are family favorites!
Tip: One child under 5 years of age may ride free with each ticketed adult when they sit on the adult’s lap during a 30-minute or 1-hour Carriage Ride. (*Please confirm with the Carriage Barn before arrival. Subject to availability and offer may change.)
4. Family walks and hikes
There are lots of trails on the estate grounds that you’ll want to walk with your family. This is the perfect opportunity to let your littles enjoy nature while getting some of that mid-day energy out of their systems. You’ll enjoy hiking (or biking) at your own pace, taking in much-needed breaths of fresh air as you unwind and detach from the outside world for just a little while. I highly recommend taking a scenic walk through the gardens on your way to Biltmore House before your tour of America’s Largest Home®.
5. Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore House
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to make sure to get Candlelight Christmas Evenings tickets for Biltmore House. Daytime is gorgeous, but nighttime brings it home. You’ll witness the 55-foot-tall Norway spruce in the middle of the lawn that boasts Christmas lights brighter than the stars in the sky. The entire house is decorated top to bottom and adorned with gentle candlelight and lit fireplaces, making for a dazzling experience you and your family do not want to miss.
Tip: Take advantage of discounted youth (under 16) and child (under 9) admission on select Biltmore House ticket types! Your little ones may also enjoy listening to a kids’ audio guide of Biltmore House narrated by Cedric the dog!
When the littles are down for a nap or for the night, make sure you make time to go to a complimentary wine tasting or enjoy a massage at The Spa at The Inn. I had a much-needed massage for the first time in so long. I left a little less stressed and a lot happier. Mamas, you owe it to yourself to book an appointment with one of their talented, highly skilled masseuses.
Our Christmas at Biltmore trip was nothing short of magical, and I can’t recommend it enough to take your family and spend some time on the estate for the holidays. The memories you and your kids will make are completely priceless, and it is something they will truly hold onto for a lifetime.
This blog was sponsored by Biltmore.