Biltmore looks ahead to 2021 with favorite seasonal activities and new experiences

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Biltmore continues to safely welcome guests to its 8,000-acre estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville and will boast a range of favorite seasonal events along with several new experiences in 2021.  A large-scale stick sculpture exhibition featuring tree saplings weaved into whirling animated shapes, a whimsical model train display traversing tropical plants, and new outdoor activities encouraging wellness are in store for the new year at Biltmore.

Biltmore continues to maintain a Health and Safety section on Biltmore.com with the latest COVID-19 updates and mandates.Planned events and activities in the coming year will comply with requirements to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, as the safety of employees and guests is always Biltmore’s highest priority. Biltmore will continue to closely monitor the course of COVID-19 and guests are encouraged to check Biltmore.com for updates prior to planning a visit.

New this Winter  

Wellness experiences that connect guests with nature have been added to Biltmore’s slate of outdoor activities. A variety of hikes led by subject matter experts on topics such as wildlife, mindfulness, and trees & forestry are newly available. Winter bird watch sessions are a free and fun opportunity for guests to participate in an important research project to count and identify birds at the estate’s winter feeding station. Nature games like National Park Monopoly and puzzles led by the Outdoor Adventure Center guide team are perfect for families. Guests should contact the estate’s Outdoor Adventure Center to book activities and find out more about the estate’s full outdoor offerings such as biking, falconry, horseback trail rides, carriage rides, float trips along the French Broad River and more.

Coming this Spring

Guests visiting Biltmore this spring will be lucky to witness an entirely new outdoor sculpture exhibition built by self-described “stick sculpture artist,” Patrick Dougherty. Raised in North Carolina, Dougherty is a sculptor known worldwide who weaves tree saplings into sculptural installations. Dougherty’s interest in carpentry and love of nature inspired him to experiment with tree saplings and learn about building techniques. Guests can view Stickworks Outdoor Sculptures at Biltmore beginning April 1.

Back by popular demand, Biltmore Gardens Railway brings a large-scale model railroad and handmade buildings to the Conservatory. Running April 1 through Sept. 26, G-scale locomotives and railcars move along tracks placed around notable estate replicas, traversing bridges and trestles on varied levels in multiple rooms and weaving through the estate’s renowned collection of exotic botanicals.

Here is the complete 2021 Biltmore Calendar of Events.

Opening April 1: Stickworks Outdoor Sculptures

Unique outdoor sculptural works by environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, known as “Stick Man,” will reside in Antler Hill Village starting April 1. Renowned worldwide for his monumental creations, Dougherty weaves saplings and branches into intricate artworks, fashioning whimsical forms ranging from gigantic snares and cocoons to sculptural interpretations of notable buildings. The visual appeal of these large scale artworks may be appreciated up close as guests are encouraged to walk through and around the creations, affording the opportunity to admire the artistry and technical skills required to make the sculptures. The installation opens April 1, and is included in Biltmore daytime admission and Biltmore Annual Passes. 

April 1 through Sept. 26: Biltmore Gardens Railway in the Conservatory

Biltmore Gardens Railway in the Conservatory pays homage to Biltmore’s founder George Vanderbilt, who was born into a well-known railroad family. His grandfather Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt spent his life building an empire based on shipping and railroad concerns. Hundreds of feet of track carry G-scale locomotives and railcars through multiple rooms in Biltmore’s Conservatory, and weave through exotic botanicals and miniature replicas of estate landmarks. Created by Applied Imagination, an award-winning crew of artists, botanical experts, and landscape designers known for exhibitions at the New York Botanical Garden and the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., the exhibition in the Conservatory is a nostalgic delight.

April 1 through May 27: Biltmore Blooms

A progression of flowers blankets George Vanderbilt’s estate in color during Biltmore Blooms, an annual tradition that has delighted guests for many decades. Highlighted by thousands of tulips in the historic Walled Garden and across the estate, Biltmore Blooms honors the legacy of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his accomplishments at Biltmore. Azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurel bloom later in the season, with buds of every shade appearing in the Rose Garden. Stunning floral arrangements will fill the rooms of Biltmore House, featuring flowers and greenery gathered from estate grounds.

April 1 through 4: Easter Scavenger Hunt

An Easter Scavenger Hunt featuring super-sized Easter Eggs inside Biltmore House and around the estate will be offered April 1 through April 4, and is free for children 9 and younger to participate. Participating children will receive a Scavenger Hunt Guide to check off each egg they spot while on their hunt. Head to Antler Hill Village after the hunt for a treat bag that includes candy, crayons and coloring pages, and a commemorative Easter Egg. A limited number of treat bags will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day of the event. The Easter Scavenger Hunt is included in daytime admission.

Nov. 5, 2021 through Nov. 20, 2022: Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore

Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore – a year-long series of multi-sensory experiences created to illuminate the remarkable lives of Van Gogh, Monet, and Da Vinci – opens Nov. 5, 2021. Produced by Grande Experiences, each individual component of this series offers fascinating ties to George Vanderbilt’s collection of treasures in Biltmore House. The three inspiring multi-sensory exhibitions at Biltmore include:

Van Gogh Alive: Nov. 5, 2021 – March 5, 2022
Experience the most visited multi-sensory experience in the world to appreciate the works of Vincent Van Gogh during Christmas at Biltmore. Highlights include savoring the wonders of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and other masterpieces.

Monet & Friends – Life, Light & Color: March 9, 2022 – July 6, 2022
The works of Claude Monet and famous Impressionist masters such as Pissarro, Cézanne, and Renoir come alive during Biltmore Blooms with an immersive experience that stimulates the senses. Two original Monet paintings from Biltmore’s collection will be on display in Biltmore House for the first time.

Leonardo Da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius: July 10, 2022–Nov. 20, 2022
Marvel at the genius of Leonardo da Vinci as an inventor, artist, scientist, engineer, architect, and philosopher as you are immersed in his innovative and inspiring mind.

Nov. 5, 2021 through Jan. 9, 2022: 47th Annual Christmas at Biltmore

Holidays arrive at America’s largest home in style.  More than a century ago, George Vanderbilt chose the holiday season as the time to unveil his new home to family and friends.  This year’s Christmas at Biltmore promises another extravagant celebration, complete with dozens of Christmas trees, miles of ribbon, garland and lights. Festive menus in estate restaurants and holiday wine tastings make for a memorable visit.

Nov. 5, 2021 through Jan. 8, 2022: 38th Annual Candlelight Evenings at Biltmore Estate

Candlelight, firelight and live music bring holiday warmth to Biltmore House’s extravagant holiday décor during these nighttime tours. Candlelight Christmas Evenings include a self-guided candlelight tour of Biltmore House, next-day visit to the gardens, Antler Hill Village and Biltmore Winery. Evening guests can also take advantage of Antler Hill Village & Winery to enjoy free wine tastings.

More information about these events, and how to purchase tickets, is available at Biltmore.com or by calling (800) 411-3812.