ASHEVILLE, N.C., Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Known as one of the Southeast's most beloved and storied holiday travel destinations, Christmas at Biltmore is set to begin on November 3, 2012 and will run through January 1, 2013. Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, take place November 9 through December 31.
This year's Christmas displays throughout Biltmore House, the gardens and grounds will follow an art motif, with inspiration coming from various art forms found in and around Biltmore House. Each decorated tree and its complementing display pieces will be designed to accent a particular piece of art found in a room, or composed around an expression of art such as the literary arts or music.
On Christmas Eve 1895, Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House for the first time to his friends and family. In subsequent years, the couple welcomed family, friends and the estate's employees into the Banquet Hall for the annual Christmas party. Each child who lived on the estate at that time received a gift from the Vanderbilt family.
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. Guests will see 68 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 around 1,000 red and white poinsettias in the Winter Garden and other areas.
Guests can pick up Biltmore decorating secrets during free holiday craft seminars offered at A Gardener's Place in the lower part of the Conservatory, near the Walled Garden. Classes are offered four times daily: "Wreath-Making" (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.); and "Tabletop Inspirations" (1 and 3 p.m.).
In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, November 10 through December 23, and also on Friday, November 23. 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, including the limited-edition 2012 Christmas at Biltmore Wine. Special wine seminars are also available.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings, November 9 through December 31
Biltmore House takes on a warm glow during Candlelight Christmas Evenings, even an air of mystery, creating a unique holiday experience for guests. Local choirs and small musical ensembles stationed in the Winter Garden perform music of the season as guests enter Biltmore House. Soloists perform traditional Christmas music throughout the house as guests wander among the decorated rooms. The front lawn will glow with a 55-foot Norway spruce, lit by around 40,000 tiny white lights.
Candlelight evening tours will not be offered on November 20, 22 and December 24, 25. Guests may also visit Antler Hill Village when they attend Candlelight Christmas Evenings.
Holiday dining and lodging on the estate
Guests may enjoy a festive meal at Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Cafe, 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 offers several packages for holidays, including special New Year's Eve packages. Biltmore boasts retail shops, all perfect for holiday gift shopping. Other activities include taking a horse and carriage ride (blankets provided) and exploring acres of landscaped gardens.
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America's largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family's original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and BiltmoreFor Your Home, the company's licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.
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