The Best of Banner Elk: Holiday Edition

’Tis the season for some holiday magic right in our own Banner Elk backyard. With stunning winter scenery, festive fun like reindeer runs, Christmas tree lighting, caroling, and so much more, there’s no more perfect place to experience the holidays than right here at Eagles Nest.

This month, we’re sharing the best of Banner Elk — holiday edition. Whether you’re hosting a large group, are looking for kid-friendly fun, or a Christmas couple’s retreat, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Small Town Charm, Big Holiday Fun

Kick off the holiday season in style starting Friday, December 3rd, right in downtown Banner Elk. Watch the lighting of the official town tree in the Corner on Main Park at 6:30pm as you enjoy holiday caroling and hot chocolate. Just a short walk away at 7pm at the Historic Banner Elk School, you’ll enjoy Ensemble Stage’s “A Banner Elk Christmas 3,” a popular musical variety show hosted by the local theater group. It’s the perfect way to start the season with the whole family!

Grab your running shoes for the official 5K Reindeer Run at 9am on Saturday, December 5th, at Tate-Evans Park in Banner Elk. Wear your most festive gear as you enjoy a morning run, or cheer on your favorite runner from the sidelines! If you’re searching for more kid-friendly fun, don’t miss breakfast with Santa from 9-10am at Stonewalls Restaurant, followed by story time with Santa (plus a fun-filled fire truck tour) at 10:30 at the Banner Elk FIre and Rescue Station.

Spend the rest of your magical Saturday afternoon enjoying Christmas at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm, or enjoy a Christmas market and kids’ crafts at the Cultural Arts Center at Historic Banner Elk School. Swing by Banner Elk Presbyterian Church at 3pm for a Community Carol Sing — and then wrap up back at Tate-Evans Park with an amazing synchronized Christmas light show, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides through beautiful luminary lights, a DJ with karaoke, plus a family-friendly Christmas movie and some piping hot chocolate! Discover even more Banner Elk upcoming events on the Banner Elk Chamber’s A Small Town Christmas page.

Wrap your weekend of fun with a Sunday visit to one of the High Country’s Christmas tree farms. In fact, the High Country is considered the Christmas Tree Capital for its abundance of tree farms that specialize in top-quality Fraser firs — and it’s even common for the White House to select a tree right from a farm in the region! Discover a list of the top places to find the perfect tree in the area now and be sure to visit Sugar Plum Farm (just a 30-minute drive from Banner Elk) for a gift shop featuring hand-crafted tree ornaments made by mountain people. Plus, the kids will love their magical hayrides and visits from Santa all season long.

Don’t miss a schedule of the weekend’s unique holiday events here.

Explore the High Country’s Holiday Festivities

Just beyond Banner Elk lies an array of seemingly endless holiday activities made for the whole family. About a 30-minute drive from the Eagles Nest area is a Crazy Christmas at Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock. Daily activities include elf hunts, Christmas crafts, gem mining for Christmas jewels, snowball fights, a light walk, and so much for festive fun. If you’re searching for an adult-friendly activity, don’t miss The Spirit of Christmas experience featuring yuletide drinks and holiday traditions of yesteryear!

About an hour’s drive from Banner Elk is West Jefferson, NC, where you’ll find Ashe County Arts Council’s Christmas Crawl on Friday, December 3rd from 5-7pm. Get in the festive spirit with thematically decorated Christmas trees, plus a holiday gift shop featuring locally made goods and crafts.

Perfect for a holiday date or movie night with the family, Appalachian Theatre in Downtown Boone (just a short 30-minute drive from the Eagles Nest area) is showing the classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Get your tickets for December 10-11 from 7-9pm and enjoy some holiday nostalgia! If you plan your Boone adventure for December 11th, then don’t miss the town’s annual Boone Christmas Parade on King Street at 2pm. Local businesses and organizations show their holiday cheer with festive floats, marches, costumes, and performances – plus a special visit from Santa. 

Keep your holiday adventures going with a trip to Asheville, about a 1.5-hour drive from Banner Elk. This bustling city with small-town charm hosts a renowned National Gingerbread Competition. Experience the artistry and get the holiday spirit as you enjoy this festive display held throughout the season. If you still have holiday shopping to do, don’t miss Asheville’s thriving local gift landscape, with gifts and goodies for everyone on your list!

While you’re enjoying the Asheville area, be sure to visit America’s largest home – the famed Biltmore Estate. Christmas at Biltmore features more than 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees, 1,200 live poinsettias, and 6,000 feet of fresh evergreen garlands for a truly magical experience.

Enjoy the Magic of Eagles Nest

With so many festive activities in Banner Elk and beyond, you’ll keep the family entertained all season long. But, don’t forget about all of the holiday magic and memories you can create right here in our very own Eagles Nest community. Gather around your future dream kitchen to whip up some delicious holiday cookies for a day of baking, opt for a fun sledding adventure in your own backyard, or simply take a winter walk around our community to take in the stunning scenery.

No matter your plans for the holiday season, there’s no more magical place to get in the spirit than at Eagles Nest. Schedule your Discovery Tour and experience it for yourself.

Happy Holidays!

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