Lovers’ Loop Retreat December muse-letter

Asheville doesn’t hibernate in December!

As we look eagerly toward the winter solstice in December and the gradual return to more daylight, we’re primed for plenty of fun in these beautiful mountains. We love the mountains in their bareness. On our hike at the Blue Ridge Parkway on Thanksgiving, it was great to have so much visibility through the woods, combined with the many colorful evergreens. Winter is a good time to hike in western North Carolina, and at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, our guests are only a minute from the parkway, which also affords fine birding opportunities.

December events in Asheville

Asheville offers lots of Christmas and Hanukkah events, from theater, dance and musical productions to shows and sales that feature the wide range of artists around here. For many people, the Biltmore mansion in Asheville is a must-see for its Christmas decorations that are up through New Year’s weekend. There’s also a spectrum of music, from the rock and pop of the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam and the Avett Brothers to the African-American expression of old-time music provided by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as seasonal symphonic and choral concerts.

Make Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, your place to stay when you explore Asheville, NC recreation, arts, restaurants and festivals. Events are posted and updated through the year on www.loversloopretreat.com. Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. Our website features a link where you can contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

Free things to do in Asheville in December

Enjoy a variety of FREE things. An exhibit of panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed through Dec. 3 at Pack Place downtown. The annual exhibit is powerful. The last art gallery walk of the year will be Dec. 3, with the opportunity to view art with refreshments as many galleries downtown stay open later. Hike, bike, bird, run — or skip if you feel like it — on trails at the North Carolina Arboretum on Dec. 7, the first Tuesday of the month, when the parking fee is waived. The parking fee also will be waived each year for the days around Christmas and New Year’s. The arboretum has exhibits, too, including a major one up through next March about the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a tribe whose reservation is an hour west of Asheville.

MORE free things to do in Asheville in December

Tour two historic homes, Fernihurst and the Smith McDowell-House, on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. The Smith McDowell-House, now a museum, dates to about 1840 and is Asheville’s oldest surviving house. The new One Bazaar Holiday Music Festival will feature diverse live music on Friday and Saturday evenings through Dec. 18 at the Downtown Market. You can check out the market’s many booths of artists and crafters while you listen. Drool at the eye candy on display at the Grove Park Inn, which hosts an annual gingerbread house contest and exhibit. Who knew the elaborate, fun and creative designs possible with gingerbread? The exhibit, up through Jan. 2, is really something to see.

Asheville holiday shopping

Asheville is a great place for holiday shopping. And a couple of arts organizations make it easier for shoppers with annual events, among the many arts events in Asheville this holiday season. The Folk Art Center, on the Blue Ridge Parkway five minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, has its Artists’ Holiday Sale on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11. The Big Crafty, another artists’ bazaar, will be Dec. 5 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown.

“Santaland Diaries” and “Nutcracker” in Asheville

Humorist David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries” will be performed Dec. 16-19  at Asheville Community Theatre, and several versions of “The Nutcracker” will be offered by dance companies in December.

New Year’s Eve in Asheville

New Year’s Eve in Asheville? Yes! It’s a playground downtown. Come and enjoy the buzz on the streets and in the many clubs and bars that offer a great variety of live music and other entertainment. If the night is mild enough, you’ll walk by street musicians playing their hearts out. The Avett Brothers perform at the Asheville Civic Center on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31.

All of these events and activities and more are listed on our website. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

Reach us at loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com or (828) 545-2950.

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