If you visit Blowing Rock between Thanksgiving and New Years, you’ll find great natural beauty, a Norman Rockwell-esque downtown decorated and lighted for the season, unique shops and restaurants, and numerous holiday-themed events filling the calendar. And if you’re lucky enough to be in Blowing Rock on Thanksgiving day, you’ll find several restaurants and eateries open and offering Thanksgiving fare (reservations are required for those with seating times). For a list of participating restaurants and contact information, go to blowingrock.com/thanksgiving-day-dining/.
Over the following two days, on Friday and Saturday, November 24 and 25, the holiday spirit takes over the town: On Friday is the Christmas Festival in the Park and Lighting of the Town. Associated activities include games and crafts, Santa in the park gazebo, hayrides, bounce houses and live music. Lighting of the Town tree and park takes place at 5:45. Free hot chocolate and apple cider from 4 to 7 p.m. The Christmas Parade on Main Street starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday. For a detailed schedule, go to blowingrock.com/Christmas-park/
This holiday season, Tweetsie Railroad rolls out a new event: Tweetsie Christmas. Every Friday and Saturday night between Thanksgiving and Christmas, visitors can enjoy the wonder of the park dazzlingly lit for the holidays, with a nighttime train ride, a Christmas show, caroling, Santa and more. Advance tickets are recommended as a limited number of guests are admitted nightly. The train cars are open, so guests are encouraged to dress warmly. For information and tickets: Tweetsie.com
Chetola Resort hosts the Third Annual Festival of Trees from November 30 through December 3. The indoor event, a benefit for Western Youth Network (WYN), will include more than 75 decorated, sponsored trees and wreaths. Each one will have a theme and will be available to bid on and take home after the event. Festival attendance is free, but donations are encouraged. The four-day Festival also features gift baskets and raffle items, as well as a packed calendar of special events for extra holiday cheer. For more information, go to wynfestivaloftrees.com
On Friday, December 8 from 5 to 8 p.m., local businesses and organizations present the Holiday Stroll, a town-wide holiday open house that’s a celebration of winter and the Christmas season. Activities and events include sing-alongs with strolling carolers, a Christmas Concert in the Park, Santa, the Snow Belles dance group, and holiday shopping with special offers and tasty snacks. blowingrock.com/holidaystroll/
And before any of this starts, Appalachian Ski Mountain’s tentative opening day is November 23, weather permitting. Later, the resort hosts one of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the High Country. For opening date confirmation, go to appskimtn.com.
For more details on events during the holiday season, go to blowingrock.com/blowing-rock-holidays/
Blowing Rock is only two hours from Charlotte and Greensboro, three hours from Knoxville, 3.5 hours from Raleigh, five hours from Atlanta and six hours from Charleston.