HoliDAZE in AVL: A Guide to Holiday Fun


HoliDAZE in AVL: A Guide to Holiday Fun

  • Carol Anderz

    Since 2006, I have been delight-fully retired from my condo/commuter life in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Like many who have come to AVL, I, too, have my own story of serendipity that brought me here...

Pack Square. Photo: Carol Anders

HOLIDAZE! Much to do in AVL... Ready, Set GO !

HO HO… The HOLIDAZE got off to a marvelous start with IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’s annual one-night performance at Isis Music Hall. Congrats to Willie Repoley (Immediate Theatre Project) and the casts’ Bravo performance (next year go)!

Take a break from shopping, cooking ,cleaning, and decorating to treat yourself to an experience of the Holidaze. Here’s my list – checking it twice you’re sure to find something nice and naughty! Don’t pout: I am sure I left some things out! I focused pretty much on our local creatives' visions of “old Chestnuts” from our shared treasure chest of traditions and themes.

• NUTCRACKER! NUTCRACKER? An array of versions, and styles to choose from at Diana Wortham Theatre starting Dec. 1 -15. Contemporary? Traditional? Classical? They got ‘em all. Go to Diana Wortham's website for dates, detail and tickets. I challenge you to see one of each! Give us a full report if you do! Tickets go fast!

• DICKENS! How do you like your DICKENS Done? Starting Dec. 2-17, Montford Park Players hosts A Day with Dickens at Hazel Robinson Amphitheater starting at 3 p.m. It's great for kids of all ages and is followed by a live stage presentation of Dicken’s classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Visit their website for dates and details. FREE!

Asheville's other theatre companies also offer up a bevy of delights to choose from, something for all ages, and all stages. I Dare Double Dare you to see them ALL!

• ASHEVILLE COMNUNITY THEATRE (ACT) hosts THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER from Dec. 1-17, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Most popular Holiday show ever! Perfect for all ages! Plus, at their black box theatre 35below is David Sedaris’ SANTALAND DIARIES from Dec. 13-17, 7:30 pm. (Note: This show is best for adults!) Get tickets on the website or at the box office (35 E. Walnut), or call 828.254.1320.

NC STAGE offers a choice between a local favorite All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 from Dec. 6-30 and The Twelve Dates of Christmas, a hilarious & modern alternative to the old standards of the holiday season, from Dec. 6 – 30. Both shows on alternating schedule. For tickets and details, visit their website or call 828.239.0263.

THE MAGNETIC THEATRE offers a romp of debaucherous sketches in THE 34TH ANNUAL BERSTEIN FAMILY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR. This AVL tradition, now in its 8th year, is locally written from scratch each year and features local faves on stage. Runs Nov. 30 - Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m. and some late shows. Tickets at the website. For adults! 


• Calling all MUSIC LOVERS: In addition to checking your favorite venues (like the iconic ORANGE PEEL or GREY EAGLE, for shows, consider one of these classical offerings to dress up for and be special! (Hey, it is AVL you should know by now you do not need to dress up, just kidding). The ASHEVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS will perform Camina Burana for New Year's Eve (Dec. 31). The evening is also a farewell to Conductor Daniel Meyer. The show is at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $22. Grab them on the website, or call 828.254.7046. They are so friendly on the phone!

• PASTYME, a well known local a cappella group, will be performing German Carols and singing other classics. They are lovely! FREE on Dec. 10 at 4 p.m., at All Souls Cathedral in Biltmore Village. 

• From Nov. 26 - Jan. 4, the OMNI GROVE PARK INN offers gorgeous traditional décor throughout the hotel common areas. The highlight of the hotel, however, may be the world famous National Gingerbread House Competition, which boasts over 100 scintillating structures made out of sugary stuff. And, on most Saturdays until Christmas from 2-5 p.m., you will hear some of our local songsters singing old time Holiday Favorites in the lounge. FREE (with a charge for parking). 828.438.5800.

• The GROVE ARCADE (1 Page Ave.) is open every day and night, offering a Winter Wonderland Celebration until Jan. 4. The goings-on at this historic landmark invite you to browse, listen to music, and take in the atmosphere. Special choral and music groups featured weekly. 828.252.7799

• LIGHTS, LIGHTS! There are two local opportunities for really big light shows and displays. The NC Arboretum has a ticketed, timed light show from now until New Year’s Eve. There are numerous installations throughout the grounds. Walk or drive. You must get tickets ahead, so reserve them now via the website. Shows from 6-10 p.m.

The other is Lake Julian Park Festival of Light in Arden NC . Their lights are on from Dec. 2-23 from 6-9 p.m. Over 50 installations and animations are scattered throughout the grounds for this drive-through experience. Buy tickets on the website, call 828 250 4260, or pay with cash when you arrive ( $10 per vehicle).

Thank YOU! And to all a Good Night!