It’s the holiday season! And that means there’s all kinds of fun, festive events happening around town from now until New Years! Bring the whole family along for a day of Christmas cheer and holiday fun! See what awaits you this holiday season in Blue Ridge and start planning for your mountain holidays here:
*Cover Photo Courtesy of Chanel Josephson
The Holiday Express
Every December in Blue Ridge you can live your very own Polar Express fantasy! Ride the Holiday Express with Blue Ridge Scenic Railway November 25th-December 23rd. On your hour-long journey, you’ll get the chance to experience the beautiful North Georgia countryside in the winter and see what holiday fun is in store for you! Your train car will come alive with holiday music as you sip on hot cocoa and admire the sights. The little ones will enjoy stories & gifts from Santa, as well as a special opportunity for pictures with Santa in the Christmas pavilion after your ride. Kids and adults alike will love their ride on this festive fun train! Be sure to get your tickets in advance because they sell out quickly!
Get your Thanksgiving Day workout in early to prepare for all those rolls & pies we know you’re going to eat later, with Blue Ridge’s annual Turkey Trot! This family fun 5K race is one of the biggest races in the area with over 700 runners & fans in attendance every year! Walk or run your way through Downtown Blue Ridge at any pace you choose, all abilities & experience levels are welcome. Registration begins at 7am and the race starts promptly at 8am. And don’t worry you’ll be home in plenty of time to enjoy some turkey dinner!
Private Chef for Holiday Meals
Skip the holiday stress and hire a private chef to prepare your holiday meals! Local area professional chefs will come to your cabin, prepare an incredible meal suited to your tastes and dietary needs, and the best part is they clean up all the mess! We recommend you consider one of these amazing options: Chef Eatz, Trey Griffith, or Blue Duck Eats.
Light Up Events
The start of the holiday season in Blue Ridge and McCaysville kicks off with Light Up events on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. On Friday, November 25th McCaysville will light up their beautiful town on the river to symbolize the start of Christmas. There’s plenty of shopping, dining, and holiday fun as well as pictures with Santa. The festivities start at 5pm, with the tree lighting to follow at sunset.
Blue Ridge’s event is 2 days of family fun starting on November 25th. Black Friday is known as Blue Friday here in Blue Ridge which entails great discounts from our local shops, Christmas entertainment, food vendors, and more! Then the following day is when the real fun begins! Downtown Blue Ridge will be filled with Christmas cheer, food vendors, more Christmas entertainment, and pictures with Santa in the gazebo at the park. At 5:30pm the Christmas Parade will march through town, down East Main Street from Church Street to Mountain Street, down Mountain Street and back up West Main Street to Depot. And the lighting of the great tree will follow immediately after the parade at 7pm sharp! Both Light Up Blue Ridge and Light Up McCaysville are such fun ways to kick off the holiday season; the whole family will have a blast!
There’s so many unique and special local shops to stock up on Christmas gifts for your loved ones! Head to Downtown Blue Ridge and/or the Riverwalk Shops to knock everything off your list! Pick up some delicious olive oil from Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company for grandma, a bottle of wine for your favorite aunt at 34th Degree Wine Merchant, a cool vinyl record for your dad at Deaf Man Vinyl, a comic book from Mountain Man Comics for your brother, trendy home decor for mom at Gather, and active wear for your next hike at Blue Ridge Adventure Wear. You can even get some of your holiday shopping done ahead of time at Blue Ridge and McCaysville’s Light Up events when everything is on sale!
Looking for a one stop shop for gifts? There’s plenty of holiday markets in town to check out! The Arts Center Holiday Show & Sale runs from November 19th-December 20th. You can support local artists and get some great deals by checking out their handmade wares. From artwork, jewelry, pottery, candles, and more the Holiday Show & Sale has it all! Open Tuesdays-Sundays from 10am-6pm at the Art Center.
Visit a place where it’s all Christmas all the time- Christmas is Here! This awesome store has all the Christmas decor and gifts you need to feel like Santa Claus himself! Most of their wares are beautiful, handmade works by American artists. Find wooden Santas, statues of the three wise men, advent calendars and more at this special shop located in Riverwalk Shops!
Festive Spa Day
We all need some time to relax during the holiday season! Pay a visit to Serenity in the Mountains Spa and enjoy a day of pampering! Get massages, facials, and be sure to check out their amazing Salt Cave. While you’re there you can admire over 100 beautifully decorated trees that will be on display all season long! Really get into the Christmas spirit with a relaxing spa day filled with beautiful trees & an amazing day of pampering.
Escape to Blue Ridge Office Light Display
Did you know that we decorate our office with festive holiday lights? We’re all decked out with gold twinkly lights on our exterior! You can also come on inside and check out our Christmas tree! This is a great spot for photo-ops with the family. You can even pick up an activity packet for the kids while you’re here and keep the family fun going!
Christmas Card Photoshoot
Holidays are a time to spend with your family and loved ones. Are you looking for that perfect Christmas card photo to show off to all your friends? We’ve got you covered! Let your Blue Ridge memories last a lifetime by hiring a professional photographer to come out and get some great family shots. Here are a few of our favorite local photographers: ZoLu Photography, A Day In The Life Photography, and Burns and Crowe Photography. Need more suggestions? Check out https://www.flytographer.com/ to pick your own local photographer! Pick your favorite spot in town or have the photographer come right to your cabin to capture some amazing family photos, perfect for your Christmas cards!
Who doesn’t love a good Christmas parade!? Head to Copperhill, TN on December 3rd for the 63rd Annual Christmas Parade hosted by the Copperhill Kilwins Club. Soak in the holiday spirit as beautiful floats roll by and marching bands play some of your favorite Christmas tunes! The parade kicks off at 2pm, you won’t want to miss it!
Have some family friendly winter fun with ice skating at the Farmer’s Market! This fun new outdoor ice skating rink will appear at the Blue Ridge Farmers Market, next to the Swan Drive In, November 18th through January 9th, with special hours Thanksgiving & Christmas. For just $10 you can skate to your heart’s content! After your skate, warm up with hot cocoa and other sweet treats from the concessions stand.
Other Great Holiday Events
North Georgia comes alive with fun holiday events all season long! Get into the Christmas spirit with Christmas music & joy at Elf the Musical put on by Blue Ridge Community Theater November 17th-December 11th or at Dailey & Vincent’s Christmasfest at the Georgia Mountain Mountain Fairgrounds December 2nd-3rd! Christmasfest brings together the very best of bluegrass, country, and gospel artists and all the Christmas music you can handle! Also happening at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds is their annual Mountain Country Christmas in Lights, running November 24th-December 23rd. The Fairgrounds come alive every weekend with sparkly Christmas lights, arts & craft vendors, holiday foods, Christmas music, special exhibits, and pictures with Santa! The fun runs Thursday & Friday nights 6pm-9pm and Saturdays from 4pm-9pm November 24th-December 10th and every night starting December 15th-23rd! Tickets are $7 a person and children 12 & under are free!
At the Arts Center in Downtown Blue Ridge you can find The Gingerbread Village on display November 25th-December 11th! Come on out to admire beautiful gingerbread homes designed by local schools, businesses, and community members. And on December 4th hop in the car and enjoy a scenic drive through the North Georgia Mountains to admire some of the best decorated Christmas homes in the area with the Christmas Tour of Homes! Ticket holders will meet at the Fannin County Family Connection Community Room for holiday refreshments between 11am and 2pm. You will then receive your map and directions to start your tour. You may tour homes from 1pm-5pm. Tickets are $30 a person and all proceeds benefit Fannin County Family Connection to assist in the operation of the Food Pantry and other programming which supports a community of healthy and safe children and families. Bring the little ones in their best Whoville costumes to Fannin County Public Library on December 10th for their Merry Grinchmas event! There will be a reading of Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, games, crafts, and cookies for children of all ages!
Family Time at the Cabin
There’s so much festive family fun you can have right at the cabin! Have a Christmas movie marathon cozy by the fire as you sip on hot cocoa and munch on delicious homemade cookies. Add in a little snow and you could have the perfect cozy day in the cabin; there’s nothing like a movie marathon when it’s chilly outside. But no matter the weather you can still enjoy the great outdoor amenities that your cabin has to offer! Wash your worries away with a dip in the hot tub. Grownups, sit back & relax in the tub with a glass of wine while the kids play cornhole nearby. Or gather the whole family around the firepit where you can share stories, roast s’mores, and create lasting memories under the night sky.
Ready for some family team building? See how well you and your family can work together and assemble your very own gingerbread house! Gather all your supplies: graham crackers, frosting, gumdrops, peppermints, and any other sweets your family desires and create your masterpiece! You and your family will have a blast putting it all together and working hard to make your dream candy coated home! And we can’t forget family game nights! Whether you challenge your loved ones to a game of pool, foosball, monopoly, cards, or challenge them to beat your high score on the arcade machine; everyone will have so much fun putting their devices down to spend some good quality time together.
New Years Fireworks
Ring in the new year in the mountains! Enjoy fireworks at various venues across North Georgia. At the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee you can enjoy a car show from the Blairsville Cruisers, live musical performances, food & craft vendors, and a firework show to follow at 8:45pm. For the adults there’s New Years Eve parties at both Tooney’s Music Venue in McCaysville and Paradise Hills. Guests can enjoy live music, drinks, and an all around great time at either of these two New Years Eve parties! Be sure to stay tuned for our December 2022 events blog for more New Years events.
Spend your holidays with us in Blue Ridge! Let Escape to Blue Ridge be your home base for all your family fun, holiday adventures! Happy Holidays everyone!