You’ve heard there’s no place like home for the holidays, but we disagree, there’s no place like Blue Ridge for the holidays! You and your loved ones can gather together in a cozy mountain cabin and experience the joy of the season. Ice skate, ride on the Holiday Express, watch your favorite holiday films on the big screen, and just enjoy some quality time together in your home-away-from-home. See what holiday fun awaits for you in Blue Ridge this December:
*Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
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 24th-December 24th. On your hour-long or four 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 to meet the big man himself. 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. If you’re unable to get your hands on Holiday Express tickets, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway also offers a fun Winter Ride that usually has more availability.
Christmas Movies at the Drive In
When we think of Christmas we think of watching our favorite holiday movies surrounded by tasty snacks and the ones we love the most. Now you can watch your favorite holiday films on the big screen at the Swan Drive In! On December 15th-17th the Drive In will present a special showing of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and the new Wonka movie as well! Then for the Christmas weekend December 22nd-24th they will be showing Elf and Wonka! While you enjoy these special films you can munch of classic movie theater food like popcorn, hot dogs, chicken tenders, corn dogs, and more. AND the Swan Drive In will also have extra delicious holiday treats available as well like Gourmet hot chocolate topped with whip cream, cinnamon, and a chocolate straw AND a holiday float made with red soda, Mayfield ice cream, green whip cream, and served in a Christmas light cup! How sweet is that!? Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-11, and FREE for children 2 and under. Enjoy a fun-filled evening with family & friends watching your favorite Christmas movies and new blockbuster films on the big screen! Visit their website for showtimes and more details: https://swan-drive-in.com/now-showing/
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 Art Center’s Holiday Show & Sale runs from November 18th-December 16th. 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!
For more holiday shopping ideas check out our Blue Ridge Holiday Shopping Blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/blue-ridge-holiday-shopping/
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.
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 23rd through January 7th, with special hours Thanksgiving & Christmas. For just $15 you can skate to your heart’s content! After your skate, warm up with hot cocoa and other sweet treats from the concessions stand.
Christmas Light Hunt
Christmas Light Hunting is a favorite holiday tradition of many families during Christmastime. Some of our favorite light displays around North Georgia include Mountain Country Christmas in Lights at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, the Holiday Lights of Ellijay, and the lights at the Riverwalk Shops in the Copper Basin. And don’t forget to take a stroll through Downtown Blue Ridge to see our beautiful Christmas tree in the center of town and our biggest light set up yet! For more places to see Christmas lights on display check out our Christmas Lights Around the Mountains Blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/christmas-lights-around-the-mountains/
And 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!
Hire a Private Chef
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.
Eat Out or Enjoy Take Out from these Blue Ridge Restaurants
Want to treat your family to a special Christmas Dinner out on the town but worried nothing will be open? Don’t worry, the amazing Fannin County Chamber, Visit Blue Ridge, have compiled a list of all the restaurants open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! You can find the list here: https://www.blueridgemountains.com/restaurants-open-christmas-eve-after-4pm-and-christmas-day/
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.
And if we’re lucky enough to have a White Christmas in Blue Ridge check out some of the fun & exciting snow day activities you can get up to in our Snowy Day Fun in Blue Ridge Blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/snowy-day-fun-in-blue-ridge/
New Years Eve Celebrations
Ring in the New Year with our friends at Old Toccoa Farm! The Tavern will be hosting a New Years Eve Celebration with a delicious New York inspired menu. There will also be live entertainment from the Ryan Davis Duo with music like the “old Rat Pack”. The event is $50 a person with seating beginning at 6:30pm. Please call 706-946-4653 or email Tavern@oldtf.com to reserve your spot.