Nov. 18. Old Fort, Mountain Gateway Museum, Holiday Wreath-Making Workshop. Make your holidays “merry and bright” with your own handcrafted Thanksgiving or Christmas wreath. A variety of wreath forms (i.e., wire, grapevine, straw, etc.), live greenery, ribbons, ornaments, and all the makings are provided in this annual workshop. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., on the front porch of the Mountain Gateway Museum, 24 Water Street, in Old Fort, NC. Spaces are limited, and pre-registration is required. Fee is $18 per person. For more information or to register, call 828-668-9259 or e-mail

Dec. 1. Troutman, Lake Norman State Park, Gingerbread House Competition, all day: Register now for the Lake Norman State Park Gingerbread House Competition by Dec. 1. Park visitors will vote for their favorite house from Dec. 2-9. The winner will receive a Lake Norman State Park prize pack and the winning house will be on display at the visitor center until Dec. 20.

Dec. 2. Old Fort, Mountain Gateway Museum, “A Community Christmas Kickoff,” 2 p.m. Live music, a children’s craft, free refreshments, and a holiday scavenger hunt will be part of the fun at the Mountain Gateway Museum (MGM) and Old Fort Community Forum’s “A Community Christmas Kickoff.” This free event will begin at 2 p.m. on the museum’s grounds, 24 Water Street, Old Fort, NC, and continue to 5 p.m., when the Old Fort Christmas Parade will begin at the Old Fort Elementary School and proceed down Catawba Avenue past the museum. For more information, call MGM at 828-668-9259 or visit its website at

Dec. 2, Dec. 9. Chimney Rock State Park, Santa on the Chimney. At 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. on both days, Old St. Nick will practice for his Christmas Eve deliveries by rappelling down the Park’s 315-foot Chimney. Santa will take breaks at the top of every hour starting at 11 a.m., so that he and Mrs. Claus can visit with children in front of the gift shop. Children can get their photo taken with Santa during his break. Free digital copies of Santa photos will be available for download after the event on the park’s Facebook page. On Dec. 9, visitors can enjoy Christmas music in front of the gift shop. All events during the Santa on the Chimney event are included with the cost of park admission.

Dec. 7, Dec. 8. Pinnacle, Horne Creek Farm, Christmas by Lamplight, 5:30-7 p.m. or 7-9 p.m. Experience a warm, rural turn-of-the-century Christmas with a nice period meal and holiday music. The Hauser Farmhouse will be the scene of caroling, a craft activity and readings of Christmas literature by lamplight. Tickets are $25 per person. Not recommended for children under 11 years of age. 

Dec. 7, Dec. 9. Weaverville, Vance Birthplace, Appalachian Christmas Carol, 6–8 p.m. During this in-person program, the American Myth Center presents one of the greatest Christmas stories ever told, Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol," interwoven with the history of the Reems Creek Valley. The show utilizes toy and shadow theatre to share the life of Venus, a woman enslaved by the Vances, during live theatrical tours at the Vance Birthplace. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future will illuminate her story as visitors walk the site. These 25-minute tours encourage participants to think about the power of empathy. Tours leave the visitor center every 30 minutes starting at 6 p.m., with the final tour at 8 pm. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here. Children 5 and under are free. Reservations are strongly encouraged. (rain date is Dec 10)

Dec. 9. Statesville, Fort Dobbs, Winter on the Western Frontier, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visitors to the reconstructed Fort Dobbs will be able to experience daily life as it was in the 18th century. Costumed re-enactors representing colonial soldiers and settlers will bring the fort to life with ongoing demonstrations including hearth cooking and woodworking. Tickets are $2 per person.

Dec. 9 and Dec 10. Asheville, N.C. Governor’s Western Residence Holiday Open House, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Celebrate the holiday season at the Governor’s Western Residence Holiday Open House at 45 Patton Mountain Rd., Asheville. Reservations are not needed to attend the open house. Guests are invited to tour the residence, which has been decorated for the season. Visitors are welcome to bring canned food donations for the MANNA Food Bank.