Best things to do in Waynesville NC at Christmas

Waynesville NC is a beautiful and vibrant mountain town with lots to see in town and all around town.   Waynesville is well known for its historic downtown area, full of shops, restaurants, breweries, and boutiques.   This historic downtown area will transport you into a living Norman Rockwell setting, especially during the holidays.

Waynesville NC is one of our favorite Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas towns, due to the beautiful setting, decorations, and events, including a small-town Christmas parade that is one of the bests you'll see.

Let's just explore all of the best things to do in Waynesville NC at Christmas!

Waynesville Christmas Parade

The annual Waynesville Christmas parade is one of the best we've ever attended.  The parade goes through downtown Waynesville and begins at 6:00 pm on December 5th 2022.   This may seem a little late to some, but starting the parade at 6 pm lets the colorful lights really shine, making for pure Christmas magic.

The parade is full of colorful floats, marching bands, local police and fire departments, Jeeps, tractors, dancers, and much more!   The highlight of the parade is at the end when Santa makes an appearance.

Be sure to get there early for the best spots, and bring some chairs.

Holiday Fun Tours at Winchester Creek Farm

Winchester Creek Farms Holiday Tours

Winchester Creek Farm is a wonderful local Alpaca and miniature animal farm you can tour.  The farm is open for tours year-round but also has a number of yearly events, including Holiday Farm Tours.

During Holiday Farm Tours, the farm is all decked out for the holidays.  During the holiday tours, you can see the decorations, visit with Santa, and write and mail a letter to Santa.  You'll also receive holiday cookies and candy canes!    Granny's House Gifts is also open, with lots of great (and unique) holiday gifts!

Come visit the farm and animals for the holidays!

Here's our video from our visit the farm!

A Night Before Christmas

A Night Before Christmas in Waynesville NC is a festive way to celebrate the holidays. This annual holiday tradition is held downtown Waynesville, amidst the backdrop of hundreds of luminaries lining the old brick sidewalks.  The trees and businesses are full of twinkling lights, red velvet ribbons, garland and bows.

While visiting, you can enjoy carolers, live music, Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse-drawn old-fashioned wagon rides, and a Living Nativity scene sponsored by First Baptist Church. 

Shops, galleries, and restaurants are all open.  Some even have musicians and entertainers performing on the streets outside.

When: December 10, 2022, from 6 pm - 9 pm in Downtown Waynesville NC

Strand of Lights - Drive through Holiday Experience

Strand of Lights Waynesville NC

Experience the joy of the Christmas season from the coziness of your own car.  No kids complaining about how cold it is, or how far they have to walk AND you can sing Christmas Carols as loud as you want!

During this holiday experience, guests will enter the Smoky mountain Event center, and be greeted by Christmas lights at the entrance.  This nearly 1-mile long route will take you through the property where you can see lighted buildings, displays, trees, and pathways.  Lights are on both sides of your vehicle so everyone can enjoy the experience.  

Tickets and reservations are required to limit the number of cars at one time and to enhance everyone's experience.  

For 2022, the event runs from November 28th - December 31st, 6 pm - 9pm

"A Christmas Story" at the HART Theatre

A somewhat secret gem in Waynesville is the HART Theatre.  HART Theatre is a semi-professional community theatre showcasing the talents of the people of the region and beyond.   Throughout the year they have some amazing live plays and performances.

For Christmas 2022, beginning on December 19th, they are doing "A Christmas Story".  The play is based on humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s and follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas.

The story is the same that the 1983 holiday hit movie was based on, and is to many (including us!) as a holiday classic.   A Christmas Story is destined to become a theatrical holiday perennial.

Pick out a live Christmas tree

Best Maggie Valley Christmas Tree Farms

Mehaffey Tree Farm, Maggie Valley NC

Waynesville NC area is one of the most popular locations to choose and cut a live Christmas tree in Western NC.  The areas around Waynesville offer a number of really nice Christmas tree farms.  A visit to these farms to browse the fields as a family, and choose your own Christmas tree to bring home, is a holiday adventure in itself.

Many of the farms in addition to allowing you to browse the farm and pick out your tree, also have gift options and wreaths for sale, and offer hayrides, hot chocolate, and other activities.

Go shopping in historic Downtown Waynesville NC

Christmas in Waynesville NC

Not only is downtown Waynesville beautiful and historic, it's also full of wonder shops, restaurants, and art galleries as well.   There are many locally owned shops, that provide unique gift items for the holidays.  Waynesville is also home to a Mast General Store as well. 

 While browsing the shops, you can stop and grab food, coffee, or a treat at one of the many restaurants as well.  

During the holiday season, Waynesville is beautifully decorated for the holidays and will make your visit pure Christmas magic.

Visit Lake Junaluska

Christmas Lake Junaluska

Photo courtesy of Lake Junaluska

While technically not part of Waynesville NC, Lake Junaluska is just outside of it.   Lake Junaluska is a gorgeous lake and retreat that is open to the public.    The lake provides a number of outdoor activities, restaurants, hotels, and things to see and do.

Lake Junaluska decorates for the holidays and has a number of unique and fun activities to enjoy, including candlelight services, wagon rides, caroling, and more.  

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.

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