NC Arboretum Winter Lights

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum returns for the 2021 Holiday season.   Winter Lights invites guests to walk through the gardens, decorated with thousands of beautiful lights, and holiday displays.   Winter Lights features a 50ft tall lighted and choreographed tree, a lighted quilt garden, that is synchronized with Holiday music, many other traditional displays, and many new ones for 2021.

Designed with an artistic aesthetic, Winter Lights features beautifully lit displays and glowing landscapes nestled along the Arboretum’s garden areas.   Last year (2020) was a drive-through only experience, but 2021 returns to the traditional walk-through experience.

This is a wonderful event for the whole family and a great way to celebrate the holiday season here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We really enjoyed our visit!

Our Winter Lights Video

Dates, Hours and Tickets

Winter Lights for 2021, runs from 11/19/2021 - 1/1/2022.  Tickets should be purchased in advance.  In order to minimize the the number of guests in the gardens at one time, this year's Winter Lights event will offer designated entry times (6:00 PM, 7:00 PM, or 8:00 PM).  The entry gates close at 9:00 PM and Winter Lights closes for the day at 10:00 PM.

Visitors can arrive anytime after their entry time, and stay until 10:00pm.

Tickets are sold per vehicle (not per person) and in a tier system (Bronze, Silver and Gold) based on peak dates.   Ticket prices for regular vehicles are $30 - $60.  Larger vehicles are more.  Admission at the gate, is an additional $10.

How to get there

The North Carolina Arboretum is located next to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 393. From I-26, take Exit 33 and follow NC 191 South for two miles to the entrance on the right.

Upon arrival at the gate, please have your printed ticket ready to scan.   Your ticket will be emailed to you after your online purchase.

Best Address for GPS:
20 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
Asheville, NC 28806

To aid the flow of traffic, please plan to approach the event from NC 191 South (Brevard Rd.), passing the Asheville Outlets and turning right into the event. The Arboretum is asking that attendees do not turn left into the event from the Parkway.

Things to know before you go

  • Pets are not allowed
  • The event is rain or shine
  • Restrooms will be available in the Baker Visitor Center and Education Center, and there will be portable restrooms available for use.
  • The event is wheelchair accessible
  • Food and beverages are available: The Cocoa Shack located in the Gardener’s Shed will sell hot cocoa, alcoholic beverages, and treats. The Bent Creek Bistro, located at the Education Center, will sell small snacks, hot cocoa, alcoholic beverages and s’more kits.



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