The historic Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville is a distinctive place to visit any time of year. From Nov. 17 to Jan. 4, Grove Arcade guests also can recapture the holiday magic of yesteryear with the annual Winter Wonderland celebration.
The Nov. 17 opening-night festivities from 5-8 p.m. include a Deck the Halls Lighting Celebration; a performance by the Asheville Symphony Chorus starting at 6 p.m.; Story Time and Photos with Santa Claus; Tree Ornament Making; Holiday Cider and Cookies; Santa Paws Fund and Food Collection, benefiting Asheville Humane Society; and, as always, local shopping and dining in the inviting Grove Arcade. No admission is charged, but guests are encouraged to bring dog and/or cat food that evening to support the Santa Paws program.
In addition to shopping and dining, ongoing Winter Wonderland events at the Grove Arcade include return appearances by Santa Claus from 1-5 p.m. on Dec. 3, 10 and 17. And starting Nov. 22, the festive building features a Gingerbread House Display in partnership with The Omni Grove Park Inn, celebrating the 25th year of its National Gingerbread House Competition. It all adds up to a lengthy season of wonder in one of Asheville’s architectural treasures.
“The Grove Arcade is a beautiful, historic building; when she puts on her holiday finery she becomes a sparkling jewel not to be missed,” says Ruth Summers, Grove Arcade executive director. “Our opening-night celebration of Winter Wonderland is designed for the entire family: music with the Symphony Chorus, the jolly old fellow, cookies and cider, ornament decorating and more.
“We hope people of all ages will make the Grove Arcade part of their Christmas and holiday tradition, as they come see us for this free, family-friendly event.”