Entertainment

Holidays Herald Festive Events Across Western N.C.

Asheville WNC Holiday Events

Every year, the holiday season heralds a bevy of festive activities across Western North Carolina. From parades to light displays to stage performances, there’s something to enchant everyone; here are a few favorites.

A Winter’s Tail

The Western North Carolina Nature Center’s annual Winter’s Tail features festive crafts, games and animal programs, as well as photos with Santa. Standard admission rates apply. Visit www.wildwnc.org for program dates and times.

Holidays in WNCAnnual National Gingerbread House Competition Display

Visitors to the Omni Grove Park Hotel in Asheville can view this eagerly anticipated competition, which features breathtaking entries from all over the country, and in various age categories. Visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/things-to-do/upcoming-events/national-gingerbread-competition for schedule and more information.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

Tryon International Equestrian Center is host to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, more than 2 miles of drive-through custom-made displays set to music you play over your car radio. On the weekends, visitors can also enjoy Winterfest Village, featuring photos with Santa and storytelling with Mrs. Claus, carousel rides, animal experiences and live music. Visit www.shadrackchristmas.com/tryon-nc  for tickets and more information.

Winter Lights at the Arboretum

Walk through the N.C. Arboretum’s gardens and enjoy unique displays and landscapes dressed in more than a half-million holiday lights. Winter Lights includes interactive games, a model train exhibit, free crafts, a nature-themed animatronic children’s program and more. Visit www.ncarboretum.org/winter-lights/ for dates, times and admission.

Carolina Christmas Show

Staged at the Colonial Theater in Canton, this dazzling production of live music, dance and comedy features performers from Western N.C. and special guest artists presenting sacred and secular Christmas favorites. Visit www.marlumor.com/christmas-show for schedule and tickets.

The Big Crafty

A favorite art event for the past decade, the weekend-long Big Crafty, held in downtown Asheville, features 150 artisans, crafters and makers from across the region, and boasts the perfect one-stop shop for unique holiday gifts. Visit  www.thebigcrafty.com for schedule and more information. 

Festival of Lights

Lake Julian Park in South Asheville comes to life for this popular Christmas light show. Some 50 animated and stationary light displays shine along the half-mile drive. Go to www.lakejulianfestivaloflights.simpletix.com for schedule and tickets.

Holidays in AshevilleCashiers Christmas Parade

Held annually on the second Saturday in December, the Cashiers Christmas Parade features local businesses, organizations and residents celebrating the holiday season. Chamber staff organizes parade theme, volunteers, participating lineup, awards and live broadcast of the event from the Cashiers Crossroads. Go to www.cashiers411.com/142-cashiers-christmas-parade for schedule and more information.

Santa on Chimney Rock

Visitors to this annual event can watch Santa rappel down Chimney Rock, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy live holiday music, free hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities. Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com/event/santa-on-the-chimney-dec-7 for schedule and more information.

Old World Dickens in the Village Festival

Every year on the first weekend of December (Friday and Saturday), Historic Biltmore Village is transformed into a quaint Victorian town for the Old World Dickens in the Village Festival. Visitors to this immersive holiday experience – featuring performances by strolling carolers, actors and musicians dressed in Dickensian era costumes – can enjoy live music, the Mugs of Merriment Hot Chocolate Competition, jugglers, balloon animal makers, and the Montford Park Players performing vignettes from “A Christmas Carol.” Visit  www.historicbiltmorevillage.com for more information.

Montford Holiday Tour of Homes

This annual holiday tour features homes in Asheville’s Montford historic district, exquisitely decorated for the season. An expression of the rich architectural heritage and vitality of Asheville, Montford includes a variety of architectural styles, reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville at the turn of the 20th century. Visit www.montfordtour.com for tickets and more information.

For information about Real Estate in the Asheville area, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Local Shopping Hotspots Abound in Asheville

Asheville Local Gifts

Locally sprung retail spots of all sorts abound in Asheville. From cutting-edge clothing boutiques to eclectic art enclaves to unique gift shops, there are plenty of interesting stores to find quality wares singular to Asheville. Stroll the streets of downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and the River Arts District, and you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities. Following are just a few to choose from:

Art Shopping, Asheville-Style

Capture the creative spirit of the region with a piece crafted by one of myriad artisans who live and work in Western N.C. From paintings and pottery to jewelry and apparel, there’s no shortage of art to perfectly encapsulate Asheville. Places to peruse local art include downtown’s Kress Emporium http://www.thekressemporium.com and Woolworth Walk http://www.woolworthwalk.com, and the Westside Artist Co-op http://westashevilleartists.comin West Asheville.

And of course there’s the River Arts District http://www.riverartsdistrict.com: This once-industrial neighborhood nestled next to the French Broad River is now home to the working studios and galleries of hundreds of artists. From painting and pottery to jewelry, glass, metal and wood, the pieces created and sold in Asheville’s River Arts District are a reflection of the thriving artistic talent Asheville nurtures.

Asheville Boutique ShoppingAsheville Clothing Stores

Boutiques offering men’s and women’s wear line the streets of downtown and Biltmore Village, making it easy to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Shop spots like downtown’s Frock for contemporary and classic designer styles, plus handbags and jewelry https://www.befrocked.com; downtown’s Virtue for boho-chic fashions, plus vintage-inspired accessories and housewares https://www.shopvirtue.com; Old North in downtown for modern and classic men’s and women’s clothing from U.S., European and Japanese makers, created with a focus on timeless appeal https://oldnorthclothing.com; Scout in Biltmore Village for a finely curated assortment of stylish women’s apparel and accessories that fit a broad range of sizes, styles and budgets https://www.scoutavl.com; and Union His & Her in downtown for an ever-evolving inventory of everyday clothing and accessories for men and women https://www.unionasheville.com.

Unique Gifts

Asheville offers a number of gift ideas for that hard-to-impress friend. If you’re looking for a standout surprise this holiday, you won’t be disappointed: think Firecracker Hot Honey at downtown’s Asheville Bee Charmer https://ashevillebeecharmer.com, a custom-made bamboo/organic cotton nightgown from West Asheville’s On the Inside Lingerie http://www.ontheinsidelingerie.com, or Chocolate Sip! Dark Chocolate at downtown’s and River Arts District’s French Broad Chocolates https://www.frenchbroadchocolates.com. 

Asheville Local ShoppingFor the budding folk musician on your list, visit downtown’s Woodrow Instrument Co. for a handcrafted stringed Woodrow Rambler, with a mandolin-like tone, the perfect first instrument (complete with an instructional songbook) http://thewoodrow.com. Funny, cheeky handmade t-shirts for adults and kids – think standout stocking stuffers – are aplenty at downtown’s Moonlight Makers. http://www.moonlightmakers.com. Custom-made leather sandals (along with belts and other leather goods) created to perfectly suit the recipient can be had at Paul Taylor Sandals downtown http://www.paultaylorsandals.com.

Locally brewed beer, cider and kombucha are plentiful in Asheville, and most breweries have limited-edition holiday beers perfectly packaged for gift-giving. For a unique party gift, bestow a pack of locally crafted Holiday Kombucha from Buchi http://www.drinkbuchi.com. Or consider a growler of Appalachian Ginger beer from River Arts District’s Ginger’s Revenge http://www.gingersrevenge.com. For cider lovers, Noble Cider’s Friar Fig complements the season with flavors hinting of the holidays. https://www.noblecider.com

For information on Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190. 

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Vibrant Music Scene Makes Asheville a City of Note

Asheville NC Music City

Music, in its many forms and outlets, permeates the fabric of Asheville, making the city a mecca for performers and fans alike. From recording studios to world-class music venues to festivals featuring local, regional and nationally acclaimed artists, there’s never a shortage of ways to get your groove on; here are just a few.

The Moog Factory

Moog Music synthesizers are designed and handcrafted in the Moog Factory in downtown Asheville. Open to the public, the factory and store offer visitors the opportunity to try out all of the synthesizers, and to take a free factory tour to discover the engineering and artistry behind the famed Moog sound. https://www.moogmusic.com/visitmoog

The Grey Eagle AshevilleAsheville Music Venues

Asheville boasts a range of music venues with an equally impressive range of lineups throughout the year. Intimate and midsized spaces provide for a sound experience that envelops the audience and amps up the atmosphere: Favorites include the Mothlight https://www.themothlight.com, Isis Music Hall https://isisasheville.com, Asheville Music Hall https://ashevillemusichall.com, the Grey Eagle http://www.thegreyeagle.com, Jack of the Wood https://www.jackofthewood.com, Ambrose West https://ambrosewest.com/music/, Asheville Guitar Bar https://www.facebook.com/ashevilleguitarbar/ and Odditorium https://www.ashevilleodditorium.com, to name a few. Larger spaces, both indoor and outdoor, promise a vibrant experience: The Orange Peel https://theorangepeel.net, Salvage Station https://www.salvagestation.com, and the U.S. Cellular Center and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium https://www.uscellularcenterasheville.com fit this bill.

Recording Studios

With all of the area’s emerging and established artists comes the need for recording studios. There are many to choose from; among the offerings are the expansive Echo Mountain Recording (housed in a former church and Asheville’s original Salvation Army building, and offering clients myriad recording possibilities) https://www.echomountain.net; Sound Temple (boasting an intimate, “sacred” vibe within a full-service studio) http://soundtemplestudios.com; and Landslide Studios (known for its live room with 22-foot ceilings) https://www.landslidestudio.com.

Asheville Salvage StationFestivals

Asheville’s festivals and concert series showcase a range of genres appealing to all manner of musical tastes. Some popular fests, many held annually in the spring and summer, include: Biltmore’s Summer Evening Concerts www.biltmore.com, Downtown After 5 https://www.ashevilledowntown.org, LEAF and LEAF Downtown Asheville https://www.theleaf.org, Shindig on the Green https://folkheritage.org, Asheville Amadeus Festival https://ashevillesymphony.org/asheville-amadeus/, and RiverFest https://riverlink.org/get-involved/special-events/riverfest/.

Street music

A stroll through the streets of downtown Asheville is an auditory feast like no other. Most temperate evenings and weekends will bring out musicians of all types, drawing crowds on street corners and in squares. While buskers are independent performers, city regulations over them are fairly light: Rules like allowing room for pedestrians and keeping 40 feet from one another are as stringent as it gets. The result is a rich environment of (free) entertainment. While street performers can’t technically sell CDs or merchandise, they can give them away in exchange for a donation.

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190. 

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Hosting This Season? Take a Holiday From the Stress With These Helpful Tips

Holiday Hosting Tips

Hosting for the holidays can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be! With a little forethought and some pre-planning, your next home gathering can leave your spirit full, not frazzled.

Curtail kitchen labor

No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen while their guests are partying. Having a menu that can be prepped in advance eliminates a lot of the stress surrounding feeding a crowd. Think casseroles, soups, slow-cooker dishes, no-bake desserts and the like that can be assembled ahead of time, and popped in the oven, on the stove, or plugged in on the day of the festivities. Set up a self-serve drink bar, where guests can do their own mixing and pouring. For snacking, most grocers stock pre-cut cheese and meat trays, so all you have to add are crackers for an easy party appetizer, or an afternoon bite for houseguests. Breakfast casseroles that can be made ahead of time and simply baked in the morning mean you’ll be able to ease into the day with your guests.

Hosting and the HolidaysStock up

Load your pantry with kid- and adult-friendly snacks, fill your fruit bowl with healthy grab-and-go items to tide guests over until the next meal, and keep a supply of drinks on hand (depending on how cold it is outside, you can store overflow in a cooler on the back porch). Also, keep kitchen essentials well-stocked: Think baking products, eggs, milk, half and half, coffee and the like. Having such items in healthy supply will eliminate stressful last-minute runs to the store. And don’t forget extra toilet paper, soaps and shampoos for the guest bathroom.

De-clutter

Ahead of your guests’ arrival, move your coats, shoes and bags out of entryway spaces, empty under-bathroom-sink cabinets and closets in guest areas, and clean out the fridge. De-cluttering offers a welcoming space for your guests, one where they can feel relaxed and at home. It can also help them keep track of all the items they’ve brought from home when it comes time to pack up and leave.

Hosting Tips HolidaysSpread the holiday mood

Elegant decorations, festive background music and scented candles can provide a feast for the senses to greet guests upon their arrival. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to suit up your space; doing so not only gives you a chance to thoughtfully plan, but also allows you a moment to soak in the sumptuous surroundings before guests arrive. 

Delegate tasks and take time for yourself

If you’re feeling overwhelmed ahead of hosting a party, don’t be shy about asking family and friends to help. Chances are, you’ve got one or two guests who would be more than happy to arrive a bit early to set out appetizers, or stay after the party to help clean up. Taking a moment before guests arrive to enjoy a cup of tea, a glass of wine, or a short nap will leave you refreshed, relaxed and ready to join in the fun.

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Asheville's Historic Bed and Breakfasts Envelop Visitors in the Past

Reynolds Mansion Asheville B and B

Historic bed and breakfasts abound in Asheville, adding a uniquely enjoyable element to any visit. Immerse yourself in yesteryear with a stay at one of these picturesque Asheville inns.

Reynolds Mansion

Listed on the National Registry for Historic Places, this 1847 inn is one of the area’s few remaining pre-Civil War-era homes. The mansion sits on 4 acres in North Asheville and offers spectacular views near the foot of Reynolds Mountain. Porches and fireplaces abound, offering the ideal environment for relaxation. https://thereynoldsmansion.com

Chestnut Street Inn

This B&B, located within walking distance of downtown, features fine bath amenities, televisions with HBO and Showtime, Wi-Fi access, and high quality linens. Some of the rooms feature hot tubs, comfortable sitting areas, or gas fireplaces with original mantles and hearths. Enjoy afternoon tea and cookies on a beautiful porch. https://www.chestnutstreetinn.com

Asheville Bed and BreakfastsSweet Biscuit Inn

This grand 1915 Colonial Revival home in Asheville’s Kenilworth neighborhood offers seven elegant rooms mixing history with urban sophistication. The inn’s central location means you can be to downtown’s shops, galleries and restaurants, or the Biltmore Estate, in a matter of minutes. https://sweetbiscuitinn.com

Princess Anne Hotel

This historic inn offers the charm of a bed and breakfast with the privacy of a hotel. Stay in one of the hotels 16 rooms, and enjoy afternoon wine & hor d’oeuvres hour, as well as made-to-order breakfasts. The inn offers ticketed specialty dinners throughout the month with local farmers, purveyors and small shop owners, as well as YMCA guest passes, concierge and eucalyptus stress-relieving bath products. https://princessannehotel.com

The Lion and the Rose Bed and Breakfast

This beautifully restored 1898 Queen Anne located in the historic Montford district, just three blocks from downtown Asheville, features five guest rooms – four queen and one king – uniquely furnished with antiques and period appointments. All rooms include a private bath, two course gourmet breakfast, TV/DVD player, luxury soaps and linens, custom robes and free WiFi. https://www.lion-rose.com

Black Walnut Bed & Breakfast Inn 

This magnificent 1899 inn, renovated to retain the home’s historical details, offers eight rooms (including a pet-friendly cottage with kitchenette) with amenities such as hot tubs, fireplaces, wine and afternoon tea, three-course gourmet breakfast, and Koi ponds and gardens. It’s walking distance to downtown, with off-street parking available. https://blackwalnut.com

Asheville Historic Beds and BreakfastBeaufort House Inn

Built in 1894, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Queen Anne Victorian is surrounded by large, beautifully landscaped gardens, and within walking distance of downtown Asheville. Guests enjoy a two-course gourmet breakfast, wine social each evening, Godiva chocolates, and Aveda bath products. https://www.beauforthouse.com

Albermarle Inn

This stunning 1909 Greek Revival mansion in the Grove Park District features nine rooms and two suites brimming with unique and luxurious décor. There are nearly two acres of expansive lawn and gardens surrounding the inn, which is mere minutes to downtown restaurants, galleries and the Biltmore Estate. https://www.albemarleinn.com

Biltmore Village Inn

This Queen Anne Victorian is the closest B&B to the Biltmore Estate and features seven rooms with such amenities as fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, as well as two-course breakfast, evening social hour, and mountain views from its grand porch and pergola. https://www.biltmorevillageinn.com

1889 Whitegate Inn & Cottage

A short distance from downtown, this property features lush gardens, cascading streams and Koi ponds, and a greenhouse conservatory that is home to 1,500 orchids and tropicals. The 11 distinctive guest rooms in the Inn, Carriage House and Bungalow honor distinguished poets. Each guest room is uniquely decorated and features a flat screen TV, DVD player and WiFi. Guests enjoy a three-course breakfast every morning. https://www.whitegate.net

Hill House

This 1885 residence, with an eclectic mix of antique, traditional and unusual furnishings, offers 10 rooms, many with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. An expansive wrap-around porch overlooking the gardens is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring downtown Asheville, less than a mile away. https://www.hillhousebb.com

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Asheville Sets the Stage for Exciting, Engaging Theater

Theater in Asheville NC

Photo-by-Renato-Rotolo 

If you’re a theater lover, Asheville is the perfect place to enjoy an entertaining evening performance. From grand-scale, world-renowned productions to intimate, locally sprung work, there’s an engaging show to suit all manner of tastes and interests.

Asheville Community Theatre

For more than six decades, Asheville Community Theatre has been entertaining audiences, making it the oldest continuously operating theater in Asheville and one of the oldest community theaters in the country. It presents performances on its mainstage as well as at 35below, its intimate black-box performance space. The popular Saturdays at ACT program offers high-quality family theater at affordable ticket prices. http://ashevilletheatre.org

Diana Wortham Theater AshevilleDiana Wortham Theatre

Located in the heart of the Pack Square Cultural District, Diana Wortham Theatre is an intimate 500-seat theatre offering live performances of music, theater and dance throughout the year by nationally touring artists. http://www.dwtheatre.com

The Magnetic Theatre

The Magnetic Theatre, a not-for-profit production company, is the only professional theater in the Southeast dedicated to world premieres, and one of the few in the country that gives original works and the people who make them a home to share with audiences. Almost all of the more than four dozen plays the theater has debuted since 2009 have been written, directed, designed, performed and staffed by Asheville residents. The theater operates year-round out of Magnetic 375 in the River Arts District. http://www.themagnetictheatre.org

NC Stage Company

Founded in 2001, the NC Stage Company prides itself in creating theater that is as consequential as it is entertaining.  The company’s dedication to artistic excellence and exploration includes education programming and community engagement. Productions from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” to “Matt & Ben” promise a varied year-round roster. http://www.ncstage.org

Photo-by-Studio-Misha

Asheville NC TheaterAsheville Contemporary Dance Theatre

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre is a non-profit professional dance company created in 1979. As Western North Carolina’s first professional modern dance company, ACDT is devoted to local and international work, forging collaborations and partnerships between Asheville artists and dance artists from around the world.Most of the shows are created and premiered in ACDT’s cozy and intimate black-box BeBe Theatre. http://www.acdt.org

Photo by Camilla Canan Photography CCP

Flat Rock Playhouse

This theater, located 30 minutes south of Asheville, hosts a range of professional Broadway musicals, comedies and dramas. The 500-seat mainstage auditorium is group friendly, and offers such productions as “The Turn of the Screw,” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and fan favorite “A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas.” https://flatrockplayhouse.org

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Urban Adventures Abound in the Heart of Asheville

Asheville Indoor Rock Climbing

The mountains surrounding Asheville are overflowing with opportunities for outdoor adventures, from hiking to cycling to camping to whitewater rafting. But did you know you don’t have to leave Asheville’s city limits to enjoy an afternoon of outdoor thrills? Urban adventures abound; here are a few favorites to try next time you’re looking for a little local excitement.

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park

Featuring 60 unique climbing, flying, walking, jumping, swinging and rappelling challenges anchored to more than 30 trees and poles, this park (just minutes from downtown Asheville in the Adventure Center of Asheville) has five different trails with various obstacles and challenge levels – think a jungle gym for all ages. Challenges include a flying kayak, snowboard and swinging hula hoops. https://www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/asheville-treetops-adventure-park

Asheville Bike ParkKolo Bike Park

Located in West Asheville, right off I-240, is Kolo Bike Park, part of the Adventure Center of Asheville. Here you’ll find four miles of mountain bike trails featuring a hand-built singletrack surrounded by wooded terrain, a machine-built flow trail with dirt berms and rollers, two pump tracks for beginners and advanced riders, wooden balance features and bridges, a dirt jump area with a range of jump levels, and a 180-degree wood berm. All the trails are designed for various rider levels, from beginner to expert. https://www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/kolo-bike-park

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

For some in-town climbing, head to Climbmax (with two locations, downtown and by the French Broad River in West Asheville). The downtown location (which is great for children as well as adults) features expansive bouldering terrain, as well as a 40-foot outdoor climbing wall. The Smoky Mountain Adventure Center location on Amboy Road features extensive top rope and lead climbing, with six auto-belays for indoor use. It also offers a 44-foot outdoor wall, MoonBoard and fitness equipment. https://www.climbmaxnc.com

Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures and KidZip

This convenient zipline canopy tour, amid white and red oaks on a 124-acre resort, affords views of downtown Asheville set against a majestic mountain backdrop. The full canopy tour includes 11 ziplines in nine treetop platforms and several large adventure towers, as well as three sky bridges. The express tour includes seven ziplines and one sky bridge. https://ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/asheville-zipline-canopy-adventure/about-asheville-zipline-canopy-adventures

In addition, kids ages 4-10 can enjoy KidZip (either self-guided for older kids, or with an adult escort for younger kids), which includes nine ziplines and four climbing elements, with ziplines ranging in length from 50 to 250 feet. https://www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/kidzip

River Tubing Near AshevilleFrench Broad River activities

The French Broad River flows through the heart of Asheville, which means you can enjoy a range of floating fun without leaving town. Among the offerings:

·       Stand-up paddleboarding – Wai Mauna offers paddleboard rentals, which include a free lesson (and complimentary footwear!), as well as guided tours where you can learn about Asheville’s history. https://www.waimaunaashevillesuptours.com

·       Tubing – This laidback way to see Asheville from the water involves putting in at one of the many points along the French Broad, then floating through forests and past riverside breweries, bars and restaurants. Popular starting points include Hominy Creek River Park, Carrier Park and Jean Webb River Park. Many businesses along the river encourage tubers to disembark for a drink or meal: Grab a bite at White Duck Taco or 12 Bones, or a brew from New Belgium Brewery or the Bywater. Tube rentals are plentiful (check out Asheville Outdoor Center or Zen Tubing for starters).

·       Flat-water canoeing or kayaking – To travel via canoe or kayak, there’s a popular seven-mile river trip that runs through Asheville, passing through the Biltmore Estate. Put-in is at Bent Creek River and picnic area (near the N.C. Arboretum), and take-out is at Hominy Creek River and picnic park. The Asheville Outdoor Center offers shuttles.

To learn about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Asheville Community Centers Offer Outlets for Entertainment, Information and Social Support

Asheville Community Centers

Community centers form the heart of a neighborhood, and Asheville is brimming with a variety of them. From spaces where folks can gather for games, camaraderie and social support, to meeting places equipped to handle a crowd, Asheville offers a range of community centers for young and old.

Asheville Jewish Community Center

The Asheville JCC celebrates Jewish culture and builds community through a wide variety of programs open to all regardless of background, religion, belief or age. An annual membership affords access to childcare, summer camps, most aquatics programs and other activities. 236 Charlotte St. https://www.jcc-asheville.org

West Asheville Community CenterKairos West Community Center

Kairos West, located in West Asheville, is a space for community building and empowerment through art and social service. The space is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and available for groups to use free of charge for community-building events and meetings. Also located in the building is 12 Baskets Café, offering free meals and community building to everyone. 610 Haywood Road. https://kairoswest.wordpress.com

Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center

Located in central Asheville and named for a prominent leader in Asheville’s African American community during the time of the Civil Rights movement and the period of Asheville’s urban renewal in the 1960s and 1970s, the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center is home to a variety of creative programs for all ages. The center features classrooms and an auditorium with a stage, and uses a geothermal HVAC system, and sports skylights and a living roof. 285 Livingston Street Park. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-grant-SR-southside-center/129319413837629

Asheville Community Yoga

Asheville Community Yoga is a nonprofit center for individual and community transformation offering donation-based yoga, Qigong, mindfulness-based programs, meditation, workshops, introductory immersions, teacher trainings, continuing education, yoga in Spanish, and yoga for seniors and kids. All classes, workshops and events at the center are free for people who cannot afford to pay. For people who are able to pay, the suggested “Love Offering” amount is $5 to $15 for regular classes and $15+ for special events and workshops. 8 Brookdale Road. https://ashevillecommunityyoga.com

Community Centers Asheville NCWoodfin Community Center

The Woodfin Community Center, located in quiet Woodfin, contains a full kitchen, a small stage, seating and tables for more than 200 guests as well as restroom facilities. The center is available for rent by the day. 23 Community St. https://www.woodfin-nc.gov

Burton Street Community Center

The Burton Street Community Center features an auditorium, game room, billiard room, arts and crafts room, a computer lab, a weight room and a kitchen. The park surrounding the center features two basketball courts, a playground and a play field. 134 Burton St.

To learn about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Asheville Activities Deliver Big Fun for Little Ones

Asheville NC Kids Activities

Asheville’s popularity as a kid-friendly town has made it the go-to spot for families to visit, and to live. Even the youngest set can get in on the Asheville action, with a variety of activities available for year-round fun. Here are a few favorites.

Splasheville

The City of Asheville’s free interactive splash play fountain in downtown’s Pack Square Park delights children with its 21 jets of water that run in 12 combinations. The fountain usually operates from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week from April through September. https://www.ashevillenc.gov/service/find-a-pool-or-splashville-information/

Asheville Children's ActivitiesBiltmore Estate

A visit to George Vanderbilt's 250-room chateau, gardens and farm offers many fun and educational activities for children of all ages. Guided tours of the house specially suited to children are available. In addition, the gardens – with expansive stretches of lawns to run through – often incorporate displays to wow even the youngest visitors. Antler Hill Village & Winery offers a playground, live music, a Creamery, and kid-friendly dining options. The Farm in Antler Hill Village gives children the opportunity to interact with farmyard animals including chickens, goats, horses and sheep. Kids can also explore and climb on antique tractors and wagons, play with toys and games from the 1800s, participate in fun daily crafts like churning butter or making a basket, and see demonstrations by a blacksmith, woodworker, beekeeper, and others. Children 9 and under are free with a paying adult. Visit https://www.biltmore.com for hours and admission.

Botanical Gardens at Asheville

The Botanical Gardens at Asheville is a 10-acre independent, non-profit botanical garden adjacent to UNC-Asheville. The garden, which is free to visit, offers children ages 4 to 10 five “Investigation Passports,” which focus on animals, birds, insects, nature words, and plants. Each free Investigation Passport encourages kids to use their observation skills and senses while exploring the Gardens. The passports include investigation tips, pre-investigation and observation activities, and a fun take-home activity. Upon completion of the garden activities, kids can get their passports stamped at the visitor’s center. https://ashevillebotanicalgardens.org

Cradle of Forestry and Forest Discovery Center

The 6,500-acre Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site in Pisgah National Forest was home to the first forestry school in the country, the Biltmore Forest School, founded in 1898. Highlights include the 1.3-mile Forest Festival Trail, which features an ozone garden, antique portable sawmill, and 1914 Climax locomotive (which kids can climb aboard); and the 1-mile Biltmore Campus Trail, which winds through the Biltmore Forest School’s rustic campus. A one-room schoolhouse, general store, cabins, blacksmith shop, and garden provide opportunities to glimpse the lives of the first American forestry students and the families who lived there. The Forest Discovery Center features educational films, 15 hands-on exhibits, children’s games, a fire-fighting helicopter simulator, an “underground” forest floor tunnel, nature-based scavenger hunts, a gift shop and café. The Cradle of Forestry also offers The Adventure Zone, a collective of hands-on indoor and outdoor activities designed to help children and adults with autism become active in the outdoors and gain a better understanding about the natural world. Visit https://cradleofforestry.com for hours and admission.

The Asheville Museum of Science 

Western North Carolina’s home for experiential science learning, discovery and exploration, AMOS strives to spark the imagination and foster lifelong curiosity. Among its features are the Colburn Hall of Minerals, the STEM lab, an interactive panorama screen, Teratophoneus dinosaur skeleton and fossil dig, Southern Appalachian Forest tree climb, Terrabox elevation simulator, Toddler Nest, fun temporary exhibits, and a museum store. The museum’s newest addition is its French Broad River water table, which teaches children how human actions affect the health of the area’s river ecosystem. Visit https://ashevillescience.org for hours and admission.

Asheville NC Kids ActivitiesThe WNC Nature Center

This 42-acre zoological park aims to foster stewardship among both young and old of Western North Carolina’s native wildlife and habitats. The center is home to more than 60 species of wild and domestic animals – including otters, black bears, wolves and a cougar – and hundreds of species of plants, all representative of the Southern Appalachians. The center also hosts kid-friendly events throughout the year. Visit https://wildwnc.org for hours and admission.

KidZip

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park features KidZip, a zipline destination geared to children ages 4-10. KidZip – either self-guided for older kids, or with an adult escort for younger kids – includes nine ziplines and four climbing elements, with ziplines ranging in length from 50 to 250 feet. Visit https://www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/kidzip to reserve tickets.

Mountain Play Lodge

This indoor play and party center – perfect for a rainy day – offers play equipment for even the tiniest tots, including a miniature “Asheville” to explore, a giant three-part jungle gym, soft play items to climb on, over and under, all on padded flooring and within the safety of play floor gating. https://www.mountainplaylodge.com

To learn about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Plentiful Neighborhood Parks Are Perk of Living in Asheville

Asheville Neighborhoods Near Parks

When beginning your home search in Asheville, nearby amenities are often a deciding factor. Parks – many boasting greenways, large playgrounds, ball fields, even a velodrome – are plentiful in the area, meaning there’s likely one within walking distance of (or a short drive from) your dream home. Here are some of Asheville’s most popular parks, and their nearby neighborhoods.

Asheville ParksFrench Broad River and Carrier Parks

These two greenway-connected parks bordering a densely populated portion of West Asheville are popular destinations, and it’s easy to see why. French Broad River Park (508 Riverview Dr.) features a vast area of open green space with old trees, a wildflower garden, gazebo, picnic tables and grills, a dog park, an observation deck and a small playground. Carrier Park (220 Amboy Rd.) is one of Asheville's premier parks, built at a former racetrack that now serves as a velodrome for cycling. The infield has volleyball courts, playground, roller-hockey rink and basketball court. The greenway also runs past a lawn bowling court, multi-use sports field for baseball and soccer, picnic pavilion, river overlooks and wetland interpretive trails. 

West Asheville Park

This popular neighborhood park off of Vermont Avenue Extension is home to a Little League baseball field, concessions and restrooms. It also boasts a playground and picnic shelter on its 8.6 acres. Rhododendron Creek runs through the park grounds. 11 Vermont Ave. Ext.

Asheville Parks Bent CreekBent Creek Community Park

A popular Bent Creek neighborhood gathering spot is the 20-acre Bent Creek Community Park, which features wide open areas and a covered pavilion for events, full basketball court, community garden, large playground, sandbox, paved roller area, bicycle pump track, trails, volleyball, playing fields and more. 125 Idlewood Dr.

Weaver Park

Located off Merrimon Avenue in the Norwood Park neighborhood of North Asheville, the 6.6-acre Weaver Park features a lighted ballfield, basketball court, tennis courts, a concession stand and a picnic shelter. There is paved off-street parking, a short trail, and restrooms. 200 Murdock Ave.

Azalea Park

Located in East Asheville along the Swannanoa River, not far from the neighborhood of Beverly Hills, sits Azalea Park. The park features the John B. Lewis Soccer Complex, a large, shaded playground, a dog park, restrooms and concessions. 498 Azalea Rd.

Kenilworth Park

Located in the heart of Asheville’s Kenilworth neighborhood, the 3-acre Kenilworth Park features basketball courts, ballfields, tennis courts, a picnic area with grills, a playground and restrooms. 79 Wyoming Rd.

Richmond Hill Park

Richmond Hill Park, not far from the Emma neighborhood in West Asheville, boasts 183 forest-filled acres, making it Asheville’s largest wooded city park. There are a wide variety of activities available, including disc golf, mountain biking, hiking, jogging, dog-walking and bird-watching. The disc golf course, considered one of the most challenging woods courses in the country, is 18 holes and 6,093 feet long. 280 Richmond Hill Dr. 

Aston Park and Tennis Center

This park, located close to the residential neighborhoods that line the southern border of downtown Asheville, features one of the top public clay court facilities in the country, with 12 lighted courts available for use. A small playground and rolling green hills surround the center. 336 Hilliard Ave.

Overlooking Malvern Hills Park and PoolMalvern Hills Park

The outdoor seasonal pool is the big draw of this popular park, which is surrounded by a tight-knit community in West Asheville. The park also features a bathhouse, restrooms, concession area, lighted tennis courts, playground, walking trail and a picnic shelter with grills. 75 Rumbough Pl.

Murphy-Oakley Park

This 7.7-acre park is extremely convenient to surrounding East Asheville neighborhoods and includes a lighted ballfield, three tennis courts, a playground, a picnic shelter, a concession and restrooms. 715 Fairview Rd.

Martin Luther King Jr. Park

This 3.4-acre park, walking distance to many neighborhoods lining South Charlotte Street near downtown, features a lighted ballfield with scoreboard, concession stand, fitness court, picnic tables, playground, restrooms, open shelter, memorial statue, courtyard and grills. 50 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

For more information on homes near these parks, or anywhere in the Asheville area, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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