Homes for the Holidays

The Christmas spirit burns bright on these seasonal tours

By Karen Olson House

Homes for the Holidays

Holiday home tours are a gracious tradition. They are a rare opportunity to see merrily decorated interiors of beautiful homes, sparking inspiration for ways to adorn your own halls and walls. Here is a small sampling of the many tours planned across North Carolina. You can search for more home tours in our events calendar and at visitnc.com

Mountains

Shelby, Fallston

Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Held in two areas, the tour celebrates the homeowners’ individual styles. Most homes are in Shelby, with several lake houses open for tours. Lunch is available for $5 at the Cleveland County Arts Council in Shelby from 11-1 p.m. Buy tour tickets for $15 at the Council at 111 S. Washington St. Info: 704-484-2787 or ccartscouncil.org

North Wilkesboro

Sunday, Dec. 4, 4–7 p.m

Several private homes will be open, and Benton Hall on 300 D. St. will offer refreshments and music from 6–8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at select sites and online through Dec. 3 at downtownnorthwilkesboro.com. Info: 336-667-7129, ext. 3021

Asheville

Saturday, Dec. 10, 1–5 p.m.

The tour showcases a range of styles in Montford, just north of downtown Asheville. You’ll see eclectic architecture lovingly restored or carefully constructed to reflect the neighborhood’s history. Buy tickets for $25 (cash or check only) at the Asheville Visitors Center Gift Shop, 36 Montford Avenue, from December 1-10. Info: 828-258-6101 or montfordtour.com

Piedmont

Charlotte

Friday & Saturday, Dec. 2 & 3, 5–9 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 4, 1–5 p.m.

Held in the historic Fourth Ward, the tour includes a variety of private homes. Throughout the weekend, choirs and hand bell ensembles will perform and tour guests can enjoy complimentary carriage rides and food, beer and cocktail samplings (while they last). Buy tickets for $30 online until noon on Dec. 2, or at select sites. Children who cannot be carried must have a ticket. Info: fofw.org

Wake Forest

Saturday, Dec. 3, 1–7 p.m.

Offered every other year, this tour highlights a mix of handsome homes and other properties in the historic district. Advance tickets $18; and $24 day of tour. Buy them online or at select sites, including the tour’s headquarters, the Wake Forest Historical Museum at 414 N. Main St. Info: 919-435-9516 or bit.ly/ChristmasinWF

Apex

Sunday, Dec 4, 1–5 p.m.

Restored homes, plus the town’s historic train depot, are among site locations. Refreshments will be served at the Maynard-Pearson House at 1101 Olive Chapel Rd. Buy tickets at several sites, including the Apex Chamber of Commerce at 220 N. Salem St. Advance tickets are $10 per adult, $5 ages 12 and under; and $12 per adult, $5 ages 12 and under day of tour. Either way, “babes-in-arms” are admitted free. Info: (800) 345-4504 or apexhistoricalsociety.com. Day of tour: 919-924-8146

Coast

Enfield

Sat., Dec. 3, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enfield’s rich history will be showcased at several sites, including a 19th century plantation complex. Tour tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors). Buy advance tickets online or at select locations. The day of the tour, purchase tickets at the Historic Episcopal Church of the Advent at 200 Batchelor Ave. (where an artisan fair is being held the same day and times of the tour). Info: 252-445-1031, 252-445-2234, or derpserves.org

Wilmington

Saturday, Dec. 3, 4–8 p.m. | Sunday, Dec. 4, 1–5 p.m.

A selection of private homes, churches and historical sites downtown that differ each year. Buy tickets for $30 online at the website below or at select sites, including the Latimer House at 126 South Third St. Info: 910-762-0492 or lcfhs.org

Edenton

Friday & Saturday, Dec. 9–10, 4–8 p.m.

Homes in Edenton’s 300-years-plus historic district are featured in this Dickens-themed tour that includes free horse-drawn carriage rides. (The town is also holding many free Dickens-style events in December, including a Christmas parade Dec. 10 at 10 a.m.) Advance tickets are $30, $35 the days of the tour; children under 12 are admitted free. Info: Buy tickets at the Penelope Barker House at 505 South Broad St. or by calling 252-482-7800 or online at ehcnc.org.

About the Author

Karen Olson House is a contributing editor for Carolina Country.

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