Family Entertainment

Pete Seeger sings in an Appalachian holiday music manner

This holiday season, ring in an Appalachian Christmas.

Christmas is a special time of year no matter where you are, but there seems to be something a little bit different about an Appalachian Christmas. Maybe it’s because many of the old traditions are still alive in these mountains. Perhaps it’s because snow falls infrequently enough in the South that when it does cover the ground on Christmas Eve, it feels especially magical to young and old alike.

A Fairy Tale Setting

It’s that time of year again.

Believe it or not, the first corn maze in the U.S. was built in Annville, PA, just east of Harrisburg, in 1993. So the practice of creating an elaborate maze through a cornfield isn’t exactly an ancient Appalachian tradition. Early mountain settlers didn’t dig up their crops to create crazy shapes in their gardens to get lost or to hide from native aggressors. Corn was a valuable foodstuff to the settlers. Recreation always came second to eating. Just like today.

Blockhouse Steeplechase in Tryon Ladies and gentlemen, grab your hats and get out your wallets. Tickets went on sale February 15 for the 69th Block House Steeplechase. The event, to be held on May 2, 2015, is a highly anticipated tradition every year as horse lovers, party-lovers and generally fanatical outdoor enthusiasts who love to dress up gather in the North Carolina Foothills for a big horse race.

Easter activities are beginning to show up on area calendars as the snow in the higher elevations melts and the spring clothes come out of the attic. Easter is a special time of year for Christians who honor the resurrection of Jesus as a signal of new life.

Americans of all religious leanings enjoy the holiday as a sign of new growth, budding opportunities and renewal. Children like Easter for the mythical bunny who brings them baskets of chocolate and painted Easter eggs. In the Easter tradition, adults hide colored eggs for children to hunt down.

Today, families continue the tradition of Family Game Night, but with a whole new array of choices to entertain and to teach. Some of the activities are inspired by the past while others are brand new. All involve the whole family. Perhaps some of these will inspire you to start your own family tradition.
Nearly everyone will recognize The Hunger Games movie but so many other movies were filmed in here in the Southern Appalachians. Here are a few of them!

Although you may have visited the Arboretum in Spring, Summer and Autumn, you have never seen the Arboretum like you will during this Christmas season!

Abundant Giving

Appalachian towns feed the homeless during the holidays

Appalachian culture historically leads families to be fatalistic, often expecting the worse from big business, politicians and newcomers. But tempering that negative mindset are some of the biggest hearts in the country. The people of Appalachia are neighborly, hospitable, modest and brave. They are resourceful and have a sense of humor. They love the land and their country.

Looking for somewhere fun and unique to take the kids this fall? Enjoy a scenic ride through the majestic mountains of Western North Carolina and visit the Tweetsie Railroad theme park.