Thursday, July 31, 2014

biltmore house

Ever since he found out that we were moving to North Carolina, Nicholas has been obsessed with the Biltmore House.  Then he read the book, The Mystery of Biltmore House, and started asking non-stop to make a trip to Asheville.  We were able to surprise the kids with a visit to the Biltmore Estate after picking up Christopher and Nicholas from a week at a nearby camp.
biltmore house and kids
The Biltmore House was the brainchild of George Vanderbilt, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt.  Construction began in 1889 and it officially opened to family and friends in 1895.  The house includes 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces making it the largest undertaking in residential architecture in the United States.  At over 135,000 square feet, the Biltmore House can hold nearly three of the White House.

biltmore house
While pictures were not permitted inside the house, they were allowed outside, including the amazing views from the back balcony.  The big kids loved the self-guided tour of the house though next time we'll opt for the audio version for an even more comprehensive tour.

all the kids
How we get around:  Ellie enjoying her ride in the stroller and Ben and Lexie enjoying their rides on Christopher and Nicholas.

Amazing architecture.  The picture on the left is the Grand Staircase while the right is the front of the house taken from the gardens.

The Biltmore Estate has acres of gardens and several miles of paths so that visitors can enjoy them.  We only made it to the Italian Garden but we'll definitely make time for the other gardens on our next trip.

The kids loved the koi ponds in the Italian Garden.

happy to be along for the ride
While Biltmore Estate is stroller friendly, there are quite a few sets of stairs to navigate.  Ellie thought bouncing up the stairs was hilarious.

views for days
Amazing views.

Amazing architecture.

big kids
Sweet faces.

amazing grounds
The grounds of the Biltmore Estate are magnificent.  Everywhere you turn, you're met with something new, but equally beautiful to enjoy.

lexie and the sunflowers
Silly girl with the ginormous flowers

sunflowers for miles
The sunflowers were in bloom while we were there; the fields seemed to go on for days.....

wine tasting
Biltmore Estate is also well-known for their winery, so we made sure to check it out.  The adults enjoyed the wine tasting (as evidenced by the empty glasses) and the kids liked their grape juice. 

christopher grape stomp
We learned how wine is made and the kids were able to participate in the Grape Stomp.

grape stomp
Once they got out of the grapes they were able to make a keepsake grape footprint.

grape stomping
The grape stomping reminded me of the episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy stomps grapes and wrestles with an Italian woman who also works there.

baby chicks
The Biltmore Estate also has a petting zoo with lots of fun animals.  The kids were excited to hold these baby chickens.

After the petting zoo, we made our way back to the car since the kids were tired and everyone was hungry!  We stopped by the White Duck Taco Shop for a quick (and delicious!) dinner before heading home.  We had a wonderful day at the Biltmore Estate and I know we'll be back again- next time the kids all want to see it decorated for Christmas!


  1. I didn't know this place was good for kids! Awesome! This post was so helpful! What a beautiful place! Also, I love seeing all the fun things you guys do as a family with 5 kids. Definitely inspiring!

    1. Definitely fun for the whole family! If you buy your tickets online 7+ days in advance you get a discount and in the summer, kids of all ages are free (9 and under are free all year)! I really want to go back in Oct for all the fall color and in Dec to see the Christmas decorations.


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