Before visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains, check out these fun things to do in Asheville NC with kids!
Asheville, North Carolina is an exciting and vibrant city filled with so many different activities and attractions for families with kids. With that being said, I want to be completely transparent. There is a growing concern of homelessness in the area. Please be aware of your surroundings when visiting the area.
From outdoor adventures to educational opportunities, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Whether you are visiting for a weekend or looking for a staycation, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Asheville.
From splashing around in the local water parks to exploring the vibrant downtown area, Asheville is a great place to plan a family vacation.
If you and your kids enjoy outdoor activities, there are so many options from zip-lining and rafting through the Blue Ridge Mountains to hiking and visiting historic landmarks.
Indoor activities are abundant too! From local museums to delicious restaurants and shopping, there are tons of ways to keep the kids entertained.
Asheville is the perfect destination for a family vacation or a day trip! Keep reading to discover some of the best things to do with kids in this charming North Carolina city.
45 Things To Do in Asheville NC With Kids
1. Visit the Biltmore Estate
Explore the 8,000-acre estate, home of America’s largest private home, and take a guided tour of the 250-room mansion. Enjoy their beautiful botanical gardens and don’t miss the petting zoo and children’s area.
Kids can explore the estate on horseback, go fishing in the streams, explore the gardens, and take a guided tour of the historic Biltmore House. There are also several kid-friendly activities like scavenger hunts, craft classes, and a petting farm.
Biltmore offers special events like a Halloween celebration, Christmas at Biltmore, and the Summer Concert Series.
2. Take a Ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Enjoy a scenic ride through the mountains, with a variety of experiences available for the kids to enjoy, like a wildflower tour and a barbecue dinner. The historic steam locomotive, which travels through the scenic Nantahala Gorge, is one way for kids to explore the Great Smoky Mountains.
The kids can also watch movies, take part in educational programs, and listen to live music.
The mountains allow kids to explore the diverse wildlife, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful forests. Clearly, this experience is a must on the list of things to do in Asheville NC with kids.
3. Have Fun at the WNC Nature Center
At the WNC Nature Center, kids can explore the outdoors, take part in educational programs, enjoy nature trails, and visit wildlife exhibits. They can also experience hands-on activities that teach them about the ecology of the region, participate in service projects, and explore the native plants and animals of the area.
The Western North Carolina Nature Center also offers special events and programs for children, including summer camps, nature walks, and field trips.
4. Explore the Asheville Pinball Museum
The Asheville Pinball Museum is a museum dedicated to the history and preservation of pinball machines from the 1930s to the present day. Children of all ages can explore the museum’s collection of over 40 machines, learn about the history of pinball, and play classic pinball games.
The museum also offers special events like tournaments and workshops, where kids can learn how to repair and maintain pinball machines.
The Asheville Pinball Museum also hosts birthday parties and other special events, making it a great place for kids to learn about pinball and have some fun.
5. Check Out the Asheville Museum of Science
At the Asheville Museum of Science, kids can explore exhibits and activities related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The kids can participate in programs like planetarium shows, live animal encounters, an outdoor science park, and interactive science labs. The museum also offers workshops, classes, and special events for children of all ages.
6. Go Gem Mining at the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine
At the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine, kids can choose from a variety of exciting activities. They can search for gems, minerals, and fossils in the sluice boxes, pan for gold in the creek, and take home their finds.
They can also explore the on-site museum, where they can learn about the area’s history and the different types of rocks and minerals they may find.
Other activities include gemstone painting, gemstone identification, and gemstone polishing. There is also a gift shop where kids can buy souvenirs and take home a special piece of their experience.
Just a short drive to Hendersonville, this experience was a must on the list of things to do in Asheville NC with kids.
7. See the YMI Cultural Center
Take in the exhibits at this museum and cultural center dedicated to the preservation of African-American culture and heritage. Kids can participate in sports, games, music and art classes, as well as attend special events and workshops.
The center also hosts summer camps and offers educational and cultural enrichment activities. Kids can explore their creative side, learn new skills, and gain a better appreciation and understanding of their community.
8. Explore the Asheville Tourists Baseball Park
Enjoy a baseball game or take part in one of their many family-friendly activities, like fireworks displays, mascot appearances, and post-game autograph sessions.
On game days, kids can watch a professional baseball game, take part in fan experiences like batting practice, and participate in special activities like running the bases and playing catch on the field.
Kids can also take part in special family-friendly activities, like face painting, scavenger hunts, and more. The Park also offers a Kid’s Zone with inflatable games, obstacle courses, and a playground.
9. Have Fun at the Asheville Treetops Adventure Park
Activities at this adventure park include zip-lining, rope courses, rock climbing, and a giant swing. Kids can also explore the park’s nature trails and take part in outdoor games and crafts. Or scale the climbing wall and bounce on a bungee trampoline.
The park is a great place for kids to get moving, have fun, and learn about the outdoors. If looking for things to do in Asheville NC with kids, this is a wonderful experience for your active family.
10. Take a Hike at the Pisgah National Forest
Explore the mountain trails, enjoy the views, and take part in activities like fishing, camping, and horseback riding.
At the Pisgah National Forest, kids can explore miles of hiking trails, go fishing in the streams, bike on designated trails, camp in the backcountry, so the sliding rock, view wildlife and wildflowers, and swim in the river.
The forest also has fun ranger-led activities and programs, including nature walks, bird watching, and wildlife-viewing opportunities. Plus, there are several picnic areas and observation decks with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Personally, I would love to have this be number 1 on the list of things to do in Asheville NC with kids. We explore here often and have a blast!
11. The Health Adventure
An interactive science museum, with hands-on exhibits, educational programming, and an outdoor playground. The museum offers hands-on, educational exhibits and activities that are designed to inform and inspire children to make healthy choices.
Kids can explore interactive exhibits about nutrition, physical activity, dental health, safety, and more. They can also participate in interactive programs and workshops, explore a replica of the human body, and take part in activities like scavenger hunts and field trips.
The Health Adventure also has special events and programming throughout the year.
12. Have Fun at the Lake Julian Park
Enjoy a day at the lake, swim, fish, or rent a boat. The Lake Julian Park is a popular destination for children of all ages.
Kids can enjoy lots of different activities like fishing, walking along the trails, playing on the playgrounds, picnicking, and paddling around the lake in canoes or kayaks.
The park also has a playground, disc golf, and various sports fields and courts. Plus, the park offers educational programs and nature walks, giving kids the opportunity to learn more about the local environment.
13. Visit the Asheville Children’s Museum
This museum, located in Hendersonville, is dedicated to the education of children, with interactive exhibits, special events, and educational programming. It has a variety of hands-on activities and experiences specifically for children.
Kids can explore interactive exhibits, participate in creative art projects, explore the museum’s outdoor nature playscape, and enjoy the museum’s many special programs and events.
14. Adventure Through Lake Powhatan Recreation Area
Lake Powhatan Recreation Area is a popular recreational destination located in the Pisgah National Forest in Asheville, North Carolina. It offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and camping. The lake is surrounded by trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, making it a perfect spot to explore the outdoors.
The lake also features a beach area with a picnic shelter, grills, and a boat launch. Other amenities include restrooms, showers, and a playground. Visitors can also take advantage of the nearby Davidson River for fishing, as well as the nearby town of Brevard for shopping and dining.
15. Visit the Colburn Earth Science Museum
Kids can explore 12 different interactive exhibits focusing on earth science topics like minerals, fossils, rocks, local geology, and more. Kids can also participate in activities like gem panning, rock collecting, and fossil digging.
The museum has a variety of special programs including family-friendly activities, field trips, and summer camps. Plus, kids can explore the Colburn Earth Science Park outside of the museum which has a variety of natural attractions like a rock garden and a geologic timeline.
16. Visit the Cataloochee Ski Resort
The Cataloochee Ski Resort has great activities for kids of all ages. Kids can enjoy skiing and snowboarding down the slopes, snow tubing, and snowshoeing.
There is also a dedicated Kids Zone for children, which has a mini terrain park, a mini terrain course, and a mini snowboard park.
Kids can also get some experience at the Ski & Snowboard School, where they can learn how to ski and snowboard and improve their skills. Plus, the resort offers activities like ice skating and snowmobiling and a variety of dining and entertainment options.
17. Visit the North Carolina Arboretum
Families can explore the garden trails, learn about the native plants, visit the Bonsai Exhibit, explore the wildflower meadow, and enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Education Center. They can also attend special events like campfire stories, nature workshops, and more.
There are also seasonal activities like maple syruping, monarch tagging, and birding. Kids will also have the chance to explore the natural world with hands-on activities like scavenger hunts, pond dipping, and nature crafts.
18. Have Fun at the Asheville Fun Depot
The Fun Depot has a variety of activities for kids of all ages. Some of the activities include a laser tag arena, a three-story go-kart track, a rock climbing wall, a two-level laser maze, an arcade with over 50 games, a climbing structure, a mini bowling alley, a bumper car rink, and a small roller coaster.
They have food options too, including a pizza buffet, a full-service cafeteria, and an ice cream parlor.
Let’s keep it real…Fun Depot is a great addition to the things to do in Asheville NC with kids!
19. Go Shopping at the Asheville Outlets
Kids can enjoy a variety of activities at The Asheville Outlets. They can browse the shops for the latest trends. There are also a variety of restaurants that offer kid-friendly menus.
The outdoor area of The Asheville Outlets is a great place for kids to explore and play, including a children’s play area with a interactive games. The Asheville Outlets also host special events throughout the year, like kids’ days, live music, and more.
20. Take a Tour of Grovewood Village
This unique destination offers a variety of experiences for kids of all ages. Kids can explore the grounds of the historic estate, take a tour of the weaving studio and antique car museum, create their own art in the sculpture courtyard, and enjoy the beautiful nature trails.
The village also hosts a variety of educational programs, special events, and festivals throughout the year, like the Kids’ Art Festival and the Family Nature Festival.
Kids can also explore the Village Green, which features a children’s play area, a petting zoo, and a mini-golf course.
21. Go tubing or kayaking on the French Broad River
Kids can enjoy tubing or kayaking on the French Broad River to experience the beauty of the river. Tubing with a life jacket and drifting down the river, playing in the gentle rapids, and taking in the scenery is tons of fun for the family. Kayaking is a great way for kids to explore the river and its wildlife as well.
With a kayak and life jacket, kids can paddle around the river, exploring the coves, watching the wildlife, and experiencing the thrill of the rapids.
22. Take a Tour of the Asheville Urban Trail
Your family can explore the city on foot and see 30 stops to learn about its history, culture, and architecture. Along the way, you can visit monuments, parks, and other points of interest, like the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and the Grove Arcade.
There are also interactive elements, like a scavenger hunt and an audio tour, so kids can have a fun, educational experience.
23. Explore the Botanical Gardens at Asheville
Wander through the gardens and take part in family-friendly activities like scavenger hunts and story time.
Kids can learn about the different plants and flowers, and how they are used in landscaping and gardening. You can also visit the butterfly house and learn about the different species of butterflies.
Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, plus educational programs and classes.
24. Take a Tour of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Explore the historic home of the author and take part in a variety of activities like guided tours, book readings, and a museum. Kids can learn about the life and works of the author Thomas Wolfe and his connection to Asheville.
Guided tours of Wolfe’s childhood home are also available. Learn about the city’s literary and artistic history, and take part in educational programs. Kids can also take part in fun activities like scavenger hunts, costume contests, and hands-on activities.
25. Check Out the Chimney Rock State Park
Take a ride on the elevator to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view. Go on a guided tour of the park, and check out the butterfly garden and the Great Woodland Adventure.
You can explore the park’s many hiking trails, including the 1,800-foot Hickory Nut Falls Trail. Kids can play in the park’s Adventure Playground, which is a wooden fort with bridges, slides, and swings.
Kids can also take a guided tour of the park and learn about local flora and fauna.
26. Take in a Show at Diana Wortham Theatre
At Diana Wortham Theatre, kids can enjoy a variety of performances, including live theater, music, dance, and special events. They can participate in educational programs and workshops, like the Summer Arts Academy, which allows children to explore the arts through fun, engaging activities.
Kids can also attend family-friendly movie screenings, and attend special family events like Magic Mondays, where magicians perform for the entire family. Plus, kids can take part in interactive exhibits, like the Little Builders series, which focuses on engineering and building.
27. Explore Catawba Falls
Explore Catawba Falls is a great outdoor destination for kids! The park has a variety of activities, including hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, picnicking, and a playground. Kids can explore the waterfall and the surrounding forest, or take part in a ranger-led program.
Kids can also get creative with nature crafts, play games, and participate in special events. The park offers free educational programs throughout the year, ranging from topics like geology, astronomy, and ecology.
28. Visit the Asheville Art Museum
At the Asheville Art Museum, kids can explore many activities and educational opportunities, including art classes, workshops, and special events.
The museum also offers interactive exhibits and family-friendly programs like scavenger hunts, art-making activities, and storytelling performances. Plus, the museum has a dedicated children’s gallery featuring hands-on exhibits and art-making activities.
29. Visit the Western North Carolina Farmers Market
Explore the market, buy fresh produce, and take part in activities like pony rides, a petting zoo, and a carousel. Kids can have a great time at the Western North Carolina Farmers Market!
The market also offers special events and activities throughout the year, like farm tours and music performances. Enjoying all of what the locals have to offer is a must do on the list of things to do in Asheville NC with kids.
30. Take a Tour of the Biltmore Village
Take a guided walking tour that allows you to explore the lively streets and hidden corners of the historic Biltmore Village. Kids can learn about the area’s past and present, including the stories of the people who have lived and worked in the village for generations.
You can also explore the shops, restaurants, and galleries of the Village, including the famous Antler Hill Village and Winery.
The tour is a great way for your family to learn about the area’s history and culture in a fun, interactive way.
31. Explore Colburn Gem and Mineral Museum
Kids can explore the museum’s collections of minerals, fossils, gemstones, and meteorites. They can also participate in educational programs and activities like gemstone panning, fossil identification, and geology workshops.
The museum also offers guided tours, special events, and family-friendly activities throughout the year.
32. Visit Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center
The Folk Art Center has a variety of art and craftworks from local makers and artists. Kids can explore the galleries and observe the displays of art and craftwork, learn about local craft traditions, and participate in interactive activities like craft workshops and storytelling.
The Folk Art Center also has a shop where kids can purchase handmade items and souvenirs.
33. Visit Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Kids can explore the college’s history through interactive exhibitions, take part in hands-on workshops, attend lectures, and take part in engaging educational activities.
The museum also offers programs and events specifically tailored to children, like family-friendly tours and special movie nights.
The BMCM+AC is a great place for kids to learn, explore, and create in an engaging and stimulating environment.
34. Zip Line at Navitat Canopy Adventures
Kids can take part in a variety of aerial adventures, including ziplines, rope courses, and rope bridges. They can also explore the trails, enjoy the views, and observe the wildlife. The park also offers educational programs, birthday parties, and team-building activities.
35. Visit the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
At the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, kids can explore the poet’s home, wander through the gardens, or take a guided tour. They can learn about Carl Sandburg’s life and work, and participate in activities like poetry and music.
Kids can also take part in special programs and activities like Junior Ranger Day and the Junior Historians Club. Plus, they can explore the nearby trails and visit the farm animals.
36. Visit the River Arts District
The River Arts District in Asheville, NC is a vibrant, creative neighborhood filled with unique galleries, studios, coffee shops, and restaurants.
Kids can explore the area by taking a guided tour of the galleries, watching a performance at the Woolworth Walk, or joining a hands-on art class at the Asheville Creative Arts Center.
Kids can also take a stroll along the French Broad River and enjoy the outdoor public art installations. There are plenty of outdoor activities to take part in like biking, kayaking, and playing in the park. Kids will get creative with sidewalk chalk, fly kites, and take part in fun events like the River Music Fest.
37. Indulge at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge
The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is a beloved local spot that serves up gourmet artisan chocolates, desserts, and drinks. The cozy cafe is lined with antique tables and chairs and a vintage European-style bar.
Guests can take their time as they browse the shelves of artisan chocolates, truffles, caramels, and more. There’s also a full espresso bar, hot chocolate drinks, and handmade ice cream, as well as a selection of beer and wine.
38. Go Apple Picking at One of Asheville’s Apple Orchards
There are several apple orchards in and around Asheville, NC. Some of the popular ones include Sky Top Orchard, Grandad’s Apples, Justus Orchard, and Apple Hill Orchard. Each offers a unique experience, from picking your own apples to sampling unique varieties of apples.
Apple picking in the mountains is a must-do on your list of things to do in Asheville NC with kids.
39. Visit the Wildlife Education Center
At the Wildlife Education Center, kids can explore a range of educational experiences and encounters with native species. The center offers educational exhibits and interactive displays that focus on the preservation of wildlife and their natural habitats.
Kids can learn about the animals of the Appalachians, take a guided tour of the wildlife center, and explore the interactive displays. They can also take part in special events like animal encounters, educational presentations, and live animal shows.
40. Take a Break at Pack Square Park
Square Park in Asheville, NC, is a public park located in the heart of downtown. It is a great spot for locals and visitors alike to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The park features a large grassy area, a children’s playground, benches, and picnic tables. It is a popular spot for outdoor concerts, events, and gatherings. The park is also home to an outdoor art gallery featuring sculptures, murals, and other works of art.
41. Asheville Outdoor Center
The AOC offers a variety of activities, including whitewater rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, tubing, zip lining, and more.
The AOC also offers guided tours, educational programs, and corporate and group events. Plus they have a retail shop, which sells outdoor gear and apparel.
42. Cool off at Splashville
Splashville is an interactive water playground located in the heart of the city of Asheville. The park has several fountains, water cannons, and a shallow pool that is great for children. This park is the perfect spot for families to come and enjoy an afternoon of fun in the sun.
The park also features a picnic area, and a variety of playground equipment for children to enjoy. Of course we had to add a water event to our list of things to do in Asheville NC with kids.
Splashville is located in the heart of downtown Asheville, and is easily accessible by car or public transportation.
43. Explore the Adventure Center of Asheville
There are lots of fun activities for families at the Adventure Center. Try zip-lining, high ropes courses, a climbing wall, a giant swing, mountain biking, and more.
Kids can have a blast exploring the many activities and challenges at The Adventure Center of Asheville while learning a variety of skills.
From mastering their balance on the ropes course to conquering the climbing wall, kids can explore an array of activities while gaining confidence and having a fun time.
44. Stay at the Omni Grove Park Inn
This luxury-feeling resort is family friendly and provides a beautiful experience of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They have indoor and outdoor pools, top-rated restaurants, a spa, golf course, hiking trails, and much more!
45. Visit the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
This is not your typical brewery! In fact, this brewery, located in Mills River NC, is a fun-filled experience for the whole family! Take a guided or self-guided tour, eat inside at the Taproom, outside on the patio, or enjoy your meal and drinks down by the amphitheater!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of things to do in Asheville NC with kids. The Blue Ridge Mountains is an amazing place to visit, connect with nature, and do a reset for you and your family!
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