While Asheville is a romantic getaway for many, it's also a fun family getaway to create lifetime memories. Here are some of the favorite things to do with children and kids of all ages in the North Carolina mountains - including waterfalls, hiking, Biltmore, lodging, summer camps and much more. Since Asheville is surrounded by many national and state forests and parks, find many free activities outdoors while enjoying the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountain scenery and fresh air. Nestled in the valleys, find friendly small towns that love to welcome families with many unique attractions and street festivals. (Photo: Asheville Treetops Adventure Park)
Adventure Center of Asheville, Outdoor Family Fun!
Family adventures for ages 4 and over: Climb our Treetops Adventure Park with over 70 challenge elements with 7 different aerial trails, zip our Kid Zip park (ages 4-10), or Asheville Zipline Canopy Tours (ages 8+), or ride Kolo Bike Park. Open all year and just minutes from downtown Asheville. See our feature.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Take a scenic train ride on excursions along the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers, over the mountains, across valleys and through tunnels. Choose from a variety of train adventures departing from Bryson City. Many special event train rides including beer, wine and Polar Express.
Hendersonville’s Family Friendly Main Street
Looking for fun things to do with the family? Head to Hendersonville’s Main Street packed with lots to explore with the family including gem mining, aquarium, children’s museum, pinball museum, and more.
Check out these kid-friendly restaurants in and around Asheville that offer extra “kid perks” like more casual settings with outdoor space, play areas, arcade games and more.
Hands-On Learning & Children's Museums
Find children's museums and other hands-on learning centers in Asheville and Western NC including STEM-focused, interactive play, science museums, aquariums, and more.
Family-Friendly Places to Stay
Find family-friendly resorts, hotels, cabins and more places to stay in Asheville and the Blue Ridge, with special amenities, programs and itineraries for children.
Indoor Activities for Kids
Find a variety of indoor activities for kids including indoor playgrounds, swimming, STEM centers, hands-on learning and children museums.
Find hiking trails ideal for children that aren't too long or strenuous with kid-friendly highlights like waterfalls, picnic areas, paved trails for strollers and more. Also find tips for hiking with kids in Western NC!
The most popular natural waterslide in North Carolina for generations is in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. Slide down a 60-ft. smooth rock waterfall into a pool of chilly water. Bathrooms and showers are open and lifeguards on duty during warmer months.
Chimney Rock Park for Kids
Children of all ages love the spectacular views from the famous rock formation - plus the elevator ride up. In addition to several easy hiking trails, find discovery stations on the half-mile Great Woodland Adventure, visit live animals at Animal Discovery Den and climb a rock tower.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
NOC's big Nantahala River campus offers rafting, zip lines, treetop adventures, paddleboards, kayaking, hiking, biking, and more for the entire family. It's like Disneyland for lovers of the outdoors! Dine riverside at two restaurants. Near Bryson City.
WNC Overnight Summer Camps Guide
Discover the best residential camps for older kids and teens near Asheville in Western North Carolina, with sessions ranging from 3 days up to 8 weeks that include a wide variety of activities including whitewater rafting, zipline tours, creative writing, painting or science and technology workshops.
Top Places for Kid's Birthday Parties in Asheville
See our top picks in the Asheville area to have the best child's birthday party - with plenty of unique party ideas along with traditional places like skating rinks, trampoline parks, hands-on outdoor activities, animal habitats, and even kid ziplines.
Find the best places to tube down a river on a hot summer day, including the French Broad River through Asheville, Deep Creek in the Smoky Mountains and Green River Gorge - with rentals and shuttle services.
Waterfalls for Kids
Find safe, kid-friendly waterfalls that are easy to access or only require a short hike to get to with perks like wading pools for splashing, areas for picnics and more.
WNC Summer Camps: Half & Full Day
See our top summer day camps for both little kids and teens in Asheville and the western North Carolina mountains with learning and exploring in a variety of topics including sports, STEAM, outdoors adventures and more.
Family-Friendly Activities in and around Asheville
Looking for some family fun in or around Asheville, North Carolina? Check out our list of the top family-friendly outings for exploring Asheville with kids! Western North Carolina is a virtual outdoor playground with parks and gardens, kid-friendly hikes, whitewater rafting, ziplining, biking, and more.
Biltmore for Kids
The estate is a wonderland for all ages, bringing out the curious and excited child in all of us. See our 30 Tips & Things to Do with plenty of kid-focused fun including the farmyard, playground, river rides, biking, special house tours & more.
Farm Visits & Tours
Visit farms and learn about their local food. See buffalo and alpacas, sample local cheeses, watch bees make honey, visit wineries, pick apples and more. Plus, tour historic farms at Biltmore and in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Kids in Parks: Educational Trails in the Blue Ridge
Kids in Parks is a growing network of trails with free activity guides for children and families. Together, you'll engage with the outdoors by identifying trees and birds, viewing the forest from the perspective of animals and searching for natural features. Children can record their adventures online and receive prizes.
6 Mountain Beaches near Asheville
Hit the beach on pristine, cool mountain lakes in the NC mountains near Asheville, complete with sandy shores, lifeguards and plenty of summer fun in the water.
Western NC Nature Center
Learn about the area's natural resources, see 60+ animals in their native habitats including red pandas and red wolves. Explore many exhibits on this 42-acre wildlife park in the city of Asheville. Open daily.
Earth Day Kid's Festival
Sunday, April 24, 2022
This kid-centered festival celebrates Earth Day with a variety of fun, environmentally-focused activities for kids in grades K-12 including arts, crafts, music performances, hands-on learning, interactive booths, and more. 12 AM-4 PM at Rabbit Rabbit in Downtown Asheville.
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Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains offer an ideal setting for a family reunion getaway. With access to mountain perks like hiking trails, rivers, lakes, ski resorts, national parks,... read more