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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) 

Guides & Top Attractions for Family Trips

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.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

NOC has been offering whitewater rafting for over 50 years! Enjoy family-friendly paddles on both the French Broad River outside of Asheville and on the Nantahala River campus outside of Bryson… read more

NOC has been offering whitewater rafting for over 50 years! Enjoy family-friendly paddles on both the French Broad River outside of Asheville and on the Nantahala River campus outside of Bryson City with ziplining, lake paddling, restaurants, lodging, and more!

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… read more

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.

Asheville Art Museum

Explore an outstanding collection of American art of the 20th and 21st centuries and discover the richness of Western North Carolina’s unique artistic history at the Asheville Art Museum. … read more

Explore an outstanding collection of American art of the 20th and 21st centuries and discover the richness of Western North Carolina’s unique artistic history at the Asheville Art Museum. Established by artists and incorporated in 1948, the museum is committed to being a vital force in community and individual development and providing lifelong opportunities for education and enrichment…

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… read more

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.

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,… read more

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.

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… read more

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.

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.

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.

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,… read more

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 Reunions in Asheville and Western North Carolina

Find the perfect setting for a family reunion getaway in Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains with access to mountain perks like hiking trails, rivers, lakes, ski resorts, national… read more

Find the perfect setting for a family reunion getaway in Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains with access to mountain perks like hiking trails, rivers, lakes, ski resorts, national parks, swimming holes, waterfalls, and unique places to stay.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants

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.

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.

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… read more

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.

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.

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.

Kid-Friendly Hikes

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… read more

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!

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 a variety of indoor activities for kids including indoor playgrounds, swimming, STEM centers, hands-on learning and children museums. 

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… read more

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.

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.  

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 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… read more

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.

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… read more

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.

Sliding Rock

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… read more

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 are on duty during warmer months.

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. 

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. 

River Tubing

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… read more

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. 

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… read more

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.

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,… read more

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.

Thinking of Relocating

Explore moving, retirement and real estate options in Asheville and Western North Carolina

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