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While you may first think of outdoor exploration during a family vacation to Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will be surprised at the number of indoor activities and things to do with the kids. This is especially important on those rainy or wintry days. Find plenty of places that provide children with the stimulation, exercise and free play they need. Plus, they often give parents a much needed break. (Feature photo: Asheville Museum of Science)

From hands-on, interactive STEM exhibits, art workshops, and children’s museums to trampoline parks, arcades, games and more - below you’ll find a wide variety of indoor activities for kids in Asheville and nearby towns in western North Carolina. Also see our guide for Hands-On Learning & Children's Museums.

Indoor Things for Kids to Do

Retrocade, West Asheville

With a large selection of classic and modern video games, pinball machines, air hockey, skee-ball and more, this family-friendly business welcomes people of all ages. It’s a great place to do… read more

With a large selection of classic and modern video games, pinball machines, air hockey, skee-ball and more, this family-friendly business welcomes people of all ages. It’s a great place to do family game night. They have a variety of local craft beers, wine or sodas. Play all day for $10.

Waynesville Recreation Center Indoor Pool

This indoor pool and water park is open daily throughout the year, making it a great way for kids to be active on rainy day or snow day. They also do pool parties!  A family day pass is $20, and… read more

This indoor pool and water park is open daily throughout the year, making it a great way for kids to be active on rainy day or snow day. They also do pool parties!  A family day pass is $20, and good for up to 6 people. Other pool pass options available.

Aquarium & Shark Lab, Hendersonville

This inland aquarium is home to 275 fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and salamanders with 2 dozen exhibits, including a shark study tank. With focuses on education, enrichment and exploration, there… read more

This inland aquarium is home to 275 fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and salamanders with 2 dozen exhibits, including a shark study tank. With focuses on education, enrichment and exploration, there are many programs for students of all ages to learn about aquatic life. Kids can observe reptile, shark, and stingray feedings and even see pufferfish training! Admission is $4-5, children 2 and…

Sky Lanes, West Asheville

Make it a family date at this West Asheville bowling alley, open daily with lots of options for kid-friendly bowling, including bumpers and assist ramp. In-house Bar & Grill menu has a wide… read more

Make it a family date at this West Asheville bowling alley, open daily with lots of options for kid-friendly bowling, including bumpers and assist ramp. In-house Bar & Grill menu has a wide variety of bowling alley munchies like nachos and fries, and items like salads, sandwiches, burgers and more. 

Mineral & Lapidary Museum, Hendersonville

Featuring many diverse underground treasures like raw minerals, meteorites, gemstones, and fossils the museum is a great place to take kids to see the many exhibits and especially highlights like… read more

Featuring many diverse underground treasures like raw minerals, meteorites, gemstones, and fossils the museum is a great place to take kids to see the many exhibits and especially highlights like a tyrannosaurus rex skull, a mastodon tusk and teeth, and a wooly mammoth leg bone. (400 N Main St)

RAD Skatepark, Asheville

This large, indoor skate park in the River Arts District offers a safe, supervised environment for skaters and riders of all ages. Kids may bring skateboards, bikes, or scooters to ride. Parents… read more

This large, indoor skate park in the River Arts District offers a safe, supervised environment for skaters and riders of all ages. Kids may bring skateboards, bikes, or scooters to ride. Parents may drop off and pick up kids or stay and observe in the lounge. RAD also offers lessons and skate camps. Admission starts at $10. 

Fox-N-Otter Adventure Puzzle Rooms, Asheville

This locally owned, family friendly business creates brain-twisting puzzles where participants try to escape perplexing scenarios. Younger children are welcome, puzzles are geared towards kids… read more

This locally owned, family friendly business creates brain-twisting puzzles where participants try to escape perplexing scenarios. Younger children are welcome, puzzles are geared towards kids ages 10-15. Single admission is $25/person, with group packages available.

Mountain Play Lodge, Asheville

This large indoor play space, ideal for kids 10 and younger, offers two age-appropriate play floors with a variety of soft play equipment including a miniature village, toddler slides, and a large… read more

This large indoor play space, ideal for kids 10 and younger, offers two age-appropriate play floors with a variety of soft play equipment including a miniature village, toddler slides, and a large jungle gym with slides. Find a variety of food and beverage options for purchase, including snacks, coffee, and even beer and wine! Admission: $8-14. Don't forget to wear socks!

WNC Air Museum, Hendersonville

Celebrating flight, this air museum has an impressive collection of historic airplanes, flight manuals, engines, historic photographs of airplanes and pilots, and more. See and touch airplanes… read more

Celebrating flight, this air museum has an impressive collection of historic airplanes, flight manuals, engines, historic photographs of airplanes and pilots, and more. See and touch airplanes from the 1910s to the1980s. Admission is free, and donations are appreciated!

Smoky Mountain Sk8way, Waynesville

This large skating rink offers open skate sessions, bounce houses, obstacle course, arcade games, snack bar a more with various themed events. Find a variety of skate rental options, including… read more

This large skating rink offers open skate sessions, bounce houses, obstacle course, arcade games, snack bar a more with various themed events. Find a variety of skate rental options, including skate trainer for beginners. Admission + skate rentals start at $9. (Closed Mon-Wed)

Asheville Pinball Museum

This downtown Asheville treasure trove for pinball and classic video games is a great rainy day activity with over 80 games. Play a flat rate admission, no tokens or coins necessary. Admission for… read more

This downtown Asheville treasure trove for pinball and classic video games is a great rainy day activity with over 80 games. Play a flat rate admission, no tokens or coins necessary. Admission for adults is $15, 10 and under are $12.

KidsSenses, Rutherfordton

This large, interactive space in Rutherfordton offers fun indoor and outdoor exhibits where kids can learn and stimulate imagination through hands-on playing. There are 14 different interactive… read more

This large, interactive space in Rutherfordton offers fun indoor and outdoor exhibits where kids can learn and stimulate imagination through hands-on playing. There are 14 different interactive exhibit areas geared for kids 10 and under. For kids 11 and up they offer a hands-on maker space called The Factory that offers workshops. The Factory is one block KidSenses.  

Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS)

This fully interactive science museum in downtown Asheville is a must visit for the whole family! Exhibits include elements of forestry, minerals, planetary exploration, dinosaurs and more. Check… read more

This fully interactive science museum in downtown Asheville is a must visit for the whole family! Exhibits include elements of forestry, minerals, planetary exploration, dinosaurs and more. Check out the STEM laboratory and hurricane simulator- they even have a “toddler nest,” for the littlest ones to experience hands-on learning. 

SkyZone, Asheville

This indoor jump park offers wall-to-wall trampolines, obstacle courses, climbing wall, foam pits, toddler courses and more! Jump passes range from 30-120 minutes. Join fun events like GLOW, an… read more

This indoor jump park offers wall-to-wall trampolines, obstacle courses, climbing wall, foam pits, toddler courses and more! Jump passes range from 30-120 minutes. Join fun events like GLOW, an after dark jumping dance party with lasers, music and blacklights and Toddler Time for little ones. Admission $7-22/jumper

Hands On! Children's Museum, Hendersonville

This children's museum in historic Downtown Hendersonville has interactive exhibits with focus on science, nature, engineering, motor skills, and more. Exhibits include pet vet hospital, grocery… read more

This children's museum in historic Downtown Hendersonville has interactive exhibits with focus on science, nature, engineering, motor skills, and more. Exhibits include pet vet hospital, grocery store, lego raceway, puppet theatre, stage, and many more! (318 N Main St)

Lazoom Kids Comedy Tour, Asheville

All aboard the big purple bus for this kid-centric comedy tour featuring a blend of Asheville’s history and humor. Geared for kids 5–12, the tour includes magic, jokes, and more with outlandish… read more

All aboard the big purple bus for this kid-centric comedy tour featuring a blend of Asheville’s history and humor. Geared for kids 5–12, the tour includes magic, jokes, and more with outlandish tour guides leading the way. Tour is 1 hour, kids 3 and under are free. Kid tickets are $17.

Museum of the Cherokee People

The Museum of the Cherokee People shares the history and culture of the Cherokee people. See impressive exhibits that take you from 11,000 years ago to the present. The nearby Oconaluftee Indian… read more

The Museum of the Cherokee People shares the history and culture of the Cherokee people. See impressive exhibits that take you from 11,000 years ago to the present. The nearby Oconaluftee Indian Village is also a must-visit for families.

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