Asheville, North Carolina is one of the most beloved destinations in the South, and it’s only about three hours away from my home. We trek in Asheville throughout the year, looking for new things to do in Asheville with kids.
Believe it or not, I think Asheville has tons of things to do that are family-friendly. Despite living in this area for years, we haven’t explored even half of what this region has to offer, but I wanted to let guys know some of my most favorite kid-friendly activities in Asheville.
I love visiting cities. Okay, you guys know I actually love going to the beach, but taking a weekend or week-long city visit has a different feel. We might not be soaking in the sights and sounds of the beach, but our kids might be visiting something brand new. We might get to learn something awesome; it’s just as fun.
So, if you’re heading to Asheville, NC anytime in the future, here are some great kid-friendly activities in Asheville.
12 Things to Do in Asheville with Kids
1. Spend the Day at Biltmore Estate
Asheville is known for the famous Biltmore Estate, the largest private residence in America and a historic landmark built by George Vanderbilt. You might think that this isn’t something your kids would want to see, but you’d be wrong.
Not only is the Biltmore Estate an amazing house with extensive grounds to view, but they have a farm, children’s maze, trails, horseback riding, a playground, and plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy.
Seriously, don’t skip the house tour. They deal with kids all the time, and the house is so over the top and wild that kids can’t believe it.
2. Splash at Splashville
If you visit Asheville in the summer, you have to check out Splasheville, an interactive splash pad that is part of Pack Square Park. It has fountains and fun for kids to enjoy.
This is the perfect place to cool off with your kids.
3. Enjoy the Mountain Play Lodge
Since Asheville is in the mountains, rain is to be expected, so if your kids are bored, check out the Mountain Play Lodge. This is a clean, family-friendly location for kids to enjoy.
When you buy the admission for open play, it’s valid for all day, so you can spend hours while your kids play. They have all kinds of climbing equipment and playhouses for kids to enjoy. It’s the ultimate indoor playground for little kids.
4. Check Out The Adventure Center of Asheville
If you like outdoor adventures for your kids, then you need to look at going to Adventure Center of Asheville. It’s only five minutes from downtown, and they offer so much for kids and families to enjoy.
Make sure you check out KidZip, the first zipline designed for kids under 10 years old. They also have zipline adventures for other kids, mountain bike trails, and a bike park.
Your family will undoubtedly find something they love to do here.
5. Hike to Some Waterfalls
You might not know this, but if your family loves nature, Asheville has some amazing waterfalls that you can visit on hiking trails. One of the best is the Crabtree Falls Trail, which is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Another option is the Looking Glass Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina.
These are just two of the options. There are so many waterfalls in the area to explore and enjoy together as a family.
6. Explore the Botanical Gardens of Asheville
Another one of the best things to do in Asheville with kids is to check out the Botanical Gardens of Asheville. You get to explore the local flora and fauna and then cool off in the path-side stream.
Did I mention that it has FREE admission?
The Botanical Gardens of Asheville is a 10-acre non-profit garden that studies and promotes native plants in the Southern Appalachians. Kids learn about native plants, and they can use the Investigation Passports to answer their nature questions. There are five altogether, and they encourage your kids to use their observation skills while exploring.
7. Take the Plunge at Sliding Rock
Without a doubt, one of the coolest things to do in Asheville with kids is to visit Sliding Rock, located in Pisgah National Forest. It’s a 60-foot flat, sloping boulder that kids and adults slip and slide down into an eight-foot-deep pool.
After splashing into the pool and swimming to the shore, you go back in line and slide down again. The water is chilly – an average of 50-60 degrees – but on a hot summer day, it feels amazing.
Plus, the price is amazing!
It only costs $4 per person to enter, and kids who are three years old and under are free.
8. Visit the WNC Nature Center
Kids LOVE the WNC Nature Center, a 42-acre habitat filled with plants and animals from the Appalachian Mountains. While visiting, visitors see amazing animals like the American black bear, American red wolf, river otters, and more. It’s home to over 60 species of wildlife!
Another reason the you want to check out the WNC Nature Center is how cheap it is! Seriously, compared to other attractions in the area, the entrance cost is a great price for families who might want to visit Asheville on a budget but still have fun.
9. Follow the Asheville’s Urban Trail
On a nice day, the Urban Trail in Asheville is a two-hour-long trail that shows the city’s history and quirky past. It’s a string of 30 sculptural trail stations, and each station is for a historical moment or important individual in the history of Asheville.
Along the way, you’ll find some great taverns, restaurants, and stores to check out as well. Unlike walking in the woods, taking an urban trail shows you parts of the city you might not have experienced before.
10. Spend Time at Lake Powhatan
Definitely put Lake Powhatan on your list of things to do in Asheville with kids. It has a little beach, perfect for splashing and playing in the sand with your kiddos. You can hit up the Homestead trail that goes around the lake; it’s totally kid-friendly.
If you’re interested in camping, this is one of the best locations in the area.
11. Ride on a Trolley
Here is something that is unique and relaxing to do with your kids while in Asheville. Take a ride on the Craggy Mountain Line trolley ride. This is a seven-mile open-air ride that takes you through beautiful mountain and river views from the comfort of a trolley.
Believe it or not, these tracks date back to 1889, so not only are you traveling through beautiful views, but you’re visiting history as well.
12. Take in the Views of the Great Smoky Mountain
If you want to take in some of the views of the Great Smoky Mountain, jump onto the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s one of the most beautiful drives, especially in the fall.
Asheville, NC is just one of the stops along the way on this parkway. They also have a great list of things that you can do if you follow it, such as different camping grounds and fishing locations.
Enjoy Your Asheville Visit
Asheville might not make your list for the best family vacations, but I have to tell you – it’s a gem in the south. Whether you want a city full of history or to dive into nature, you’ll find more things to do in Asheville with kids than you can get done in a week’s vacation!
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