Whether you're a local or passing through for a visit, there's so much do to in the Asheville area it can be a little overwhelming! What a great problem to have, right?! We've rounded up our ten favorite things do to with kids in the Asheville area.
WNC Nature Center
Tucked away in the trees just outside the center of town, the Nature Center is a great way to spend an afternoon. You'll get to see a lot of wildlife native to the area, but the center is small enough you won't feel overwhelmed or rushed to get through it all. If you purchase a membership, there are reciprocal benefits at several other zoos and museums, including the Greenville Zoo and the Columbia Zoo.
If you aren't a member, you'll want to make a day of your trip to get your money's worth out of the admission price. (Pro tip: annual memberships are available at a big discount from January-March each year.) There's so much more to do and see than America's largest home! You can explore biking and hiking trails, go horseback riding, take one of several tours of the home and grounds, dine at several family-friendly restaurants, and spend some time with the farm animals in Antler Hill Village. During the summer months there's free music in Antler Village on Friday and Saturday evenings. Bring a picnic blanket and let the kids burn off whatever energy they have left before heading home.
Every Friday evening there's an informal (and free!) drum circle. During the summer months you'll see drummers gathering between 5 and 6 pm in Pritchard Park. During the winter, the drum circle moves indoors to the New Mountain music venue nearby. Bring your own drum and join in, or just enjoy the best people watching Asheville has to offer.
Asheville may be a small town, but there's no shortage of great local ice cream shops. Perfect for cooling off after an adventurous day. Our favorites are The Hop and Ultimate Ice Cream (each with multiple locations in Asheville). For some yummy soft serve, try Frostbite or Tastee Freez in West Asheville. On the east side of town, check out Hilltop Ice Cream Shop near the new Whistle Hop Brewery on Charlotte Highway in Fairview.
Visiting a brewery with kids? Really?? Yes! There are several family-friendly breweries in the area. Some of our favorites are Sierra Nevada in Mills River, Blue Ghost in Fletcher, and Highland Brewing on the east side of Asheville. Check out our blog on family-friendly breweries.
There's no shortage of great hikes in the area, and so many options for kid-friendly trips. Check out some of our favorites here!
The fountains in Pack Square Park are a great place to cool off during the spring and summer months. The splash pad is generally open from 9am-9pm from April-November. BUT make sure to check the Pack Square Park Facebook page before you head down there as it is often closed for special events or repairs.
Asheville Museum of Science
If you need a break from the outdoors, check out the Asheville Museum of Science downtown. It's an interactive museum with activities for kids of all ages.
Take a day trip to nearby Lake Lure. There's so much to explore! Enjoy hiking, tours of the lake, or just relax on the beach. There's something for everyone to enjoy during every season.