35 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Asheville, NC

11 min read
A city skyline with short buildings, green trees in front, and a pink sky behind
There are many fun things to do with kids in Asheville, NC

Asheville, North Carolina is a beautiful town nestled in the wilderness of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A great spot for a family vacation, there is so much to do between all the outdoor activities, museums, landmarks, and natural beauty of the area.

Asheville offers a ton of kid-friendly things to do, ranging from STEM-learning activities to gardens full of native plants and kids' comedy tours. If you're looking for 35 fun things to do with kids in Asheville, NC, make sure to keep reading!

  • 35 Asheville things to do

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35 Fun Things to Do in Asheville with Kids

  1. Challenge yourself at the Adventure Center of Asheville
  2. Get curious at the Asheville Museum of Science
  3. Play a game at the Asheville Pinball Museum
  4. Explore the Biltmore Estate
  5. Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway
  6. See the countryside with Craggy Mountain Line
  7. Search for waterfalls at Dupont State Recreational Forest
  8. Take a tour at the French Broad Chocolate Factory
  9. Whitewater raft the French Broad River
  10. Reach the top of Chimney Rock State Park
  11. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  12. Laugh during Lazoom Kids' Comedy Tour
  13. Play inside at Mountain Play Lodge
  14. Enjoy the outdoors at Pisgah National Forest
  15. Take a garden tour at The North Carolina Arboretum
  16. Say hi to animals at the Western North Carolina Nature Center
  17. Visit a working farm at Hickory Nut Gap Farm
  18. Slide down the Sliding Rock Natural Waterslide
  19. View some art at the River Arts District
  20. Take flight at the Western North Carolina Air Museum
  21. Do the Mast General Store Scavenger Hunt
  22. Learn the town's history on the Asheville Urban Trail
  23. Go inside the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
  24. Search for gems at Asheville’s Best Gem Mine
  25. Have a beach day at Lake Lure
  26. Grab a sweet snack at Rocket Fizz
  27. Take family photos while you’re in Asheville
  28. Watch the Asheville Tourists play a game
  29. Visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville
  30. Go glamping at Lake Powhatan Recreation Area and Campground
  31. Horseback ride on the Fern Forest Trail
  32. Climb the walls at ClimbMax Asheville
  33. Stare at the sky at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
  34. Jump around at Launch Trampoline Park Asheville
  35. Take a helicopter tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Show all

Asheville Things to Do Map

A map of Asheville. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

Challenge yourself at the Adventure Center of Asheville

Located only 5 minutes from downtown Asheville, the Adventure Center of Asheville is the perfect activity for families and children.

Filled with exciting activities like the Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventure or the onsite mountain bike trail system, there is so much to do here!

The Adventure Center also features KidZip, which is an adventure designed for kids under 10.

Get curious at the Asheville Museum of Science

The perfect stop for Asheville activities for kids, the Asheville Museum of Science features fully interactive exhibits and educational programs for the whole family. Exhibits include minerals, terra boxes, fossils, dinosaur skeletons, and more.

This is one of the best science learning museums in the area, don’t miss out on the opportunity to spark your imagination here.

Play a game at the Asheville Pinball Museum

Are you a pinball fan? If so, stop by the Asheville Pinball Museum in downtown Asheville where you can play 35 pinball machines and 35 classic video games for one set price.

Kids and parents alike will have a blast playing games here, so make sure to make an afternoon of it!

© sergey.miami2you.com via Depositphotos
One of the fun things to do with kids in Asheville, NC is the Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate is thought to be the largest home in the United States

Explore the Biltmore Estate

Did you know the largest home in the United States is located in Asheville, North Carolina? This is just one interesting fact about North Carolina!

George Vanderbilt’s country estate, Biltmore Estate, is a National Historic Landmark and is available for self-guided visits.

A road winding through autumn trees with hazy mountains behind on a sunny day
Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long and said to be the nation’s longest linear park

Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Known for its scenic beauty, the Blue Ridge Parkway starts outside Asheville and goes to Virginia. The parkway is America’s longest linear park and is 469 miles long.

The Blue Ridge Mountains dominate the majority of the drive, but there are many highlights to stop along the way. Take advantage of this beautiful drive during your trip.

See the countryside with Craggy Mountain Line

The Craggy Mountain Line features historic trolley cars for Asheville family activities. This fun trolley ride through the countryside is a great way to see the area with children.

Winter tours feature the Jingle Bell Trolley Train Ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate, and cookies.

A granite plane with trees on each side and a waterfall in the middle
Take a hike in Dupont State Recreational Forest to reach the breathtaking High Falls

Search for waterfalls at Dupont State Recreational Forest

Every outdoor lover’s dream, Dupont State Recreational Forest features 10,000 acres of land and 86 miles of hiking trails. The most popular hike here is a 3-mile round trip that takes you to Hooker, Triple, and High Falls.

Don’t miss out on all the outdoor opportunities here!

Take a tour at the French Broad Chocolate Factory

French Broad Chocolate Lounge & Factory treats locals and tourists in downtown Asheville to indulgent chocolatey treats every day.

To learn more about the delicious bean-to-bar chocolate, you can bring the family on one of their daily Chocolate Factory tours to learn more.

This is one of the best things to do in Asheville with kids, so make sure to book a tour in advance.

An old tree hanging over a river against a hill with dense trees under a cloudy sky
French Broad River is a must-visit if you want to enjoy whitewater rafting

Whitewater raft the French Broad River

The French Broad River flows 218 miles through North Carolina and Tennessee. Section 9 of the river flows through Pisgah National Park and is beginner-friendly for whitewater rafting.

Have some fun and get your adrenaline pumping by joining a whitewater rafting group on the French Broad River when you’re in Asheville, North Carolina.

Aerial view of a tall sandstone cliff with a flight of stairs surrounded by a forest
Hike to the top of Chimney Rock, which is 2,280 feet above sea level

Reach the top of Chimney Rock State Park

Hike to the top of the 500-million-year-old Chimney Rock to reach the beautiful vantage point overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge. Families can hike to the top of Chimney Rock or take an elevator to the top to reach the 2,280 feet above sea level peak.

The park also features six trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. It’s no surprise that North Carolina is a bucket list destination!

Aerial view of autumn pine trees against hazy mountains, under a yellow sky
This park is one of the best national parks on the East Coast

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-visit when spending time in western North Carolina.

One of the best national parks on the East Coast, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park features more than half a million acres, the Appalachian trail, and historical attractions.

Laugh during Lazoom Kids' Comedy Tour

One of the best family activities in Asheville, NC, LaZoom Kids’ Comedy Tour produces kid-centric comedy shows for the 5-12-year-old audience.

Hop on the purple bus for shows such as the City Comedy Tour, the Kids’ Comedy Tour, and Ghosted: Bus Comedy Tour. This event will make for a fun outing for the entire family.

Play inside at Mountain Play Lodge

Perfect for a rainy day adventure, the Mountain Play Lodge features a safe and fun environment with indoor playgrounds for children near Asheville.

Kids can sit on the life-sized dog replica, play pretend in the mini castle, or slide down the many slides. Larger groups will appreciate the party room rentals.

Cascading water stream flows over a rocky bed with autumn foliage on each side
Pisgah National Forest is home to the first forestry school in the Eastern U.S

Enjoy the outdoors at Pisgah National Forest

Home to the first forestry school, Pisgah National Forest is also the site of two of the first designated wilderness areas in the Eastern U.S.

This national forest is worth visiting for its beautiful hardwood forest, rivers, North Carolina Mountains, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Take a scenic drive or hike your way through this fantastic forest.

A quilt garden with yellow & purple flowers in front of green trees on a sunny day
North Carolina Arboretum has more than 10 miles of forested hiking & biking trails

Take a garden tour at The North Carolina Arboretum

Explore the diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains at the 434-acre campus of The North Carolina Arboretum.

This lovely arboretum includes developed gardens and more than 10 miles of forested hiking and biking trails. While you’re here, make sure to take a garden tour or participate in nature activities for families.

Say hi to animals at the Western North Carolina Nature Center

Stop by the Western North Carolina Nature Center, also known as the WNC Nature Center, and see some of the 60 species of animals that call this place home.

Many of the animals that call the WNC Nature center home have been injured, including black bears, red wolves, otters, bobcats, and more.

Visit a working farm at Hickory Nut Gap Farm

Only twenty minutes from downtown Asheville, Hickory Nut Gap Farm operates as a market for grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens and pork.

Visitors to the farm can spend time with farm animals or explore the farm store. Group tours are offered on Thursdays and Sundays every week.

Slide down the Sliding Rock Natural Waterslide

Situated in Pisgah National Forest is a 60-foot natural waterslide named Sliding Rock. It attracts thousands of visitors every year.

One of the fun things to do in Asheville for kids, Sliding Rock allows them to slide down a sloping rock face into an 8-foot deep pool of water.

View some art at the River Arts District

Along a one-mile stretch of the French Broad River, you'll find artists and working studios in 23 industrial and historical buildings called the River Arts District.

Bring the kids and explore more than 200artists'' work in various mediums, including painting, pottery, paper, and more. There is also food and drinks available onsite.

Take flight at the Western North Carolina Air Museum

The Western North Carolina Air Museum is a free museum dedicated to preserving the flying history of Western North Carolina.

Families will love the collection of restored and vintage airplanes, models, and engines. Pilots are available for free tours, and two planes are available to sit inside.

Do the Mast General Store Scavenger Hunt

Mast General Store first opened in 1883 in downtown Asheville. Still standing today, it is a popular location that has a little bit of everything for locals and tourists.

Stop by the store and ask for the kid’s scavenger hunt... There’s a fun reward at the end!

A concrete-walled walkway with concrete pillars beside a green tree under a clear sky
Stroll through historic sections of Asheville in a 1.7-mile self-guided trail

Learn the town's history on the Asheville Urban Trail

Perfect for your Asheville family vacation, the Asheville Urban Trail is a 1.7-mile self-guided trail through the historic sections of downtown Asheville.

The path has 30 marked stations that help display the town's history through statues, bronze plaques, and local art.

Go inside the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

If you want to add a historic and unique architectural building to your list, make sure you stop by the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, which is the only basilica in western North Carolina.

This basilica was built in 1905 in the Spanish-Baroque style with beautiful stained glass windows. There is a gift shop for visitors.

Search for gems at Asheville’s Best Gem Mine

Full of fun Asheville, NC, activities for kids, Asheville’s Best Gem Mine offers exciting mining opportunities for kids and adults alike.

Once you’re done looking for your own precious gems, head to the Rockin’ Rock Shop for custom- jewelry and other handmade crafts. The whole family will love this experience.

A lake with small boats moored, against a hilly forest with a sandy beach in front
Lake Lure offers activities like a sandy beach, a water park, and nearby dining

Have a beach day at Lake Lure

Less than an hour from Asheville is a quaint beach located on Lake Lure. Bring the entire family for a beach day filled with family-friendly activities.

Lake Lure Beach boasts 100 yards of sandy beach and a water park with water slides and water games. There is nearby dining and a large picnic shelter on the beach.

Grab a sweet snack at Rocket Fizz

Kids will love the vintage soda pops and a large selection of candy at Rocket Fizz located in downtown Asheville.

There is so much to offer here, including almost 300 different bottled sodas and so many different childhood candies to choose from.

Let the family explore the gag gifts and pick a sweet snack to take home at this fun shop.

An aerial of a road with illuminated concrete buildings under a yellow evening sky
Asheville provides numerous locations for a perfect family photoshoot

Take family photos while you’re in Asheville

Asheville and the surrounding area offer so much natural beauty that it is the perfect location for a family photo shoot.

This Asheville Private Photoshoot provides 15 professionally-edited photographs that you have two weeks to download after receiving.

The photoshoot will occur at the Asheville Botanical Gardens unless you request otherwise. Don’t hesitate to book this great opportunity!

Watch the Asheville Tourists play a game

Asheville has a Minor League Baseball team of its own called the Asheville Tourists. Taking the whole family to a baseball game is one of the great things for kids to do in Asheville.

Spend your afternoon at McCormick Field with a hot dog and soda cheering on the home team!

Visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Only two miles from downtown, you’ll find the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, which focuses on plants native to Western North Carolina.

The garden collection includes more than 600 species, including trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers, herbs, grasses, aquatic plants, ferns, mosses, and lichens.

An easy half-mile walking trail shows off most of the area for visitors to enjoy.

Go glamping at Lake Powhatan Recreation Area and Campground

Lake Powhatan Recreation Area and Campground added newly-designed, fully-furnished canvas platform tents within walking distance of the lake.

Enjoy camping with your family without sacrificing the luxuries of home. The campground offers a swimming beach, fishing, hot showers, flush toilets, and more.

Horseback ride on the Fern Forest Trail

Well worth the day trip outside of Asheville, take your family for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride horses through the North Carolina wilderness on the Fern Forest Trail.

Once you arrive at this working horse farm, you’ll be safety trained and matched with a suitable horse before you begin your ride to reach 3800 feet in elevation.

Climb the walls at ClimbMax Asheville

Climbmax Asheville has two locations: one in downtown Asheville, and another located near the River.

Both offer fantastic indoor climbing opportunities with over 6,000 square feet available between the two locations. If your family needs instruction or gear, both are available at Climbmax.

Stare at the sky at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

Located deep in the Pisgah National Forest, you’ll find this must-see in the Asheville area. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) was developed by NASA and operates today as an educational and research center for all ages.

PARI offers tours and guided evening observing by appointment. Public events are available for major astronomical events and hands-on learning opportunities.

Jump around at Launch Trampoline Park Asheville

Launch Asheville is full of fun indoor activities for youth, including trampoline courts where kids can literally jump off the walls.

There are also basketball and dodgeball courts here for kids who miss gym class. Don’t miss out on the arcade or the Paradox VR for extra fun!

Aerial of autumn trees on a hill against misty mountains under a partly cloudy sky
Enjoy panoramic views by taking a helicopter tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Take a helicopter tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway

What better activity for family things to do in Asheville, NC, than taking a helicopter tour over the Blue Ridge Parkway?

On this breathtaking trip, you’ll get to see parts of Pisgah National Forest from above and see Looking Glass Rock from a different vantage point.

Conclusion

When planning your next family vacation, make sure to add Asheville, North Carolina, to your list. There are so many activities for parents and children here, including several gorgeous outdoor destinations for the whole family and kid-specific adventures that parents will enjoy as well.

No matter what families are looking for, there is something to interest all family members. From trampoline adventures to horseback riding, everyone can have fun in Asheville!

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

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Written by Katey Ruth

kateyruth WRITER I'm Katey, a travel writer living in Chicago dreaming about my next trip. I love old cities, new food, and outdoor adventures.


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