21 Family-Friendly Things To Do in Asheville this Summer (2019)
Asheville Activities for Families
Asheville, NC, is a beautiful tourist destination full of life and excitement! It is the perfect spot to take the entire family! Here is a great list of some amazing family-friendly activities that the city has to offer!
Throughout your stay in Asheville, North Carolina we hope you enjoy the most of your trip.
If your family loves to be outdoors and in the sun, check out the outdoor mountain fun (#1-#6 below). Do your kids love to splash around in the water? Asheville's water activities (#7-#11 below) are sure to delight them!
The weather doesn't always shine bright in the mountains, but don't worry, we have plenty of indoor activities (#12-18 below) to keep the fun going. Maybe you'd love a classic bonding opportunity with the kids, and we have that covered with classic family fun (#19-#21 below)!
Outdoor Mountain Fun:
1.Shindig on the Green
Held outdoors at Pack Square Park in the heart of downtown Asheville, Shindig on the Green is FREE and has been voted the #1 Local Outdoor Concert in the Mountain Xpress "Best of WNC" survey for four years. Bring your instruments, your lawn chair or blanket, family, and friends to join the fun this summer during these eight Saturdays.
Pack Square Park, Asheville, NC 28801
Every Saturday: July 6 - August 31, 2019
7 pm - 10 pm
2.Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock State Park - all 4,000 acres of it - will awaken your sense of adventure. Special events include "Off the Beaten Path" guided hikes, live music concerts by artists such as The Swayback Sisters, and sports challenges like the annual Race to the Rock that takes place in August. At Grady's Animal Discovery Den, Grady the Groundhog invites little ones to view local wildlife, such as non-venomous snakes. Kids are also treated to educational handouts about the park's geology, birds, and wildflowers. Bring the family dog, too - Chimney Rock is pet-friendly!
8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Youth 1-Day Admission = $8
Adult 1-Day Admission = $17
One of the most popular attractions in Asheville, at 175,000 sq ft and 250 rooms, this is the largest house in America. The Biltmore consists of the House, the Winery, and the manicured garden. It's a great day trip for the family! Kids and adults can enjoy roaming around the property of more than 8,000 acres (including a petting area at the farm). Also, there are plenty of activities provided throughout the year.
Hours and Prices available HERE.
4.Western North Carolina Nature Center
The Western North Carolina Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals local to our Appalachian region. They have events planned throughout the year, and it is a great place for kids to learn and understand more about nature and the environment through hands-on and sensory programs.
10 am – 5 pm
Adults – $10.95
Seniors (65+) – $9.95
Youth (3-15) – $6.95
2 and younger – Free
5.Graveyard Fields & Waterfalls
A favorite Blue Ridge Parkway hike! This oddly named area is wild, rugged, and exceptionally beautiful. Sunlight streams through dense thickets of rhododendron and mountain laurel, and the forest’s gnarly branches cast an array of dappled light on the trail. The Graveyard Fields hike visits two beautiful waterfalls, the multi-tiered second falls and the tall cascades of the upper falls. And the trail winds through a stream-filled valley with a memorable knobby, mounded terrain that’s filled with wild blackberry and blueberry bushes that burst with fruit in the late summer months. It makes for one amazing, unforgettable hike.
6.The North Carolina Arboretum
Nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountains just south of Asheville, The North Carolina Arboretum offers acres of cultivated gardens and groomed trails featuring some of the most beautiful, botanically diverse plants in the region!
8 am-9 pm
Personal Vehicles: $14
Sliding Rock is a 60-foot mountain water slide that ends in an 8-foot deep pool of water. Nearly 11,000 gallons of water per minute power this natural wonder. Onlookers can watch the fun from two observation platforms. The site is staffed from Memorial Day to Labor Day and is open 7 days a week. This area is heavily used between the hours of 12 noon and 4 pm, so please come early. After Labor Day weekend, it is staffed Saturdays and Sundays only from 10 am-6 pm until October 28th.
Hours of Operation:
End of May - Labor Day
Monday-Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
Tube down the French Broad River in style with Zen Tubing!
Open Daily in Summer:
The gates open at 9:30 am. Trips run regularly between 10 am and 3 pm, seven days a week. You may stay on the water as long as you like, provided you return to the outpost by 7 pm. The gates close at 7:30 pm.
Adults & Kids: $20
Cooler Carrier (Holds your cooler up to 50 qt): $5
Everyone is welcome to come out and play in Splasheville! This interactive water feature delights children with its 21 jets of water that run in 12 combinations. You never know where it’s going to splash you next!
Open daily, 9 am – 8 pm (with the exception of closures for inclement weather or special events)
Pack Square Park, Downtown Asheville
Skinny Dip Falls: This moderate, a short hike takes you to an appealing waterfall and swimming hole on the Yellowstone Prong of the Big East Fork of the Pigeon River. It makes a great summer swimming destination, a great way to stretch your legs if you're traveling the parkway, and a great place for photographers - both for the falls and forest scenes and wildflowers on the way down. If you're feeling happy, this would make the start of a more strenuous trek into Graveyard Fields.
Hooker Falls: While Hooker Falls is only a 12-ft waterfall, its wide drop into a pool creates a beautiful setting and a great spot for splashing around on hot summer days. This is the fourth waterfall on the Little River in DuPont State Forest.
Looking Glass Falls: One of the most popular and beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina. And it's perhaps the easiest to view (one of the few accessible roadside waterfalls, making it perfect for folks with mobility and walking challenges). The name "Looking Glass" comes from Looking Glass Rock, where water freezes on its sides in the winter and then glistens in the sunlight like a mirror or looking glass. Looking Glass Creek, which flows past the rock, is also named for the impressive natural structure.
Relax under the sun, float on the water, build sandcastles with your children, or picnic with friends and family. These are just a few of the simple pleasures of the Beach at Lake Lure. For a soaking good time, visit the water park, which brings out the child in all of us. Soaking games, a water slide, water cannons, and the water wars make the water park wet fun. Admission to the water park is included in the admission price of the beach.
Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day Weekend
Kids 4-12: $7
Under 4: Free
12.Asheville Museum of Science
Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS) has plenty of science to explore, including the brand-new Colburn Hall of Minerals, the STEM lab, interactive panorama screen, the AMOS Mars Rover, a Teratophoneus dinosaur skeleton and fossil dig, Southern Appalachian Forest, Terrabox elevation simulator, Toddler Nest, Hurricane Simulator, fun temporary exhibits, and an exciting new gift shop!
Monday-Friday, 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday, 1 pm - 5 pm
Adult: $8 | Children: $7 | Military/Senior: $7 | Student: $7
2 & Under FREE
43 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
13.Hands On! Children's Museum
Want to explore the place where learning comes into play? This children’s museum located on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville is just the place. Hands On! provides educational exhibits and programs for children ages 1–10 and is a great way for families to spend the day together in a fun and affordable environment. As you walk through the front doors, you are immediately captured by the mountain exhibit where children can roam up and down the mountain, and there are spots to play in the water. Just the sound creates a very friendly environment! All the rooms of different scenery and role-playing can stretch out any imagination of play for children. There is even a theater with dress-up options. Creative play is what Hands On! is all about!
Tuesday-Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm
Adults 18+: $8
Children 1-17: $8
Children under 1: Free
14.Mountain Play Lodge
The Mountain Play Lodge is great, especially for rainy days! It is clean, safe, fun, and provides kids a place to let their imagination run wild! It includes a huge treehouse jungle gym, unbelievable soft-foam sculptures, and realistic playhouses!
Monday-Thursday, 10 am – 5 pm
Friday-Sunday, 10 am-6 pm
Weekday: Ages 3-12 = $12 | Ages 2 and under = $8
Weekend: Ages 3-12 = $13 | Ages 2 and under = $9
Asheville’s Fun Depot is a mostly indoor family entertainment center that features a variety of attractions and activities as well as a full menu of delicious food items. With more than 65,000 square feet of indoor fun, Asheville’s Fun Depot is the ideal place to spend quality time with your friends and family regardless of the weather. Attractions and activities include outdoor and indoor go-carts, 18-hole indoor mini-golf course, laser tag, bumper cars, a climbing wall, playgrounds and inflatables, mini-bowling, X-rider 4D Theater, arcade games, Aeroball, Lazer Frenzy, Atomic Rush, and so much more.
Click Here to view pricing.
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: Noon – 8 pm
Friday: 10 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 11 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 8 pm
16.Launch Trampoline Park
Don't just bounce - LAUNCH! Launch is more than a trampoline park. They are a family entertainment center that offers fun for all ages. Bounce off the walls, play arcade games, and enjoy delicious food!
Click Here to view pricing.
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Thursday: 4 pm – 8 pm
Friday: 10 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 6 pm
17.Escape Rooms in Asheville
An escape room, also known as an "escape game" or "puzzle room," is a live-action, team-based game where players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to accomplish a specific goal in a limited amount of time.
Top 5 Escape Rooms in Asheville:
4. Escape Out
5. Fox-N-Otter Adventure Escapes (Perfect for Younger Children)
18.Asheville Pinball Museum
The great thing about the Asheville Pinball Museum is that once you pay admission, you get to play any game you want for free! It is a great deal to play a wide variety of vintage games. There are more than 30 machines that range from 1960 to 2003. There are even a few novelty games you can play, such as a rifle game and a baseball game!
Monday: 1 pm – 6 pm
Wednesday-Friday: 2 pm – 9 pm
Saturday: 12 pm – 9 pm
Sunday: 1 pm – 6 pm
Adults – $15
Children 10 and under – $12
Classic Family Fun:
19.The Hop Ice Cream
The Hop Ice Cream Cafe has been proudly serving Asheville since 1978 with an imaginative yet classy array of homemade dairy ice cream, completely from-scratch vegan ice cream and sorbet, fair-trade/organic coffee and espresso, unique specialty desserts, and more. In addition, The Hop hosts a variety of weekly free family-friendly entertainment and whimsical special events at each of its three Asheville locations.
640 Merrimon Ave #103, Asheville, NC 28804
3111 721 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
167 Haywood Rd #20, Asheville, NC 28806
20.Asheville Tourists Baseball
Enjoy a game in the historic McCormick Field, where some scenes from the movie "Bull Durham" were filmed! The Asheville Tourists is our minor-league baseball team with a downtown stadium. They are a Class-A team in the South Atlantic League and have been a farm team of the Colorado Rockies since 1994.
McCormick Field, which opened in 1924, seats 4,000 fans and is often joked about because of its scoreboard, which reads "Visitors" in the guest slot and "Tourists" in the home slot. Munch peanuts and Crackerjack and enjoy some good ole baseball! Thirsty Thursdays are fun for adults with $1 beer, and the Dollar Dog Nights are a sure win with the kids.
Check out upcoming games and promotions for the Asheville Tourists.
21.Tropical Gardens Mini Golf
Tropical Gardens Mini Golf is one of Asheville's must-see places. The golf course is adventure-filled and has shaded paths. You are sure to enjoy testing your golf skills on the unique and challenging 18-hole miniature golf course. In addition to playing golf, you can rent out batting cages for playing baseball and softball (helmets and bats are available at no charge).
10 Years or older: $8
4-9 Years: $7
3 Years or Younger: $2
Hour of Operation:
Daily, March to October
10 am - 9:30 pm
Carolina Mornings is Asheville's #1 Award-Winning Vacation Rental Company! Staying in our vacation rentals will give you the luxury of experiencing mountain living. Spread your wings and enjoy the great food, beautiful sights, and sounds of our town while staying at one of our lovely furnished Asheville cabin rentals. Whether you are wanting to be in the heart of all the action or secluded on a mountaintop, we have it all! Call our Vacation Planners to help you experience the comfort of the mountains.
By: Wesley Aulet