We fell in love with Asheville the minute we pulled in! Maybe it had to do with the walking/biking path that ran through the middle of our campground or the river flowing right behind our site, but the vibe made us want to be outside exploring. We definitely took advantage of the beautiful landscape and tried some really fun and unique adventures. Check them out!
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7 Things To Do In Asheville With Kids
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains. To get to Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, and a bunch of other hiking trails you can take the Blue Ridge Highway just outside of Asheville.
You could also spend the afternoon driving the parkway and stopping at the various lookout points to take in the amazing views. The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor center is also worth the stop.
The Adventure Center Asheville
To go right along with the theme of outdoor adventure and activity is the The Adventure Center of Asheville. It is perfect for kids since they have a kids zip line and a lower level ropes course called Asheville Treetops Adventure Park that is perfect for kids. You can plan on spending a whole afternoon here if you are going to do the ropes course and the zip line!
We got there and the kids got suited up to do the ropes course first. The workers were great with the kids and very helpful in getting everyone ready to go. We hit the first course and Cannon and Carson took off! Knox made it past the first section and wanted to get down . . . It was his birthday that day and he had just turned 4, which was the youngest you could be to go on the course.
Melia was the same way and it took her a few times to feel comfortable doing more of the course. Cannon continued to run through the course and Carson decided to go up to the next level – where you had to be 8 years old to do it. He hit a few parts that were very scary for him – and even for Craig who went with him – but they made it through!
Next up was the kids zip line. You start at the beginning and zip line to the first platform where you climb up a short incline rock wall structure to get to the next zip line and it continues like this for about 6 different zip line experiences. Each one higher then the next!
We were there a good 4+ hours and everyone had a great time. I would highly recommend doing both the ropes course and the zip line course if you can. If you can only pick one, the ropes course does provide a lot of climbing and a few small zip lines on the course, so I’d say the ropes course would be the best option. At the time there was a discount if you bought the ropes course and wanted to add the zip line section, so be sure to ask about that.
They do have water there that you can drink – and you will need it! Other then that just come in workout/climbing clothes and they have everything else there for you.
No Taste Like Home
When we were planning our visit to Asheville we came across this awesome family friendly activity where you can go forging for your own food called No Taste Like Home! How cool is that?! You can also have the food you foraged turned into a meal by a local restaurant. We knew we wanted to try it.
We reached out to make sure it was OK for kids to come. Their website had a great explanation about brining kids so after reading through that I thought it would be a great fit for our family, and it was.
The night before you are going to go, they email you a location to meet at (they do this last minute since so much depends on the weather and what is available for forging). Our guide met us and did a great overview of what we would be doing as well as having each forager introduce themselves.
We then headed up the road where we would start foraging. Our guide walked us through a variety of trails and locations and pointed out all of the various plants that we could eat. While giving great information about all of the plants and what they are good for and other ways they can be used.
After teaching us about what plants to look for he let us go so we could explore on our own and fill our super cute baskets (which they lend for you to use along with a few other tools) with plants. We then all came together and placed our findings on a blanket so our guide could share with us what we had found and if it was edible or not.
Throughout the time he also pointed out a variety of plants that we could eat or smell and showed us the best way to do it. It was crazy how so many plants we had walked by could be eaten. We were able to sample a decent variety of different leaves and plants throughout the day.
Our guide sent us out to explore a few more times and then brought us all back together again to share a tea that he made the night before from some of the plants that he knew we would find that day. We were early in the season and had we gone a few weeks later we also would have found some mushrooms to sample.
This kid friendly activity in Asheville was about 3 hours and with a 4 young kids (8, 6, 6, 4), I wasn’t sure how it would go over. Everyone did great! The guide was awesome with the kids and there was enough time for them to go off and explore. They also loved cutting off the leaves or digging out the plants to put in our basket.
To this day they point out plants that we learned about and talk about how we could eat them! We chose not to have the restaurant cook our food – figured that would be pushing our luck with the kids since the restaurants all looked like really nice places. I hope to go back some day when we can forage again and then try one of the restaurants.
It was one of the coolest things to do in Asheville with kids and one we highly recommend to anyone that is into natural eating and/or curious about plants, leaves, and food.
Asheville Pinball Museum
What a great idea and implemented so well! The Asheville Pinball Museum is a building filled with pinball machines and old school arcade games. The best part is you pay one fee and you can play as much as you want on all of the machines.
If you think you don’t want to play . . . you can just walk in and check it out for free. But I gurantee your fingers are going to be itching to send that pinball flying!
The owner is a former school teacher who had the idea for an indoor place people could come with their family and started the Asheville Pinball Museum. The community loves it and during the busy season there is a line of people out the door waiting to get in to try their hand at the pinballs and old school arcade games.
They also have a bar area where you can grab a beer, soda and snacks. When you are in Asheville you don’t want to miss out on visiting and playing pinball to your hearts content!
We made a last minute decision to check out The Biltmore and it was really cool! You could literally spend a whole day exploring the mansion, grounds, and village area. We started by checking out the mansion.
When you turn the corner and see the mansion it takes our breath away it really is beautiful and so are the grounds surrounding it. Before touring the mansion you have the option to purchase the audio guided tour. Craig and I got one and then we also got one for the kids. The kids audio tour is narrated by the Vanderbilt’s dog :). It was great! He talked about things that kids would care about while also throwing in jokes that made the kids laugh out loud.
There are 30+ rooms to visit from the top floor to the basement. After seeing about 20 rooms, the kids were done listening and were ready to just keep moving and walking through the mansion. It was very busy and tight, so Craig and I were good with keeping things moving.
Another option – if you don’t want to buy the audio is to jump on one of the school tours so you can eavesdrop on the guide giving a tour.
The house was massive and seeing the luxurious rooms down to the servants quarters and the kitchens was really cool. But our favorite place was the view off of the back porch. It was amazing and explains why they built the mansion where they did.
After leaving the house, we headed over to walk through the beautiful gardens. We were early in the season, so the flowers were just blooming. It was still beautiful and I can just imagine how glorious it would look in full bloom.
At this point the kids were pretty tired from walking through the mansion so we did the short tour before heading back to the car to head up to the village.
The village has a farm area where the kids could feed the goats through the fence, then walk up to check out the old farm equipment and wagon that they could climb and play on. They also had a really nice playground for the kids.
From there we headed over to the wine tasting. Craig and I got to sample a large variety of wines while the kids got to sample grape juice. It worked out great for our family.
After that, we headed for the kids ice cream treat. There were some really cool looking restaurants and shops in the village area and if we weren’t all so tired from all the walking we had done I could see hanging out at the village and exploring for a few hours.
The grounds at the Biltmore are beautiful and it is nice to drive in and around the property as well. It’s a great family activity in Asheville and there was a lot of history to be learned at the mansion and throughout the grounds.
Wildwater Pigeon Jeep Tour
This is an hour or so outside of Asheville and is actually in Tennessee, but the Wildwater Pigeon Jeep Tour is worth the drive! A guide takes you on an open Jeep tour of the back country of the Smoky Mountains. It was perfect with the kids since they could see everything and they really enjoyed being in the jeep.
The guide was amazing with the kids and made a few random stops along the way to let the kids get out and throw rocks in the stream. She was also very informative and taught us a lot about the history of the Smoky’s and the Moonshiners of the area!
The beginning of the trip takes you on regular street roads, but the higher you climb up Rocky Top road the rougher the roads get, which was perfect for the Jeep and the kids loved it! Then once you get to the top of the mountain we stopped to get out to check out the view and take some pictures.
The way down was definitely a little scary, but also tons of fun and the views were amazing. On the way back we stopped at another stream to work on skipping rocks and looking for gold – the kids really loved that part. Then as we were looking in the water, we saw a snake swim up . . . we weren’t sure if it was poisonous or not.
When we got back to headquarters we had an amazing lunch at Wildwater Pigeon River Dog House (http://wildwaterrafting.com/portfolio-item/wildwater-pigeon-dog-house/). The kids enjoyed some yummy pulled pork and hot dogs. Craig and I had veggie dogs.
The staff was amazing, the tour was so much fun, and the food was yummy! Well worth the drive into Tennessee.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Of course we had to check out the best chocolate/dessert place in Asheville! We each got something different to try from a delicious carrot cake to a chocolate covered cookie. Then on the way out Craig and I sampled some of the chocolate pieces. Everything was delicious!
The inside of the lounge was so cool and there was plenty of room for us to sit and relax and enjoy our yummy desserts. There was also outside seating right on the streets of downtown Asheville.
When we were there, we got to meet the owners and found out they were fellow full-time travelers! Prior to starting the French Broad Chocolate Lounge they had traveled in a bus down to South America. How cool is that! They still take trips to sample cocoa beans for their chocolate but have settled in Asheville with their 2 kids.
They also offer a tour of their facility (which is located an another location in Asheville) if your kids are older. If you are a chocolate fan or really any type of dessert fan you don’t want to miss the French Broad Chocolate Lounge!
We had so much fun in Asheville that staying a week was not long enough. There were so many great things to do in Asheville with kids that we will definitely be back!
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Disclosure: A big thank you to these Asheville attractions for hosting us. All opinions here are my own. #truth