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Kid-friendly activities in Asheville

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Asheville has to offer — complete with art classes, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.

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Let your budding paleontologist uncover fossils at the Asheville Museum of Science.

Photo courtesy of Asheville Museum of Science

Table of Contents

We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the Asheville Museum of Science to hidden gems like the KOLO Bike Park, there’s something in Asheville for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the youngsters with this list of 30 kid-friendly activities around the 828.

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The next generation of doctors can get a head start on their studies.

Photo courtesy of Catawba Science Center

🧠 Educational activities

Asheville Museum of Science, 43 Patton Ave. | $10
This small-but-mighty museum offers kids opportunities to explore astronomy, climate, ecology, and geology. Kids will remember a hands-on paleontology display that lets kids uncover fossils.

Catawba Science Center, 243 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory | $12-$14 | Family memberships available
Enjoy hands-on exhibits, fresh and saltwater aquarium galleries, a naturalist center, a digital planetarium theater with laser shows, and a greenhouse. Kids will remember laughing at their experiments in the Gross Labs.

Hands On! Children’s Museum, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville | $10 | Family memberships available
Kids can learn emotional and social development skills, as well as practice cognitive, fine, and gross motor skill development through educational and interactive exhibits that feature art, STEM, and beyond. Kids will remember coming here for birthday parties.

KidSenses Children’s InterACTIVE Museum, 172 N. Main St., Rutherfordton | $8 | Family memberships available
This 11,000-sqft museum offers 14 interactive exhibits, as well as programs and educational workshops that center on engineering, arts, and science.

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Kids at the Asheville Museum of Science.

Photo by @kerileann1

🎨 All about the arts

Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Sq. | $10-$15 | Family memberships available
Let little ones embark on an “I Spy” scavenger hunt of the museum’s colorful offerings. Kids will remember creating their own art at the Youth Studio.

Asheville Drum Circle, 67 Patton Ave. | Free
Every Friday night, people gather in Pritchard Park to play drums and dance. Kids will remember improvising their own song.

Asheville Creative Arts, various locations | Prices vary
Catch children’s shows with whimsical puppets and colorful costumes. Kids will remember this as the place they fell in love with theater.

Fired Up! Creative Lounge, 26 Wall St. | Prices vary
From paint-your-own-pottery to canvas painting, there are a variety of ways for the little ones to unleash their inner artist. Kids will remember crafting their colorful masterpieces.

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Kids can show off their best tricks.

Photo courtesy of KOLO Bike Park

🎢 Thrill-seeking fun

KOLO Bike Park, 85 Expo Dr. | $5+
Beginner pump bikers can get their thrills on two tracks with mounds that maximize momentum. Kids will remember riding continuously without pedaling.

Asheville Treetops Adventure Center, 85 Expo Dr. | $55+ | Zoom down ziplines, conquer the ropes courses, and speed around a bike park. Kids will remember the view from 25 feet in the air.

Cultivate Climbing, 43 Wall St. + 173 Amboy Rd. | $15
Climbing builds confidence and helps kids learn to conquer anything. Kids will remember the first time they made it to the top.

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Practice plant identification at the North Carolina Arboretum.

Photo submitted by Candis H.

🌳 Great outdoors

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Various locations | Free
The GSMNP offers junior ranger programs throughout the summer for kids to enjoy. Kids will remember earning their badge.

Carrier Park + French Broad Greenway, 220 Amboy Rd. | Free
This easy 2.5-mile trail runs along the French Broad River. Kids will remember duck and dog spotting.

The North Carolina Arboretum, 20 Frederick Law Olmsted Way | $20 per vehicle
Go for garden exhibits — plus kids’ activities like geocaching, discovery backpacks, the Rocky Cove Railroad, the nature discovery room, and the TRACK trail. Kids will remember observing wildlife.

Tubing with Zen Tubing, 608 Riverside Dr. | $30 per person
Float down the French Broad and relax in the sun. Kids will remember eating snacks and splashing around.

WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Rd. | $9.95+
With 42 acres of exhibits, you and your kids will be able to get up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife from southern Appalachia. Kids will remember seeing their favorite animal.

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With 5,000 video games, the Asheville Retrocade is a blast for all ages.

Photo by AVLtoday team

🎳 Indoor adventures

Mountain Play Lodge, 3389 Sweeten Creek Rd. | $10+
This large indoor playground is great for those summer storm days or when you want to beat the heat. Kids will remember life-sized playsets.

FOX-N-OTTER Adventure Escapes, 3 S. Tunnel Rd., Ste. K14 + 3749 Sweeten Creek Rd., Unit 2 | $87+ per group
Enjoy an escape room experience that’s designed for young adventurers. Kids will remember solving the riddle before you do.

Asheville Pinball Museum, 1 Battle Sq. | $15 per person
Play dozens of games — including over 75 pinball machines + arcade-style video games — with no coins or tokens needed after the entrance fee. Kids will remember becoming a pinball wizard.

Asheville Retrocade, 800 Haywood Rd., #100 | $10
In addition to 5,000 video games, there’s also pinball, skeeball, and foosball. Kids will remember discovering the games you loved as a kid.

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Cool off at Owen Pool.

Photo via Buncombe County

🌊 Splash around

Cane Creek Pool, 590 Lower Brush Creek Rd., Fletcher | $3
$3 Nestled in the valley of rising mountains, this outdoor pool is surrounded by the natural beauty of Cane Creek Park. Kids will remember playing marco polo for hours.

Erwin Pool, 58 Lees Creek Rd. | $3
This spacious outdoor pool has a reputation for being well-maintained. Kids will remember reapplying sunscreen for hours.

Hominy Valley Pool, 25 Twin Lakes Rd., Candler | $3
This outdoor spot also has baseball fields and a basketball court nearby. Kids will remember stopping by Sand Hill Kitchen — which has an award-winning fried chicken sandwich.

Splasheville, Pack Square Park | Free
Though not technically a pool, this interactive splash pad is certainly worth dipping your toes into. Kids will remember your smiling face as they play in the water.

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They don’t call it a playground for nothing.

Photo by AVLtoday

☀️ Playgrounds

Carrier Park, 220 Amboy Rd. | Free
The park’s playground, located within the Velodrome, is fully fenced and offers swings, slides, and bridges. For the bigger kids, there’s also a soccer field, a basketball court, and a roller-hockey rink. Kids will remember conquering the monkey bars.

Lake Julian Park, 37 Lake Julian Rd., Arden | Free
Here, you’ll find not one but two playgrounds with swings, a climber, slides, and more. The park also offers docks for private fishing boats, disc golf, and paddleboat rentals, which are a great way to beat the heat. Kids will remember taking a picnic.

Lake Louise Park, Lake Louise Dr., Weaverville | Free
Situated on 15.5 acres with a five-acre lake, this park boasts monkey bars, a climbing wall, six slides, exercise equipment, and way more. Kids will remember the old red water wheel (said to be the remains of the area’s oldest gristmill site).

Murphy-Oakley Park, 715 Fairview Rd. | Free
This park packs a lot in its 7.7 acres, including bouncy animals, a swingset, three slides and more. Kids will remember stopping by the Oakley Library for story time.

Roy Pope Memorial Park, 45 Jonestown Rd., Woodfin | Free
Go for the huge dragon that’s situated between two climbable castles. Kids will remember a large pyramid-shaped rope climbing web.

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