Top 10 (different) summer activities with kids in the NC High Country

Top 10 (different) kid activities in the NC High Country

If you have visited the NC High Country towns of Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Beech Mountain and West Jefferson with your family, you know that one visit is not enough.  The cool summer temperatures in the mountains of NC along the Blue Ridge Parkway make the area a great place to escape to in the heat of the season.  Check out this list of 1o kid (and family!) summer activities that you might not have experienced before.  Many are free and perfect for rainy days too!

  1.  Grandfather Mountain Behind the Scenes Tour
    Sure, you have visited Grandfather Mountain and watched the animals from the overlooks, but do you have curious children that wonder where the animals at Grandfather Mountain sleep at night?  Do you ever wonder what the animals eat in the morning?  If so, this tour is for you and your children of all ages.  These hour and a half long tours will bring you closer to the animals and their caretakers and you will leave knowing much more about the Mountain’s “stars.”  For more information, Click Here.
  2. Moses Cone Manor Children’s Hour
    You and your children (between the ages of 4-12) can enjoy activities ranging from folk storytelling, traditional games and simple traditional hands-on crafts at the Moses Cone Manor Parkway Craft Center.  This is a great rainy day activity or a great way to keep your children’s hands busy before you go shopping for regionally made crafts.  For more information, Click Here.
  3. Original Mast General Store Scavenger Hunt
    The original Mast General Store was built in the early 1900’s and still holds its’ charm and decor from the early days.  This scavenger hunt will teach you and your kids a bit of history on general stores and have you noticing things in the store that you probably missed on your first visit.  This is another great rainy day activity or a great way to keep your children’s hands busy before you go shopping.  To print out a history of the general store and the scavenger hunt checklist, Click Here.
  4. Doc’s Rock’s Rock Hound Tours
    Panning for gems in a sluice is a fun experience for children of all ages.  If you want a different type of gem mining experience, then try panning for gems on-site.  These tours take you to locations where gems can be found in the High Country, often by rivers and waterfalls, and also offers a bit of education on how gems are formed.  For more information, Click Here.
  5. Kids in Parks TRACK Trails
    The NC High Country is home to 12 TRACK trails for kids that offer everything from paddling to hiking scavenger hunts and educational sites.  The self-guided adventures are designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled adventure that your children can track online to earn free prizes.  For more information, Click Here.
  6. Children’s Theatre Performances
    – Horn in the West Children’s Show
    Does the Horn in the West outdoor drama take place too late at night for your small children to attend? Experience an outdoor drama with cast members of Horn in the West with a family-friendly performance of The Odyssey.  The show is at an early time (10:30am) and is packed with humor and positive messages.  The show will be held at various times in July.  For more information, Click Here.
    -Ensemble Stage Kids Summer Saturday Festival
    The High Country’s Local Non-Profit Theater in Banner Elk offers several showings of Rapunzel and King Arthur over the summer for kids of all ages.  For more information, Click Here .
  7. Museum of Ashe County History Railroad Diorama
    Do you have children that love trains, but they have already experienced Tweetsie Railroad? The Ashe County History Museum is home of the largest Virginia Creeper Train Diorama.  Step up on a stool and race to find all the little details along the train tracks with a diorama scavenger hunt.  From bears in the woods to a pink shirt blowing in the breeze on a clothesline, the details are amazing.  Your family will also enjoy the new Ore Knob Mine diorama that holds the same amount of attention to detail.  For more information, Click Here.
  8. Ashe County Cheese Factory Viewing Room
    Just down the road from the Museum of Ashe County History is Ashe County Cheese in downtown West Jefferson.  This working cheese factory is the state’s oldest.  You can visit the cheese viewing room year-round at no charge.  Have you photo made with the three iconic giant cow milk tanks and sample free cheese inside the factory store.  For more information, Click Here.
  9. Emerald Village Black Light Mine Tour
    Take a trip into the former Bon Ami mine and view gems and minerals at night by black light only!  The 45 minute tour will teach you why and what type of minerals glow in ultraviolet light. Since these tours are held inside a mine, this is another great rainy day activity.  For more information, Click Here.
  10. Orchard at Altapass Storytelling Hayride
    Take a hayride through the orchard and hear stories of early settlers, the coming of the railroad and ol’ folk tales of the region.  After the 45 minute hayride, play a game of checkers while enjoying some warm apple pie and ice cream or learn to dance to one of the live bands.  For more information, Click Here.
Posted in Attractions & Sights, Family Attractions, Kid Stuff
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