Fun Things to Do in North Carolina

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From natural fun in the Smoky Mountains to big-city entertainment in Raleigh, you will find plenty of fun things to do with your kids in North Carolina.

Free Fun

If you are visiting or live in the Smoky Mountains area, take a trip to Cherokee to visit the Mountain Farm Museum (http://www.nps.gov/). This is a collection of log buildings gathered from the Smoky Mountains and relocated to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Farm animals on site make this popular with kids of all ages. For free city fun, head to Raleigh. You can visit the state capitol and legislative buildings or visit the historic Haywood Hall House and Gardens (http://www.haywoodhall.org/).

Educational Fun

North Carolina is filled with children’s museums. The Children’s Museum of Greensboro (www.gcmuseum.com) is one of the best. It has both indoor and outdoor exhibits, including the first Edible Schoolyard in the country, a working teaching garden and kitchen facilities for kids to learn about growing their own food. Inside this museum kids can explore a real fire truck, police car, and airplane cockpit. Marbles Kids Museum (www.marbleskidsmuseum.org) in Raleigh is another popular choice. North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Sciences (http://naturalsciences.org/) is worth checking out, as it is the largest natural history museum in the southeast.

Environmental Fun

The Smoky Mountains provide some of North Carolina’s best outdoor experiences, from hiking and biking through mountain trails to swimming or boating in rivers and lakes. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (http://www.nps.gov/) is one of the best places to go to explore the natural side of the state. Asheboro houses the North Carolina Zoo (www.nczoo.org), one of the best in the region. The zoo has over 1,00 animals and over 200 different species including primarily those found in Africa and North America.

Seasonal Fun

In the fall, take our kids to Highway 64 along the Jackson/Macon County line to spy the Shadow of the Bear. From mid-October through early November between 5:30 and 6:00 in the evening, the shadows created from the mountains in the area look exactly like a bear. Seeing this naturally occurring phenomenon is not something your kids will soon forget. For Christmas fun, head to the Pilot Mountain Christmas Display (www.pilotmountainchristmas.com) a family-owned and operated display that draws thousands each year. The display is open from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Just for Mom Fun

When you need to unwind and relax, consider a trip to a nearby winery for free wine tastings and some grownup conversation. A Secret Garden Winery (http://www.asecretgardenwinery.com/) in Wayne County is a quiet option. For an escape through shopping, visit the Berkeley Mall (http://shopberkeleymall.com/) in Goldsboro.

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