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Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

This Giant List of River Tubing Spots Is Everything You Need for the Perfect Summer Adventure

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Are you looking for a place to go tubing down a river with your family? Wondering, “Where is the best river tubing near me?” Tubing is a great way to have fun AND beat the heat in the upstate this summer. There is just nothing better than a slow ride down a river on a tube! Fortunately, you’ve found this HUGE list of places to go tubing near Greenville with your family. You’re sure to find one or two you’ve never even heard of that you’ll want to try out for yourself!

All I can think about doing during these hot summer months is getting in the water, whether it’s our neighborhood pool, a refreshing lake, or even better, cruising down a river in a giant tube. This is probably one of the more exciting summer adventures I used to do growing up. It was an awesome family activity.

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Living in the heart of a mountainous region that boasts of waterfalls, creeks, and rivers, there are plenty of places to indulge in tubing that aren’t far from Greenville at all.

Great river tubing near you!

This article includes:
Tips: Tubing with the family
Where to go river tubing in South Carolina
Where to go river tubing in North Carolina
Where to go river tubing in Georgia
Where to go river tubing in Tennessee


Kids in Parks: A Free Program that Lets Your Kids Earn Prizes

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Here’s the perfect way to earn prizes for exploring the great outdoors with your family. Kids in Parks is an incentive-based program from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation designed to get kids away from screens and enjoying the outdoors. The best part – it’s FREE! So, enjoy a day of outdoor play while your kids earn prizes!

Kids in Parks program through the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Kidsinparks

Kids in Parks: What’s it all about?

Here in the Upstate we are definitely blessed with a lot of breathtaking outdoor destinations. Unfortunately, with younger children in tow and the absence of a play structure, it’s hard to know how to make the most of those natural gems. If you find yourself heading out to just such a place, getting out of the car, soaking in the beauty, and then a few minutes later looking around and saying “ok, now what?” Here is the solution.

Kids in Parks is a user-friendly website that includes an always-expanding list of nationwide locations that are considered TRACK trails. It allows families to search for locations near their hometown or even for an out-of-town adventure. That includes 190 TRACK Trails in 12 states, Washington DC, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation with dozens of locations just a short drive away in North Carolina and Congaree National Park in South Carolina.

How Kids in Parks Works

After a particular park is chosen, all you need to do is head out! Everything you’ll need will already be at the park waiting for you. Every TRACK trail Park has an information sign with activity brochures for you to take. Self-guided activities will turn what might have been viewed by young children as just a boring walk in the woods, into an educational adventure.

After you’ve completed one (or several) of the “Track Adventures” you can log on to the website from anywhere and begin logging your adventure. The process is very simple. You’ll need to create an account on the site that manages each child in the family. From there you’ll be able to track the children’s activities and what badges they have earned. It will even tell you how many miles have been hiked, based on the length of the trail you completed.

Children will receive the first of fifteen prizes after the first activity is logged! A pocket-sized trail tracker nature journal along with a trail tracker sticker unique to each official location or backyard adventure they log. Other prizes include a disc golf disc, putter disc, and bike lights, and more.

e-Adventures for Kids In Parks Kids

Kids In Parks also offers an e-Adventure section of activities that kids can do from a smartphone or tablet. These activities allow children to still explore the environment around them in a new way and earn prize incentives.

Following Kids In Parks on social media and through e-mail subscription to their newsletter will provide your children with even more free resources to keep them busy and entertained – all for free.

Hiking Mount Mitchell With Kids In Parks

My family discovered this program on our first trip to Mt. Mitchell National park in Burnsville, North Carolina. This trip has become an annual event for my family.

Mt. Mitchell is breathtaking, and this is probably why it became one of our country’s first national parks. The summit is the highest point east of the Mississippi River at 6,684 feet above sea level. If I told you I hiked every year to the summit for my birthday you’d be impressed, wouldn’t you?

I’ll tell you a secret. 
The summit is very easily accessed by all. Makes for a great story though, you don’t have to disclose that last part if you go. I won’t tell anyone about our secret. From the summit platform you can see all the surrounding states, so don’t forget your camera.

Here’s a tip – turn your phone on airplane mode. There will not be a signal at the summit and your battery will go from hero to zero searching for one before the first photo is taken.

Mt. Mitchell has two “Track adventures,” called “Island In the Sky” and “Let’s Explore – ecoEXPLORE”. Due to the elevation of the mountain, its ecosystem is unlike anything at lower elevations. The drive of roughly two hours and fifteen minutes from the Upstate is worth it.

Kids in Parks at Mt. Mitchell State Park, NC

Places to Explore With Kids in Parks In South Carolina

Kidsinparks connects kids and families with their local, state, and national parks and public lands. Here are some places to explore in South Carolina.

The Congaree National Park is just south of Columbia and two hours from the Upstate. This park is busy during May and June, as it is a synchronous firefly viewing spot. The park, which covers over 20,000 acres of wilderness, can be explored by foot or paddle.

Kayaking in Congaree National Park, SC

Learn all about Congaree National Park with this review from Kristina.

Musgrove Mill State Park is a beautiful outdoor destination that includes lots of territory to explore plus American history to share with your family.

Learn all about Musgrove Mill State Park with this review from Maria.

Musgrove Mill, SC

Sesquicentennial State Park is an easy day trip from the Upstate and offers so many things to do. Enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and even a splash pad at this unique State Park!

Things to Do at Sesqui in Columbia, SC

Learn all about Sesquicentennial State Park with this mom review!

Landsford Canal State Park
The Catawba River and Landsford Canal State Park is home to the largest known stand of the rocky shoals’ spider lily, a flower species found predominantly in the Southeast. Activities in the park include picnicking, nature watching, and studying the canal structures. Fishing is permitted along the Catawba River, and a paddling trail runs through the park for canoes and kayaks

To learn more, read about Landsford Canal State Park.

Landsford Canal State Park lillies

Table Rock State Park is one of our area’s premier hiking destinations. Offering beautiful waterfalls, swimming holes, and trails from the leisure to the strenuous, all nestled in an incredible mountain forest setting. At just 30 miles from downtown Greenville, this park would make a great day trip for your next family adventure.

Table Rock Summit

Learn all about Table Rock State Park with our KA review.

TRACK Trail Locations In North Carolina

On your way to Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, you can also stop at TRACK trail locations in the surrounding area. The Asheville Visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway was the very first TRACK trail, installed in 2009 and it’s a perfect stop on your way to the mountain.

Several locations are within an attraction that requires an entry fee. Some of these include:

These venues having TRACK trail activities are great if you were already planning on going, but please don’t think that to participate you need to spend money.

Just to the north of us in Tryon, North Carolina is a TRACK trail park. Woodland Park is a moderate trail that winds through the forest and past a waterfall. It also includes what has been one of my favorite “track adventures” – “Hikin’ to find Lichen.” We had a blast searching and hunting for all different kinds of algae and fungi along the trail. My tip for this location is to leave the stroller in the car. The path is narrow and not stroller friendly.

North of Boiling Springs in Rutherfordton, North Carolina their Historic Main Street is a TRACK trail location. Probably one of the few if not the only trails that guide you through city streets. Here you will walk in the footsteps of revolutionary war soldiers, view historic landmarks and even see the location where the nation’s first $1 gold coin was minted.

Earning Prizes On A Bike or With Disc Golf Activities

Aside from the regular TRACK Trail incentives you can earn, there are two more sets of unique prizes that can be earned by visiting the TRACK Trail bike and disc golf locations. Unfortunately, there aren’t any biking TRACK trails near the upstate. However, if you’re planning a summer trip near Asheville, there are a few disc golf locations in that area.

Explore Close to Home

One of the many things my family loves about this program is that you don’t have to travel any further than your own backyard to participate in it. The TRACK Trail adventure brochures are available online as printable PDF files. If you follow “Kids in Parks” on social media, I’ve seen them post additional TRACK trail brochures. You can utilize all of these in your backyard or your favorite local park.

Places locally my family likes to enjoy an adventure are the Tyger-10 nature park, Lake Cooley, and the Milliken Arboretum, all located in Spartanburg.

I’m so excited to share it with everyone because I really can’t say enough good things about it.

Special Days for Outdoor Play!

  • Kids to Parks Day: National Park Trust– Hosted annually on the third Saturday of May, this nationally recognized event is a great way to connect kids and families with their local state and national parks. Public Lands are also highlighted to explore.
  • National Play Outside Day: Recognized as the first Saturday of every month, this day is an encouraging day for outdoor adventures with family!

Which park will your family visit to earn prizes?

Park Guide to Greenville, SC

Check out more local parks in our KA Park Guide

Find Fairies in This Fairy Garden Trail FREE in Hendersonville, NC

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Have you found the fairies in Hendersonville, NC? Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville, NC, just a little over an hour north of Greenville, SC has an adorable fairy garden over the summer. And it’s free. 

What could be cuter than finding fairies in the woods? Finding them in a beautiful and fun trail at Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville, NC, of course. 

C.S. Lewis, a prolific and famous author of the Narnia chronicles, wrote this to his goddaughter, Lucy, in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:

My Dear Lucy, I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C.S. Lewis

As a grown-up, are you ready to be old enough to read – or see – fairy tales again? If so, step into the Bullington Gardens Fairy Trail.

Fairy Trail at Bullington Gardens

The Gardens

Bullington Gardens is only a little over an hour north of Greenville and is a beautiful spot to stop and literally smell the roses. The gardens are public and encompass 12 acres right in the middle of the apple orchards in that part of Western North Carolina. 

They also do several events and programs aimed at education and carry on the legacy and vision of Bob Bullington, who collected many unusual trees and plants. They often have school groups come out and learn about horticultural science. 

I found the gardens to be just beautiful and so peaceful. The volunteers I interacted with were all so kind and helpful. It’s really a great place to visit for any occasion. 

The Gardens received a grant for new restroom facilities, where were scheduled to be completed by April 2023. We have not been able to confirm if this has happened yet.

The Fairy Trail 

The fairy trail is exactly as it sounds except cooler. The trail winds through shaded woods and guests are encouraged to find all the little fairy houses and trolls and llamas and bridges. It is really fun and entertaining! 

The little worlds that the fairies inhabit are all unique and my kids and I just loved trying to find them all and figure out what was happening in each scene. The exhibits change every year (photos are from the summer of 2022) but the creativity and genius stay the same. 

The trail isn’t long, maybe a quarter-mile on natural, unpaved ground, but there are plenty of fairies and gnomes to find. Be sure to stop at the side trail before you get to the very end where there are lots of fairies and trolls and toadstools and gnomes doing yoga amongst the trees. 

Bullington Gardens asks that guests be respectful of the fairies, only touch gently, and to stay on the trails. The trail is one way only so if you want to take your time, go for it but make room for others to pass. And please follow the rules of Leave No Trace, don’t litter, and don’t move the fairies from their little houses.

The Fairy Trail is open Mondays – Saturdays from June 1 – August 31, 2023 from 9 am – 4 pm. 

Fairy Market

During the summer of 2023, the Fairy Market will be set up at Bullington Gardens on June 24, 2023 from 9 am – 3 pm. This event will include face painting, arts and crafts, a photo booth, Dulcimer lessons, and storytimes for kids. You can also buy adorable fairy accessories like wings and crowns or purchase your own fairies for a garden at home. Definitely a not-miss summer event.

This year there will not be timed entry so it’s first come, first serve. Per the gardens, parking is limited and please do not park on Zeb Corn Road.

Tips on Visiting the Fairy Trail and Bullington Gardens 

The gardens are open year-round but the Fairy Trail is only open June 1 – August 30, 2023, Mondays – Saturdays from 9 am – 4 pm. 

There is no charge to visit the fairies or Bullington Gardens but as a nonprofit, they gladly accept donations.

I saw some people with strollers but I’d say that unless you have an all-terrain stroller, it’s best to carry your littles or baby wear. The trail is natural, so not paved, which makes it hard to roll wheels on.

Please keep your children and dogs on the trail and don’t litter. The trail is one-way only.

Bullington Gardens recieved a grant for new restrooms that were supposed to be ready by April 2023 but we have not been to the Gardens since then and have not been able to confirm this information yet.

Nearby Things to Do in Hendersonville

There are plenty of cool things to do in Hendersonville to make your trip up to the see the fairies a day trip.

You can visit the goats at the Carl Sandburg Home (be sure to get pizza at the nearby Village Bakery), let the kids play on the awesome playground at The Park at Flat Rock, check out the free train museum, or visit the aquarium in downtown Hendersonville. Apple orchards open up in July usually so you can add those to your day trip as well.

Bullington Gardens
95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville, NC 

Hendersonville, NC

Check out our full guide to Hendersonville, NC and don’t miss out on any of the fun!

Get 360-Degree Mountain Views at Bearwallow Mountain: Hendersonville, NC

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Have you hiked the Bearwallow Mountain Trail? This easy trail in Hendersonville, NC lends itself to incredible, 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here’s everything you need to know about the hike, plus some cool things to do nearby Bearwallow Mountain!

In the 10 years (or thereabouts) that we’ve lived in Greenville, we’ve yet to exhaust the list of hiking trails within an hour’s drive from the city. Not only are we constantly discovering new areas through friends and various groups, but trails are being established in newly-established conservancies and preserves through the efforts of groups like Conserving Carolina. One of our favorite late spring/early summer hikes is a comparatively new trail that leads to the summit of Bearwallow Mountain.

Bearwallow Mountain in Hendersonville, NC
Bearwallow Mountain Summit

About Bearwallow Mountain

Hendersonville-based Conserving Carolina acquired a conservation easement on the summit of Bearwallow in 2009, adding close to 400 more acres between the summit and trailhead in recent years. At 4,232 ft. this is the highest peak in the Bearwallow Highlands range that straddles the Eastern Continental Divide. The mountain is part of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and the western rim of the Hickory Nut Gorge, and views from the summit extend to Mt. Mitchell in the Black Mountains and Mt. Pisgah in the Great Balsams.

Conserving Carolina constructed the Bearwallow Mountain trail with the help of the Carolina Mountain Club, REI and community volunteers, and the hope is that eventually it will be incorporated into a 15-mile Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail, a loop that will link Bearwallow Mountain to CMLC’s Florence Preserve and the summit of Ferguson Peak. You can follow the progress of the trails in this area on the Conserving Carolina website.

On a recent warm summer day we took Poinsett Highway out of Greenville and then turned onto I-25 to cross into North Carolina. I had a momentary lapse of memory and thought I had forgotten our lunch on the counter, justifying a stop at one of the many stands by the side of the road to buy a bucket of freshly-picked strawberries. In another couple of months it’ll be peaches and apples… can’t wait! After jumping on I-26 towards Hendersonville, we took exit 49A for US Hwy. 64 east.

For further instructions see the Conserving Carolina website, but be aware that there’s a fork in the road that intuitively leads you off on N Bearwallow Rd. when you want to stay on Bearwallow Mountain Road.

Hiking up to Bearwallow Mountain Summit

The Bearwallow Mountain trailhead is at the crest of Bearwallow Mountain Rd. (Bearwallow Gap) where the pavement turns to gravel (the gravel road continues on over 2 miles to the town of Gerton, NC). Parking is along the shoulder, and the trail begins beyond the old, rusted gate. You’ll see the trail kiosk on the right, marking the beginning of the one-mile ascent up to the summit. The gravel service road that heads off to the left meets the trail at the summit and continues on to the historic fire tower and telephone towers. You can take either way to the summit.

If you take the trail, be prepared for switchbacks and rocky stairs almost the entire way. Rhododendron and trillium distracted us from the somewhat steep climb, but poison ivy kept us on the trail. As we neared the top we passed several rocky outcrops, before emerging into a grassy meadow which has nearly a 360-degree view of the surrounding states.

The gravel road is also a hike up but wide and easy, especially if you’ve got smaller kids. Dogs are allowed on the trail but they must be on leash.

The panoramic views up here are incredible. I love taking a picnic and hanging out at the top while just taking in all the beauty. Bearwallow Mountain is perfect for sunrise or sunset, just be sure to bring a headlamp.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the grazing cows at the top but please just let them graze and don’t go up and try to cuddle with them. Even if you don’t see the cows, you’ll definitely see the cow patties so just watch your step.

Nearby Things to Do

There are several nearby activities if you want to make a day trip. We have an entire story on the Hendersonville area, which you’ll want to check out, but here are just a few of my favorites depending on what time of year you hike Bearwallow Mountain.

Spring & Summer

Nearby Lake Lure has a great beach to hang out at. You can swim or rent a kayak or paddleboard and check out the lake.

Next to the beach is the free Flowering Bridge, which is gorgeous! They have all types of flowers and I think spring and summer have the most beautiful ones.

Chimney Rock next to Lake Lure has an adorable village that my kids and I love to walk around at. There’s a great place next to Chimney Rock State Park to get ice cream and you can go gem mining.

During the summer months, people really love the free Fairy Trail at Bullington Gardens. There are little fair houses and trolls to find along the short path.


Late summer and fall is apple picking season and there are plenty of places to go within 20 minutes or so fo Bearwallow Mountain.

If you love apple cider donuts, then don’t miss our Apple Cider Donut tour near Hendersonville.

I think Chimney Rock State Park is best viewed during the fall because of the incredible fall colors (but really, that park is awesome anytime of year).

Did you know there’s a llama farm that you can visit most times of the year where you can hike with llamas or run with them through obstacle courses? Do not miss Ellaberry Llama Farm. It will make you happy for months after!


Go snow tubing at Black Bear Snow Tubing, right around the corner from Bearwallow Mountain. They’ve got a great lodge to get hot chocolate at as well.

Moonshine Mountain is also another fun spot to go snow tubing. Just get there early since they don’t take reservations.

Has your family explored Bearwallow Mountain yet?

Asheville Adventure Park: Kid Zip Lining, Treetop Ropes Courses, and Canopy Zip Lining in WNC

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Have you visited Asheville Adventure Park? In Asheville, NC, this zipline course offers so much for adventurous kids. We visited the Asheville Adventure Park for some fun so we could tell our readers all about it, and help them plan their own trip!

Complimentary tickets were provided for this review in 2018, and it has been updated with 2023 information.

ashville adventure park at the asheville adventure center

Last week the kids and I took the kind of adventure you just want to share with everyone you know. (You guys – it is just so fun to have big kids!) This adventure involved helmets and heights and wires and harnesses and conquering fears and pulling together as a team. And it was pretty close to home too.

The Adventure Center of Asheville is just a couple of minutes from downtown Asheville, NC. As soon as I heard about their KidZip, the first kid zip line in the country to be built especially for kids ages 4 to 10, I wanted to try it with my kiddos. (Our family received tickets for writing and reviewing and sharing about the park. Our opinions are absolutely all our own.) P

lus, they have one of only a few Asheville zip-line canopy tours located only minutes from downtown Asheville with beautiful views of downtown. Sounds like the perfect day trip to me!

Find a place to stay in Asheville, NC. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Our day at Asheville Adventure Park at the Adventure Center of Asheville

We arrived a little early because I wasn’t certain how long the drive would take or the length of the paperwork process. The check-in process was laid back and simple. There was a waiver to sign per kid, of course.  And this time, for the first time, I actually had my writers fill in their own info and sign their own names. Man – that made that process so much faster.

We watched zip liners climb way up high on the adult course and wondered if our zip lines would be that high. Turns out – they were not. For which all of the kids were grateful.

At the course we were given helmets and harnesses and instructions. I’m not going to lie – the older I get the more young adults look like children to me. And a lot of the workers at the KidZip area certainly looked young. I watched closely as they harnessed my kids in and checked the equipment. I can tell you this – these young men and women were professional, calm, well-spoken, and careful about their work. I saw zero cell phones in their hands and they all kept their own helmets on and they were focused on their jobs at hand.

asheville adventure park kidzip

Maneuvering the KidZip Course at Asheville Adventure Park

After we received our instructions we started on the kid zip line. There were nine ziplines I think and each had an obstacle before you zipped off down the line.

At first the zipping and the obstacles were easy but goodness, they got more complicated. You are always attached by your trolley to the zipline and always harnessed in but you had to maneuver your trolley over several tracks and something they called “sharks” which could be a little tricky for tiny hands and arms. The kids did a stellar job though.

At tough obstacles, they talked through them and worked together to help their younger siblings reach the sharks and conquer the heights.

If I had realized this would be helpful, I would have positioned myself between the kids differently. Once your trolley is on the zipline you can’t change orders or get off so occasionally I was several kids behind Otto and Piper and they could have really used a grown-up’s helping hand. Or – if you were zipping with multiple grown-ups you could plan to stagger grown-ups and kids accordingly. We managed just fine in the end since Berg and London and Mosely really helped out a lot.

(Actually – I think one thing I most valued about this entire experience – aside from the fabulous just plain fun factor – was the fact that the kids really pulled together. They spoke encouraging words. They laughed. They gave each other a helping hand. They were a family – up high and all together.)

The climbing wall on the next-to-last zipline was my least favorite – I seriously did not like balancing on that high-up wall and trying to pull down the sharks for my trolley to pass over. Piper almost panicked at that one, but she reigned it in bravely and conquered it.

Can you guess which little Keigley was the least afraid throughout the entire experience? If you guessed Otto then you guessed right. That little man is as fearless as they come. He was usually the leader on our excursion and would continually look back at us and ask, “Can I head to the next one guys?” with the biggest happy grin all shining out of his sweet boy face.

TreeTop Adventure course at Asheville Adventure Park

One thing I really appreciated about the Asheville Adventure Park was that, after we finished our zipping, I assumed we were done. One ride, so to speak.  But nope – the staff smiled and said, “Want to go again?” Which we did, of course! Because on the second round, you felt more like an expert and could be a little bolder. By the third round, yep – the third round – Bergen was putting his hands behind his head, relaxing style, and zipping across like a champ. I loved that you could go round and round as often as you wanted. It certainly would make you feel as if you received your money’s worth.

The Big Courses at Asheville TreeTops Adventure Park

After we had all the zipping we could handle, we stared up in wonder at the Asheville TreeTops Adventure Park, situated right beside the KidZip area. It looked fascinating and terrifying and awesome and challenging and exactly like something we all wanted to try but were afraid to try – all at the exact same time. The TreeTop Adventure park ages range from 4 and up, though some of the higher-up and more difficult courses should be reserved for older kids and adults.

The obstacles were wild – lily pads two stories up that you jumped across, a kayak strung between trees about five stories high that you paddled across on ropes and air, skinny wires to walk on, trapezes to swing through the trees, hula hoops dangling between trees, ropes swinging for balance, a slide to come down and so so much more. We gulped and decided we’d try that adventure too.

The really great thing about the TreeTops Adventure Park is the fact that its appeal is so wide to so many ages. There are five courses of varying levels and enough dizzying challenges to frighten even the most adventure loving grown up big kid.

The hook-up and safety procedures for the TreeTops Adventure Park were a bit different. You are always attached to your harness and the wires through the use of two hooks and a cleverly designed system using tweezles. (Yes, that’s a real word.) It is impossible for both tweezles to be unlocked at the same time so you can trust that you (and your beloved kiddos) are safe and sound and secure.

There is definitely a learning curve to the tweezles and I’d say the kids got the hang of it before I did. It was certainly a big part of the challenge to switch your carabiner from side to side while balancing on a little platform far up in the trees. There were several obstacles for which I was legitimately scared. I think I would have liked to have tried to challenge myself to some of the even harder courses but time didn’t allow for that bravery. (Yep, I’m blaming time when it was probably because I was too scared!)

We could have stayed for hours and hours longer but we did eventually grow hungry and exhausted. We had so much fun and we all were steady non-stop talking about which obstacle was the scariest and how hard it was or how easy it was or how scary it was. London, my stay-at-home-every-day kind of kid, pulled me aside as we were turning in our gear and whispered, “Momma – I’m sorry for not having the best attitude about this trip when you told us about it. It was way more fun than I ever thought it would be.”

Planning Your Family Trip to Asheville Adventure Park

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park features lots of other options for adventurous souls. There is one of the more popular Asheville zip line canopy tours, a bungee-style jump, and the Kolo bike park for mountain biking with bike rentals and pump tracks.

I know I have an unusually large family. (Although, ironically, lately London says she feels as if our family is small.  I think I agree with her. It’s all perspective, people.)  But I know not everyone has to fork over entry fees for five kids when they take adventures.

The prices at Asheville Adventure Park seem high. It’s pricier than a movie, for sure. (Although, not by  much!) You certainly do get a lot of bang for your buck. After having spent a long morning at the park though, I can guarantee, the prices are worth it!

The adventure is fun. The challenges are great. The bonding can’t be beaten. Sharing pictures and telling others what you can’t even believe that you conquered – just the perfect amount of thrill. It’s so conveniently located that you can treat it as a staycation option or as a choice for when out-of-town friends come for a weekend visit. Reservations are recommended, especially if you plan to travel with a larger group.

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park
1 Resort Drive
Asheville, NC 28803
See Asheville Treetops Adventure Park website for current hours and directions

I hope you decide to go. And I hope you take lots of pictures and I hope you get to make as many sweet and solid memories with your cool kids as I got to make with mine.

Are your kids brave enough for Asheville Adventure Park?

Sunflower field at Biltmore

Looking for more to do in Asheville? Check out KA’s Ultimate Guide to Things to Do in Asheville, NC

SUMMER FUN: Kids Ride Free on this Scenic Bryson City Train in the Great Smoky Mountains

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The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has an excellent summertime deal for taking a scenic train ride out of the historic depot in North Carolina’s Bryson City. Train lovers, this is your chance to take the little ones in your family on an adventure, for much cheaper. Kids ride free on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad out of downtown Bryson City, NC this summer! The depot is only about two hours from Greenville, SC and you can stay overnight in the North Carolina mountains or do a day trip.

Great Smoky Mountain Trail: Summer Kids Ride Free

I always thought there was something oh-so-romantic about riding an old steam locomotive train. Maybe it’s just because it’s not something we do often in today’s modern world or that the old photos of these trains often had women with beautiful, full dresses and lace umbrellas and boots – something I always thought was pretty cool.

While I don’t have a hoop skirt – and won’t anytime soon – luckily you don’t need one to ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. This is the same Bryson City train that does the Polar Express during the Christmas season. We’ve got all the details on a pretty awesome deal they have for families over the summer though!

Kids Ride Free on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad


Ride an Indoor Helicopter at the Cradle of Forestry near Brevard, NC

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The Cradle of Forestry is a hidden gem in Pisgah Forest up near Brevard, NC. It’s a fascinating place and has lots of special events and both indoor and outdoor fun.

Sometimes there are cool places hidden in plain sight that you may drive by so many times and just never notice. We try to find these kinds of neat places and tell you about them so you can experience all the coolness we did! One such place is about 90 minutes from Greenville nestled in Pisgah Forest near Brevard, NC called the Cradle of Forestry. It’s amazing and totally worth the trip up there (plus, I’ll tell you some other neat things to do in the area). 

Cradle of Forestry

Take Your Family on a High-Speed Adventure at ZMAX Dragway in Concord, NC

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Thinking about a visit to ZMAX Dragway in Charlotte, NC? When is the last time you stood up to watch something go 300 mph? Been a long time or maybe never? Then you should plan a trip to the ZMAX Dragway for an NHRA National Event.

We got a chance to visit for the NHRA Carolina Nationals and couldn’t believe all the things we got to experience. And the best part? Kids are FREE. So your 300 mph family adventure just got a lot more budget-friendly. Here’s everything you need to know.

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The next NHRA event at ZMAX Dragway is coming soon! Get tickets now for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals: April 28th – 30th, 2023

Thank you to Explore Cabarrus County for providing tickets so we could bring our readers this review!

entrance to ZMAX Dragwa

26+ Fun Day Trips for Spring

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With spring break around the corner, Kidding Around Greenville gives you a list of fun day trips not too far from home. To make room for some unpredictable weather, we have separated the list of spring day trips into two main categories: indoor and outdoor.

To help in your trip planning, we have also listed a summary of driving times in the end. Before going, just be mindful of operation hours. Lastly, don’t forget to take photos and tag us on social media! For more Day Trip ideas see our Day Trips Near Greenville page.

Spring Day Trips Near Greenville, SC