Did your spring break vacay just become a staycation? Hanging local doesn’t have to be dull. In fact, it can be a welcome opportunity to explore your hometown and fall in love with WNC all over again. Here are a few of our favorite family friendly spring activities that are sure to be a hit with your crew. Try one or mix and match for a fun packed week.
Sticking Close to Asheville
Asheville has plenty to offer – just ask the 4 million tourists that flock here yearly. But as a local resident, chances are, you don’t take the time to explore it as regularly as you should.
Grab a morning boost – Before an activity packed day of family exploration, we dig a light + healthy breakfast. Milk & Honey Organic Cafe’s cold pressed juices and superfood smoothies always hit the spot. They also offer more kid friendly options like breakfast sandwiches.
Explore the outdoors at the NC Arboretum – The NC Arboretum is home to a host of family friendly trails and exhibits. But among our favorite resources are their Discovery Backpacks. These packs are chockfull of tools for discovering and exploring the natural world. They’re free to borrow – just stop by the Baker Exhibition Center to pick one up.
Slices and a show at Asheville Pizza – If an active morning has you ready to sit still and take a load off, it’s hard to go wrong with a $3 movie at Asheville Pizza‘s Merrimon location. There’s usually a kid friendly movie during the day, and you won’t find better theater snacks than their pizza and nachos.
Board games at Well Played – Nothing says family bonding like a little friendly competition. This cute downtown cafe has hundreds of games available to play, so you’re sure to find one for every family member.
Explore local makers – Just because you’re staying local doesn’t mean you have to pass on the souvenirs. While you’re downtown, stop by Diamond Brand Outdoors and check out our unique assortment of finds from local makers.
Watch intricate glass crafting – If you have older kids (or ones that are good at staying still), watching the craftsmen at Lexington Avenue Glassworks as they hand blow complex designs is an experience not to be missed.
Sandwich time – No vacation is complete without ice cream. We’re partial to the hand scooped ice cream cookie sandwiches at Sunshine Sammies (conveniently, it’s right behind Diamond Brand Outdoors and beside Lexington Avenue Glassworks). They also have a great selection of gluten free cookies and vegan ice creams.
Take a jaunt on the Urban Trail – Getting outside doesn’t always mean getting out of town. Downtown Asheville’s Urban Trail is a great way to venture out, without ever being too far away from snacks and bathrooms.
On the South Side
If you haven’t spent a day exploring Hendersonville, you’re missing out. From trails to ales and everything in between, this small town has everything you need for a perfect day.
Breakfast at Hendough – We love a good biscuit and a good pun – fortunately Hendough has both. This chicken and doughnut hangout is a play on Hendersonville’s long standing nickname (Hendo/Hen-Dough, get it?). Their fresh baked biscuits are available with gourmet toppings like smothered chicken and pimento cheese, but they also offer classics for the more picky eaters in your crew.
Visit Carl Sandburg’s home – This National Historic Site is an excellent destination for a rich historical experience and enjoying beautiful scenery, but if we had to describe what makes it awesome in one word, that word would be GOATS. If we got two words – BABY GOATS. A short and kid friendly walk from the parking area is the goat barn, where the descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s beloved goats still frolic freely. The goats socialized from a young age, so all but the most skittish of children will enjoy petting them. In the spring, you’re likely to see newborn goats. On a chilly day they might even be wearing hand knit sweaters. Try not to be in a good mood while seeing a baby goat snuggled up in a sweater – we bet you can’t.
Older kids will also enjoy exploring the extensive trails on the property.
Lunch at Flat Rock Village Bakery – Feeling peckish? Our go-to lunch spot is just a couple minutes from Carl Sandburg’s home. With a creative menu of original sandwiches on homemade bread, wood-fired pizzas, and rustic pastries, this local haunt has a little something for everyone.
Takin’ it indoors – Just because the weather isn’t cooperating, doesn’t mean a screen is your only option. The Appalachian Pinball Museum on Main Street features dozens of playable vintage pinball machines. All day play is a reasonable flat fee, so you can keep the kids (and you) entertained for hours.
Mama needs a beer – After a full day of family fun, a cold one sounds mighty inviting. We recommend checking out Dry Falls Brewing just outside of downtown. This low-key brewery has a diverse and constantly rotating selection of brews, and plenty of space to spread out.