Family Friendly Thanksgiving Vacation Activities

Family Friendly Spring Break

Thanksgiving brings families together making us take a moment to slow down and relax… wait no, that’s not completely right. If you have kids you know Thanksgiving can be a whirlwind of being entertainment hosts, “are we there yets”, and delicious food aromas that torture your kids for hours before they’re allowed to eat it. Keep your kids busy this Thanksgiving Weekend with family friendly hikes, activities, games, and even restaurants to eat at on Thanksgiving Day if the grown ups need a break from all the fun!

Family Activities:

Maggie Valley Puzzle Room Escape Room

Photo courtesy Maggie Valley Puzzle Room

Roller Skating
See how many times Dad will try to show off at the Smoky Mountain Sk8tway and Fun Zone. Wear all white on November 24th for their Electric Black Out Skate event starting at 6pm.

Challenge a Escape Room
Can your family work together to escape a 3D puzzle room at Maggie Valley Puzzle Rooms? Requires humor, teamwork, and a willingness to fail. For kids ages 4-8 you must call ahead to reserve your room: 828-558-1511. Open at 6pm November 23 and regular hours through the weekend.

Lighting Up Maggie Valley
Kick off the holiday season with the family on November 24th, 3-6 p.m. at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Free admission with the donation of a non perishable food item. This family friendly event will host a Santa Strut and costume contest, ugly sweater contest, live music, singing Christmas carols, and of course the lighting of the Maggie Valley Christmas Tree.

Dig for Mystery Gems
Stop by the Maggie Valley Rock Shop to pick up a “mystery bucket” and dig for your own gems. There’s also plenty of crystals and gems in the store for you to pick out exactly what you like.

Family shopping for candy at Mast General Waynesville, NC

Sugar Rush to Barrels of Candy
Treat the family to Mast General’s huge selection of old time favorites and new candy sweets. Plenty of family games to purchase in store as well, who doesn’t love family game night?

Ice cream and a Movie
Head to The Strand and treat your kids to ice cream while treating yourself to a craft beer. Watch a family friendly movie in the laid back environment and come back Saturday night, November 25th for open mic night beginning at 7:30.

Mehaffey Christmas Tree Farm Kid Friendly

Photo courtesy of Mehaffey Tree Farm

Disc Golf
Best for kids older than 12, grab a frisbee and try your hand at the Waynesville Park & Rec Center.

Cut your own Christmas Tree
Choose from our many choose and cut tree farms: Boyd Mountain, Dutch Cove, Mehaffey Tree Farm, Nisbitt, and WNC Christmas Tree Farms.

See the Elk
Drive to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see elk, you might even catch them bugeling. Follow our Elk 101 guide for best viewing practices.

Stop in and say hello at our Visitor Center
We’ve got plenty of children books, coloring and activity books, gems, and stuffed animals to treat your kids to or save for a Christmas present. Grab a free hand drawn map for a souvenir or to use on your next family hiking adventure.

Family Hikes in the NC Smokies:

Ferguson Cabin Trail
Take the family on an easy 1.2 mile loop or just walk the .6 mile down to Ferguson’s Cabin. Starting at the Research Center you can follow the trail down through the gate and fork to the right to discover the cabin.

Waterrock Knob
Fairly steep but short this .5 mile hike will bring you to beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 1 mile round trip. Views from the parking lot are just as great! Hike from the Waterrock Visitor Center. Not be accessible if the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed.

Soco Falls
Beautiful Waterfall on Soco Road, access is steep but right off the road. You can also view from deck if you do not feel comfortable climbing down the decline. Drive West on Soco Rd from Maggie Valley.

Max Patch Hike
1.4 miles – 2.4 miles hikes with stunning 360 views. Hike up the incline and enjoy a picnic or walk around to explore the surrounding summits.

Family Friendly Dinning on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22

Southern Porch – Canton
Thanksgiving Buffet at 1 p.m.
Adults $25 / 12 and under $12.50 / under 5 Free
Reservations 828-492-8006

The Maggie Valley Club – Pin High Bar & Grille – Maggie Valley
Thanksgiving Buffet from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Adults $26.95 / 10 and under $6.95
Reservations 828-926-4848

J. Arthurs Restaurant – Maggie Valley
Thanksgiving Dinner serving traditional and non traditional entrees from 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults $ vary / 12 and under $12.99
Reservations 828-926-1817

The Waynesville Inn – Cork & Cleaver – Waynesville
Thanksgiving Buffet from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Adults $30.95 / 6-12 $14.95 / under 5 Free
Reservations 828-456-3551 ext. 3

The Terrace – Lake Junaluska
Thanksgiving Buffet from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Adults $29.95 / 4-11 $13 / under 3 Free
Reservations 800-222-4930 ext. 1

Salty Dog’s Seafood & Grill – Maggie Valley
Special Meal & Regular Menu open at 3 p.m

Sagebrush Steak House – Waynesville
Thanksgiving Meal & Regular Menu

Bogart’s – Waynesville
Open with Regular Menu

Cataloochee Ranch – Maggie Valley
** fully booked

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