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The 10 Best Family Attractions in the Smoky Mountains NC


Haywood County is the perfect destination for kids of all ages—even those who are kids at heart. No matter what season, there are so many ways to get out and embrace your wild side. With a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, your itinerary will be filled to the brim. If you and your adventurous herd are looking for a getaway and a good time, check out these 10 things to do here in Haywood:

Water Works

Take a trip down Haywood’s many refreshing waterways. If you’re looking for a thrill, look no further than Lake Junaluska. Stop by the Lake Junaluska Aquatic Center to rent canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, or paddleboards. Or bring your gear to wade into adventure at Lake Logan. If optimal relaxation is what you seek, try tubing the Pigeon River. This scenic route ends at BearWaters Brewing Co. so you can grab a local ale and a bite from one of our many local eateries before wrapping up your day at the splash pad and community pool at Canton Recreation Park. Choose whatever floats your boat, and make some waves on your family vacay!

Horseback Riding

Saddle up and explore the North Carolina Smokies with some mountain horseback riding. Choose the length of your journey and let our friendly neigh-bors do the rest. Even if it is a spur-of-the-moment decision, you and your kiddos will have a blast taking in our scenic view from new heights.


Looking to help your family disconnect from their phones? Tell them to take a hike—literally! There are so many easy hiking trails for kids to enjoy. Graveyard Fields may sound spooky, but this beautiful hike visits two waterfalls and pools for wading. Pack a picnic, connect with nature, and make some memories on a family-friendly hike

Rock Shop and Gem Mining

To put it quite plainly—this place rocks! Check out their selection of crystals, minerals, and fossils. This gem of a place also allows you to participate in some real gem mining While you’re there, browse their shop. They’ve got a unique collection of stones and jewelry pieces that you can purchase to take home and make something special. See what fun you and your crew can dig up.


Reel in the excitement! Haywood County has several spots to get hooked on fishing. Bring your own reel or stop by the Visitor Center to borrow one and ask for a free tackle box. Who knows, you might be the lucky winner of a great catch. Any fin is possible!


Grab your winter clothes, bundle up, and start planning for the time of your life. Cataloochee Ski Area is the perfect place to enjoy some winter adventures with your family. Hit the slopes with some skiing and snowboarding for just the lift you need. For more downhill fun, visit Tube World for winter tubing that is ‘snow’ joke. Just remember—with great ‘powder’ comes great responsibility.


Mini Golfing

Pick out a putter and gather for some tee-rific mini-golf. Maggie Valley is home to two great places to practice your short game. Check out Fantasy Golf and Game Room for a course beyond your imagination. Maggie Valley Carpet Golf is another excellent destination for 18 holes of family fun. Time to start making memories you and your group will never fore-get!

Winchester Creek Farm

Going on an adventure? Alpaca bag! Winchester Creek Farm is a family-owned and operated farm that stretches 20 acres. They have a variety of horses, cows, donkeys, alpacas, and more. These adorable animals will make your heart melt. When you go, tell Penelope the pig we said hello!


As Western North Carolina’s largest roller-skating rink and family fun center, you wheely won’t want to miss out on Smoky Mountain Sk8way and Fun Zone. Try your hand at arcade games, climbing walls, inflatable obstacle courses, and more. Then, enjoy some fun tunes while you skate on their wooden rink and let the good times roll.

Puzzle Rooms

Let the mind games begin! Visit Maggie Valley Puzzle Rooms for a themed escape room that is perfect for family bonding. Follow the clues and work together to solve the final mystery. This is the missing piece to your trip of family fun.

When it comes to family-friendly games and adventures in Haywood County, the list is endless. These 10 activities just scratch the surface of what we offer. Make sure you tag us @VisitNCSmokies or use #EmbraceUnsual so we can see those lasting memories.

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