Blowing Rock is a fantastic base of operations for your family getaway. If you are traveling with young children, this itinerary offers some ideas for an action-packed day.
Morning: Tweetsie Railroad
The park opens at 9am so you can get the day started right with historic steam locomotives, Wild West shows, dancing, rides and more! Tweetsie Railroad (open mid-April through October) is NC’s first theme park and is going strong for a 66th season. With guests all season long, there’s extra fun many days, plus Ghost Train Halloween Festival on weekends in October, and Christmas Train Light Festival on weekends in December. It’s best to take at least half a day to enjoy all the fun at Tweetsie Railroad! There’s lots of food available in the park, so lunch is an easy option. Or, you can bring in food and drinks to enjoy at your leisure.
Less than 10 minutes from downtown Blowing Rock on Hwy 321, allow 4+ hours.
Afternoon: Mystery Hill
Mystery Hill is located right next to Tweetsie Railroad, and offer more laid back fun after the hustle of the park. At Mystery Hill, experience the disorienting gravitational vortex, fun science experiments, tomahawk throwing, bull riding, old time photos, and historical artifacts.
Less than 10 minutes from downtown Blowing Rock on Hwy 321, allow at least 2 hours.
Afternoon: Doc’s Rocks Gem Mining
Doc’s Rocks Gem Mining is located at the front of Shoppes on the Parkway with it’s own parking lot. It is an educational mining experience, with friendly rock hounds at the ready to tell you all about the gems that you will find. They can cut and set gems for you as well, so you can have a beautiful keepsake from your mining fun. They also offer paleo putt-putt, and laser tag for added adventure and fun!
Less than 5 minutes from downtown Blowing Rock on Hwy 321, allow at least 1 hour.
Evening: Dinner, Dessert, & Memorial Park
Enjoy a family friendly dinner at one of Blowing Rock’s great restaurants. For a tasty kid’s menu and a family atmosphere, try out El Rincon or Mellow Mushroom. Many more restaurants in town are very family-friendly. See our Restaurants Page for more options.
Then, after dinner round everyone up for dessert at Kilwin’s Ice Cream & Fudge Shop. It’s a traditional after-dinner stop for many folks, and the shop features lots of sweet options. Enjoy the treats in Memorial Park right across the street, where there’s lots of room to expend any remaining energy on swings and jungle gyms. There are plenty of relaxing benches, too!
Want more ideas for fun with young kids? Try these:
–High Gravity Adventures– An aerial adventure park, right next to Tweetsie Railroad, offering exciting fun for all ages. After a lesson with the safety equipment, you’re ready to get off the ground and enjoy an array of ropes, platforms, and climbing challenges. Allow 3 hours, open spring, summer, and fall.
–Blowing Rock Art & History Museum – The museum hosts lots of events for kids and families, from concerts to art classes, and offers changing exhibits. Allow 1 hour, check for events and times. Open year round.
–Blowing Rock Community Pool – Our local outdoor pool is an updated facility, with wading areas for young children and full-time lifeguards. Great daily rates, open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
–Grandfather Mountain – Watch otters swim, learn about the mountain habitats, see black bears, and walk on the mile high swinging bridge. About 25 minutes from Blowing Rock, allow 3+ hours. Open year round, weather permitting.
–Fishing at Broyhill Park – No fishing licenses are required to fish in the pond at Broyhill Park. Get tackle and bait at the nearby Village Hardware on Green Street. Grab some birdseed to hand feed the park ducks while you’re there! Located adjacent to downtown Blowing Rock. Open year round.
–Linville Caverns – See the inside of a mountain! About 35 minutes from Blowing Rock, allow 1 hour. Open year round.
–Hike Bass Lake – Flat loop, 1 mile long. Less than 5 minutes from Downtown Blowing Rock, access & parking on Hwy 221, 1 mile from Main Street. Allow 45 minutes. Park open year round.
–Price Park – Boat rentals available in summer, easy trail around the lake for exploring, and large park with creek and picnic tables. About 10 minutes from Blowing Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Allow 1 hour.