7 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Boone, North Carolina

From the cool crisp air to breathtaking mountain views, kids and adults alike will find Boone, North Carolina an amazing retreat.  While adults love the relaxing views of Boone, families will need to find things to do with kids in Boone to keep them busy. 

We travelled to Boone over spring break, with kids ranging from two to twelve years old. After a bit of research, our trip was filled with lots of fun activities.  If you know where to look, there is a wide variety of fun things to do with kids in Boone NC.  

Tweetsie Railroad

tweetsie railroad welcome building

Topping of the list of fun, kid friendly things to do near Boone is the Tweetsie Railroad. This family-friendly theme park is located only a few miles outside of Boone and offers a variety of fun activities for kids. 

steam train at the Tweetsie Railroad in Boone, North Carolina

The park features two historic narrow-gauge trains that takes visitors on a scenic ride through the mountains, as well as lots of other activities. There are tons of kid friendly amusement park rides from boats to jet planes, mostly geared towards younger kids.

ski lift ride at the Tweetsie Railroad in Boone, NC

The Tweetsie Railroad also has a small zoo where children visit animals.  They have deer, goats, llamas that kids can feed.

There are shows throughout the Tweetsie Railroad, including bandits that might come aboard the train ride during your stay. 

two boys on blue and yellow motorcycles on a ride at the Tweetsie Railroad.

Overall the setting is beautiful, the park is clean, and younger children will love visiting Tweetsie Railroad.  Its good, simple fun, and our family thought this was one of the best kid friendly activities near Boone, NC.

Address:  300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Grandfather Mountain

legs and feet of a mom and son looking over the view off of Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is another great kid friendly place to visit in Boone. The mountain is home to some of the best views in North Carolina and provides plenty of activities for kids.

At the top of the mountain, the mile-high swinging bridge located on Grandfather Mountain is a must-do activity for adventurous families. The bridge spans an 80 foot chasm, providing stunning views and lots of fun for the whole family. Kids will love walking across the swinging bridge, and parents will appreciate the majestic views.

Suspension bridge at Grandfather Mountain

We also visited the Nature Museum located on Grandfather Mountain. This museum has several interactive exhibits that teach kids about the fauna, flora, and geology of the area. 

Outside of the museum, Grandfather Mountain has several wildlife habitats for families to explore.  The mountain features cougars, black bears, bald eagles, river otters and elk all native to the surrounding area.

Four kids sitting on the top of Grandfather Mountain

Overall, Grandfather Mountain is a great day trip for families if they are visiting Boone.  There is a lot to do (more than just the mountain), and kid friendly activities can easy fill a day.

Pro Tip:  Grandfather Mountain was really crowded the day that we went. I would recommend getting there early, as in the afternoon parking fills up and it can be difficult to see what you want to see.

Address: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646

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Foggy Mountain Gem Mine

No trip to North Carolina is complete with out gem mining.  Foggy Mountain Gem Mine is a great great kid-friendly activity near Boone. Kids will have a blast searching for gem stones in buckets of sand and gravel.  

At the Foggy Mountain Gem Mine, 2 gallon buckets cost $30, and the standard 5 gallon bucket is $70 per piece.  A 5 gallon bucket will keep kids busy for atleast an hour, sifting through the rocks, and they are sure to come away with some really unique gems.

Address:  2422 Highway 321, Boone, NC

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Linville Caverns

45 minutes from the town of Boone, Linville Caverns is a fun kid-friendly North Carolina destination that is great for all ages. The caves provide an amazing, underground adventure for kids and adults alike.

Rock Formations at Linville Caverns

Linville Caverns are filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and other amazing rock formations that were created by years of erosion. Kids will enjoy the unique experience of walking through tight spaces and exploring underground passages.

The tour guides provide lots of interesting information about the cave, as well as a few fun stories. Kids will love learning about the history and geology of the caverns during the hour long tour.

Linville Caverns is a great place to visit if you are looking for something different to do with your family while in Boone.

Address: 19929 US-221, Marion, NC 28752

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Mystery Hill

Mystery Hill was a unique experience for our family when we visited Boone that is good for older kids. Located just outside of town, Mystery Hill is an attraction that features a variety of optical illusions and unique activities.  

There is quite a hodgepodge of things to see at Mystery Hill. The feature is their Vortex Room where a natural gravitational anomaly makes balls and water roll uphill. They also have a large collection of Native American artifacts, a mechanical bull ride, and tomahawk throwing. There are even Old Time photos.

Mystery Hill has some history, and the staff is great at sharing it with you.  Overall, this attraction is a bit quirky, but not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, particularly with tweens.  

Address:  129 Mystery Hill Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

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The Cascades Trail

The Cascades Trail is a great way to spend a morning with kids in Boone. Located just outside of town, the trail is a moderate hike that takes you to a beautiful waterfall. The path is mostly flat and well maintained, making it perfect for families with young children.

As you make your way down the Cascades Trail, there are plenty of rocks and logs for kids to climb on, adding to the fun. At the end of the hike, you will find a beautiful cascading waterfall. It is a perfect place to take pictures and spend some time with your family.

The Cascades Trail is an easy, kid-friendly activity that is great for families visiting Boone.

Address: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 272.5, Purlear, NC 2866

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Otter Falls

Otter Falls in Seven Devils, North Carolina

A bit further out of the town of Boone in Seven Devils, North Carolina, the Otter Falls Trail is a great place to spend a couple of hours with the family. The hike is a bit challenging on the way back up, but if your kids have hiked before, this trip is well worth it. 

Young boy with a red shirt hiking in the woods on Otter Trail in Seven Devils, North Carolina

The Otter Falls Trail total hike is 1.2 miles in and out.  At the end of the trail, you’ll find the beautiful Otter Falls. The waterfall is a great place to take pictures and spend some time with the kids.  They will enjoy dipping their toes into the water, and climbing the rocks below.  Pack a picnic and enjoy it with the sound of cascading water.  

Little boy playing with rocks in the stream under Otter Trail in Seven Devils, North Carolina

This Otter Falls Trail hike is a great kid friendly thing to do in the Boone area, and well worth the drive if you enjoy hiking with your family.  

Address: 825 Skyland Dr, Seven Devils, NC 28604

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Grandfather Trout Farm

Young boy with a fishing pole at Grandfather Trout Farm

I was a bit of a skeptic at first, but visiting Grandfather Trout Farm was a highlight for our family when we visited Boone. Located just outside of town, the farm offers kids a unique and interactive experience fishing for trout.

Grandfather Trout Farm has several small lakes that are full of trout. Equipment, tackle, and bait is free, and you pay for what you catch. They will even clean your fish for you at the end of your day. We aren’t avid fishers, so when our seven year old caught his first fish here, it was pretty exciting.

Father with son in his lap holding a fishing pole

For kids that might not be as interested in fishing, there is also gem mining on the property.

If you are looking for a unique experience, particularly for kids that have never fished before, don’t hesitate to give Grandfather Trout Farm a try – its actually really fun.

Address:  10767 NC-105 S, Banner Elk, NC 28604

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