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What to Do With Kids When It’s Hot in WNC

What to Do With Kids When It’s Hot in WNC

June 05, 2023

Summer in Western North Carolina is a delightful season filled with natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and a vibrant atmosphere. Nestled in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains, this region offers a pleasant respite from the heat and humidity found in other parts of the state and the southeastern United States. 

With its charming small towns, lush forests, majestic peaks, and refreshing rivers, Western North Carolina becomes a haven for locals and tourists alike seeking a memorable summer experience.

Many families venture to our area from down east and south to escape the extreme heat during the dog days of summer. However, temperatures can soar here in the Asheville area as well. We are fortunate that there are numerous options to escape the worst of the heat and find ways to cool down. In this article, we’re discussing family activities in western North Carolina during the hottest days of summer.

How Families Beat the Heat in Western North Carolina

When the temperatures rise in Western North Carolina and you're looking for ways to cool down with kids, there are plenty of options to beat the heat and have a great time. Here are some activities and destinations that offer relief from the summer heat:

1) Waterfalls and Swimming Holes

Western North Carolina is known for its stunning waterfalls and natural swimming holes. Take your kids on a refreshing adventure to places like Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest, where they can slide down a natural rock slide into a cool pool of water. Other popular spots include Skinny Dip Falls, Looking Glass Falls, and Hooker Falls. Remember to practice water safety and supervise children at all times.

2) High Elevation Hiking

Temperatures can be ten to twenty degrees cooler at higher elevations, especially above 5,000 feet of elevation. Of course, it is still important to bring plenty of water and snacks, but a high elevation hike can offer the opportunity to experience amazing views while staying relatively cool. 

3) Lakes and Rivers

Western North Carolina is home to several beautiful lakes and rivers, providing opportunities for boating, swimming, and water sports. Lake Lure and Lake James are popular destinations where families can rent paddle boards, kayaks, or pontoon boats to explore the calm waters. 

Additionally, tubing or rafting down the French Broad River or Nantahala River can be an exciting way to stay cool and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

4) Indoor Activities: 

On particularly hot days, you can opt for indoor activities that offer air conditioning and entertainment. Asheville's KidSenses Children's Interactive Museum and the Asheville Museum of Science both provide hands-on exhibits, educational displays, and play areas for children of all ages. 

The Asheville Pinball Museum is another fun option, where kids can play a wide selection of vintage pinball machines and classic arcade games.

5) Whitewater Rafting 

Whitewater rafting is an exhilarating and memorable family activity that perfectly combines adventure, teamwork, and the breathtaking beauty of Western North Carolina's rivers. 

With its scenic landscapes and thrilling rapids, this region offers an ideal setting for families seeking an exciting water adventure together. Whether you're new to rafting or have previous experience, Western North Carolina provides a range of options suitable for all ages and skill levels.

One of the most popular destinations for whitewater rafting in Western North Carolina is the Nantahala River. The Nantahala offers a family-friendly rafting experience with Class II and Class III rapids, making it suitable for beginners and children as young as seven years old. Rafting trips on the Nantahala River typically cover an eight-mile stretch and take around two to three hours to complete.

6) Outdoor Water Play

Set up a water play area in your own backyard or at a local park. Get a kiddie pool, water sprinklers, water guns, or water balloons for some refreshing fun. Western North Carolina has many public parks equipped with playgrounds and picnic areas, allowing families to enjoy a day out while staying cool under shade trees and playing in splash pads.

7) Visit Mountain Streams

Explore the region's scenic mountain streams where kids can splash, wade, and play in the clear, cool water. Wilson Creek, near Morganton, is a popular spot with shallow pools and small cascades that are perfect for children. Be sure to choose safe areas without strong currents and always supervise children near water.

8) Ice Cream Treats

Treat your kids to some delicious ice cream or frozen yogurt from local creameries or shops. Asheville has a wide range of options, including The Hop Ice Cream Cafe and Ultimate Ice Cream. It's a tasty way to beat the heat and indulge in some refreshing treats.

Are You Considering Alternatives to Public Education?

Are you searching for alternative education options for your children this summer? Emmanuel Lutheran School is an exceptional educational institution dedicated to providing a nurturing and academically rigorous environment for students in western North Carolina.

At Emmanuel Lutheran School, we prioritize your child's holistic development, offering a well-rounded education that focuses on academic excellence, character formation, and spiritual growth. Our dedicated team of experienced educators is committed to creating a safe, supportive, and engaging learning environment where each student can thrive.

Reach out to our team this summer for more information about our school and to schedule a tour.