If Asheville is known for anything, it’s the great outdoors. We are surrounded by the tallest mountains in the South and hundreds of thousands of protected acres of woodlands. Rivers and creeks crisscross our region, and there are numerous waterfalls and mountain lakes. From land to watersports, the list of activities you can do outside is a lot endless.
The weather here is part of what brings millions of visitors and thousands of new residents to our area every year. It’s measurably cooler during the summer months than Charlotte, Greenville, and Raleigh. On the ridges, it can be fifteen to twenty degrees lower than Asheville.
Sometimes, however, the weather just doesn’t cooperate. It might just be too hot and humid to hike, too windy to get on the water, and too rainy to enjoy your backyard. What do you do when you can’t get your kids out of the house, off their screens, and help them burn off their energy?
Believe it or not, there’s a lot to do inside in western North Carolina. We’re going to discuss the plethora of indoor activities to keep families entertained during summer. Here is a list of things to do when the weather doesn’t cooperate during summer.
Ten Summer Indoor Activities in and Around Asheville
1) Visit One of the Museums
There are a number of interesting museums in and around downtown Asheville, including:
- The Asheville Museum of Science: The Asheville Museum of Science is Asheville’s top interactive science destination. AMOS is a must-see for the whole family, with fully interactive displays and a range of educational events. In the Hall of Minerals, you will pretend to be a geologist, modify landscapes in real-time with their Terra Box display, dig for fossils, and meet the Teratophoneus dinosaur skeleton.
- The Pinball Museum: The Pinball Museum is exactly what it sounds like, a building full of thirty-five pinball and thirty-five classic arcade games. And they are not just relics; you can play them as long as you like for just $15. It’s first-come, first-serve, so make sure you check their hours and arrive as early as possible.
- Moogseum: The Moogseum is a museum dedicated to the heritage of synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog. With multi-sensory, participatory timeframes and displays, an engaging dome presenting how power becomes sound, a historical investigation of synthesizers, and the possibility for guests to play both theremins and Moog synthesizers, the Moogseum explores Bob Moog’s amazing contributions to sound and music.
- The Asheville Art Museum: The Museum’s collections and exhibits focus on American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, featuring works that demonstrate the country’s aesthetic and cultural evolution. The museum also preserves Southern Appalachian artistic traditions, reflects Western North Carolina’s distinctive cultural mix, and investigates the mutual influence of Southern Appalachia on American art.
If it’s too rainy or too hot in western North Carolina, you can still have a fun day exploring Appalachia and helping your kids learn something too.
2) Bounce Around at the Trampoline Park
Launch Trampoline Park is located in Arden and has exactly what you’ve come to expect from trampoline parks. There’s plenty of jumping, a foam pit, arcade games, party rooms, and more. This is a great way to let the kids burn off some steam on a rainy day.
3) Check Out Asheville Art Galleries
River Arts District: The RAD is one of the premier art districts in the South. You can find dozens of world-class artists and art galleries in the area, as well as great food and shopping.
Folk Art Center: The Folk Art Center is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway just outside of Asheville, Black Mountain, and Swannanoa. You’ll find interesting Appalachian art exhibits and get a taste of what the area was like in the past.
Downtowns: Whether it’s downtown Asheville, Black Mountain, Hendersonville, Mars Hill, or any of the towns in between, there are numerous art galleries throughout the area that are well worth exploring.
4) Play Laser Tag
If you haven’t played modern laser tag, you might realize just how much the game has changed and evolved. It’s not your mom or dad’s laser tag. The way we do it at Black Mountain Adventure Zone is much more like a video game than what you would expect.
Our laser tag arena is the same one that we use for GellyBall (more about GellyBall below), but the games are usually limited to eight participants at a time to ensure the most fun possible.
Team fights, capture the flag, traitor town, one-on-one or two-on-two championships, and other games are all led by our professional staff to ensure kids and adults are having a blast. State-of-the-art headbands have replaced bulks vests victories, defeats, and individual stats much like video games.
We normally play in groups of up to four players per team, but if there are more in your party, we will form additional teams and swap games quickly to ensure that everyone receives enough playing time. You’ll be surprised how much of a workout it is playing new laser tag.
5) Play GellyBall
At Black Mountain Adventure Zone, laser tag is often the entry point for GellyBall. In case you haven’t yet experienced it, GellyBall is a relatively new, revolutionary shooting game that combines all the best parts of paintball and airsoft without the sting.
In addition to being biodegradable, GellyBall ammo is almost entirely made up of water. It’s not toxic and won’t leave a stain. Plus, it doesn’t hurt!
“GellyBall is totally different! It feels like getting flicked with a rubber band. That’s it. So, your kids won’t get bruised and battered playing this fun game.”Black Mountain Adventure Zone
Kids as young as five can enjoy GellyBall. The blasters are battery-powered and intuitive. They shoot accurately up to sixty feet and are easy to use. We do all the reloading, and with a quick tutorial at the beginning of the game, kids and adults can be ready to fire in no time. By the end of the session, you’ll feel like pros.
6) Tour the Biltmore House
The largest privately-owned residence in the United States, the Biltmore House takes you back in time to the turn of the Twentieth Century opulence. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this living time capsule and exploring the intricately-designed grounds.
7) Ride on a Train
Launching from scenic downtown Bryson City, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad is a train ride you and your kids will be talking about for some time to come.
“Our passenger excursions take you from our historic depot in Bryson City, through the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina, to various destinations. Our variety of passenger train options and special event trains makes us perfect for making memories and experiencing the true form of railroading!”Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
You’ll be treated to stunning views of Fontana Lake and the Nantahala Valley while still being sheltered from rain and heat.
8) Roll Around the Skate Park
The RAD Skatepark is an indoor skate park located in the heart of the River Arts District. At the same time, many of the features require some level of experience; if you or your child skates, they will love the RAD Skatepark.
9) Play at an Indoor Playground or Solve an Escape Room
If your family wants to take on a challenge together, the FOX-N-OTTER offers challenges and puzzles for the whole family:
“Our games have compelling backstories that drive fast-paced escape games forward. The door closes behind you, and the 60-minute race against the clock begins! You and your team must connect clues, solve riddles, use cyphers, discover patterns and get creative to complete your group challenge. Asheville Escape Rooms”
For an indoor playground younger kids are sure to enjoy, check out the Mountain Play Lodge:
“Mountain Play Lodge was founded in 2011 to provide a safe, clean and fun play environment for families. Through the years, we have worked hard to not only provide a fun place for families and friends but to give back to the community that has supported us!”
Combined with other activities like Laser Tag, GellyBall, and a round of games at the pinball museum, these activities can wear out the kids just as much as a tough hike.
10) Visit the Shark Lab
Did you know that our area has one of the only public inland aquariums in North Carolina? According to Visit Asheville, “The Aquarium houses 20+ displays of tropical fish, eels, stingrays, sea horses, turtles, a touch tank, a 2,000-gallon shark study tank with bamboo sharks, and more!” This is a great way to spend a few hours indoors!
Black Mountain Adventure Zone
Don’t fret if it rains on your Asheville vacation. Don’t get stuck inside when the mercury soars too high for hiking and mountain biking. Come see us at Black Mountain Adventure zone for laser tag, GellyBall, and Battle Cage! We offer private parties during the week and walk-in hours on the weekend. Contact us to book a party or come see us Fridays 4-8 pm, Saturdays 11 am-8 pm, and Sundays 1 pm-5 pm.