North Carolina Kids Activities

North Carolina Kids Activities
From the majestic mountains in the western part of the state to the beautiful beaches on the eastern coast, North Carolina offers nearly endless possibilities for outdoor adventures with kids. Families will able to find fun and exciting North Carolina kids activities that will appeal to every age and ability level.

Jockey's Ridge State Park

Children--and adults--will never forget a visit to Jockey's Ridge State Park, home to the tallest natural sand dunes on the East Coast. The dune system is considered to be one of the most significant landmarks in the popular vacation beach area known as the Outer Banks and it is sure to surprise and amaze the kids. Experienced hang gliders use the ridge as a jumping off point. Visitors may want to try sandboarding, but they will need to get a permit at the park office. Kite-flying or exploring the nature trails requires no special expertise. Beware: The dunes get hot in the summertime.

Jockey's Ridge State Park
Milepost 12 on the Hwy 158 Bypass
P.O. Box 592
Nags Head, NC 27959
252-441-7132
jockeysridgestatepark.com

Family White Water Rafting

It's not easy to find a rafting trip that caters to kids as young as four, but the Blue Ridge Outing Co.wants everyone to have a good time on the river. Four different packages cover two different rivers, the Tuck and that Nantahala. For the younger adventure seekers, the two-hour trip on the water will bounce the, through rapids with names including Papa Bear, Double Drop and Slingshot. A separate trip targeted at tweens and teens (minimum age is seven), rides the Nantahala River is longer and offers bigger rapids. Groups and kayakers can be accommodated.

Blue Ridge Outing Co.
PO Box 1636
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745
828-586-3510
raftwithkids.com

Chimney Rock

Known as one of the most famous sites in North Carolina, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a 535-million-year-old chunk of stone that stands 315 feet tall at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers true family outdoor fun. Climb to the top and take in 75-mile views of Hickey Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. For those who want to hike it, it's 400 steps up to the top. Or visitors can walk through the cool (55 to 65 degree F) 198-foot tunnel to the 26-story elevator built inside the solid granite of the mountain. Once visitors have explored the Chimney, they might want to try climbing it. From beginner to expert levels, Fox Mountain Guides, an accredited climbing school, offers two-hour clinics on rappelling and rock climbing. The minimum age is six-years-old. All equipment is provided, but visitors must call ahead for a reservation. Chimney Rock State Park also offers numerous hiking trails winding through beautiful, natural North Carolina scenery. There is an admission fee, based on age, to enter the park.

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
Hwy. 64/74A
P.O. Box 39
Chimney Rock, NC 28720
800-277-9611
chimneyrockpark.com/index.php

Article Written By Ann Oldenburg

Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Ann Oldenburg has been a reporter/editor/author since 1990. She has written for publications including "The Washington Post," "USA TODAY" and "TV Guide." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Florida.

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