Family Things To Do Near Me

The Latest From Carolina Traveler

Less than one week until Christmas! Which means “family things to do near me” is likely at the top of your search history.

If you are hosting family, your home is surely abuzz with the excitement of holiday meal planning, Christmas cookie decorating, and plans of driving through resplendent holiday lights displays.

But what happens when Mother Nature decides to remind Father Christmas who's boss? From gazing into a black hole at one of the best SC planetariums and wandering the halls of secret NC castles to embarking on epic winter hikes and snow tubing escapades, there's fun family things to do near you amid all weather elements!

To stay up to date with the latest events and “fun family things to do near me” in SC and NC, follow us on Facebook, where we regularly offer free tickets and other giveaways, and make sure to become a 2024 subscriber to Carolina Traveler magazine!

People in the audience at Ingram Planetarium

Are you seeing what they're seeing?!

How Many NC Planetariums Have You Visited?

Take a virtual walk on the moon, stand still inside a storm in Jupiter's red spot, and get first-hand glimpses of recent images of other galaxies taken by top-notch NASA telescopes. Even the Scroogiest of in-laws will be blown away by the footage on planetarium project screens at our picks for:

If you search for “fun family things to do near me in NC” then you'll surely find one of our favorite indoor places to go on a rainy day in the Carolinas at the top of your life: The Museum of Life and Science in Durham!

Castle Ladyhawke in Tuckasegee, NC

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge mountains, Castle Ladyhawke plays host to special events and weddings.

Where Is The Closest Carolina Castle Near Me? Fun Family Things To Do In NC

It should come as no surprise to Carolina Travelers that there are a smattering of castles spread across our two great states, both named to honor Charles II of England. While you've likely heard of the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville and the Atalaya Castle in Murrells Inlet, there are several castles on our list we're willing to bet you've never realized existed.

Touring some of the best Carolina castles is one of the most fun things we can think of if we brainstorm “fun family things to do near me” over the holidays.

Kersey Valley Christmas

The Kersey Valley Christmas event is one of the best holiday spectaculars in the Piedmont area!

Get Your Last Minute Santa Session At Kersey Valley Christmas In Archdale, NC

15 miles southwest of Greensboro, NC, the ultimate Christmas experience in the Carolinas awaits! Your ticket to the Kersey Valley Christmas event gets you admission to the 2 million LED light-studded winter farm wonderland featuring giant dangling snowflakes and wireframe displays, a $50 digital photo package, lap time with Santa Claus in his workshop, and unlimited access to the fun rides and attractions below:

  • Kersey Valley Express Train Ride through a Wild West Christmas (Please note weather conditions that cause frost, ice, dampness, or rain will close this ride).
  • Walk through light displays inside the train track.
  • John Deere-pulled Wonderland Wagon Rides.
  • 200ft Dual Super Mega Ride*n*Slide *Must be 42″ tall to ride*
  • Twin Massive Jumping Pillows (Please note weather conditions that cause frost, ice, dampness, or rain will close the pillows). *Ages 4 and up*
  • Adventure Playground *Ages 4 and up*
  • Kiddie Zip Lines (100 ft long) *Ages 4 and up*
  • Pedal Karts (race your family) *All ages with an adult*
  • Cow Train *Ages 4 and up*
  • Bungee Trampolines *Ages 4 and up*
  • Barn Yard Twister *Ages 4 and up*
  • Round-Up Rodeo *Ages 4 and up*
  • Mr. and Mrs. Mac Jingles the singing Reindeer.
  • Reindeer stalls behind Santa’s Workshop, where you can see the elves at work.
  • TreeHouse Village *Ages 4 and up*
  • Where’s Rudolph (Look for him on the wagon ride)
  • Roasty Toasty Village (8 fire pits for making s’mores)

If you're looking for fun family things to do near me in the NC Piedmont, this event is at the top of our list. Unfortunately, there are no NC planetariums in the vicinity of Kersey Valley Christmas, but the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill NC is approximately an hour's drive east. Depending on where you're coming from, it could be a worthwhile lunch stopping off point or weekend destination!

Chainsaw art scene at the Graylyn Trail at William B Umstead State Park in NC -- one of the most fun family things to do near me in NC

Fun Fact: William B Umstead Park is the most visited state park in NC!

Looking For “The Best State Parks Near Me”?

The incredible chainsaw art on the Graylyn Trail at William B Umstead Park was created by artists Jerry Redi and Randy Boni of Smoky Mountain Art. Using an already-downed tree, they transformed the dying specimen into a lively scene of animals, trees, and nature.

That's just one of several epic winter hikes you can take in North Carolina and South Carolina. State park trails are always well-marked and maintained — you can look up each location's website to find additional information on open hours, parking, and directions.

Now, how could you combine a planetarium visit with an epic winter hike? Greenville SC is set up for that formula for success! Visit the Hooper Planetarium at the Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville before hiking at Caesars Head State Park, one of the best state parks in South Carolina. In NC, the Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is less than half an hour's distance from Ellis Planetarium in Kinston, NC. You see, there are ways to make this combination possible! Consider it at the top of our “fun family things to do near me” bucket list.

people having fun snow tubing at Jonas Ridge

December 18 marks the opening date of snow tubing season in 2023!

Fun Family Things To Do Near Me: Let's Go Snow Tubing At Jonas Ridge!

Look at these Carolina Travelers having the absolute unabashed time of their lives snow tubing at Jonas Ridge! Hands down, this place is one of the best to go snow tubing. If you're feeling daunted by skiing or snowboarding, or your family/friend group just isn't into it, snow tubing is a great alternative. It requires very little skill (though, you still need to have a positive and persistent attitude!)

Check out our in-depth review on all the amenities Jonas Ridge snow tubing has to offer. If you're itching to go down the snow tubing rabbit hole, we've got you covered. Take a look at our recommendations for the best snow tubing in North Carolina. Many will also be curious: “Is there snow tubing in SC?” You may not be as disappointed by the answer as you thought you might…

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