They say, “If you don’t like the weather in WNC, wait 5 minutes.”
You like warm sunny days hanging out by a waterfall? We’ve got plenty of that.
You prefer a slight chill in the air as you hike a mountain trail? Yep, we’ve got that too.
You love a light rain that cools you off as you trek back to your campsite. Check.
You want to experience 82 degrees, 60 degrees, a gust of wind that steals your hat, a rainstorm that sneaks up on you, or even a flurry to two inches of snow?
Yea… here in our WNC mountains, you can get ALL of that within a 30-minute period.
The Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina have plenty of beautiful, warm, sunny days for you and your family to enjoy the great outdoors. But we also have plenty of rainy days that might dampen your spirits, wondering where you’ve got to go to get all of the family out of the Airbnb on your vacation.
Well, rainy days don’t have to put a damper on family fun in the 828! Towns across Western North Carolina feature indoor playgrounds, museums, or other activities to help you stay dry while still entertaining the whole family. From rock climbing to trampoline parks, the 828 is jam-packed with indoor adventures.
So drag those kids away from the video games and get out in Western North Carolina!
FUN things to do on a rainy day in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina
1) Climbmax rock climbing gym in Asheville
For over 25 years, Climbmax has been a fixture of the climbing community in Western North Carolina, launching the journeys of countless climbers along the way. With two gyms in Asheville and a private guide service, they offer a multitude of ways to experience rock climbing for the first or four-hundredth time. https://www.climbmaxnc.com
2) Mountain Playlodge in Arden
Mountain Playlodge offers a plethora of indoor play equipment ranging from a miniature “Asheville”, complete with a police station, doctors office, and Baby Biltmore to a giant 3 part jungle gym complete with 6 different slides. Both the main play floor and toddler play floor have a selection of soft play items for children to climb on, over, under, and slide down-all within the safety of play floor gating. https://www.mountainplaylodge.com/
3) Franklin Fun Factory
There is always something new and exciting at The Factory in Franklin. From hundreds of arcade games to laser tag to an indoor mini-golf course, the fun at the Factory never ends. The Factory also hosts the region’s largest go-cart track, Spin Zone bumper cars, a play area for smaller children, and an indoor jungle gym! The Pizza Buffet and Ice Cream Shop, Jack the Dipper, provide the sweetest treats to meet your cravings in between games! https://franklinfun.com/
4) The Williams YMCA in Avery County
The Y’s Youth Centers, for kids six to nine, offer a variety of activities that support academics and healthy living. Youth can receive assistance with homework or be tutored, play virtual reality games requiring participants to use their body to engage in what’s happening on the screen, keeping them active, a variety of critical thinking games, an art space, organized STEM learning activities, and a reading library and space. In the Youth Center, kids also learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and valuable social skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. https://www.ymcaavery.com/
5) Jump Around Bounce House in Waynesville
Jump Around Bounce House is a fun destination for families with young children in the Waynesville area. They offer inflatable entertainment party services for children from ages one and up. The indoor play place has bounce houses and slides as well as party rooms and coloring activities for all ages. https://jumparoundbounce.wixsite.com/bounce
6) Asheville Pinball Museum
Did you know that there was a pinball museum? Some of you reading this may not have ever played a pinball machine, or even heard of a pinball machine, but they exist and your dads have probably spent the equivalent of a full tank of gas today, on games that cost 25 cents when they were teens. Yes, twenty-five cents… At the Asheville Pinball Museum, once you pay admission, you can PLAY 50 different pinball machines for FREE! https://pinball.ashevillepinball.com/
7) Bouncin’ Kids in Morganton
You’re going to have fun here! Yea, we guess you can bring the kids too…
Located in Morganton, North Carolina, Bouncin’ Kids is an indoor fun center with kid-friendly ‘Bouncin’ Inflatables.’ Kids aged six to nine years old will enjoy the playtime activities.
8) Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile in Boone
“Sometimes just strolling around a store checking out all the unique items can be a relaxing way for a couple to spend an afternoon.” Yep, that’s what she tells me anyway.
But seriously, if you want to check out a fun store, look no further than a Mast General Store in downtowns of NC, SC, and TN. These general stores tend to have everything a community might need, from “cradles to caskets”. The one in Boone is the original one and is sometimes simply referred to as Old Boone Mercantile. https://www.mastgeneralstore.com/cms/index.cfm/history/boone/
9) Mason Mountain Mine in Franklin
The mine was discovered in the late 1800’s and is the only location you can find Rhodolite garnets. In 1965, the Johnson family bought the mine and has been sharing it with the public ever since. In addition to Rhodolite garnets, named for the native Rhododendron that grows across the mountains, the property has six other minerals – Corundum, which is Ruby and Sapphire, Kyanite, Moonstone, Smokey Quartz, Garnet, and Cordierite (a form of Iolite). There is also a really cool gift shop on location too. http://masonmtnmine.com/
10) Linville Caverns in Marion
The limestone caverns are open to the public year-round for guided tours. Originally discovered by fishermen in 1822, the underground stream is home to native trout housed in a subterranean recess inside a mountain. Take a guided tour and escape the weather outside. https://www.linvillecaverns.com/
11) Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy
The center in Murphy has 50,000 feet of gaming that includes blackjack, craps, roulette, and over a thousand slot machines. https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-cherokee-valley-river
12) Smoky Mountain Trains Museum in Bryson City
As their website says, “Feel like a kid again at the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum!”
The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad has 53 miles of track in Western North Carolina along with two tunnels and 25 bridges you can explore. But, to escape the cold, heat, or rain stop into their museum and see its collection of 7,000 Lionel™ engines, cars and accessories on a highly impressive train track layout. https://www.gsmr.com/smoky-mountain-trains-museum/
13) 828 Escape Room in Sylva
This extremely fun indoor activity will build teamwork in your family…or make you lose your mind wondering if you’ve got what it takes to escape within the 60-minute time limit. Escape rooms are a great way to lose yourself in a real-life adventure game experience filled with mysterious puzzles and brain-teasing clues. https://828escaperoom.com/
Some Trip Advisor Lists of some of the Best Activities for a Rainy Day in the Great Smoky Mountains of WNC
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Morganton
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Asheville
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Boone
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Murphy
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Bryson City
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Marion
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Franklin
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Highlands
Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Sylva