Summer 2018 Family Bucket List

By Rachel Hoeing

Family fun in the Triad and beyond this summer! Waterparks, outdoor adventures, arts, animals, day trips, and more! Babies, teens, and everyone in between – we’ve got ideas to keep your family entertained all summer long!

In order to keep this list as concise as possible, details on each venue will be found by clicking on its name. I have noted the location for each idea so that you can easily tell if this will be a quick stop, day trip, or weekend excursion. Please check hours and dates that each business is open before making the trip. You can also use our Community Event Calendar and Directories page to find additional events, playgrounds, parks, day trips, summer camps and more!

Be sure to scroll through all of the categories because there is something for all ages in each one, and there might be overlapping ideas that would appeal to your family!

Without further ado … your 2018 Summer Bucket list!

Animal and Farm Adventures

  1. All-A-Flutter Butterfly Farm – Butterfly Farm & tours (schedule in advance), High Point NC
  2. Aloha Safari Zoo – educational zoo & sanctuary, Cameron NC
  3. Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery – farm, store, and small group tours, Germanton NC
  4. Carolina Raptor Center – environmental education center, Huntersville NC
  5. Conservators Center – animal conservancy, Burlington NC
  6. Goat Lady Dairy – dairy farm with dining, open farm days, meet the goats, take a tour, buy produce, meat & cheese, Climax NC
  7. Greensboro Science Center – aquarium, museum, zoo, Greensboro NC
  8. Homeland Creamery – farm, tours, ice cream, hayrides, Julian NC
  9. Lazy Five Ranch – animal park, petting zoo, Mooresville NC
  10. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher – aquatic wildlife, dive shows, animal encounters, outdoor adventures, Kure Beach NC
  11. NC Zoo – animals galore, Asheboro NC
  12. Piedmont Environmental Center – nature trails and small animal exhibits, High Point NC
  13. Sea Life Aquarium –  indoor aquarium with interactive experiences, activity trail, and soft play area, Concord, NC
  14. Tiger World – animal conservation and educational center for exotic animals, Rockwell, NC
  15. Western North Carolina Nature Center – over 60 species of animals, Asheville NC
  16. Winterpast Farm – farm and petting zoo, Wake Forest NC
  17. Zootastic Park – animal park, Troutman NC

Outdoor Extreme Adventures

  1. ACE Adventure Center – rafting, zip-lines, fishing, horseback riding, kayaks, Oak Hill WV
  2. Beanstalk Ziplines – zipline, rock climb, ropes course, disc golf, playgrounds, biking, Morganton NC
  3. Carolina High – hot air balloon rides, Benson NC
  4. Carolina Ziplines – zipline tours for the whole family, Westfield NC
  5. Carowinds – amusement park and water park, Charlotte NC
  6. Fairgrounds Skate Park – ramps, quarter pipes, grinding rails, & bank ramps for skateboarders, W-S NC
  7. Gorge Zipline – zipline canopy adventure, Saluda, NC
  8. High Gravity Adventures – aerial adventure course, Blowing Rock NC
  9. Kersey Valley – high ropes course, zip-lines, lazer tag and more Archdale NC
  10. Navitat Adventures – zip-lining adventures and experiences in Asheville NC
  11. Paintball Central – paintball and airsoft, Sedalia NC
  12. Richland Creek Zip Line Canopy Tour – 14 station zipline with over a mile and a half of cable, Asheboro NC
  13. Sky Valley Zip Tours – zip lines, cliff jumping, swinging bridge, Blowing Rock NC
  14. US National Whitewater Center – whitewater rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, zip lines, ropes course, Charlotte NC

Outdoor Adventures for All Ages

  1. Adventure Landing – Putt Putt, Bumper Boats, arcade, W-S NC
  2. Bur-Mil Park Par 3 Golf Course – enjoy golf if you have kids who may not make it for 18 holes, Greensboro NC
  3. Carowinds – amusement park and water park, Charlotte NC
  4. Celebration Station – arcade, bumper boats, mini golf, batting cage, go-karts, Greensboro NC
  5. Emerald Hollow Mine – gen mining, Hiddenite NC
  6. Frankie’s Fun Park – amusement rides, mini golf, laser tag, fun house, arcade, go carts, Raleigh NC
  7. Grandfather Mountain – wildlife, swinging bridge, trails, nature museum, Linville NC
  8. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad – train ride excusions through the smoky mountains, Bryson City, NC
  9. Hebron Rock Colony – Beautiful outdoor hiking spot, Boone/Blowing Rock NC
  10. Hill Ridge Farms – farm, train rides, hay rides, Youngsville NC
  11. Ingram Farm – pick your own berries, High Point NC
  12. Linville Caverns – explore caverns, Marion NC
  13. Millstone Creek Orchards – pick your own fruit, apple barn, activities, Ramseur NC
  14. Patterson Farm – pick your own strawberries, Mount Ulla NC
  15. Reed Gold Mine – underground tunnels with guided tours, visitor center, picnic area, gold panning, Midland NC
  16. Rudd Farm – pick your own berries, Greensboro NC
  17. Sliding Rock – natural mountain waterfall in Pisgah National Forest, Asheville NC
  18. Smiley’s Golf and Learning Center – driving range, miniature golf course, W-S NC
  19. Summerfield Farms – visit the farm & market and check the website for fun summer events, Summerfield NC
  20. The Speedpark – offers Go Kart Tracks, Mini Golf, Fun Slide, Bungee Jump, Spider Web, game room, and ice skatingConcord NC
  21. Three Bears Acres – recreational farm with kids activities, Raleigh NC
  22. Triad Eco Adventures – segway tours, paddleboarding, trolley tours, W-S NC
  23. Tweetsie Railroad – amusement park, train rides, Blowing Rock NC
  24. Virginia Creeper Trail – easy biking trail great for families, almost all downhill, Damascus, VA
  25. Zaloo’s Canoes – canoeing, kayaking, tubing, Jefferson NC
  • See our list of Strawberry Farms here and Day Trip ideas here.

Outdoor Entertainment while you sit and enjoy

  1. Blackmon Amphitheater – outdoor music and events all summer long, Mount Airy NC
  2. Burlington Royals Baseball – take the family out for a classic game at the ballfield, Burlington NC
  3. Childress Vineyards – winery, bistro, outdoor events, Lexington NC
  4. Divine Llama Vineyards – Vineyard and tasting room with real llamas,  East Bend NC
  5. Eden Drive-In – drive-in movie theater, Eden NC
  6. Greensboro Grasshoppers Game – enjoy a baseball game with the family, Greensboro NC
  7. Grove Winery – winery, concerts, art classes, outdoor events, Gibsonville NC
  8. Hi Toms Baseball – enjoy an evening at the ballfield with the family, Thomasville NC
  9. Winston-Salem Dash Baseball – take your family to a ball game and enjoy the kids play area with bounce houses, W-S NC
  • See our list of Date Night ideas, which includes local wineries HERE!

Water Adventures

  1. Carowinds Carolina Harbor Water Park  – giant water slides and wave pools to large play structures and a three-acre kids’ area, Charlotte NC
  2. Great Wolf Lodge – indoor waterpark, MagiQuest, Concord NC
  3. Lake Mackintosh Park & Marina – paddleboats, kayaks, fishing, playgrounds, sailing, row boats, Burlington NC
  4. Saltshaker Marine – rent a pontoon boat for the family, Mooresville, NC
  5. Splashparks and Water Slides – click the link to find a great list of all Triad NC locations
  6. Tanglewood Park –  swimming pool, golf, playgrounds, picnic, gardens, tennis, Clemmons NC
  7. US National Whitewater Center – whitewater rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, zip lines, ropes course, Charlotte NC
  8. Wet ‘n Wild – waterpark, Greensboro NC
  9. Zaloo’s Canoes – canoeing, kayaking, tubing, Jefferson NC
  • See our list of Local Pools HERE and Splashpads HERE!

State & Local Parks, Playgrounds & Gardens

  1. Bailey Park & Long Branch Trail – grassy lawn (pet friendly) with outdoor events, and an urban greenway that runs along WF Innovation Quarter, W-S NC
  2. Bog Garden at Benjamin Park – walkways, greenery, Greensboro NC
  3. Burlington City Park – amusement area, walking trails, aquatics facility, greenway, Burlington NC
  4. Center City Park – music, exercise, food trucks, events, Greensboro NC
  5. Chimney Rock State Park – hiking and attractions, Chimney Rock NC
  6. City Lake Park – playground, carousel, mini golf, train rides, pool, water slides, Jamestown NC
  7. Crowder’s Mountain State Park – fishing, canoeing, camping, rock climbing, bouldering, museum-quality exhibits, Kings Mountain NC
  8. Dan Nicholas Park – water play, playground, mini golf, carousel, gem mining, aquarium, mini train, Salisbury NC
  9. Hanging Rock State Park – swimming, hiking, canoes, Danbury NC
  10. Hebron Rock Colony – hiking and park, Blowing Rock NC
  11. Horizons Park – dog park, disc golf course, shelters, playground, trails, Rural Hall NC
  12. Keely Park – splash pad, playgrounds, trails, Greensboro NC
  13. Lake Mackintosh Park & Marina – paddleboats, kayaks, fishing, playgrounds, sailing, row boats, Burlington NC
  14. Lake Norman State Park – bike trails, camping, beach & bath house, Troutman NC
  15. Muddy Creek Greenway – family friendly trail to walk, ride bikes, roller skate, W-S NC
  16. Natural Bridge State Park – caverns, trails, natural bridge, Rockbridge Center, water activities, Natural Bridge VA
  17. Old Salem – museums and gardens, W-S NC
  18. Pilot Mountain State Park – trails, camping, climbing, canoe trail, camping, rock climbing and rappelling, Pinnacle NC
  19. Pisgah National Forest – hiking, waterfalls camping, Asheville, NC
  20. Pullen Park – kiddie rides, train, pedal boats, aquatic center, art center, Raleigh NC
  21. Salem Lake – walking trails, boats, fishing, W-S NC
  22. Sliding Rock – natural water slide with plenty of waterfalls nearby, Pisgah National Forest by Asheville NC
  23. Southside Recreation Center – playground, picnic, splashpad, High Point NC
  24. Stone Mountain State Park – camping, hiking, climbing, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, Roaring Gap NC
  25. Tanglewood Park –  swimming pool, golf, playgrounds, picnic, gardens, tennis, Clemmons NC
  26. Triad Park – disc golf, shelters, picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, rock climbing playground, Kernersville NC
  27. Virginia Creeper Trail – easy biking trail great for families, almost all downhill, Damascus, VA
  28. W Kerr Scott Damn and Reservoir – camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, bird watching, Wilkesboro NC
  29. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp – camping and water activities, Marion NC
  • Visit our list of Favorite Local Playgrounds & Parks HERE!

Children’s Museums and Historical Museums

  1. Carolinas Aviation Museum – different exhibitions and the actual plane from “The Miracle on the Hudson,” Charlotte NC
  2. Charlotte Nature Museum – discover animals, plants and more, Charlotte NC
  3. Children’s Museum of Alamance County – interactive children’s museum, Graham NC
  4. Denton Farmpark – historical park, general store, grist mill, church, plantation house, blacksmith shop, log cabin, full-size steam train, events,  Denton NC
  5. Discovery Place – interactive children’s museum, Charlotte NC
  6. Discovery Place Kids – interactive children’s museum, Huntersville NC
  7. Greensboro Children’s Museum – interactive children’s museum, edible schoolyard, Greensboro NC
  8. Greensboro History Museum – historic buildings, museum, gardens & cemetary Greensboro NC
  9. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park – visitor’s center, live action theatre, trails, Greensboro NC
  10. High Point Museum – historical park, exhibits, High Point NC
  11. International Civil Rights Center & Museum – museum and teaching facility devoted to the struggle for civil and human rights, Greensboro NC
  12. Kaleideum Downtown – (formerly the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem) interactive children’s museum, W-S NC
  13. Kaleideum North – (formerly SciWorks) interactive science museum, exhibits, planetarium, W-S NC
  14. KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum – numerous exhibits, discovery garden, and more, Rutherfordton NC
  15. Korner’s Folley – museum, home tours, Kernersville NC
  16. Marbles Kids Museum – interactive children’s museum, Raleigh NC
  17. Morehead Planetarium and Science Center – interactive museum and planetarium, Chapel Hill NC
  18. Moses Cone Memorial Park & Manor – manor house, walking trails, horseback riding, Bass Lake, Blowing Rock NC
  19. Museum of Anthropology – educational museum dedicated to the study of global cultures, W-S NC
  20. Museum of Life and Science – interactive science museum, exhibits, live animals, Durham NC
  21. NC Museum of History – museum, exhibits, Raleigh NC
  22. NC Museum of Natural Sciences – exhibits, programs, and field experiences, Raleigh NC
  23. NC Transportation Museum – exhibits, train rides, Spencer NC
  24. Old Salem – museums and gardens, W-S NC
  25. Reynolda House Museum of American Art – museum, home tours, gardens, W-S NC
  26. Winston Cup Museum – experience the fabulous Winston Cup Series era of NASCAR, W-S NC
  27. NASCAR Hall of Fame – interactive entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR, Charlotte, NC

Indoor Inflatables, Climbing Adventures, Go Karts, Laser Tag, and Arcades

  1. Air Fun Trampoline Park -Wall-to-wall trampolines, dodgeball, basketball dunk lanes, Zorbs, Greensboro NC
  2. Bouncin’ Around – indoor inflatables and arcade room, Burlington NC
  3. Boxcar Bar + Arcade – arcade games, pet friendly, bar area, children welcome when accompanied by a parent before 9pm, Greensboro NC
  4. Bumper Jumpers – indoor playground, Greensboro NC
  5. Camel City BBQ Factory – fun restaurant with an attached game/arcade room, W-S NC
  6. Chuck E Cheese’s – indoor arcade, Concord, Winston-Salem & Greensboro NC
  7. Cliff Hangers – indoor climbing facility with speed climbing, intro classes, yoga, fitness, Café, kid’s climbing area, Mooresville NC
  8. Galaxy Fun Park – go karts, tampoline park, ropes course, soft play, laser tag, Raleigh NC
  9. GameT1me – more gaming systems than you can imagine, all under one roof, plus board games, lock-ins, parties, Clemmons NC
  10. Get Air – trampoline park and ninja course, High Point NC
  11. Gnarwall Bouldering Gym  – bouldering training facility for beginners to elite, Pfafftown NC
  12. Jump-N-Fun – indoor inflatables, Greensboro NC
  13. Kinetic Heights – Ninja Warrior Course, warped wall, Parkour training area, indoor high ropes course, Charlotte, NC
  14. Laser Tag of Archdale – laser tag, arcade, Archdale NC
  15. Laser X Burlington – “The Family Zone” with laser tag fun for all ages, Burlington NC
  16. Level Up – ninja warrior obstacles, indoor rock climbing, obstacle courses, Thomasville, NC
  17. Monkey Joe’s – indoor inflatable play  Raleigh NC
  18. Reboot Arcade Bar – authentic 1980’s arcade, featuring over 60 classic arcades and pinball, W-S NC
  19. Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park – indoor trampolines, W-S & Greensboro NC
  20. Sky Wild – challenge ropes course, part of Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro NC
  21. SkyZone – trampoline park, Greensboro NC
  22. Spare Time – bowling, arcade, laser tag, Greensboro NC
  23. Surge Trampoline Park –  Maincourt, Battlebeam, Ninja Course, Laser Maze, Climbing wall, W-S, NC
  24. Ten Little Monkeys – indoor entertainment facility with bounce houses, slides, obstacle course, W-S NC
  25. The Pit – go-karting, laser tag, rock climbing, arcade, bumper cars, mini golf, Moorseville NC

Escape Rooms

  1. Breakout – live escape game where you and your friends/family try to crack codes, find clues, and escape, Greensboro NC
  2. Kersey Valley Escape Room – escape rooms are built in the ghost town themed buildings in the farm, Archdale NC
  3. Psycho60 – interactive, real life and immersive escape room adventure, Kernersville NC
  4. The Escape Room – locked in a room for 1 hour and must figure out how to get out, Ages 13+, W-S NC

Indoor Sporting Activities

  1. AMF Bowling Lanes – bowl in W-S & Greensboro NC
  2. Greensboro Ice House – indoor ice skating, Greensboro NC
  3. Grip & Rip – full service Baseball, Softball, Soccer and Lacrosse training facility with batting cages, W-S NC
  4. North Carolina Golf Academy Indoor Practice Facility – hitting bays,  putting green, launch monitors & simulators, Greensboro NC
  5. Skateland USA – Roller skating, Greensboro, Winston-Salem & Clemmons NC
  6. Skate South – Roller skating, High Point NC
  7. Spare Time – bowling, arcade, laser tag, Greensboro NC
  8. TopGolf – climate-controlled hitting bays, restaurant & bars, rooftop terrace with fire pit, over 200 HDTVs, Charlotte NC
  9. Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Ice Skating – public indoor ice skating, W-S, NC

Specialty Cinemas & Book Stores

  1. a/perture cinema – Unique movie theater, W-S NC
  2. Carolina Theatre – concerts, plays, and classic movies on the big screen, Greensboro NC
  3. Countryside Cinema – $4.25 movies all day, every day, Kernersville NC
  4. Eden Drive-In – drive in movie theater,
  5. Game Over Comics – Comic Books, video games, Magic the Gathering, Pokemon and More, Burlington NC
  6. Geeksboro – unique cinema and coffeehouse, Greensboro NC
  7. Historic Earle Theatre – Movies, Concerts, Presentations, Mount Airy NC
  8. Lexington Cinema 8 – $6.25 adult and $4.25 kids every day, Lexington NC
  9. Marketplace Cinemas – $3 movies all day, Winston-Salem NC
  10. McKay’s Books – buy & sell used books, video games, electronics, music, Greensboro & W-S NC
  11. Scuppernong Books – bookstore featuring fiction and poetry along with a children’s section, cafe, and many events, Greensboro NC
  12. Sedgefield Crossing- movies starting as low as $3.98 every day, Greensboro NC
  • To see our list of Children’s Movie Deals for Summer click here!

Arts & Crafts

  1. An Originals By You – Paint your own pottery studio, W-S NC
  2. ArtQuest Studios at Greenhill Center – create art, Greensboro NC
  3. Color & Coffee – painting parties, walk-ins, W-S NC
  4. Little Blank Canvas – children’s art studio, High Point NC
  5. Merlot & Van Gogh – Create original works of art, W-S NC
  6. The Mad Platter – pottery and canvas painting, Greensboro NC
  7. Wine and Design/Art Buzz Kids – kids painting parties, Greensboro & Jamestown NC

Tourist Spots & Shopping

  1. Babyland General – home of the Cabbage Patch Kids, Cleveland GA
  2. American Girl Store – explore the shop and bistro and then walk around the mall, Charlotte NC
  3. Biltmore – estate, winery, tours, shops, Asheville NC
  4. Black Mountain Chocolate – visible chocolate factory and kitchen, W-S NC
  5. Bowman Gray Stadium – NASCAR short track racing, W-S NC
  6. Epicentre – dining, movies, bowling, nightlife, shopping, Charlotte NC
  7. Hanes Mall – shopping, food court, trampoline area, toddler play area, mini rides in play areas, W-S NC
  8. IKEA – Fun shopping day for kids of all ages, but if yours are too little, they will love the child drop off play area, Charlotte NC
  9. Mast General Store – do some fun shopping while your kids peruse the candy barrels and classic toys, W-S NC
  10. Mystery Hill – fun and educational tour of optical illusions, Boone NC
  11. Omni Homestead Resort – hot springs, hiking, segway tours, spa, zip-lining, horseback riding, golf, biking, pools, tennis, fishing, kids club, Hot Springs, VA
  12. Shallowford Farms Popcorn – gift shop, processing plant, tours, Yadkinville NC
  13. Toys & Co – toy store with play items set up, events as well, W-S & Greensboro NC

Unique Salons & Spas for Kids

  1. Angel Touch Salon – nail salon with pedicure chairs for kids, W-S NC
  2. Dream Nails – nail salon with pedicure chairs for kids, W-S NC
  3. Pigtails and Crewcuts – make getting a haircut an adventure at this amazing kids salon, Greensboro NC
  4. Pink Spa Nails – nail salon with kids services, Greensboro NC
  5. Sharkey’s – kids haircuts and glamour parties, Greensboro & Burlington NC

Be sure to bookmark this page, or click on the “Directories” icon on the homepage of our website to find this list when you need it.

Related Links:
Splash Pads & Water Slides
99 Ways to Reply to I’m Bored
Summer Camps in the Triad
VBS in the Triad
Swim Clubs & Pools
Favorite Parks & Playgrounds
Event Calendar
Day Trips
What to do with your Preschooler this Summer
Kids’ Summer Movie Programs

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*This list was compiled through research and/or reader referrals, but please note that Triad Moms on Main does not necessarily endorse the persons or businesses represented in our directory.


2 thoughts on “Summer 2018 Family Bucket List

  1. Cheryl Bridges

    Great list to which I would add Reconsidered Goods, the award-winning creative reuse store in Greensboro. They have a family Make It-Take It space as well as loads of items that didn’t get dumped into a landfill – everything from office supplies to art supplies, home goods to sporting goods, hardware to housewares! http://www.reconsideredgoods.org

    Reply

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