By TMoM Team Member Sandy Harper

Are you struggling to think of a fun and inexpensive day trip for you and the family during the school holiday break? Well, TMoM has ideas for you! Best of all, there are many options that are not a far drive away. Below are a few ideas that are entertaining for multiple age groups and they won’t break the bank.

Day Trip Ideas

  1. North Carolina Zoo in AsheboroNC Zoo bobcat exhibitNorth Carolina has gorgeous days even in the winter! They are warm enough to take a day trip to the world’s largest natural habitat zoo. The NC Zoo is open year-round, making it convenient for most schedules.
  2. Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park (Winston-Salem and Greensboro locations) – Rockin’ Jump is a fun and healthy activity for young and older kids alike. Moreover, this place has a huge trampoline area, but each location has other unique and exciting attractions.
  3. Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum – This large center has many science themed attractions that are fun for children and their families. The museum encourages children to engage in hands-on, fun, learning experiences. Thus, this museum contributes to their growth and development through play, creation and outdoor exploration.
  4. Great Wolf Lodge (Concord) – Great Wolf Lodge resort has an enormous 84 degree indoor waterpark! Plus, there are many other attractions for the entire family. Typically, this is a two day excursion. In other words, there is a tremendous amount of fun when spending the night in one of their cabin-feel rooms.
  5. Dino head at SciWorksKaleideum North – (Winston-Salem)- Kaleideum is a great place to take the kids for fun! In addition, they will be learning without realizing it! There are many different things to see and do, for all ages. Families can choose to visit Kaleideum North, which includes a Planetarium, science exhibits, outdoor gardens, and animal habitats.
  6. Mining in Franklin – Franklin, North Carolina is considered the gem capital of the world! There are many mines to choose from to enjoy the thrill of mining. Though this is often an outdoor activity, there is always the possibility of having beautiful NC weather even in December!
  7. US National Whitewater Center (Charlotte) – This center is made up of 700 acres and offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for all ages and skill levels. Guests enjoy whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, rock climbing, zip lines, ropes courses, a canopy tour, and mountain biking on the 25+ mile trail system. The availability of activities and related operating hours vary with the seasons but they are opened 365 days a year, from dawn to dusk. Check out their activity schedule to find out what activities are available each day.
  8. Biltmore House tours (Asheville) – The Biltmore Estate is America’s largest private home, with the Vanderbilt family still residing within the estate. Their home is open to the public every day throughout the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consequently, Christmas time is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit. The decorations and lights are overwhelmingly amazing!
  9. Zootastic Park (Troutman) – Zootastic park is full of animal fun and learning (during most seasons)! In addition, it is affordable. Families will see a large variety of animals, from kangaroos to large cats and primates at this zoo! The walk around section contains the majority of the exotic animals such as tigers, lions, giraffes, kangaroos, monkeys and more. The drive thru section is home to the hoof stock animals such as, Watutsi, water buffalo, eland, blackbuck, zebra, emus and more (drive-thru section is closed during the holiday lights season). Both sections of the zoo are included with admission. Moreover, in the winter they have a wonderland of holiday lights!
  10. Old Salem teapotOld Salem (Winston-Salem) – The Christmas season, at Old Salem, is a refreshing reminder of what is Christmas. Walking around all the sights, smells and sounds will no doubt help put visitors in the holiday spirit. There are many different holiday events happening in the month of December. Hence, visit their seasonal events page to find out more about these events and dates/hours.
  11. Animal Park at the Conservators Center (Burlington) – Animal Park reconnects people with wildlife by introducing visitors to rare, threatened, and endangered species—up close and personal. They are currently open on weekends. Consequently, visitors have to call ahead to reserve a tour spot. Lastly, visiting Animal Park is a great way to support animals that need help.
  12. Lights, lights, and more lights – Triad Moms on Main has a great list of Holiday Light displays in the Triad and surrounding areas. Typically, these Holiday Light events last through New Year’s Day. Check it out here.

Don’t forget to visit the TMoM Day Trip category page here, which has many other options for family fun! Similarly, don’t forget about the TMoM local event calendar. There is always something to enjoy right here in the Triad.

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