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60+ Kid-Friendly Events in North Carolina for the Whole Year

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on February 27, 2024.

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We are always on the lookout for fun things to do with our little one and have discovered tons of kid-friendly events in North Carolina. While it may sometimes seem that happenings are typically geared towards adults, we figured we’d share our favorite family-friendly activities.

With a mix of indoor and outdoor fun, museums, fairs, and more, here’s our kid-friendly NC bucket list for the entire year!

Read More: The NC Bucket List

Also, this post is part of our series on seasonal events in North Carolina.

Things for Kids to Do in North Carolina Throughout the Year

If you’re wanting more information on each of these kid-friendly events or looking for more ideas of things to do, click on the month heading to see more!


Kid Attractions in North Carolina NC Museum of Natural Sciences Astronomy Days Image
Astronomy Days at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Read More: Amazing Museums in North Carolina


Read More: Winter Getaways in North Carolina


Read More: Spring Break Destinations in North Carolina


  • Walk the plank at PirateFest in Greenville. Grab some food and a pint at the area’s awesome restaurants and breweries while you’re out there!
  • Get your fill of the big dill! NC Pickle Fest in Mount Olive (near Goldsboro) is fun for the whole family!

Read More: Spring in North Carolina


  • Eat more ‘cue at the BBQ Fest on the Neuse in Kinston!
  • Celebrate Brevard‘s famed rodent at the White Squirrel Festival!

Read More: Our Favorite Beaches in North Carolina


  • Ever been to a Chicken Pickin’? Butner’s chicken cook-off will introduce you to it, with family-friendly events and lots of live music!

Read More: Summer in North Carolina


Read More: 17 Amazing Eno River State Park Trails (+ Bonus Hikes)


  • Watch as the young gold champs rule over Pinehurst! The US kids Gold World Championship brings 1,450 6- to 12-aged golfers from around the world to tee off.
  • For over 65 years, Moore County has been celebrating Robbins Farmers Day with music, food, carnival rides and more.
  • Aye! Aye Matey! The Pirate Invasion in Beaufort offers sword fighting and events for all ages.
  • With a massive Kids Zone, the 7th Inning Stretch Festival in Uptown Shelby is guaranteed to be a good time.
  • While the beer is for the adults, we’ll say the choo is for the kiddos! Spencer’s Brew and Choo Beer Festival combines fun for everyone.
  • Street dancing, amusement rides, and tons of fun! Head to Roxboro for the Personality Festival.


  • Skip down the yellow brick road in Beech Mountain! Open for only two weekends in September, Autumn at Oz is a must-attend family-friendly event in North Carolina. Of course, you’ll want to visit Beech Mountain during winter for some of the best skiing.
  • I’m all out of pirate puns, but shiver me timbers. The City of Oaks Pirate Fest in Raleigh is plenty of fun, you salty sea dogs!
  • Celebrate the end of summer in Wilmington with the Summer Harvest Festival. If you’re searching for places to stay at the beach, check out these cool Airbnbs in Wilmington and its surroundings.

Read More: Carolina Beach State Park (and 7 Great Things to Do There!)

  • Get your pride on in Gate City! The Greensboro Pride Festival features a new KidZone to celebrate love for everyone.
  • All aboard the ghost train! Tweetsie Railroad is great for families all year long but their Ghost Train is especially fun for those kiddos who love a little scare.
NC Attractions for Kids Millstone Family Orchards Randolph County Image
  • Check out all of the local art at CenterFest in downtown Durham, complete with bounce houses and entertainment for the kiddos!
  • Creepy crawlers take over the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at BugFest.
  • Corn mazes and pumpkin patches start opening up for the season! Check out Sonlight Farms in Kenly (Johnston County) for hayrides, a giant slide, and a full day of fun.

Read More: Fall in North Carolina


Kid Activities North Carolina Riverbend Farm Cabarrus County Image
  • 10 Days of fun and a huge midway, the Wayne Regional Agriculture Fair is a must for over 70 years!
  • Riverbend Farms in Cabarrus County has acres and acres of pumpkins and climbing structures for kids. It’s seriously the most impressive farm we’ve seen in NC!
  • What’s cooler than a “Chew Chew” Food Truck Rodeo? The annual Railroad Days in Selma is great for young train enthusiasts.
  • Head to Spring Hope Pumpkin Festival in Nash County and show off your pumpkin decorating skills.
  • Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville is a must-attend event for those of all ages. Live ye olde best life!

Read More: Pumpkin Patches in North Carolina


Events and Festivals in North Carolina Wilson Whirligig Festival Image
  • The Whirligig Festival in Wilson is by far the best kid-friendly festival in November. Not only is it FREE, but there are tons of bounce houses, food, and even an American Ninja Warrior course.
  • Speedway Christmas in Concord is a great way to kick off the holiday season! 4 million lights twinkle around the oval and ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This kid-friendly event is also one of our favorite ways to enjoy Christmas lights in North Carolina.

Read More: Christmas in North Carolina (the Best Holiday Events)


Things to do in North Carolina with Kids NC Chinese Lantern Festival image
  • Make it a family event with Elizabeth City’s Holiday Parent/Child Golf Tournament.
  • Get ready to glide at Hendersonville’s Iceless Skating Rink.
  • It starts in late November, but throughout December and into January, you can see the lights at the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary.

Read More: Winter in North Carolina

Kid-Friendly Christmas Events in North Carolina

Read More: 50+ Easy Day Trips from Fayetteville (Great Getaways!)

  • Mooresville Christmas Parade.
  • Christmas in the Country in Rocky Point includes 175,000 lights and delicious hot chocolate.
  • Christmas in the Park in Blowing Rock.
  • Hangin’ with Santa and Kites with Lights at Jockey’s Ridge.
  • Christmas Train & Light Spectacular at the Wilmington Railroad Museum.
  • See beautiful lights at Airlie Gardens during Enchanted Airlie in Wilmington.
  • Light Up Cornelius is a rocking good time with local entertainment and children’s activities.
  • Watch the beautiful water parade at the NC Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach.
  • Millstone Creek Christmas Hayrides in Randolph County are a fun way to enjoy the holidays!

Read More: 25 of the Most Amazing Winter Hikes in North Carolina

Ready for These Kid-Friendly Events in North Carolina?

There are plenty of ways to enjoy traveling in our state with children. We hope this bucket list of kid-friendly events in North Carolina gives you some ideas on how to enjoy yourselves all year long!

If you had to choose, which of these fun things top your “to do” list? Also, is there anything we missed? If so, please kindly let us know in the comments section or send us an email.

More Things to Do in North Carolina

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