It's a little off season for this place, but the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville was great to let the little ones run around, check out the changing leaves and get some much-needed vitamin D when we visited the mountains.
We went to the arboretum the last full week in October and walked the trails, picked up leaves and saw gorgeous mountain views. Also, they have a fun little exhibit called After The Dinosaurs, which cost $3 per adult. Kids under 5 were free. My little ones loved it!
There was a "dig" where the kids took paint brushes and swept rice off of very old bones they buried in a sandbox-like enclosure. Jordan (3) loved it. Dani put the rice in her mouth, spit it out and swung her paint brush around (flinging rice around the room). It was rather embarrassing but still fun.
We had such a great time, and the wide-open spaces allowed our kids to run some energy out of them for another car ride. I would recommend it.
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
Asheville, North Carolina 28806-9315
HIGHLIGHTS: Most of it is out doors, but there is an indoor section, too, the exhibits were fun, and the view is incredible, also there are a lot of wide-open spaces for kids to run around.
COST: $8 for parking & exhibits were extra (such as After The Dinosaurs, which was $3 per adult). General admission is free.