If you are looking for the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids, you’ve come to the right place! While Fayetteville is most widely known as being the home of one of the largest military installations in the world, it is much more than this. This lovely North Carolina town is home to fun museums, outdoor activities, fun restaurants, and exciting activities.
The things to do in Fayetteville, North Carolina are varied, making it a great place for family travelers. A wide variety of activities allows you to find something to please every type of traveler and family member. Perfect for those traveling with kids at different age levels.
With many nicknames from the All-American City to the City of Dogwoods, Fayetteville has played important roles in American history. Many celebrities and historical figures have been born and raised in the City of Dogwoods. Whether you are looking to learn about the history of the area, spend time in the sun, go on a foodie journey, or simply have a good time, you can find everything you are looking for in Fayetteville.
18 Exciting Things To Do In Fayetteville, North Carolina With Kids
Family travelers will love Arnette Park. What makes it one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids is that not only does it have an incredible playground and open space for kids to play and picnics, it also hosts special events. Be sure to check online for what events might be taking place during your visit.
The best part about the park is that there is free entry to the grounds and most events as well. If you are always looking for ways to make your adventures more budget-friendly, remember that Arnette Park is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville, North Carolina with kids.
J Bayard Clark Park and Nature Center
One of the most popular things to do in Fayetteville with kids is the River Trail and J Bayard Clark Park gives you access this trail. (We will talk more about the trail in a minute!) The park has a fantastic playground complete with a sand pit, rock wall, and picnic tables.
The park also has a nature center that families love. The nature center is home to turtles, lizards, snakes, alligators, and other creatures that are native to the area. There are free events and activities, park rangers on duty, learning materials, and a play area in the center. This is the perfect attraction for all of the science lovers in the family. By the way, if you have an electric car, you can charge it at the park as well!
Cape Fear River
There are several ways to enjoy the Cape Fear River while you are in Fayetteville. The river stretches from throughout the Tar Heel State and has been found in recorded history since the 1500s when it was named Rio Jordan by Spanish explorers.
Boat tours, kayaking, tubing, canoeing, and stand up paddle boarding are all ways that you and your family can enjoy the river. With the hot temperatures in the summer, spending time on the water is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville, NC with kids.
Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum
The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids as it is the perfect place to incorporate learning into your travels. You will really enjoy this attraction in particular if you are homeschoolers.
The museum is housed in a historic railway station. Complete with vintage cares, exhibits, and a replica and an old gas station, the atmosphere in the museum is intriguing. Located in the downtown area, you can explore the two floors of the museum that are full of engaging exhibits.
Cape Fear Botanical Garden
For nature lovers, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden is one of the very best things to do in Fayetteville with kids. The gardens has been around since the 1980s and sprawls across an incredible eighty acres. Home to incredibly beautiful gardens blooming with ornamental plants and speciality fauna, this site should be on everyones list of things to do in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Kids will love the Children’s Garden and the Butterfly Stroll, as well as the water features and fountains that spray water high into the air. There are events held at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden throughout the year that make the site an even more exciting place to visit. From Tai Chi and yoga to family night hikes and holiday events, you can find a little bit of everything at this site!
There’s also a small cafe inside the welcome center where you can grab a snack or drink to enjoy outside on the patio. You can find fresh fruit smoothies, gluten free muffins, sandwiches, salads, cold drinks, and more on the menu.
Blue Moon Cafe
All of the foodies will be looking for amazing restaurants in Fayetteville during their visit. If dining out is an important part of your travel experience, Blue Moon Cafe is where you’ll want to be. You can find this downtown restaurant on Hay Street across from the Art Council of Fayetteville.
The laid back yet refined menu at Blue Moon is part of what makes eating there one of the best things to do with kids in Fayetteville.
Lox salad, salmon wellington, baked brie, charcuterie boards, and cilantro lime hummus are all magnificent ways to start your visit to the cafe. The food is simply delicious and you can find options to fit the needs of every one in the family.
What is impressive here is that this restaurant has made its way onto the list of most exciting things to do in Fayetteville with kids despite not even having a kids menu. How?
Well, the Blue Moon Cafe is famous for dishes that are elevated, but also comforting. With options like tacos, tuna melts, croissant sandwiches, and mac n’ cheese, even picky eaters will love this eatery. If you are vegetarian or vegan, don’t worry, there are options for you as well. One of the best vegan options is the BBQ “chicken” which is made with jack fruit, vegan cheese, slaw, and barbecue sauce.
Fayetteville Rose Garden
When thinking about the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids, do you think about spending time outside? If so, the Fayetteville Rose Garden is for you. This small and intimate garden is full of colorful roses along with fountains and other relaxing features.
You can enjoy strolling through the pathways surrounded by stunning flowers, get some fresh air, or simply let your little ones get some of their energy out while you are in the garden. The best time to visit the park is between April and the first frost of winter. If you are looking for free things to do in Fayetteville, North Carolina, add the rose garden to your itinerary. Not only is it free, it’s also pet-friendly!
Eat at Macs Speed Shop
You get the best of both worlds at Macs Speed Shop. This barbecue joint gives parents the opportunity to get a bar-like experience while still being in a place that is family-friendly in the day time. Everything from barbecue and wings to salads and quesadillas can be found on the menu at Mac’s.
There’s also a Fatboy Challenge for those adventurous eaters in the family. Scarf down an enormous five pound sandwich and a 1/2 pound side of macaroni and cheese and you will get your name in the Hall of Fame, wine prizes, and the meal is totally free!
While at night you will find the bar packed and the parking lot full of bikers, the restaurant is totally welcoming to children during the day, making visiting Mac’s Speed Shop one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids!
Walk The Cape Fear River Trail
The ten foot wide and paved Cape Fear River Trail is arguably number one when it comes to things to do in Fayetteville NC with kids. Winding through the woods and along the river for more than seven miles, the beautiful trees, wildlife, and water views draw hundreds of walkers, joggers, and bikers everyday.
1897 Poe House
The 1897 Poe House was home to the Poe family. No, not the famous writer, but a local businessman. Tours are offered of this beautiful historic home and it acts as a perfect attraction for family travelers who put a focus on education and for homeschoolers as well.
With original brickwork, wood work, and household items on display, this is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids for families that travel full time as it gives children a history lesson while parents can enjoy stepping into the past as well.
Carter Blueberry Farm
Visiting during blueberry season? Typically around June to mid-August, blueberry season is in full swing the plants are full of fresh berries for you and your little ones to pick. Picking blueberries at Carter Farm is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids. Even picky eaters are likely to try a blueberry or two when they see where they come from and start having fun while plucking them from their branches!
When at the Carter Blueberry Farm, you pay by the pound. So you can grab a small basket if you are just there for the experience and to grab some berries to snack on on your travels or go for the jumbo basket if you are keen to do some baking or sharing.
Eat at Pierros Italian Bistro
Located in the downtown area of the City of Dogwoods, visiting Pierros Italian Bistro is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids. With a menu that includes pasta, pizza, and breads, even your picky eaters will find something they like.
Muscles, calamari, eggplant bites, speciality brick oven pizzas, and more are waiting for you at Pierros! Oh, and don’t forget to finish a meal with one of their remarkable desserts like the chocolate mousse cake, New York cheesecake, or Tiramisu while you’re there.
Airborne and Special Operation Museum
As a military town, it is only natural that there would be an attraction or two dedicated to the military in Fayetteville. Interesting for both adults who are intrigued by American history and children as well, the Airborne and Special Operation Museum is among the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids.
If you are traveling North Carolina on a budget and looking for free things to do in Fayetteville, North Carolina with kids, this museum should move to the top of your itinerary! While donation are appreciated, it’s totally free to enjoy this fascinating museum. You can find free parking for the museum as well. It is recommended that you carve out at least two hours to be able to truly enjoy the museum and all that it has to offer.
Do you consider yourself to be adventurous? ZipQuest Waterfall and Treetop Adventure in Cumberland County is perfect for travelers looking for exciting and thrilling experiences as it is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids! Kids as young as eight can enjoy the zip-lining tours and adventures as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
You will find varying tour options to choose from at ZipQuest. From waterfall expeditions that take you between trees, over bridges and up spiral staircases in the canopy to treetop excursions that offer amazing obstacles on a shorter path, you can find an activity that fits your family’s needs.
Fascinate U Children’s Museum
If you travel with young kids, you know all to well the power of a good children’s museum. The Fascinate-U Children’s Museum easily makes its way onto the list of the best things to do with kids in Fayetteville, NC.
The exhibits at Fascinate-U encourage exploration and hands-on participation. Your little ones can discover exhibits representing different shops around town. The grocery store, vet, courthouse, doctors house, bakery, and more are all represented there. Of course, being a military town, there are also some military areas for them to discover as well.
Visit The Historic Archway Burgers, Dogs, and Beers
Located next to an historic brick archway in Fayetteville, Archway Burger, Dogs, and Beer is a must for any NC itinerary. The burgers over stacked high, the fries and burgers loaded with toppings, and the salads are burger flavored at Archway’s!
You will be given a menu card and a pencil when you arrive to place your order. With a huge selection of toppings ranging from BBQ sauce and Siracha to sauerkraut and pickled okra, you will be able to create a masterpiece that is just your speed. Don’t miss out on a delicious lunch from Archway’s as it is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids!
Lake Rim Park
With ball fields, sand volleyball, picnic areas, a playground, nature trail, and horseshoes, Lake Rim Park is the perfect place to enjoy spending time in the fresh air. As one of the best things to do in Fayetteville with kids, Lake Rim Park is packed with fun ways to spend time outside.
The park offers picturesque walking paths and views for you to enjoy while you have a family picnic or let your kiddos burn some energy and get some fresh air. The park is also pet-friendly as long as they stay on the leash!
Gillis Hill Farm
One of the most underrated things to do in Fayetteville, North Carolina with kids is to visit Gillis Hill Farm. This property has been in the same family since they arrived in America from Scotland many generations ago.
Your little ones will love watching the ducks on the pond and the seeing the animals that call the farm home. The farm is home to many animals that needed homes, are injured, or elderly. You can feed, pet, and watch the animals play in their fields during your visit.
There is a mill and performance area on the farm that make for great photo opportunities. For little ones, there are play areas with toys they can jump on, bikes they can ride, and other unique farm games that they will love to check out.
Also, since the farm is free to visit, you can support the family by buying some of their incredible homemade ice cream. Made with local ingredients you can find classic flavors alongside other flavors like blueberry cheesecake and banana nut bread.
So, let us know, which of these exciting things to do in Fayetteville with kids will you be doing first?