Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do With Kids in Winston-Salem, NC

  • Published 2022/10/12

Created in 1913, Winston-Salem is the seat of Forsyth County in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.

The city was built by the merging of two towns—Winston, named after a Revolutionary War hero, and Salem, from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning “peace.”

With its dual heritage, Winston-Salem boasts a rich history and culture, as manifested by the number of historic destinations, buildings, and tours you can find in the city.

But it’s not only for history buffs—it’s also a hub where several enthusiasts and adventurers can come over due to its wide variety of vibrant attractions, scenes, and green spaces.

So if you’re planning a family vacation that is worthwhile and well-rounded for the kids, Winston-Salem presents a lot of opportunities to appreciate history, culture, nature, and more while having fun.

Here are the best things to do in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with kids:

Embark on an Immersive Tour at Old Salem Museums & Gardens

First house at Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Bryan Pollard /

For an interactive and hands-on tour, visit Old Salem Museums & Gardens, highlighting the rich cultural history and stories of diverse people in the American South.

Located along Old Salem Road, some sites you can explore include the Frank L. Horton Museum Center, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and Miksch House & Gardens.

Kids will also enjoy the sweet history lesson provided at Winkler Bakery, one of the on-site shops at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.

A Swiss-born baker named Christian Winkler acquired the bakery in 1807, built by the Moravian Church years earlier.

Single brothers' house at Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Bryan Pollard /

Children can try baking traditional recipes and get close to the bakery’s oven heated with wood.

You can drop by Salem Stitches, a spot for a social sewing experience, or browse a wide variety of items at Moravian Book & Gift Shop.

If you need to rest and grab some lunch, you can head to the rustic Muddy Creek Café and Music Hall, which is recognized for featuring folk and traditional musicians.

Fall scene at Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Bryan Pollard /

Explore the World of Science at Kaleideum North

Want to be amazed by the wonders of the planet, universe, and more?

Head to Kaleideum North, formerly SciWorks, along West Hanes Mill Road.

At this museum, families can catch a realistic night sky simulation in the planetarium or be entertained by its musical laser specials.

Kids can participate in different hands-on experiments and puzzles that test their skills in Kaleideum North.

There are exhibits on various science topics, such as the human body, the geological and biological diversity of North Carolina, the moon as the Earth’s nearest neighbor, and more.

Visitors can observe its natural science artifacts in the Science Lab.

Try Cake Decorating at The Canvas Cake Studio

Decorate a cake and create sweet memories for the kids by spending time at The Canvas Cake Studio.

Located along Jonestown Road, this studio offers several fun classes on cake decorating for all skill levels, from basic techniques to advanced designs.

It’s a great place to ignite children’s creativity, with cake as their canvas and frosting as their colorful paint.

Adults are also welcome to unleash the artist in them.

The Canvas Cake Studio hosts team-building events to give motivation and build connections among coworkers and adult parties for every special occasion with the family.

You can also take the fun cake decorating experience home by checking out their shop that sells kits with cookies.

Fuel Your Imagination at Kaleideum Downtown

Exterior of Kaleideum Downtown

Nolichuckyjake /

Expand your kids’ knowledge and horizons by visiting Kaleideum, an interactive museum of arts, sciences, and exploration.

The museum came to life after the 2016 merger of the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks.

Its name combines the words “kaleidoscope” and “museum” to reflect its mission of inspiring wonder, curiosity, and lifelong learning in children.

Kaleideum Downtown, which used to be the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, is located on South Liberty Street.

It houses exhibits that are mostly geared toward physical activities and interactive play.

There are exhibits where children can do climbing adventures, engage in imaginative play stations of an enchanted forest village, or read a book while sitting comfortably.

Another famous exhibit at Kaleideum Downtown is the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Factory, a child-sized factory where they get to collect doughnuts and prepare them for delivery.

Catch a Performance of The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem

The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem is the oldest performing arts group in the city.

Since 1935, it has been giving magnificent productions to patrons, ranging from classic to contemporary plays and musicals, in different performance venues.

There are also theater performances for younger audiences, so they can feel the joy and transformative magic of these live shows.

Due to its diverse selections of plays and musicals, the theater has earned several recognition and awards.

The Little Theatre of Winston-Salemoffers classes to encourage personal growth and creativity among aspiring actors, so they can share and cultivate the value and impact of live theater with others.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Black Mountain Chocolate Bar

Kids just love chocolate.

Make their day brighter by bringing them to Black Mountain Chocolate Bar, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory along North Patterson Avenue near Bailey Park.

The chocolate factory was established in Black Mountain and has been offering high-quality, ethically sourced artisan chocolate since 2007.

In 2014, it moved its operations to Winston-Salem.

Visitors can watch the factory at work and taste their chocolate made from scratch, based on artisan traditions.

The place serves baked goodies, too, including cocoa nib brownies, s’mores tart, chocolate chunk cookies, and more.

Coffees with deep rich flavors are in store for coffee lovers.

In the evening, you can enjoy a drink from Black Mountain Chocolate Bar’s rotating menu of craft cocktails.

Take a Break at Bailey Park

Skyline view from Bailey Park

Bryan Pollard /

Bailey Park is a 1.6-acre haven in the city where families can spend leisure time in the publicly-accessible green space along Patterson Avenue.

Open since 2015, it is a site for several community activities like film screenings and festivals.

Bailey Park has regularly maintained restrooms, a natural amphitheater, and hard seating.

The grounds of Bailey Park

Bryan Pollard /

Place a blanket on the lush green grass and enjoy a basket of picnic food with the children.

Release stress by playing games or indulging in good food served by nearby stalls and food trucks.

Have a Fun Time at Adventure Landing

Adventure Landing is an amusement park on South Stratford Road.

There are several attractions waiting for the kids, headlined by its three 18-hole miniature golf courses with unique themes and designs.

Players of all skill levels can practice and enjoy the courses with tunnels, waterfalls, and mountains.

Adventure Landing’s mega arcade has over 30 interactive arcade and ticket redemption games.

There are prizes in store for everyone, with a wide selection of merchandise at the redemption center.

At Bumper Boat Pond, you can ride bumper boats with built-in squirt guns and splash around with the family.

Recharge at Gateway Nature Preserve

Located along the Salem Creek Greenway, Gateway Nature Preserve is a 19-acre urban wildlife habitat with forest trails, a pollinator garden, and natural playscapes.

It seeks to promote environmental conservation, awareness, and stewardship.

Take a hike along a half-mile forest trail while learning from the informative signs emphasizing the significance of forests.

Gateway Nature Preserve’s Pollinator Garden is home to 120 native trees, shrubs, and perennials.

You can observe the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators that fly around and live in the area.

From a sandy beach, enjoy the refreshing view of Salem Creek, which provides water and a habitat for local wildlife.

Travel Back in Time at Historic Bethabara Park

A building at the Historic Bethabara Park

David Bjorgen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A visit to Historic Bethabara Park along Bethabara Road presents a blend of informative and fun adventure for all ages.

The park is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and Local Historic District, with 183 acres of preserved wildlife, historic buildings, winding trails, and wetlands.

Historic Bethabara Park dates back to 1753, when it was founded by German-speaking Moravians.

Kids will learn stories of the past and have a glimpse of what life was like before for children in the settlement.

Bell tower at Historic Bethabara Park

Jo Ellen Morgan /

Aside from seeing old buildings, kids can be closer to nature at Bethabara Gardens.

Previously known as Kitchen Garden, Community Garden is the only known and well-documented colonial garden in the United States, established in 1759.

Another one is Medicinal Garden, which is home to plants for treating different ailments.

Log house at Historic Bethabara Park

Travis K. Witt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Flip and Jump High at Winston’s Trampoline Parks

Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park along North Point Boulevard features several jump arenas and a variety of play areas.

At its fun zones, you can play dodgeball on a trampoline, put your parkour skills into action, or do acrobatics.

Rockin’ Jump also has a climbing wall for kids who love climbing and a Jump Zone for those aged six and below.

Children can have a blast at Urban Air Adventure Park near Summit Square Boulevard.

Aside from basic trampolines, kids can explore its tube playground, climbing walls, and gravity-defying obstacles in the ropes course.

There is also a virtual reality attraction where you can live the fantasy of fighting robots and dragons.

If you are around Griffith Road, you can check Surge Adventure Park, which offers special deals for groups and families.

The park’s features include the arcade, ninja course, trapeze, and more.

Kids will enjoy and get minutes of physical activities in these trampoline parks.

Play Classic Games at Reboot Arcade Bar

Go back in time at Reboot Arcade Bar, a retro-style arcade on North Liberty Street.

As the city’s first arcade bar, it has over 60 pinball and arcade machines that guests of all ages can play.

Check out its collection of classic favorites, such as Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros, and more.

Bring your quarters, as it maintains the vintage prices, too.

The establishment also has a full-service bar that serves signature cocktails and craft beer for adults.

Kids can enjoy the vintage games at Reboot Arcade Bar earlier in the day.

Learn and Create at Reynolda

Exterior of the Reynolda house museum

Mcintern2012 of English Wikipedia, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 1917 estate of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds is a quick drive from Old Salem and sprawls over 170 acres.

Families can engage in various activities at Reynolda, like touring the historic house and gardens, checking art collections, and shopping at the village.

In fact, visitors need at least three hours to complete their trip to all the featured attractions.

Kids will have an unforgettable experience at Reynolda due to the numerous workshops and programs designed especially for the young ones.

Waterfall at Reynolda

Bryan Pollard /

The activities are geared toward nurturing their imagination and creativity, such as Reynolda’s read-aloud hours and a scavenger hunt.

Meanwhile, wandering through Reynolda’s century-old gardens and grounds will build the children’s appreciation and deep respect for nature.

The gardens teem with blooming flowers and lively plants that will delight the kids’ senses.

There are also miles of trails, wetlands, and thick woodlands for families to navigate.

Aerial view of Reynolda

Lewis Directed Films /

Play and Splash around at Winston-Salem’s Parks

If you just want to lounge around, have a picnic, and bring kids to play, Winston-Salem has many parks you can access for free.

The parks don’t just have playgrounds, some feature splash pads where kids can stay cool.

Along Anita Drive, Hathaway Park has several play areas, a baseball diamond, a tennis court, and a splash pad.

If you want to take a peaceful stroll, there is a walking trail at Little Creek Park near Foxcroft Drive that connects to Little Creek Greenway.

Other park amenities include picnic shelters and grills, play areas for children and adults, and a recreation center.

Miller Park located on Leisure Lane, has two nature trails, various play areas, picnic shelters, and an amphitheater, among others.

To access a swimming pool and splash pad, check out Winston Lake Park along Winston Park Drive, with several more amenities.

This park also has a golf course and a 2.4-mile nature trail next to the shoreline.

Go Ice Skating at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds

The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds is a 70-acre site that hosts several events, festivals, entertainment activities, and the annual Carolina Classic Fair.

It started as a dirt oval track and was previously named The Forsyth County Fairgrounds.

During the months of October to March, families can try public ice skating at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds annex.

To help them enjoy their skating experience, the place has skating aids available for rental.

You must also dress warmly and wear socks because the rink is made of real ice.

If you want to learn some flips and twirls, you can attend scheduled freestyle sessions with skilled figure skaters.

Another activity you can do is shop for local and fresh produce at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market, the oldest running market in Forsyth County since 1974.

You can also go camping at RV Campground, which provides access to water, sewer, and electric hookups.

Final Thoughts

Winston-Salem has great amusement parks and indoor attractions that will surely transport kids to places of imagination and fun.

These sites are also perfect for adults, so they can release stress, refuel, and feel like kids again.

The city is home to various historic destinations, informative museums, and natural sites where families can learn, be creative, and immerse in nature.

Your stay in Winston-Salem will be packed with outdoor adventures, a unique blend of history and culture, and memorable bonding experiences with family and friends.

Plan your family’s next trip and try the best things to do in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with kids!

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