Home » vacation » Family Time in the High Country: Monthly Guide

September in the High Country is a crazy time of year for families. Vacations have all come to an end and school has resumed, along with homework, social pressures and extracurricular activities. Sports seasons are kicking into high gear and “soccer moms” grab their travel mugs, fill their kid-wagon with gas and hit the road. With all the chaos of making sure kids are adjusting to new schedules, homework and extracurriculars, trying to plan quality time as a family can go by the wayside. Here’s our attempt to take the pressure off figuring out family time.

Here are some ideas for quality time in September:

Week 1: Music in the Valle

Date: September 1st, 2017
Cost: Free + the cost of picnic dinner
Pack a picnic (don’t forget the wine or beer for mom and dad), bring a blanket for the family to sit on and some sweatshirts since for the cool September air. Glow sticks are always a fun addition. Chat with friends or kick the ball in the field, play at the playground or take a walk to the stream while amazing music plays. If your kids are more low key bring cards, a board game or coloring supplies and just sit, listen to music and take in the night.

Week 2 – Grandfather Mountain KidFest

Date: September 9th, 2017
Cost: Included with entry into park
Grab some sweatshirts and enjoy the cool mountain air up on Grandfather Mountain. Grab a scavenger hunt map when you purchase your tickets and take the kids on an exciting adventure through the park. Stop at the first picnic area (on the right once in the park) and allow the kids some time to climb the large boulders. Of course, don’t miss the animals and swinging bridge. Stop in the museum for more kid-fest fun. Enjoy seeing the beginning signs of the seasons changing. Talk about the colors, smells and details you see while you go. Ask your kids lots of questions to help them experience the mountain in a new way.

Week 2 – Taste of the High Country

For older kids (8 and up)
Date: September 9th
Cost: $20 each (it’s splurge if you have a lot of kids but it is for a good cause and the memories would be worth it!)
Bring your kids a little early to browse the booths and take part in the pre-show activities. At 6:30 make your way into the auditorium for the show. Share lots of laughs with your kids and learn a little about cooking while you are at it. Talk to your kids after the show to see what they liked best, what dishes looked the most tasty,  and if they want to try to make any of the dishes that Chef Jon presented. Talk to your kids about how your night of fun actually helped other families in the community because it was a fundraiser for the Hospitality House.

Week 3 – Children’s Council Birthday Party

Date: September 17th, 2017
Cost: $10 for 2 beers
Enjoy a beer while you celebrate with the Children’s Council and have fun with your kids. Free cake, face-painting, balloons, games and prize drawings will add an extra level of excitement for the kids. The silent auction might be a fun way to show the kids the joys of supporting a local nonprofit while also getting a great deal on an awesome item. Bring your kids to meet some of the Children’s Council staff and board members and ask questions that your child will understand. Talk to your kids on the way home about the importance of community and the difference they can make because they are part of one.

Week 4: Farmers Market and Park

Date: September 23, 2017
Cost:  $ groceries for the week + a sweet treat?
Get yourself a nice cup of coffee and a bakery treat to share with the kids. Bring some grocery money and make your weekly shopping trip a fun experience for the entire family. Discuss all the wonderful fruits and veggies, honey and flowers you see with your kids. Discuss shapes, colors, smells and other details that allow them to appreciate the work of the vendors. Ask the farmers questions and allow the kids to ask too. Let them pick some items for the week and encourage them to help you find a way to use them. If they still have energy, head over to the Daniel Boone Park to play or hike up Strawberry Hill to the big oak tree. Play a game of tag or just sit for a rest and chat. Head home for lunch (and naps).

Week 5: Creatures of the night, Bonfire Delight

Date: September 30, 2017
Cost: $20 each (it’s splurge if you have a lot of kids but the memories will be worth it!)
Grab a sweatshirt and some s’mores ingredients and head over to Grandfather Mountain for special night the kids will never forget. Join the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats staff for Spooky Stories around the campfire and special after dark Behind the Scenes Tours of the Animal Habitats! Chairs, Hot Chocolate, apple cider and marshmallow sticks provided.

Big thanks for unsplash.com and Jenn Evelyn-Ann for the awesome cover photo.

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