Family-Friendly Things to Do in North Carolina in December

While we're still weeks away from winter's first snowfall here in Bryson City, it's never too early to start thinking about a much-needed escape during the upcoming holiday season. Many Americans don't realize that Western North Carolina only sees approximately seven inches during the wintertime as our average highs hover around the low-50s. And yet, Watershed Cabins still has vacation rentals less than an hour away from prime skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. The Bryson City area is a peaceful, beautiful, and family-friendly getaway locale for those hoping for a change of pace. There's something magical about exploring the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains after a fresh snowfall or hoarfrost. Without further ado, here are three of our favorite family-friendly things to do in North Carolina in December.

The Factory in Franklin

things to do in North Carolina in DecemberTwenty-nine miles south of downtown Bryson City rests one of the premier things to do in North Carolina in December. Many families who escape into the Great Smoky Mountains for a family holiday getaway ask: “Where's the best place to entertain the kids for a day?” The answer is The Factory in nearby Franklin. The Factory is the perfect place for the entire family to bond while go-karting, mini-golfing, and bouncing. Face-off against each other in a game of laser tag or bumper cars before visiting the 100-machine arcade! Before heading back to your luxurious mountain-view cottage, grab a bite to eat at The Pizza Factory & Grill.

Cataloochee Ski Area

The Cataloochee Ski Area, thirty miles northeast of downtown Bryson City, is one of the best things to do in North Carolina in December. The temperatures are genuinely perfect for a full day of skiing, snowboarding, or tubing. Some brave athletes carve through the freshly-made powder wearing t-shirts (we don't recommend this). Cataloochee isn't going to challenge skiing experts, but this gorgeous valley has a plethora of family-friendly hills.

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

A lot of Northerners are pleasantly surprised to find out that the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad still runs through our beautiful hills and valleys during the wintertime. A train ride through the Great Smoky Mountains after a fresh snowfall or hoarfrost will be a transcendent experience for the entire family! The railroad, located in downtown Bryson City, hosts uncrowded winter events such as The Polar Express and BBQ & Brews.

Xscape Bryson City

The whole family can solve a mysterious escape room at Bryson City's newest downtown attraction. Xscape Bryson City currently has two escape rooms, “Pharoah's Revenge” and “May Day Submarine,” with a third one in the works. Your family will find clues, crack secret codes, and solve puzzles in a race against the clock! Inquisitive minds of all ages enjoy this fast-growing establishment.

Harrah's Cherokee Casino

Harrah's Casino in nearby Cherokee, NC, has over the years added Ultrastar Lanes, Ultrastar Games Center, and the family-friendly Soundbytes sports bar. The 24-lane bowling alley and arcade center are only 11 miles east of Bryson City. Some family members can play blackjack while others try to bowl the perfect game.

Things to Do in North Carolina in December

Watershed Cabins has luxurious vacation rentals in Bryson City, Robbinsville, Almond, and Topton. You'll always be steps away from a mountain adventure and minutes from family-friendly activities, first-rate restaurants, and gorgeous waterfalls. Dial 1-888-604-3075 or visit to learn more about our beautiful slice of North Carolina!

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