A full day of games, music and fun awaits families at the 11th annual Grandfather Mountain Kidfest on Saturday, Sept. 6.
The annual event celebrates the nature and culture of the North Carolina mountains, from its animals and weather to its music and stories. All activities are included with park admission.
“Kidfest packs a lot of adventure into just one day,” said Chief Naturalist Mickey Shortt.
The fun begins at 11 a.m. with Animal Olympics, where kids can test their skills against animals’ abilities. Find out if you have the speed of a mountain lion or the eyes of a hawk through a friendly competition.
Join naturalists outside the blooming Butterfly Garden to make a cloud viewer and learn about how different cloud types can provide clues about the future weather.
Through early afternoon, kids can stop by the Fudge Shop for face-painting or visit the Nature Museum to make crafts.
At noon, musicians Mark Freed and Cecil Gurganus will entertain with an “Old-Timey Kids’ Music Show,” where they’ll play and sing family-friendly traditional songs from the mountains. They will play the fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, kazoo and more — but not all at the same time!
At 1 p.m., choose to explore the Woods Walk, a short loop trail, with staff naturalists to look for signs of animal activity, or visit with renowned storyteller Glenn Bolick as he tells Appalachian Mountain stories and shows off old-fashioned toys in the Nature Museum.
Catch different species of butterflies and learn to identify them at 2 p.m. in the Butterfly Garden, then stick around for a Bears Program to learn about one remarkable animal that calls Grandfather Mountain home.
The day finishes with fun and active outdoor games at 3:30 p.m.
In addition to the special programs taking place throughout the day, families can also enjoy the experiences that make Grandfather Mountain exciting year-round, including crossing the Mile High Swinging Bridge, watching animals frolic in the animal habitats, exploring the Nature Museum, hiking the trails, and tasting the treats at the restaurant and fudge shop.
Visit grandfathermtn-staging.v38mw8dg-liquidwebsites.com/events/kidfest/ or call (828) 733-2013 for a full schedule and more information.