Things to Do in Winston-Salem With Kids

by Nikki M. Mascali
Originally Published: 
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Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a city steeped in history, dating back to 1753 when the first Moravians settled there. It’s sometimes called “Camel City” for its role in the tobacco industry or, simply, “the Dash” because of its hyphen. But, it should also be called one of the Tar Heel state’s greatest family-friendly destinations. There’s so much to do and see, so we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Winston-Salem with kids.

Kids Attractions in Winston-Salem

Say goodbye to brain drain because one of the best things to do in Winston-Salem with kids is visit Kaleideum. Both locations fuse STEM with literacy and art to educate and inspire kids’ imaginations. Kaleideum North (formerly SciWorks) has a planetarium and nature park with trails. Meanwhile, Kaleideum Downtown (formerly Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem) has lots of interactive exhibits of its own. But, its most loved is the kid-sized Krispy Kreme Doughnut Factory.

Every Saturday and Sunday, the Old Salem Museums & Gardens has a Salem Sleuth Day for kids. They’ll get a “mission” to complete as they explore Salem. If they choose to accept and complete the mission, a prize awaits them at the end. Sleuthing is free with admission.

Reynolda House Museum of American Art hosts monthly workshops where families can make art together. In addition, its website has tips for piquing your kids’ interest as they (carefully) walk through exhibits. For instance, see how many animals they recognize on the Sun Porch floor tiles. Or, have them talk about how the clothes and toys in the attic differ from theirs. Note: strollers are not allowed in the museum, but a place to store them is provided.

Mast General Store hosts a Story Time every Monday at 11 a.m. in its Candy Barrel. And “general store” is not just a clever name—this place has everything the whole family needs and more.

Creative Drama Children’s Theater in nearby Clemmons has kid-friendly shows and acting, voice and dance classes, too. The upcoming season includes “Frozen Jr.,” “Into the Woods Jr.” and “Matilda.”

Best Restaurants in Winston-Salem for Kids

There’s a lot of best restaurants in Winston-Salem for Kids. But it’s unlawful to roll into town and not have some famous North Carolina ’cue. Camel City BBQ Factory has a good kids menu with a pulled-pork sandwich, hot dog, chicken tenders, grilled cheese and pancakes. But, the rest of the menu has us salivating, too.

Kids eat free every Tuesday at K&W Cafeterias. The cafeteria-style eatery has been serving up home-cooked food since 1937 and has three locations in Winston-Salem.

For the ultimate Southern comfort food, head to Sweet Potatoes. While there’s no specific kids menu, mac-n-cheese with country ham or chicken and waffles are sure to be a hit.

The kids can watch their sweet treats get made at Black Mountain Chocolate Factory. There’s also baked goods, coffee and gelato, too.

And though you can literally get them anywhere, you may want to grab a fresh, hot Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut right in its own backyard. The chain has been based in Winston-Salem since its founding in 1937.

Best Hotels in Winston-Salem for Kids

Kimpton Cardinal Hotel is centrally-located downtown in the historic R.J. Reynolds building. There are a slew of amenities mom will enjoy—looking at you, in-room yoga mats (but mostly the evening wine reception). But, Kimpton Kids amenities include a welcome gift, family-friendly dining, hula hoops in the fitness center and even,—sit down for this—accredited babysitters if you want a night out.

Breakfast and parking are free at Springhill Suites by Marriott, and rooms come with a sofa bed. Plus, some rooms are adjoining, and the property has a pool and on-site laundry facilities.

If you love how historic Winston-Salem is, stay at the Brookstown Inn. Built in 1837, the hotel is in a former mill and has period details like exposed brick and beams. But, every room has a fridge, Keurig and microwave, and some suites are bi-level. Bonus: there’s a wine and cheese reception every night—and milk and cookies before bed.

Outdoor Activities in Winston-Salem for Kids

This area can get hot and humid in summer. So, one of the best things to do in Winston-Salem with kids is to cool off at Winston Waterworks. This city-run waterpark has a pool, water playground, lazy river and slides.

Travel back more than 260 years at historic Bethabara Park. This 1753 historical site is where early Moravians settled in North Carolina. There are historical buildings, nature trails, a wildlife preserve and frequent family-friendly events.

Make a day or night of it at Adventure Landing Winston-Salem. It has three 18-hole mini golf courses, bumper boats, an arcade and snack bars.

Take the kids out to a ballgame to see the Winston-Salem Dash. The minor league baseball team of the Chicago White Sox plays at BB&T Stadium here in town.

Even More Things to Do in Winston-Salem with Kids

If you’ve got NASCAR fans in the fam, The Winston Cup Museum is a must. It pays homage to 33 years of the racing series with memorabilia, race cars, racing arcade games and more.

See if the family can spot one of several Art-o-mat machines around town. The vintage cigarette vending machines now vend work from artists from all over the world.

For more sizable art, check out ARTivity on the Green, an art-themed park on Liberty Street with a mural wall, rolling green hills, a bandstand and misting towers.

Or, take in the architectural wonder that is Körner’s Folly in nearby Kernersville. The 22-room mansion was built in 1880. The whole family will love wandering through its eclectic interior and secret nooks and crannies. Be sure to download the scavenger hunt for even more quirky fun.

If visiting Winston-Salem with kids in October, check out the Dixie Classic Fair. The 10-day long agricultural fair is the largest in the state and features music, food, rides, animals, arts and crafts.

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