Upcoming events and things to do in Asheville, NC. Below is a list of events for festivals, concerts, art exhibitions, group meetups and more.

Interested in adding an event to our calendar? Please click the green “Post Your Event” button below.

Sunday, May 26, 2024
Auditions for “The Prom”
May 26 all-day
Asheville Performing Arts Academy

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy
Presents

The Prom

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy is excited to produce our first full-length summer production The Prom. Rehearsals will take place over the summer with the show going up in September. All students in rising 8-12 are invited to audition to be part of the cast and crew.


2024 Performances

  • Friday, September 27 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, September 28 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, September 28 at 2:00pm
  • Sunday, September 29 at 2:00pm

Summary

  • Rehearsals: Mondays & Thursdays 6-8pm (Starts June 17, 2024) (and Saturdays in September)
  • Performances: September 27-29, 2024
  • Audition Videos Due: June 1, 2024
  • Callbacks: June 8, 2024
  • Cast list Announced: June 15, 2024
  • Ages: Rising 8th grade and High School Only
  • Price: $450
  • Audition Material: Any song and monologue from a musical allowed.
BRING ON SPRING w/ Nantahala Outdoor Center
May 26 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

 

Grant Center Swimming Pool
May 26 all-day
Grant Center Pool

Swimming Pools

Asheville Parks & Recreation’s public pools provide safe and affordable outdoor summer fun for all ages. For info about pool schedules, please call 828-348-4770 or visit ashevillecitypools.com.

Malvern Hills Park’s 90 year-old outdoor pool will not open this summer. While we were able to keep the facility operational through last summer, the pool can no longer be repaired to safely meet the needs of our community. For more, read this article.

Admission

  • Individual – $3 per session
  • Individual Season Pass – $100
  • Family Season Pass – $150 (up to four individuals)

Locations

Events

  • Asheville Parks & Recreation hosts hundreds of free and low-cost activities, programs, and events each month. Check out the latest program guide.
  • Pools will open Saturday, May 25!

    Dates of Operation:
    Grant Center Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Sunday, August 11th
    Recreation Park Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Monday, September 2nd, weekends only from
    August 12th through September 2nd

    Pools open weekends only until June 10th, with the exception of Monday, May 27!

    Hours of Operation June 10 through August 11:
    Monday through Friday – 12:00pm-6:00pm
    Saturday – 11:00am-6:00pm
    Sunday – 1:00pm-6:00pm

    Cost is $3 per person per day

Mile High Swinging Bridge
May 26 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

Raft + Rail A Fully Guided Experience
May 26 all-day
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The original Raft & Rail© since 1988: enjoy the two best adventures in the region in one day, great for families. Southern Living Magazine calls this “an ideal adventure for families, first-timers, young or old.” This full-day guided adventure starts with a Wildwater staff member greeting you at the train depot, followed by a scenic train trip, deli lunch with all the fixings, and a Nantahala River whitewater trip with a guide in every boat. Hot showers and a photo show follow immediately after your 8-mile Nantahala River trip. All transportation is included to and from the Bryson City Train Depot. Available April–October with the morning departure of the Nantahala Gorge Excursion departing Bryson City, NC. Train seating in Open Air Gondola. 2024 bookings starting soon!

Ticket fares subject to 7% Historic Preservation Fee and 7% North Carolina sales tax. Schedules, fares, motive power, equipment, seat selection, and meals are subject to change without notice. We guarantee the class of service you select. You will be notified if a change in schedule or motive power affects your reservation. Payment in full at booking by major credit card is required to finalize a reservation. You may cancel your reservation in full or in part and receive a refund less a $14.00 fee per adult ticket and $7.00 fee per child ticket as late as 5 days before departure, except The Polar Express Train Ride; The Polar Express Train Ride is as late as 60 days before departure. Within 5 days of the departure, or 60 days in the case of the Polar Express Train Ride, the reservation becomes nonrefundable. You may reschedule any time prior to your originally scheduled departure with a $7.00 fee per ticket for another date within the same calendar year. You may not reschedule a reservation after the scheduled departure.

Recreation Park Swimming Pool
May 26 all-day
Recreation Park

Swimming Pools

Asheville Parks & Recreation’s public pools provide safe and affordable outdoor summer fun for all ages. For info about pool schedules, please call 828-348-4770 or visit ashevillecitypools.com.

Malvern Hills Park’s 90 year-old outdoor pool will not open this summer. While we were able to keep the facility operational through last summer, the pool can no longer be repaired to safely meet the needs of our community. For more, read this article.

Admission

  • Individual – $3 per session
  • Individual Season Pass – $100
  • Family Season Pass – $150 (up to four individuals)

Locations

Events

  • Asheville Parks & Recreation hosts hundreds of free and low-cost activities, programs, and events each month. Check out the latest program guide.
  • Pools will open Saturday, May 25!

    Dates of Operation:
    Grant Center Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Sunday, August 11th
    Recreation Park Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Monday, September 2nd, weekends only from
    August 12th through September 2nd

    Pools open weekends only until June 10th, with the exception of Monday, May 27!

    Hours of Operation June 10 through August 11:
    Monday through Friday – 12:00pm-6:00pm
    Saturday – 11:00am-6:00pm
    Sunday – 1:00pm-6:00pm

    Cost is $3 per person per day

WILD Excursions is a FREE summer field trip program: registration open
May 26 all-day
Asheville Area

Are your kids ready to explore the outdoors this summer? WILD Excursions is a FREE summer field trip program for rising 7th-12th grade students where they get to hike, learn about and meet animals, and even camp out overnight.

Join Buncombe County Soil & water for this amazing experience to investigate and connect with nature.

To register and for more information, contact Buncombe County Soil & Water Environmental Educators Rose Wall and Jen Knight at [email protected].

2024 WILD Excursions Summer Schedule

July 12 – Lake Powhatan – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
In this hiking adventure, we will focus on water quality in Lake Powhatan and the surrounding streams using the same chemical testing & macroinvertebrate sampling techniques used by scientists.
Bring: Lunch, water bottle, and closed-toed shoes.

July 26 – Balsam Mountain Trust Nature Center – 9:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
This experience has a little bit of everything. We’ll hike, stream stomp, do community science, and meet the nature center’s animal ambassadors. We know you’ll love the birds of prey and possum!
Bring: Lunch, water bottle, and closed-toed shoes.

August 16-17 – Camp Out at Purchase Knob (rising 9th-12th only) – Friday 1 p.m. – Saturday 12:30 p.m.
Join us at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center for an overnight camping adventure. NPS educators will lead us in doing community science for ongoing research projects. We’ll have plenty of time to explore, relax and reflect. Great for beginner campers.

NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
May 26 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

ON EXHIBIT—- Bugs: Outside the Box
May 26 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Baker Exhibit Center

Where can you see a butterfly with a five foot wingspan, or a longhorn beetle with antennae more than twelve feet across? The answers can be found amongst the enormous sculptures on display in BUGS: Outside the Box!

Scientifically exact, with a keen attention to detail, the exhibit features a virtual army of giant bugs with one aim in mind – educating the public and shining a light on museum collections, taxonomy, and the power of magnification.

Among the highlights of the exhibit is a rarely seen long-arm beetle more than ten feet in height, a collection of heavily armored stag beetles with impressive jaws and horns as long as your arm, and an insight into the amazing intricacy of the physiology of each insect on display. Alongside these impressive works of art is the insect in question represented at life size,  and detailed information on the life habits, location, and other facts unique to each insect and its family.

 

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden
May 26 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

What is Bonsai?

Bonsai is a challenging and rewarding horticultural activity, in which ordinary plants are grown in an extraordinary way. Through rigorously applied cultivation techniques, trees, shrubs, vines and even herbaceous plants are kept in a miniaturized state, developed into artistic shapes and then displayed in special containers.

What makes the Arboretum’s bonsai endeavor unique among all other public collections in the United States? Regional Interpretation. Visitors will find the Arboretum’s bonsai collection of more than 100 specimens carefully cultivated with a Southern Appalachian accent. The collection draws inspiration from the traditional roots of bonsai, but takes the form of a contemporary, Southern Appalachian influenced American garden. Plantings in the landscape include species and cultivars of American, European and Asian origin.

 

The Bonsai Exhibition Garden

Established in October 2005, The North Carolina Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a world renowned garden that displays up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time. Represented are traditional Asian bonsai subjects such as Japanese maple and Chinese elm, tropical plants such as willow-leaf fig and bougainvillea, and American species such as bald cypress and limber pine. Of particular importance are the plants native to the Blue Ridge region, such as American hornbeam and eastern white pine, which enable the Arboretum to bring the thousand-year tradition of bonsai home to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Interpretive signage throughout the garden conveys information about the art and history of bonsai, and the Arboretum’s own creative approach to it.

 

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden

  • Bonsai on Display Mid May – November; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
  • Garden Open Year Round
  • Parking Fees
    • Personal/Standard Vehicle (up to 20′ long): $20
    • Large vehicles (21′-29′ long): $60
    • Busses and Oversize Vehicles (30′ long+): $125
    • Members: Free

    Apart from the parking fee, there is no other admission charge to enter the Arboretum or our facilities, except in the case of advertised ticketed events.

Summer Splash Water Days
May 26 @ 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Pack Square Park

Splasheville

Splasheville is located in Pack Square Park on 80 Court Plaza. The free splash pad’s regular daily hours are 9.m-8:30pm, but may close for special events or during inclement weather. Check the calendar for scheduled closures.

Disney on Ice: Frozen + Encanto!
May 26 @ 2:30 pm
Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen & Encanto! Coming to Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC this Spring!

Catch the magic on ice May 25 – May 27 with 5 shows to choose from!

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 19 at 10AM. Purchase tickets online via Ticketmaster or at The GSP International Airport Box Office, open Monday – Friday, 10AM – 2PM.

Disney on Ice: Frozen + Encanto!
May 26 @ 6:30 pm
Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen & Encanto! Coming to Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC this Spring!

Catch the magic on ice May 25 – May 27 with 5 shows to choose from!

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 19 at 10AM. Purchase tickets online via Ticketmaster or at The GSP International Airport Box Office, open Monday – Friday, 10AM – 2PM.

Monday, May 27, 2024
Auditions for “The Prom”
May 27 all-day
Asheville Performing Arts Academy

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy
Presents

The Prom

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy is excited to produce our first full-length summer production The Prom. Rehearsals will take place over the summer with the show going up in September. All students in rising 8-12 are invited to audition to be part of the cast and crew.


2024 Performances

  • Friday, September 27 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, September 28 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, September 28 at 2:00pm
  • Sunday, September 29 at 2:00pm

Summary

  • Rehearsals: Mondays & Thursdays 6-8pm (Starts June 17, 2024) (and Saturdays in September)
  • Performances: September 27-29, 2024
  • Audition Videos Due: June 1, 2024
  • Callbacks: June 8, 2024
  • Cast list Announced: June 15, 2024
  • Ages: Rising 8th grade and High School Only
  • Price: $450
  • Audition Material: Any song and monologue from a musical allowed.
Grant Center Swimming Pool
May 27 all-day
Grant Center Pool

Swimming Pools

Asheville Parks & Recreation’s public pools provide safe and affordable outdoor summer fun for all ages. For info about pool schedules, please call 828-348-4770 or visit ashevillecitypools.com.

Malvern Hills Park’s 90 year-old outdoor pool will not open this summer. While we were able to keep the facility operational through last summer, the pool can no longer be repaired to safely meet the needs of our community. For more, read this article.

Admission

  • Individual – $3 per session
  • Individual Season Pass – $100
  • Family Season Pass – $150 (up to four individuals)

Locations

Events

  • Asheville Parks & Recreation hosts hundreds of free and low-cost activities, programs, and events each month. Check out the latest program guide.
  • Pools will open Saturday, May 25!

    Dates of Operation:
    Grant Center Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Sunday, August 11th
    Recreation Park Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Monday, September 2nd, weekends only from
    August 12th through September 2nd

    Pools open weekends only until June 10th, with the exception of Monday, May 27!

    Hours of Operation June 10 through August 11:
    Monday through Friday – 12:00pm-6:00pm
    Saturday – 11:00am-6:00pm
    Sunday – 1:00pm-6:00pm

    Cost is $3 per person per day

Mile High Swinging Bridge
May 27 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

Recreation Park Swimming Pool
May 27 all-day
Recreation Park

Swimming Pools

Asheville Parks & Recreation’s public pools provide safe and affordable outdoor summer fun for all ages. For info about pool schedules, please call 828-348-4770 or visit ashevillecitypools.com.

Malvern Hills Park’s 90 year-old outdoor pool will not open this summer. While we were able to keep the facility operational through last summer, the pool can no longer be repaired to safely meet the needs of our community. For more, read this article.

Admission

  • Individual – $3 per session
  • Individual Season Pass – $100
  • Family Season Pass – $150 (up to four individuals)

Locations

Events

  • Asheville Parks & Recreation hosts hundreds of free and low-cost activities, programs, and events each month. Check out the latest program guide.
  • Pools will open Saturday, May 25!

    Dates of Operation:
    Grant Center Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Sunday, August 11th
    Recreation Park Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Monday, September 2nd, weekends only from
    August 12th through September 2nd

    Pools open weekends only until June 10th, with the exception of Monday, May 27!

    Hours of Operation June 10 through August 11:
    Monday through Friday – 12:00pm-6:00pm
    Saturday – 11:00am-6:00pm
    Sunday – 1:00pm-6:00pm

    Cost is $3 per person per day

WILD Excursions is a FREE summer field trip program: registration open
May 27 all-day
Asheville Area

Are your kids ready to explore the outdoors this summer? WILD Excursions is a FREE summer field trip program for rising 7th-12th grade students where they get to hike, learn about and meet animals, and even camp out overnight.

Join Buncombe County Soil & water for this amazing experience to investigate and connect with nature.

To register and for more information, contact Buncombe County Soil & Water Environmental Educators Rose Wall and Jen Knight at [email protected].

2024 WILD Excursions Summer Schedule

July 12 – Lake Powhatan – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
In this hiking adventure, we will focus on water quality in Lake Powhatan and the surrounding streams using the same chemical testing & macroinvertebrate sampling techniques used by scientists.
Bring: Lunch, water bottle, and closed-toed shoes.

July 26 – Balsam Mountain Trust Nature Center – 9:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
This experience has a little bit of everything. We’ll hike, stream stomp, do community science, and meet the nature center’s animal ambassadors. We know you’ll love the birds of prey and possum!
Bring: Lunch, water bottle, and closed-toed shoes.

August 16-17 – Camp Out at Purchase Knob (rising 9th-12th only) – Friday 1 p.m. – Saturday 12:30 p.m.
Join us at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center for an overnight camping adventure. NPS educators will lead us in doing community science for ongoing research projects. We’ll have plenty of time to explore, relax and reflect. Great for beginner campers.

Run for Life Memorial Day 5K and Fun Run
May 27 @ 8:00 am
Bill Moore Community (Fletcher) Park

Join us for this Memorial Day 5K Run for Life event to remember those who gave their all for our country and to help support Open Arms Pregnancy Center. This will be a run/walk-timed event to be held at Bill Moore Community Park in Fletcher (AKA: “Fletcher Park”) located at 85 Howard Gap Road, Fletcher, NC US 28732 on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th with a start time of 8:00 AM. A Fun Run will start at 9:00 AM.
Runners should register by April 20th to secure a T-shirt for the race.
Sign up at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/Fletcher/Run4for5k
Those interested in sponsoring the event should contact Open Arms Pregnancy Center to learn more. (Marlies Zerressen at [email protected] or call 828.676.4510)
Open Arms provides a safe place for women facing unplanned pregnancies, those
needing material goods for their baby, or those who need emotional support. We serve
each mom throughout her pregnancy and continue supporting her and the baby to 18 months of age. All services are free and confidential.

School’s out – Day Camp!
May 27 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
XP League Asheville

Your child is welcome between 8-4 pm, they will need to bring their own lunch. The cost is $70 per day – only 18 spots are available – registration is open on our website!

Memorial Day Services Caravan
May 27 @ 9:00 am
Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Presser Memorial Day Services Hendersonville

for more info.

 2024 Memorial Day

NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
May 27 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

ON EXHIBIT—- Bugs: Outside the Box
May 27 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Baker Exhibit Center

Where can you see a butterfly with a five foot wingspan, or a longhorn beetle with antennae more than twelve feet across? The answers can be found amongst the enormous sculptures on display in BUGS: Outside the Box!

Scientifically exact, with a keen attention to detail, the exhibit features a virtual army of giant bugs with one aim in mind – educating the public and shining a light on museum collections, taxonomy, and the power of magnification.

Among the highlights of the exhibit is a rarely seen long-arm beetle more than ten feet in height, a collection of heavily armored stag beetles with impressive jaws and horns as long as your arm, and an insight into the amazing intricacy of the physiology of each insect on display. Alongside these impressive works of art is the insect in question represented at life size,  and detailed information on the life habits, location, and other facts unique to each insect and its family.

 

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden
May 27 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

What is Bonsai?

Bonsai is a challenging and rewarding horticultural activity, in which ordinary plants are grown in an extraordinary way. Through rigorously applied cultivation techniques, trees, shrubs, vines and even herbaceous plants are kept in a miniaturized state, developed into artistic shapes and then displayed in special containers.

What makes the Arboretum’s bonsai endeavor unique among all other public collections in the United States? Regional Interpretation. Visitors will find the Arboretum’s bonsai collection of more than 100 specimens carefully cultivated with a Southern Appalachian accent. The collection draws inspiration from the traditional roots of bonsai, but takes the form of a contemporary, Southern Appalachian influenced American garden. Plantings in the landscape include species and cultivars of American, European and Asian origin.

 

The Bonsai Exhibition Garden

Established in October 2005, The North Carolina Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a world renowned garden that displays up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time. Represented are traditional Asian bonsai subjects such as Japanese maple and Chinese elm, tropical plants such as willow-leaf fig and bougainvillea, and American species such as bald cypress and limber pine. Of particular importance are the plants native to the Blue Ridge region, such as American hornbeam and eastern white pine, which enable the Arboretum to bring the thousand-year tradition of bonsai home to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Interpretive signage throughout the garden conveys information about the art and history of bonsai, and the Arboretum’s own creative approach to it.

 

Outdoor Bonsai Exhibition Garden

  • Bonsai on Display Mid May – November; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
  • Garden Open Year Round
  • Parking Fees
    • Personal/Standard Vehicle (up to 20′ long): $20
    • Large vehicles (21′-29′ long): $60
    • Busses and Oversize Vehicles (30′ long+): $125
    • Members: Free

    Apart from the parking fee, there is no other admission charge to enter the Arboretum or our facilities, except in the case of advertised ticketed events.

Summer Splash Water Days
May 27 @ 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Pack Square Park

Splasheville

Splasheville is located in Pack Square Park on 80 Court Plaza. The free splash pad’s regular daily hours are 9.m-8:30pm, but may close for special events or during inclement weather. Check the calendar for scheduled closures.

Disney on Ice: Frozen + Encanto!
May 27 @ 10:30 am

Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen & Encanto! Coming to Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC this Spring!

Catch the magic on ice May 25 – May 27 with 5 shows to choose from!

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 19 at 10AM. Purchase tickets online via Ticketmaster or at The GSP International Airport Box Office, open Monday – Friday, 10AM – 2PM.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Auditions for “The Prom”
May 28 all-day
Asheville Performing Arts Academy

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy
Presents

The Prom

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy is excited to produce our first full-length summer production The Prom. Rehearsals will take place over the summer with the show going up in September. All students in rising 8-12 are invited to audition to be part of the cast and crew.


2024 Performances

  • Friday, September 27 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, September 28 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, September 28 at 2:00pm
  • Sunday, September 29 at 2:00pm

Summary

  • Rehearsals: Mondays & Thursdays 6-8pm (Starts June 17, 2024) (and Saturdays in September)
  • Performances: September 27-29, 2024
  • Audition Videos Due: June 1, 2024
  • Callbacks: June 8, 2024
  • Cast list Announced: June 15, 2024
  • Ages: Rising 8th grade and High School Only
  • Price: $450
  • Audition Material: Any song and monologue from a musical allowed.
Grant Center Swimming Pool
May 28 all-day
Grant Center Pool

Swimming Pools

Asheville Parks & Recreation’s public pools provide safe and affordable outdoor summer fun for all ages. For info about pool schedules, please call 828-348-4770 or visit ashevillecitypools.com.

Malvern Hills Park’s 90 year-old outdoor pool will not open this summer. While we were able to keep the facility operational through last summer, the pool can no longer be repaired to safely meet the needs of our community. For more, read this article.

Admission

  • Individual – $3 per session
  • Individual Season Pass – $100
  • Family Season Pass – $150 (up to four individuals)

Locations

Events

  • Asheville Parks & Recreation hosts hundreds of free and low-cost activities, programs, and events each month. Check out the latest program guide.
  • Pools will open Saturday, May 25!

    Dates of Operation:
    Grant Center Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Sunday, August 11th
    Recreation Park Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Monday, September 2nd, weekends only from
    August 12th through September 2nd

    Pools open weekends only until June 10th, with the exception of Monday, May 27!

    Hours of Operation June 10 through August 11:
    Monday through Friday – 12:00pm-6:00pm
    Saturday – 11:00am-6:00pm
    Sunday – 1:00pm-6:00pm

    Cost is $3 per person per day

Mile High Swinging Bridge
May 28 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

Recreation Park Swimming Pool
May 28 all-day
Recreation Park

Swimming Pools

Asheville Parks & Recreation’s public pools provide safe and affordable outdoor summer fun for all ages. For info about pool schedules, please call 828-348-4770 or visit ashevillecitypools.com.

Malvern Hills Park’s 90 year-old outdoor pool will not open this summer. While we were able to keep the facility operational through last summer, the pool can no longer be repaired to safely meet the needs of our community. For more, read this article.

Admission

  • Individual – $3 per session
  • Individual Season Pass – $100
  • Family Season Pass – $150 (up to four individuals)

Locations

Events

  • Asheville Parks & Recreation hosts hundreds of free and low-cost activities, programs, and events each month. Check out the latest program guide.
  • Pools will open Saturday, May 25!

    Dates of Operation:
    Grant Center Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Sunday, August 11th
    Recreation Park Pool: Saturday, May 25th through Monday, September 2nd, weekends only from
    August 12th through September 2nd

    Pools open weekends only until June 10th, with the exception of Monday, May 27!

    Hours of Operation June 10 through August 11:
    Monday through Friday – 12:00pm-6:00pm
    Saturday – 11:00am-6:00pm
    Sunday – 1:00pm-6:00pm

    Cost is $3 per person per day