Family Fun in the Sandhills
By: Christina Riley, NC Tripping
With almost 40 world-renowned courses, it’s easy to see why people come to Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen for golf. However, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the area, especially if you’ve brought kids along! Whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, there are plenty of fun activities in North Carolina’s Sandhills region. As you’ll see in this guide, you can hug a giraffe, hike around the oldest longleaf pine, climb a castle, and more. Join us for an all-ages adventure in Moore County.
You should try to make as many incredible memories as possible at Aloha Safari Zoo near Cameron. The family-owned zoo is a safe and loving environment that provides intimate interactions with their exotic animals. Spread out over 60 acres, more than 400 animals have come called Aloha Safari Zoo “home.”
Dunrovin Country Store and Exotic Animal Sanctuary is a great FREE experience conveniently located in Vass on US Highway 1.
Take precious photos at the unique murals that dot the buildings of Moore County. Travelers can make #Instaworthy memories in front of the Aberdeen Wings or the many historic murals that dot the buildings in Moore County.
You’ll find longleaf pines throughout North Carolina, but you can see the oldest-known tree at Weymouth Woods‘ Boyd Tract! Managed by NC State Parks, Weymouth Woods’ three accesses vary in size, but each offers fun for the whole family. You can make a fun hike out of individual trails or combine a few for extra fun. One example is a 1.5-mile scenic loop at the Weymouth Woods Tract by combining Pine Barrens with Gum Swamp. Don’t forget to stop in the Discovery Room (Weymouth Woods Tract) and enjoy the amazing interactive exhibits
The Sandhills Horticultural Gardens in Pinehurst is an escape to far-off lands. The 10 historic gardens here are maintained by the Sandhills Community College studies. Throughout the gardens’ 27 acres, you’ll be taken on a journey to England, Japan, wetlands, and more. Presently, the must see at the Gardens is the sapling structure constructed by Patrick Daugherty. Over the last 30 years, he has completed more than 300 of these distinctive structures around the world. Now, at 73 years-of-age, this may be his final creation for all to enjoy. Go see it, it’s worth the trip!
While there are many incredible restaurants, pizza is a crowd-pleaser with any family. No matter where you are in Moore County, there is a local pizza joint that is waiting for your order! Enjoy a slice of local at Pinehurst Pizza, SoPies, or Vito’s Ristorante & Pizzeria.
Don’t forget to top the evening off with a scoop of ice cream. There are plenty of great local shops where you can enjoy scoops. A few of our favorites include the Ice Cream Parlor in Southern Pines, Scrollicious in Pinehurst, and Sweet Carolina Ice Cream in Aberdeen. Why not incorporate a ride through the county for ice cream well worth the trip.? Head out highway 211 west toward Candor and look for Kalawi Farms. Ben’s Ice Cream is located just off the highway on the westbound side. Aside from ice cream, they also offer a farmer’s market with an abundance fresh produce and veggies in season.
Are you looking for a healthier option? Purple Penguin in Southern Pines serves incredible frozen yogurt with tons of fun toppings!
If you need somewhere to expend extra energy with the kids, then Camelot Playground in Pinehurst is an excellent option. This park is shaded, spacious, and loads of fun! The all-wooden play structure is designed like a castle and offers hours of endless imaginative play.
Take the family to Olde Carthage Farm for a fun day on the farm! Enjoy organic u-pick blueberries, blackberries, flowers, and more. Let the kids play on the tractor and then search for turtles and butterflies in the wide-open space. Enjoy family fun at Kalawi Farm with ice cream and a playground area kids will enjoy.
Ready to experience the Home of American Golf with your family?
Experience the Home of American Golf with your family beyond the greens. Whether you spend the day on the farm or scooping out the best ice cream spots, Moore County is a family-friendly destination where you and yours can make lifelong memories.
From their home base in Durham, Christina Riley and husband Carl Hedinger share travel guides, packing lists and experiences on Travel Through Life and sister site NC Tripping.