Guide to the 7 best playgrounds in Asheville
With two young boys in the house, we are always on the hunt for the best playgrounds in Asheville. Playgrounds are a favorite activity for our family and the perfect thing to do in Asheville with kids.
Not only are parks and playgrounds free, but they also give us a place to meet friends (new and old!), picnic and burn off some energy.
We know how important the fun factor of a playground is to your kids, so we’ve put together a guide to the best playgrounds and parks in and around Asheville. We have listed playground equipment, details on parking and even gave each park an award. Hopefully, this playground guide will help you plan your next outing in Asheville with kids!
Overview of the best playgrounds in Asheville
Our list includes playgrounds in the Asheville area that we love to visit with our two kids. We have listed all of the playgrounds in our guide below if you prefer to jump around.
- Map of the best playgrounds in Asheville
- Tempie Avery Montford Center (Montford)
- Carrier Park (West Asheville)
- Weaver Park (North Asheville)
- Jake Rusher Park (South Asheville)
- Lake Julian Park (South Asheville)
- Roy Pope Memorial Park (Woodfin)
- Lake Louise Park (Weaverville)
- Bonus Playgrounds (outside Asheville)
Map of the best playgrounds in Asheville
No matter where you are in or around Asheville, this map will show you the nearest playground that we recommend visiting!
The 7 Best Playgrounds in Asheville
And now onto our list of the top 7 playgrounds in Asheville! We love visiting each of these playgrounds with our two kids regularly and hope this list inspires you to do the same! Ps: it’s not ranked, we love them all!
1. Tempie Avery Montford Center (Montford)
We’re starting this list off with what we think is the coolest playground near downtown Asheville. The space-age looking play structure boasts some of the most fun slides of any of the playgrounds in the area. There are plenty of other fun play structures and attractions around the park, including ping pong tables, a basketball court and an urban orchard. There are also mountain views!
We like to grab breakfast or lunch from All Day Darling before hitting the park! They also have great espresso drinks and pastries.
About Tempie Avery Park
Equipment: slides, large swing, climbing structures and a soft, bouncy ground
Other features: basketball court, ping pong tables
Parking: large parking area by playground and additional parking at the top of the hill by the recreation center
Restrooms: restrooms in the recreation center just up the hill from the playground
Award: best playground in Asheville for older kids!
2. Carrier Park (West Asheville)
Located in West Asheville on the French Broad River, Carrier Park has an awesome wooden structure playground that is sure to entertain your kids for hours. It boasts multiple levels and bridges for climbing and exploring. There is also a wooden fire truck, swings and a small toddler section.
The playground is surrounded by mature shade trees, green space with picnic tables and several sports fields that are all housed within the center of a cycling velodrome. There is ample parking on the east and west side of the velodrome. You do have to cross over the velodrome ramp to enter, so keep that in mind. It’s not ideal when a storm rolls in and you are really far from your car (speaking from experience, of course!)
About Carrier Park
Equipment: wooden play structure, swings, baby swings, slides, wooden fire truck
Other features: basketball court, sand volleyball, baseball field, velodrome, on the French Broad River Greenway
Parking: parking on either side of the playground, but you have to use the large wooden ramp to cross over the velodrome to get to the play area
Restrooms: near the entrance to the velodrome ramp (not near the playground)
Nearby restaurants: HomeGround Coffee Bar and Deli
Award: best play structures // best shady playground in Asheville
3. Weaver Park (North Asheville)
Just off Merrimon you’ll find Weaver Park, a six-acre park featuring a walking trail, playground, creek, baseball field, basketball court and picnic shelter. It’s a great place to walk around, especially with a dog! The playground equipment isn’t quite as robust as other parks, but it’s still a really enjoyable place. We like to practice bike riding on the walking path.
Weaver Park has been our go-to playground lately because I love the location within the city and it’s great for little kids. We have a 1 and a 4 year old, and Weaver Park is the perfect destination for us.
We typically grab a picnic lunch on the way (last time we got sandwiches from City Bakery!) and eat at a picnic table before playing. We’ll spend time on the playground and then do a few loops around the park with a stroller and bike. Our older son rides ahead, which is fine because you can pretty much see around the whole loop. Before heading home, our oldest likes to stop by the creek to see what’s going on. Meanwhile, our youngest loves the big sand area and the baby swings.
About Weaver Park
Equipment: play structure, small slides, sand area with trucks, swings
Other features: baseball field, covered picnic area, tennis court, walking path, creek, basketball court
Parking: ample parking by the playground. Additional parking off Merrimon by the tennis courts
Restrooms: restrooms on site
Award: best playground in Asheville to practice riding a bike! It’s also great for little kids, but I still think the absolute best for little kids is the
4. Jake Rusher Park (South Asheville)
Jake Rusher Park is in South Asheville (Arden), but it’s SUCH a nice playground that we had to include it! And it also gets our BEST ALL AROUND playground award because it really is such a gem. This Arden playground is less than 20 minutes from downtown Asheville and is definitely worth the drive. It is located in a quiet neighborhood and feels very safe.
The wooden play structure provides multiple levels to run, slide, climb and play. There is plenty of green space around the playground and tall trees provide shade for the play structure. There is also a fun hide and seek game with various shapes (fish, sailboat, sun, etc.) carved into the wood. Our oldest loves finding new ones each time!
Jake Rusher Park also has a toddler area with activities suited for the little ones. The newly installed playground facilities include bathrooms and picnic tables. And don’t worry, there’s always plenty of parking in the dedicated parking lot.
About Jake Rusher Park
Location: 132 Peachtree St | Arden (about 15 minutes from downtown Asheville)
Equipment: wooden play structure, slides, 2 swings, 1 tire swing, 1 baby swing, climbing rope, toddler section, monkey bars
Other features: picnic area, hidden picture game at the play structure, full basketball court on the other side of the parking lot
Parking: ample parking
Restrooms: restrooms located in a picnic shelter
Nearby restaurants: Rocky’s Hot Chicken, 12 Bones South, Biscuit Head
Award: best playground in Asheville! It’s the perfect neighborhood playground.
5. Lake Julian Park (South Asheville)
Another South Asheville/Arden playground worth the drive from downtown! Surrounded by Lake Julian, this park is in a beautiful nature-filled space. The playground at Lake Julian park has a new play structure that is themed after a pirate ship. With plenty of slides, swings, and play activities there is space to burn off some energy.
To the side, you’ll find a sandbox with two excavators, three rocking animals and a few xylophones. Our 4 year old is still a bit too small for the excavators and too short for the xylophones, but that doesn’t stop him. He also really likes going down to the lake to see the ducks.
Make it a day: grab Mosaic Cafe (located in Biltmore Park) on the way! They have great breakfast and lunch sandwiches and you can order online. Luella’s is also located in Biltmore Park and does easy takeout for a fun picnic.
About Lake Julian Park
Location: 37 Lake Julian Rd | Arden (about 15 minutes from downtown Asheville)
Equipment: slides, swings, climbing rope, excavators, rocking animals, xylophones
Other features: lake, dock, boat rental
Parking: ample parking
Restrooms: restrooms on site
Nearby restaurants: White Duck Taco Shop, Luella’s South, Mosaic Cafe, Ava’s Donuts
Award: Best playground for a family in Asheville. There is something for everyone! Whether it’s feeding ducks, climbing aboard the pirate ship or doing reps on the exercise equipment, you are sure to find something for all!
6. Roy Pope Memorial Park (Woodfin)
And now let’s head to the other side of Asheville– to the Roy Pope Memorial Park in Woodfin! Here you’ll find an absolutely wonderful playground for all ages, but especially for the toddlers in your life.
Both of our kids absolutely love this playground because there are so many different areas and things to do. The covered sandpit is a great stop when it’s really hot and sunny. It’s also a fun place to meet other parents because there is seating all around it.
The centerpiece of the playground is a castle structure with a sign above it that reads “Avery’s Corner.” The play area is in memory of Avery King, a little girl who loved the park and was taken too soon from this world. Swings are nearby, including infant bucket swings and one ADA swing seat.
On the far end of the playground is a covered picnic area. You’ll also find a large spiderweb-like climbing structure here that is great for older kids. Our 4 year old enjoys attempting it and we have seen much older kids on it, too.
About Roy Pope Memorial Park
Location: 45 Jonestown Rd | Woodfin (10 minutes from downtown Asheville)
Equipment: Slides, swings, climbing rope, toddler section,
Other features: Covered picnic area, covered sand area, soft + bouncy ground. The covered picnic area can be rented in three hour time blocks through the Woodfin Town Hall.
Parking: Small parking lot on the side
Restrooms: Two restrooms on-site (open spring-fall)
Nearby restaurants: Gallivant Coffee is close and has a great plant-based menu including baked goods! High Five’s Woodfin location is also nearby.
Award: best playground in Asheville for little kids
7. Lake Louise Park (Weaverville)
Nine miles north of Asheville you’ll find the cute town of Weaverville. They have a small downtown with a few local shops and eateries. Side note: We really love catching live music at Blue Mountain Pizza! And just two minutes away from their downtown is Lake Louise Park. This park is owned and maintained by the Town of Weaverville. It’s 15.5 acres with a five-acre man-made lake in the center.
You’ll enjoy strolling along the trail that circles the lake and your kids will enjoy an afternoon at the park! It has some great playground equipment and comes with the added bonus of feeding ducks.
About Lake Louise
Location: Lake Louise Dr | Weaverville (15 minutes from downtown Asheville)
Equipment: Slides, swings, climbing rope, climbing structures, bridge
Other features: Lake, walking trail around lake, small waterfall covered picnic area, benches by the water, picnic tables, exercise equipment, catch and release fishing allowed during daylight (one pole per person)
Parking: Several parking areas around but it can fill up on nice days
Restrooms: restrooms on-site
Nearby restaurants: Downtown Weaverville is only two minutes away from the park. There you’ll find great spots like Blue Mountain Pizza and Well-Bred Bakery.
Award: Best playground for a fun family day out (have a picnic, play on the playground, feed some ducks and take the dog on a walk around the lake!)
And a few bonus ones…
In addition to the great playgrounds in the Asheville area, there are also several playgrounds and parks in nearby cities that are definitely worth the drive. We like to keep a list of our favorite playgrounds around Asheville so that no matter where we are we know of a spot close by.
Franklin Park (Brevard)
Our favorite playground in Brevard is just outside of downtown set in a quiet residential neighborhood. Your kids will feel like they’re entering a castle as they walk into the playground under the sign reading “the big play.” Just past the playground, there are covered picnic shelters and a nature walk that is the perfect length for little ones.
Robert Lake Park (Montreat)
Even though this park is a little way out of Asheville, it is so magical that it makes our list. Two streams come together right next to the park creating a most peaceful atmosphere. The playground equipment consists of tall wooden towers and bridges and has a range of play equipment including a climbing wall. This playground is the ultimate spot to play and explore.
Mills River Park (Mills River)
Another park outside of Asheville, but it’s a fun one! The playground at Mills River Park has swings, slides, a climbing structure, a fort and a covered picnic area. You’ll also find a basketball court, tennis court, soccer fields and a baseball field in addition to the walking trail to the river.
Our son loves riding his bike along the sidewalk at Mills River Park. There aren’t any trees by the playground for shade, but they put up a shade canopy during the hotter months.