Grandfather Mountain will tentatively open in a limited capacity May 15

Following a two-month closure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Grandfather Mountain will tentatively open in a limited capacity May 15, with all ticket sales moving online.

Photo Credit: Grandfather.com

In accordance with N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s three-phased “reopening” of North Carolina, the park will strictly limit visitor numbers to follow social gathering guidelines, while implementing enhanced health and safety measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and federal, state and local authorities.

While guests will still be able to enjoy Grandfather Mountain’s many wonders, including the Mile High Swinging Bridge, environmental wildlife habitats and hiking, the park will be operating in a more limited capacity to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.

  • Now, rather than purchasing tickets at the park’s entrance gate, visitors must do so online at www.grandfather.com by placing a reservation for a set date and time of entry. This measure aims to help limit the number of guests in the park at one time, in accordance with the state’s social gathering guidelines. As such, tickets will not be sold or available at the gate, meaning visitors must book online in advance.
  • Park officials have enacted operational measures to discourage crowds and encourage social distancing. Buildings, such as the Nature Museum and Fudge Shop, will remain temporarily closed, with public restrooms available at the Woods Walk Picnic Area.
  • The Top Shop will welcome a limited number of guests at a time, while the park’s on-site restaurant, Mildred’s Grill, will offer curbside pick-up, allowing guests to dine in their vehicles or at one of the park’s 100-plus picnic sites.
  • High-traffic pedestrian areas, such as the Mile High Swinging Bridge and wildlife habitats, will implement a one-way directional system to ensure that guests do not come within six feet of each other — the minimum safe distance recommended by the CDC and other health officials.
  • The number of guests allowed to visit such areas at one time will be limited, based on state social gathering recommendations, while a time limit will ensure that others can participate in turn. However, guests are welcome revisit such areas during the same trip. Time limits will be not be enforced for the park’s less crowded, lower-traffic areas.
  • The park has enhanced its already stringent cleaning procedures and placed additional sanitization stations in key areas, while boosting staff presence to direct traffic flow and encourage safe social distancing.  
  • The park’s policies and opening dates are subject to change and reflect measures implemented in Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan. Once Phase 2 is reached, Grandfather will follow suit, opening additional facilities and allowing more visitors to the park. Once Phase 3 is achieved, the park can accommodate a more significant number of guests.

The park’s new reservation-based ticketing system is now open at tickets.grandfather.comTickets are only available online to encourage contact-free admission to the park. Tickets are also fully refundable and may be exchanged for a later reservation.

Opening dates and operational procedures are subject to change, based on current conditions and federal, state and local regulations. As such, those planning a trip are encouraged to visit www.grandfather.com for updates.

‘Dollar Days’ begin April 1 at Grandfather Mountain

Mark your calendars for “Dollar Days.” Grandfather Mountain opens its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $3 each throughout April as part of “Dollar Days.”

The month offers plenty to do inside the park, including the return of animal encounter sessions, the seasonal reopening of the Fudge Shop, discounted Behind-the-Scenes Habitat Tours and the return of naturalist programs later in the month.

“We’re more than excited to continue the longstanding tradition of Dollar Days in April,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Linville, N.C.-based nature park. “With all the outdoor fun, activities and programs Grandfather Mountain has to offer, the Dollar Days promotion offers a mile-high value.”

The Dollar Days promotion allows anyone who works or lives in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga or Wilkes counties — along with their guests traveling in the same vehicle — to visit at the discounted rate.

Students attending a local college or university are also eligible for the discount.

To take advantage of the reduced rate, visitors must present a valid driver’s license, college ID or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to demonstrate employment at a High Country business.

Grandfather Mountain’s extended spring hours started Saturday, March 24, meaning the park will be open daily, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket sales end at 5 p.m., one hour before the park closes.

Animal Encounters

April is an ideal time to visit Grandfather Mountain, as the park’s flora and fauna become energized with the initial signs of warmer weather.

Starting April 14, the educational staff will begin animal encounters 11 times daily.

During these encounters, guests can talk with staff members about the habitat animals — bears, cougars, river otters, elk and bald eagles — and watch the animals receive an enrichment. Enrichments are special treats, new toys or unfamiliar scents that break up the animals’ routines and help keep them active and intellectually stimulated.

Visit www.grandfather.com/plan-your-visit/events/daily-events/, or check the sign at the habitat entrance to view daily enrichment times.

Family Fun in the High Country This Weekend (April 7-9)

Despite the cold temperatures the past two days, it is going to be a beautiful weekend! There are lots of fun family events this weekend. Let’s recap:

Boone-NC-Easter-Egg-Hunt

Dollar Days at Grandfather Mountain – It is that time of year again, High Country Families! Grandfather Mountain opens its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $3 each throughout April as part of “Dollar Days.”

Moana Playing at SuperCinema at I.G. Greer – $1 – Appalachian State will be Moana April 7 and 8 at the SuperCinema at I.G. Greer. Admission charge is only $1 if tickets are purchased in advance. Tickets are $2 if purchased at the door.

Easter Egg Hunts – Easter is arriving soon. There are lots of fun family events in and around the High Country. Check out the great events!

Playhouse BuildFest 2017 – 10-2, Saturday, April 8 at Watauga High School (300 Go Pioneers Drive, Boone, NC 28607) FREE Admission!

Don’t miss the Giant Cardboard City! Building with PVC Pipes! Physics Show! Chemistry Experiments! Sensory Explorations! Seed Planting! Wacky Vehicle Races

High Country Grizzlies vs Jacksonville Sharks – Sunday at 3:30pm: Watch the Grizzlies, the High Country’s new arena league team, take down the Jacksonville Sharks! Take advantage of the special ticket offer – Buy 2 tickets, get 1 free!

Dollar Days Begin April 1 at Grandfather Mountain

IMG_8345It is that time of year again, High Country Families! Grandfather Mountain opens its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $3 each throughout April as part of “Dollar Days.”

The month offers plenty to do inside the park, including the return of animal encounter sessions, the seasonal reopening of the Fudge Shop, discounts on Behind-the-Scenes Habitat Tours and the return of naturalist programs later in the month.

“We’re more than excited to continue the longstanding tradition of Dollar Days in April,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Linville, N.C.-based nature preserve and travel attraction. “With all the outdoor fun, activities and programs Grandfather Mountain has to offer, the Dollar Days promotion practically stretches a dollar a mile high.”

The Dollar Days promotion allows anyone who works or lives in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga or Wilkes counties — along with their guests traveling in the same vehicle — to visit at the discounted rate.

Students attending a local college or university are also eligible for the discount.

To take advantage of the reduced rate, visitors must present a driver’s license, college ID or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to demonstrate employment at a High Country business.

Grandfather Mountain offers extended spring hours starting Saturday, March 25. The attraction will be open daily, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket sales end at 5 p.m., one hour before the park closes.

Animal Encounters

April is an ideal time to visit Grandfather Mountain, as the park’s flora and fauna become energized with the initial signs of warmer weather.

Starting April 1, the educational staff will begin Habitat Animal Interpretive Talks, also known as animal encounters, nine times daily.

During these encounters, guests can talk with staff members about the habitat animals — bears, cougars, otters, deer and bald eagles — and watch the animals receive an enrichment. Enrichments, which include special treats, new toys or unfamiliar scents, break up the animals’ routines and help keep them active and intellectually stimulated.

Visit www.grandfather.com/plan-your-visit/events/daily-events/, or check the sign at the habitat entrance to view daily enrichment times.

December Dollar Days at Grandfather Mountain

grandfather-mountain-snowmanYou have two more weeks to enjoy “Dollar Days” at Grandfather Mountain. Bundle up the family and enjoy Grandfather Mountain in the winter time.

Anyone who works or lives in Mitchell, Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany or Wilkes counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, are invited to visit Grandfather Mountain for $3 per person during the month of December 2016 with proof of local employment or residency.

In lieu of cash, guests may each bring three cans of food per person for distribution to area food pantries.

Grandfather Mountain is open daily, weather permitting, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The park also closes early on Christmas Eve.

LOCATION: Grandfather Mountain
ADDRESS: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646

Grandfather Mountain Hosts Girl Scout Day – September 17, 2016

grandfather-mountain-girl-scout-dayWhen Mildred the Bear was named an honorary Girl Scout, the Grandfather Mountain mascot could bear-ly contain her excitement.

That excitement continues today with the 46th annual Grandfather Mountain Girl Scout Day, returning to the Linville-based nature preserve and travel attraction Saturday, Sept. 17.

On Girl Scout Day, all Girl Scouts and their troop leaders are admitted free with proof of membership, while discounted admission is available for family members joining them.

The tradition started in 1971, when Grandfather Mountain “adopted the Girl Scouts.” The scouts returned the favor by adopting Mildred, even presenting her with special pins to celebrate her years with the organization.

Forty-five years later, scouts will return to Grandfather for a mountain’s worth of outdoor fun. This year’s event focuses on plant life, and staff naturalist Marisa Sedlak — a former Girl Scout, herself — promises it’ll be both fun and educational.

“I’m so excited for them to come up,” Sedlak said. “When I was a scout, it was always fun to explore different types of areas, from the coast to the mountains, and up here, we just have so many opportunities for hiking and being outdoors … there’s just so much for them to do and learn about, while playing around at the same time.”

012916_gfm_2016_girl_scout_day_GMSFNew this year, many of the activities have been broken down by badge requirements for different age groups, Sedlak said, “so they’ll be able to knock out some steps to their badges.”

It’ll also be an opportunity for scouts to learn about Grandfather Mountain’s unique biodiversity.

“It’s something you can’t find in too many places in North Carolina,” Sedlak said, “so it’s a great opportunity to dive into the plants that are unique to this area.”

The 2016 event schedule is in full bloom:

  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Check-in Table
    Visit the Nature Museum to register your troop and work on a tree ID challenge. Your troop’s submission will be entered for a prize drawing at the end of the day.
  • 9 to 9:45 a.m.: For Plants, Every Drop Counts
    Geared toward Daisies and Brownies, this event teaches participants about the importance of water conservation for plants and trees through an interactive activity, during which Daisies can work toward their Green “Use Resources Wisely” petal. Meet at the Let-It-Rain Picnic Shelter.
  • 10:30 to 11 a.m. and 11:05 to 11:35 a.m.: Tree Anatomy
    With Juniors and Cadettes in mind, this activity is ideal for scouts who’ve wondered what goes on inside a tree. During this program, staff naturalists will describe the parts of a tree and the role they play in tree survival through an interactive activity. Meet at the Let-It-Rain Picnic Shelter.
  • 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.: Advanced Plant ID
    Designed for Seniors and Ambassadors, this activity will show scouts how to identify different tree species using a dichotomous key, while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Grandfather’s Black Rock Trail. Meet at Black Rock Trailhead.
  • 11 a.m. to noon: Girl Scout Service Project
    Intended for Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors, this program invites scouts to join Grandfather Mountain’s trail rangers in removing non-native plant species, while learning about the importance of native plants. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required by calling (828) 733-4326.
  • 1 to 1:45 p.m.: Guided Hike on the Woods Walk Trail
    Scouts of all ages are invited to join Grandfather naturalists for a guided hike to learn how to identify trees by their leaves. Meet at Woods Walk. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required by calling (828) 733-4326.
  • 1 to 2 p.m.: Plants and Pollinators
    Scouts, from Brownies through Cadettes, are invited to drop by the Butterfly Garden and play a game, all while learning the important role pollinators play in the lives of plants and trees. Meet at the Butterfly Garden near the Fudge Shop.
  • 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.: Tree ID Art
    Especially for Daisies and Brownies, this activity will teach scouts how to identify certain tree species and create their own piece of leaf-rubbing art. Meet at Woods Walk.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Closing Ceremony
    Scouts are invited to attend a short closing ceremony at Woods Walk.

For more information on Girl Scout Day, call the Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Office at (828) 733-4326.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or visit www.grandfathermountain.org.

High Country Weekend Family Events April 2-3, 2016

Can you believe it is the first weekend of April already? Lots of great family fun for you! Hope you all enjoy and don’t forget to make lots of great family memories. Check out all the fun family events below:

 

April 2:

1. Grandfather Mountain Dollar Days – Shake off the winter doldrums and experience Grandfather Mountain for an exceptional price. Throughout the month of April, residents and employees of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga and Wilkes counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, pay only $3 per person to enter the park. Proof of residency or employment required.

2. Family Movies {Now Playing}

3. Make a Paper Kite at Michaels – 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. They craft, you shop! Kids 3 and up can enjoy a quick project and take home a finished masterpiece. Sign up in store or online, or just drop in. $2 per child, supplies included.

Kids Club® Paper Kite

Kids Club® Paper Kite

4. Appalachian Young People’s Theatre presents “Aladdin” – Audience members of all ages are invited to help the Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYPT) create the magic of “Aladdin: A Participation Play,” by noted children’s theatre author Moses Goldberg. The family-friendly production will be presented on the Appalachian State University campus in the I. G. Greer Studio Theater with 2 p.m. matinee performances on April 2 and 3. Ticket prices are $5 for children and university students and $10 for adults. To learn more, visit http://theatreanddance.appstate.edu or call 828-262-3063 or 800-841-ARTS (2787).

5. Bonfires at Chetola – Enjoy some outdoor fun with your friends at the new fire pit by Chetola Lake at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. Bonfires are scheduled for 6 p.m. every Saturday evening, weather permitting. Kids can purchase $5 s’mores kits and roast their marshmallows over the open fire. The event also features an outdoor cash bar and live music. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola at (828) 295-5505, or visit www.chetola.com.

April 3:

1. Grandfather Mountain Dollar Days – Shake off the winter doldrums and experience Grandfather Mountain for an exceptional price. Throughout the month of April, residents and employees of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga and Wilkes counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, pay only $3 per person to enter the park. Proof of residency or employment required.

2. Family Movies {Now Playing}

3. Appalachian Young People’s Theatre presents “Aladdin” – Audience members of all ages are invited to help the Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYPT) create the magic of “Aladdin: A Participation Play,” by noted children’s theatre author Moses Goldberg. The family-friendly production will be presented on the Appalachian State University campus in the I. G. Greer Studio Theater with 2 p.m. matinee performances on April 2 and 3. Ticket prices are $5 for children and university students and $10 for adults. To learn more, visit http://theatreanddance.appstate.edu or call 828-262-3063 or 800-841-ARTS (2787).

Grandfather Mountain Announces Dollar Days for April 2016

Grandfather Mountain Dollar Days 2016

Spring is right around the corner and that means it is time for Dollar Days at Grandfather Mountain.

Shake off the winter doldrums and experience Grandfather Mountain for an exceptional price. Throughout the month of April, residents and employees of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga and Wilkes counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, pay only $3 per person to enter the park. Proof of residency or employment required.

Pack a picnic or order food from Mildred’s Grill and make precious family memories.

Grandfather Mountain Dollar Days in December

While we are experiencing unseasonable temperatures in the High Country for December, you can enjoy Dollar Days at Grandfather Mountain.

Grandfather Mountain Bridge

Photo Credit: Grandfather.com

Anyone who works or lives in Mitchell, Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany or Wilkes counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, are invited to visit Grandfather Mountain for $3 per person during the month of December 2015 with proof of local employment or residency.

In lieu of cash, you may each bring three cans of food per person for distribution to area food pantries.

Grandfather Mountain is open daily, weather permitting, except on Christmas Day. The park also closes early on Christmas Eve.

2015 Family Halloween Events in the High Country

It’s Halloween week! We have a full list of family friendly events around the High Country. Have a wonderful fun-filled week. If you would like to have an event added, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

Pumpkin

App State University Housing Trick or Treat 

When: October 29, 2015; 5:00pm-7:00pm

Where: University Dorms


Mount Vernon Fall Family Festival

When: October 29, 5:30pm-8:00pm

Where: Mount Vernon Baptist Church

Food, Inflatables, Games and MUCH more!


14th Annual Downtown Boone BOO!

When: October 30, 4:00pm-6:00pm

Where: Watauga Library, Jones House and Downtown Businesses

4:00-4:30pm – Crafts and activities at the Library
4:30-4:45pm – Parade to the Jones House
4:45-6:00pm – Trick or Treat at Downtown Businesses

 

2015 Beech Mountain Haunted Halloween Party

When: October 30, 5:00pm-8:00pm

Where: Beech Mountain Recreation Center

From ghosts to goblins, spooky games and the first Buckeye Haunted Maze, our family friendly Halloween party will be an enjoyment for all.

Make sure you sign up for the town trick-or-treat. Festivities at Buckeye will follow at 6 pm. Come if you dare!

 

Halloween at the YMCA in Avery County

When: October 30, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Where: The Williams YMCA

FREE for the entire community! We will have bounce house, mini golf, trunk or treat, s’mores, games, cake walk and face painting!

 

High Gravity Adventures Costume Contest

When: October 30, 31, and November 1

Where: High Gravity Adventures

HGA is family friendly fun (ages 4+) on the high ropes course right beside Tweetsie. Wear your Halloween Costume for a chance to win a 2016 Season Pass!

 

Halloween Discount at Menchie’s

When: October 31

Where: Menchie’s of Boone

 

Wear your Halloween costume to Menchies on Halloween and get $1 off your mix!!!

 

Beary Scary Halloween at Grandfather Mountain

When: October 31, 10:30am-3:30am

Where: Grandfather Mountain

Celebrate Halloween at Grandfather Mountain!

Activities will include nature programs, Halloween-themed crafts, a costume contest, trick or treating in the animal habitats, an animal enrichment and more!

Programs are included with park admission. Children in costume get in for half price!

 

Trunk or Treat at Appalachian State University Football Stadium

When: October 31, 12:00pm-2:00pm

Where: Stadium, Justice and Duncan Parking Lots

Celebrate Halloween at the Appalachian State Football Game!

With Saturday’s home game falling on Halloween for the first time in seven years, fans of all ages are invited to participate in a “Trunk or Treat” program while tailgating prior to Saturday’s contest.

Fans of all ages are also welcome to wear their costumes into Kidd Brewer Stadium for Saturday’s game. However, for the safety of all fans, costume accessories that can be used/construed as weapons, projectiles or artificial noisemakers are prohibited from the stadium. Final determination on all items will be at the discretion of stadium security personnel.

Tailgaters that bring treats to distribute to the ghosts, ghouls, goblins and Mountaineers that will be roaming the Stadium, Justice and Duncan lots are asked to please click HERE to download/print a sign to display at their tailgates to show that trunk-or-treaters are welcome.


Blowing Rock Halloween Festival

When: October 31, 2014; 1:00pm-9:00pm

Where: Downtown Blowing Rock

All free and open to the public!

Bring the little goblins to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum for some “creepy crafts” – -Halloween-themed, hands-on activities for the family! Free. Chestnut Drive. 2-3 pm.

Air walks in Memorial Park 3.-8:00 pm.

Games & a fun house in the Recreation Center for the kids! 3:00-5:30 pm.

Hay Rides through Blowing Rock with Tom: 4:00.-8:00 pm. (Meet in Memorial Park)

The Monster March: Line up at the American Legion at 5:30 pm; Parade at 5:45 pm.

Trick or Treat in Downtown Blowing Rock: 6:00 pm -until. (Look for the black and orange balloons)

Costume Contest: Sign up at the Recreation Center (the White Building by the Tennis Courts) by 6:45 pm); March begins at 7:00 pm.

Moonlight Scavenger hunt at Broyhill Lake- begins after the Costume Contest. Participate in teams (max: 3 per group, ages 6-13) Bring your flashlight!

2015 Trick or Treating at Boone Mall

When: October 31, 5:00pm-8:00pm

Where: Boone Mall

Families put on your awesome costumes and head over to the Boone Mall. From 5-7 p.m., stop at each store around the mall to Trick or Treat!

 

Trick or Treat at Boooo-ne UMC

When: October 31, 5:00pm-8:00pm

Where: Boone United Methodist Church

Are you looking for a place to Trick or Treat in a warm, dry and safe environment? Booooo-ne UMC will be hosting a great night of safe Trick or Treating on October 31 in the Family Life Center from 4:30 to 6:30pm. There will be lots of treats and games including a light dinner for those who want more than candy.

 

2015 Trunk or Treating in Banner Elk

When: October 31, 5:00pm-8:00pm

Where: Old Banner Elk School

Banner Elk Trunk or Treat is always held on Halloween Night from 5 to 8 PM.
Costume contest for all goblins and their 4 legged friends.
Join in on the fun by hosting a car truck or SUV.
We will gladly except donations of bags of candy and can good for our food drive.
Get you Spook on!