Trekking with the wee ones

Western North Carolina's wild byways offer unsurpassed opportunities for family treks — a chance to expand relationships with one another and the environment, with no admission fee required. Follow the trail: Riley Parker, 4, of Weaverville, at Mile Marker 384 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, guiding a family hike using his hide-and-seek brochure. The brochures […]

Cool moves

Now that we've been sprung from our seemingly endless winter, it's somehow easier to focus on fitness — both physical and mental — when we don't have to try so hard just to stay warm. The same goes for our kids — who, in their off time, can use a bit of inspiration to keep […]

Sole patch

1. Keen Newport H2 Sandal in Moonlight Mauve The budding naturalist and the blossoming fashionista need not part ways when it comes to these hiking sandals, available in a rich bouquet of spring hues. Or maybe she's a tomboy and would rather be skipping rocks than selecting shoes. In any case, parents are sure to […]

Where to send the kids this summer?

Western North Carolina's abundant summer camps are keeping up with the techie times. Some offer up-to-the-minute instruction in rocketry, robotics, Web design and music production, among other lucrative subjects. But an even stronger trend cresting the ranks of day and overnight programs is the summer adventure camp that emphasizes fresh-air fitness — and takes natural […]

2009 MSF Schedule

Climbing Cycling Disc Paddling Dodgeball Running Event Time Location Friday Youth Ultimate Event 4:00 – 5:30 PM Festival Village Kid’s Event 5:00 -6:00 PM Festival Village Trail Running Race 5:00 – 7:00 PM Black Mountain, NC Disc Golf 5:00 – 10:00 PM Festival Village Kid’s Event 6:00 – 6:30 PM Festival Village Ultimate Event 6:00 […]

Feeding kids cheap: the new taste of value meals

Today’s “gastro-kids”—a generation of diminutive epicureans who can knowledgeably critique a recipe before they’re literate enough to read it—have been raised by foodies who’d rather risk their toddlers’ digestive comfort than expose them to an oh-so-unhip medium-well hamburger. These young eaters dote on sushi, goat cheese and quail, among other sophisticated offerings. Child labor works: […]

Free, baby, free

The economy’s tanking, and you’re trying your best not to let your family’s finances go down the tubes, too. Just in time: Here’s a (by-no-means-complete) list of free services and activities for the younger set in and around Asheville. Activities • Let your kids run free at the N.C. Arboretum on Tuesdays, when the attraction […]

Summer camps

Kids used to return home from summer camp with little more than mosquito bites and bad folk songs bouncing through their heads. But the experience has grown considerably more sophisticated. Many local camps emphasize themes: writing, herbalism, stagecraft, robotics. Kids who attend the vastly eclectic array of Asheville-area programs will be chasing after insects (see […]

Spring Break is just around the corner—here’s a sample of camp offerings

• Asheville Arts Center grabs the limelight this year with two spring-break performance camps. “Once Upon a Time …” is an exploration of fairy tales old and new for young ones age 2-6, and “Lights, Camera, Action!”, for kids 6-15, teaches movie-making from script to screen. Both programs will be held April 13-17. For rates […]

Kids’ Resources

Here’s a brief list of local parenting resources. Check the Xpress Community Calendar for a complete rundown, including information on babysitting co-ops, baby-yoga classes, playgroups, Mom’s Morning Out programs, and weekly toddler events sponsored by Asheville Parks & Recreation (www.ashevilleparks.org). Got twins? Asheville Area Mothers of Multiples: For mothers of twins, triplets and more! Info: […]

Easy as ABC: A primer of local elementary schools

Buncombe County is one of the largest school districts in the state, and newly relocated parents can understandably get confused about all the scholastic options out there. Below, Xpress offers a comprehensive list of area elementary schools, including public, charter, magnet and private. All institutions are K-5 and located in Asheville, unless otherwise noted. (A […]

Summer camps

Kids used to return home from summer camp with little more than bug spray and lanyard keychains in their duffel bags. But the experience has grown more refined with the years. Most camps now boast themes: drama, dinosaurs, printmaking, robotics. In fact, those who attend the vastly eclectic array of Asheville-area camps will be curating […]

Two is the new one

Last year alone, celebrities Patrick Dempsey, Sean Combs, Marcia Cross, Dennis Quaid and Nancy Grace announced the birth of twins. And, if Yahoo news alerts are any indication, JLo was apparently naming her own posh pair as I wrote this. Twins aren’t novel and eerie anymore—no longer Shining spooky but rather as ubiquitous as the […]

The new perils of “screen time”

Mention kids and electronics and most parents will assure you they have stringent rules regarding “screen time.” Choosing the chalkboard over the keyboard: Two-year-old Marlise, left, of Asheville, makes art with her cousins Sasha (middle) and Lilly during a visit to Australia. Photo By Bobbi Holland However, according to Nielsen Media Research, today’s kids are […]

Tasty trickery

What I remember about food, as a kid, is that I preferred the things reserved for treats (cheesecake, white-flour pasta, Hershey’s miniatures)—and given the choice, I’d sit at the table all night rather than finish anything resembling a root vegetable. Hidden agenda: 18-month-old Beau Bianchi devours beets and apricots presented in cute mini-muffin form (right). […]

Getting the lead out

A massive recall of toys contaminated with lead paint sent parents running to check their toy boxes last fall. That seemingly most innocuous of spots, the foyer of the local Toys R’ Us, is currently wallpapered with bright-yellow consumer warnings. There’s more than butter on that toast: Adrianne Weir of UNCA’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Center […]

Close to you

When Tara McDonald-Tiner was pregnant with her daughter, Olivia, she and her husband were so preoccupied about the impending birth that the couple didn’t focus on what parenting style they’d use once the baby arrived in the world. Group hug: Local parents Jubal Tiner and Tara McDonald-Tiner snuggle with their daughter, Olivia. Photos By Jonathan […]