We have been visiting the Biltmore with kids since we moved to North Carolina. It’s long been a family favorite. We’ve gone back many times since and have discovered something new every time.
Construction on the estate, America’s largest home, took 7 years to complete. In all, the French Chateau has 250 rooms, many of which are open to the public for tours. The house — if you want to call it that, contains more than 4 acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms! Can you imagine cleaning that house every week?
For adults, putting that history in perspective is easy. Visiting the Biltmore with kids is another story. Old furniture and tapestries in room after room can get boring. You’ve seen one room the size of a football field, you’ve seen them all. Right?
To make sure you AND the kids enjoy your visit to the Biltmore Estate, we’ve gathered our best tips!
Table of Contents
- An insider’s guide to Visiting Biltmore with kids
- Frequently asked Questions for Visiting Biltmore
An insider’s guide to Visiting Biltmore with kids
When visiting Biltmore with kids, these tips are sure to make the visit more fun for the whole family.
Visit on a weekday if possible
During peak times in summer and at the holidays, Biltmore estate tours are quite crowded. Visit midweek, Tuesday-Thursday, for smaller crowds.
Get the Kids Audio Guide Tour
The kids audio guide to Biltmore House, currently a $15 add-on, is narrated by Cedric, the family St. Bernard. Cedric tells entertaining stories about the Vanderbilt’s life at Biltmore which brings the old place to life. It offers a great balance of history and entertainment.
Explore the Gardens and Trails
Wander the historic gardens near the home and the woodland trails that stretch to the meadows along the French Broad River. With almost 22 miles of hiking trails, enjoy Biltmore at your own pace. Get orientation and trail maps at the Bike Barn and Outdoor Adventure Center.
- The Bass Pond and Boat House Trail looks long, but is an easy walk and offers many beautiful spots to enjoy the scenery. Ask kids to imagine what it would have been like to play hide and seek here.
- The Walled Garden and Rose Garden are beautiful year round, but especially so in May and June.
- The Azalea Garden is a special treat in March and April as spring comes to life.
Ride the trails by bike
Guests of the Biltmore, including Biltmore Annual Passholders, lodging guests, and ticketed guests, can enjoy more than 20 miles of bike trails. Bike rentals onsite at Antler Hill make this an easy add-on for adventurous families. Or, bring your own bikes and explore for free.
Run and play at Pisgah Playground
A great way to let kids’ imagination run wild with free play, the Pisgah Playground in Antler Hill Village is a fun way for kids to unwind. Access to Pisgah Playground is free to kids with a single day ticket, annual pass or who is staying onsite.
Visit Antler Hill Barn and Farmyard
When my kids were young, Antler Hill Village didn’t exist yet. This wonderful addition to the property allows kids to see the everyday lives of families who lived and worked on the estate raising livestock, tending crops, and working at Biltmore Dairy in the 1890s. Live demonstrations and hands-on activities help bring history to life.
This added attraction is included with a house tour admission and helps provide balance. Kids can see how hard the people worked to keep the Biltmore House running.
Enjoy a meal or a snack
Showing my age, when I first visited Biltmore House with my kids, the many onsite restaurants didn’t exist yet. We had to drive into Asheville to get something to eat after our house tour. Today’s visitors can take a break at a casual restaurant or snack shop before continuing to explore of the estate. I recommend the Courtyard Market with “gourmet quick bites” near the Biltmore House, The Creamery for ice cream and Cedric’s Tavern in Antler Hill Village for a satisfying meal.
Frequently asked Questions for Visiting Biltmore
The Biltmore House is open year-round, and the estate entrance opens daily at 8:30 a.m. Hours vary seasonally and by attraction.
An estate tour lasts about 90 minutes, but there’s much more to see at the Biltmore Estate. Plan to spend a full day exploring the grounds and Antler Hill Village. Most people prefer two days at Biltmore.
Yes. Reservations are needed for all tours of the house. Walk-ins will be accommodated if possible, but it is not guaranteed. Also, if you arrive late for your tour time, your visit is not guaranteed.
Parking is free and included with the price of admission at the Biltmore Estate.
Dress comfortably in sturdy shoes. The house tour includes going up and down stairs, and the gardens have stairs and changing terrain.
No food is allowed inside the Biltmore House. A single, clear plastic water bottle is allowed inside the home. Likewise, backpacks, coolers and oversized bags are not allowed inside the house.
Yes, the Biltmore House tour has an audio tour designed just for kids, and many activities on the property, like the Pisgah Playground, are designed just for kids.