One of the key goals of the Earl Scruggs Music Festival team is to offer activities and experiences that create lasting memories for the entire family. As a mom myself, it’s also really important that our festival feel welcoming and safe for young music lovers. With that in mind, here’s my list of must-do activities for families and kids during our festival weekend, September 1-3.

Land of Rythm Kid Zone.

Families must visit the Land of Rhythm Kid Zone, sponsored by the good folks from the home of Earl Scruggs in Cleveland County. Fun activities throughout the weekend include face painting, an instrument petting zoo, photo opportunities, crafts, and more! 



There’s more than music activities, thanks to our incredible venue at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Take your kids to see horse jumping demonstrations each day and don’t miss your chance to meet local celebrity ponies, Pumpkin and Daisy (iykyk). Trail riding excursions are available each morning, but spots are limited, so sign up now! 


Young people playing music.

You want to pass your love for music to your kids, don’t you? There’s no better way to spark that interest than to take them to see young musicians in action.  On Friday morning, don’t miss the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Fine Tuned Project, and later that afternoon, cheer on the Junior Appalachian Musician performers and ETSU’s college student band on the Foggy Mountain Stage. 


The Carousel.

Yep, that’s right, the carousel. There’s a beautiful carousel in the plaza and rides are free throughout the Earl Scruggs Music Festival weekend. What other music festival can offer that? My daughter loves it and rode it a thousand times last year (only a slight exaggeration).



There’s no better way to give your kids the festival experience than to take them into the General Admission area in front of the Flint Hill Stage and let them dance! Made up of soft footing, the GA area isn’t dirty or muddy, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning them up later. If anyone in the family gets hot or hungry, take advantage of the nearby shade tent and food truck vendors.


Onsite Restaurants.

Our incredible venue provides onsite restaurants in addition to food truck offerings. So, when it is time to take a break and wind down, take the family to one of the restaurants for healthy offerings and have a nice sit-down meal. Campagna Italian Cuisine has plenty of room to spread out and food choices for everyone – from fresh salads and nice Italian dishes to pizza and classic pasta for the kids.


Mary Beth Martin

Executive Director: Earl Scruggs Center