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Family-Friendly Attractions near Smithfield, NC

There are plenty of family-friendly activities in Smithfield, NC including Indoor and outdoor options.

By Cyndie Todd on January 4, 2015

Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center (SRAC)
Smithfield / Martin B. Cherry

Families enjoy a wealth of fun things to do in Johnston County. Here’s a look at some of the top family attractions found here.

Family Recreation

Families keep active year round at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center (SRAC) and the Johnston County YMCA.  Between the two, you’ll find indoor swimming and fitness and wellness programs. The YMCA specializes in youth sports leagues and family events. The SRAC boasts a splash park and proximity to the Buffalo Creek Greenway’s three-mile trail.  Both are membership-based, with affordable fees.

Families picnic, fish, canoe, kayak and trail walk all along the scenic Neuse River, which cuts a 50-mile swath through Johnston County.  


Built in 1935 by Rudolph Howell, considerably remodeled in 1986 and its sound system updated in 1999, the Howell Theatre makes for a great family night out. Movies are family-friendly (check out their ratings page), with $4 tickets at night and on weekends, and $2.50 matinee tickets Monday through Friday before 6 p.m. The Benson Little Theatre is known for its community performances several times throughout the year in the W. J. Barefoot Auditorium, originally built as the Benson High School auditorium in 1916.

Festivals and Seasonal Celebrations

Johnston County loves to celebrate seasons with festivals and special events. In the fall, families attend the Wilson’s Mills Pumpkin Festival, Fall Heritage Day in Kenly and Howell Woodstock. Corn mazes and pumpkin patches make a popular outing for balmy fall nights. The annual Christmas tree lighting in downtown Smithfield gets parents and kids in the holiday spirit.

Check out more fun things to do in Smithfield, NC.


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