• Guide to Charlotte theme parks

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Charlotte theme parks make for an ideal family destination. Visitors will find something for everyone, from the youngest in the group to more seasoned parkgoers who want to ride the most thrilling ride possible.

    Check out the following Charlotte theme parks when you're heading to the Queen City:

    Carowinds
    300 Carowinds Blvd., Charlotte
    704-588-2600

    Carowinds is a large theme park in Charlotte that attracts visitors from throughout the region. It has a wide variety of rides, including 13 roller coasters that range from the tame to the thrilling. The Fury 325 is recognized as the world's best steel roller coaster, and it's the world's tallest and fastest giga coaster – a complete-circuit coaster with no inverted hills.

    >>Carowinds visitors guide

    Vintage county fair-style rides offer fun for the entire family with options like the Do-Si-Do and Rock 'N' Roller. And for the younger set – and the young at heart – Camp Snoopy offers interactive play space as well as amusements like the teacup ride.

    Carowinds also includes the popular Carolina Harbor waterpark, which features giant water slides, wave pools and play structures, as well as a kids' area. And if you'd like to get out of the sun, you can rent a cabana that has nice amenities such as a table with an umbrella, chairs, chaise lounges, a storage box with a lock, a mini-fridge, ceiling fan and satellite TV.

    In addition to the rides and water park, you can attend a show like Seasons of Cirque, a live performance that features aerial stunts. Seasonal special events are also popular and include SCarowinds, The Great Pumpkin Fest and WinterFest.

    If you're ready to buy tickets, you'll receive a discount if you buy them online rather than at the gate. A Fast Lane or Fast Lane Plus pass can be added to your ticket, letting you bypass lines for some of the park's attractions.

    Beverage and dining add-ons can also be purchased, and season tickets are also available if you're planning to visit Carowinds several times.

    Great Wolf Lodge
    10175 Weddington Road, Concord
    866-925-9653

    Great Wolf Lodge is primarily known for its large indoor waterpark that has rides including the Howlin' Tornado, which takes you on a raft built for two or four as you drop into a six-story tunnel. Guests can also ride Alberta Falls on a tandem tube or relax in the wave pool. If you have younger children, they can join in the fun in tamer areas such as Cub Paw Pool.

    Tickets for the water park are included with lodging, which has fun options such as a KidKamp Suite that's built with a tent-themed sleeping area for the kids.

    Although the water park is the main attraction, Great Wolf Lodge has plenty of other fun activities. For an additional charge, kids can get a MagiQuest wand that they can take on an interactive adventure throughout the lodge. Families can also bowl, play in an arcade, create a stuffed Great Wolf Kids character, tackle a ropes course or play mini-golf.

    The lodge even has a fitness center and spa, complete with a special spa just for kids. Many restaurants and shops are also located on the property, so you won't have to leave during your stay unless you want to.

    >>Guide to Charlotte water parks

    Funtasticks
    10400 Cadillac St., Charlotte
    704-552-7888

    Funtasticks, formerly known as Adventure Landing, features go-karts, miniature golf, bumper boats and an arcade. 

    Ray's Splash Planet
    215 N Sycamore St. Charlotte
    980-314-4729

    Ray's Splash Planet is an indoor water park featuring a giant slide, lazy river, vortex pool and water playground. (Note: For those planning to visit Ray's Splash Planet before mid-summer 2018, the park is being closed for maintenance. An exact return date hasn't been announced, but check here for updates.)

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