Did you know your preschoolers can visit Carowinds theme park for FREE all year long? Kidding Around contributor, Jennifer has all the scoop about how to do Carowinds with little ones. Read on to find out how to get this magical preschooler pass and take a day trip to Carowinds.
My family loves theme parks, and Carowinds is our favorite. It is a super family-friendly theme park with tons of rides designed for their littlest visitors. As a parent, I am perfectly content to spend hours in the kid’s area of the park – it has shaded areas, food, drink, and rides that both my kids enjoy. And, the lines for these rides are not nearly as long as those for the high-impact thrill rides.
Why a trip to Carowinds will be totally worth it!
Kids under 5 can get in FREE all year
Last year, Carowinds introduced the amazing Pre-K pass. For years, kids under three could visit the park for free. Now, kids who are 5 and under can visit Carowinds for FREE all year long! This includes visits to the waterpark and holiday events.
*IMPORTANT – You must register for your child’s pre-k pass onlineby May 27, 2019 and then it must be activated at the park by June 16, 2019. You must bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate (or passport) along with your child and the registration form to the park for activation.
Camp Snoopy is perfect for little ones
Camp Snoopy is the section of Carowinds designed for little kids. We have spent tons of time over the last few years in Camp Snoopy. In 2018, Camp Snoopy had a major expansion – and it is awesome! They added six new attractions (and removed a few that my kids weren’t that impressed with anyway). These new attractions were big hits with my kids. They have added Mud Buggies, Whirlybugs, Camp Bus, the Kite-Eating Tree, and the Peanuts Trailblazers. We were all totally impressed with the new rides. And, once again, as a mom, I love that they are all kept in one area of the park rather than spread out.
Another great part of the Camp Snoopy Expansion – Beagle Scout Acres. This is a huge amazing playground in the middle of Camp Snoopy (and Carowinds). There is plenty of shade, as well as separate play areas for big kids and little ones. The little one’s area is even fenced in! However, if your child is like mine, you may have a very hard getting her to leave the playground to ride the actual rides.
For families with little ones, Camp Snoopy also has a great Family Care Center with family restrooms, nursing areas, and diaper changing stations right in the middle of all the action.
Tons of fun for big kids, too!
Carowinds is not just for little kids. Any day you go, you will find plenty of big kids and adults enjoying the wide array of roller coasters that fill the rest of the theme park. For those adults and their teens who do not enjoy waiting in lengthy lines, Carowinds does offer a Fast Pass for the more popular rides for a fee.
In addition to rides your kids will love, Carowinds also has several shows your family can enjoy. For example, this weekend, my kids loved the Peanuts Dance Party in Camp Snoopy. We also like to eat a meal in Harmony Hall where they perform shows on stage while you enjoy a meal in the air conditioning.
If your kids love dinosaurs, then you should also make plans to visit the Dinosaurs Alive! Section of Carowinds. This is now a must-do for our family each time we visit (and it is included in the season pass). My kids go crazy for those animatronic dinosaurs.
There is a waterpark!
During the summer months, Carowinds guests can also spend some of their theme park time at the Carolina Harbor Waterpark . This waterpark has a kiddie section, but it also has several waterslides for older thrill seekers. It opens May 18, 2019, and it is included with your Carowinds admission.
For those families who love playing carnival games and winning prizes, Carowinds has every carnival game you can imagine. They use a game card system, and each game is an additional fee. Be prepared to set a game limit because all the fun adds up quick!
Plenty of Food Options
Carowinds has tons of food options from traditional theme park staples to Chick-fil-a and Panda Express. However, if you want to save money, you can get a re-entry stamp and leave the park to picnic or go to a less expensive nearby food place.
Excellent Seasonal Events
My family has visited both the Great Pumpkin Fest (Sept-Oct) and Winter Fest (Nov-Dec), and we loved each one! They are so much fun that we plan to make them annual visits. At the Great Pumpkin Fest, kids get to trick or treat around the park, as well as enjoy fall festival attractions (such as haybale mazes and pumpkin patches). At Winter Fest, you get to ride all the rides, listen to carolers, and see tons of pretty Christmas lights.
Close Enough to the Upstate to Go for the Day
Finally, we love Carowinds because it is the best theme park in the Carolinas (you can visit both North Carolina and South Carolina while at Carowinds), and it is close enough to visit for a day! No need to get a hotel or stay over. We can easily pack a backpack with sunscreen, snacks, and other essentials, and be there in less than an hour and a half from Spartanburg.
Things to Know Before You Go
It is located at 14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273.
Daily tickets start at $45.00. A gold season pass is $111.00. (Tip – you can upgrade a daily pass to a season pass.)
Daily parking starts at $16.00. Gold season pass holders do not pay parking fees.
Has your family visited Carowinds lately?