North Carolina Indoor Waterparks
North Carolina – the land of sun, sand, and southern charm. But what’s a family to do when the weather isn’t cooperating? Head indoors at one of the five indoor water parks! There’s something for everyone here; from thrill rides to lazy rivers, you can make memories that will last a lifetime.
For parents, nothing brings more peace of mind than knowing their kids are safe while they’re having fun. With plenty of lifeguards on duty, you can relax and unwind while your little ones soar down waterslides and bob around in wave pools. Or if you’re looking for a more relaxing afternoon, jump into a tube and drift leisurely down a winding river.
Come see why so many families make an indoor water park their go-to destination year after year. North Carolina has plenty of attractions to keep you busy, but these five indoor water parks offer cool relief in more ways than one!
Great Wolf Lodge (Concord)
10175 Weddington Rd, Concord, NC 28027
If you’re looking for an all-in-one vacation destination – and one that will keep the kids constantly entertained – then your best bet is Great Wolf Lodge in Concord. The large indoor water park has everything – body slides, raft rides, wave pool, to name just a few. And that’s just one part of the resort (though it is the major part). There are restaurants, a large arcade, and many other activities for kids and families. You can stay here for a long time without seeing and doing everything (and spend a fortune doing so). However, the main attraction is the immense water park, admission to which is included in the price of your room. As if all the other attractions weren’t enough, some of the rooms have cool children’s playhouses in them.
Great Wolf Lodge is a nationwide chain of resorts, and the Concord, North Carolina location exemplifies all the qualities that make it so popular. With its massive indoor water park and numerous other attractions, this is more than just a hotel to stay at on your way through the Charlotte area. It’s a vacation destination that’s worthy of a road trip in its own right – especially if you have children. The water park and hotel both feature kid-centric designs with activities to keep the most hyperactive youngsters busy.
Great Wolf Lodge has a large assortment of suites available for groups of different sizes. Depending on your budget, you can rent a basic room with minimal extras, or a large suite with log cabin decor and enough amenities for an extended stay. Did we mention that the hotel is kid-friendly? Many of the rooms include miniature cabins, complete with their own TVs and bunk beds.
Besides the indoor water park, the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord also features plenty of eateries and activities to entertain you and the kids for every waking moment you’re there. This is truly an all-in-one vacation spot. Here’s a sampling of what’s available:
- Mini Golf
- Multiple Restaurants (including Pizza Hut and Dunkin Donuts)
- Large Arcade with Prize Redemption
- Kid-Sized Bowling Alley
- Kids’ Activities, including Nightly Story Time
- MagiQuest Adventure Game
Yep, this is a veritable kid’s paradise. And we haven’t even gotten to the best part.
Slides and Rides
The best part is the water park, naturally. At 80,000 square feet, the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge in Concord is one of the biggest in the region. Among the attractions is a massive funnel that you can slide down with up to three other people. All in all, there are too many features to list, but here are a few highlights:
- Group Raft Ride
- Wave Pool
- 4-Story Interactive Fort for Kids
- Water Slide Mat Racing
- Water Agility Course
- Kiddie Pool
- Activity Pool
- Body Slides that Wind in and Out of the Building
- Outdoor Pool Area
Ray’s Splash Planet (Charlotte)
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation operate this little water park. It’s primarily intended for residents, but visitors from other areas are welcome as well. If you’re coming from out of town, you’ll need to find your own place to stay though – this is one of the few indoor water parks that’s not part of a resort. The indoor water park consists mostly of activities for kids, though there are a couple of attractions that grownup thrill-seekers might enjoy as well. Most adults would probably prefer to hang out at the facility’s top-notch fitness center, which provides a good vantage point for keeping track of kids as they splash around.
Ray’s Splash Planet is a small indoor water park in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s owned by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation but is open to visitors from elsewhere (residents do get a discount). Unlike most indoor water parks, it does not have a connected hotel.
At 29,000 square feet, this isn’t the largest indoor water park around – but it’s not bad, either. It has many of the standard attractions, namely:
- Lazy River
- Body Slide
- Play Fort
- Zero Entry Pool
- Snack Bar
Ray’s Splash Planet seems more geared toward locals than visiting tourists. For residents of Charlotte and the surrounding area, it’s a great place to take the kids on a rainy afternoon or host birthday parties and other events. And while it might not be worth a road trip on its own, it’s not a bad place to visit if you’re in town.
Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park
5320 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403
Wilmington, North Carolina is home to Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park. It’s a place of excitement and joy, a gathering point for friends and family who seek adventure and an unforgettable experience.
From the outside, it looks like your typical water park. But what lies beyond the door is a playground of possibilities waiting to be discovered. The wave pool is at the center of it all, with its rushing waves beckoning new and experienced surfers alike. And no trip would be complete without exploring the twisting slides, rushing down in a blur of colors. Add in a leisurely float down the lazy river and you have the perfect afternoon of fun.
That’s not all, though. As we wander through this whimsical landscape, under the tree canopies and over bridges connecting us to our past, it’s easy to be transported back to childhood memories that many of us cherish. There’s something special in Wilmington’s Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park that makes it more than just a waterpark. Come on down and see for yourself what life is like on the rapids!
Beachwoods by Diamond Resort
1 Cypress Knee Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
Welcome to Beachwoods Resort, the Outer Banks’ premier destination for those seeking a unique and inspiring vacation experience. Nestled in the middle of a 100-acre Maritime Forest along the banks of the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound, this picturesque resort is bordered by a 700-acre nature preserve. Visitors to Beachwoods will discover an oasis of beauty and tranquility surrounded by rolling dunes, lush woodlands, and abundant wildlife.
Beachwoods offers the perfect blend of outdoor recreation and relaxation for your entire family year round. Enjoy the indoor water park, fitness center, paddle boats and nature trails that meander through a pristine maritime forest during the cooler months. For guests seeking further adventure, there are ample opportunities for fishing, boating and kayaking on site.
The resort features well-appointed one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, thoughtfully designed with all the amenities of home. Relax in comfort with fully-equipped kitchens, 42” HD TVs, and outdoor patios. Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape or a family getaway, Beachwoods Resort stands ready to help create memories that will last a lifetime.
Come to Durham, North Carolina, and experience an adventure unlike any other! With one of the largest indoor water parks in the south, DefyGravity has enough thrills and activities to fill up your entire stay. Zip down our adrenaline-pumping water slides that are guaranteed to get your heart racing. Then take a relaxing float down our meandering lazy river, letting the summer sun warm your shoulders as you relax and enjoy the sights. For the little ones, they have a fun kiddie pool with plenty of toys and games that will keep them laughing all day long.
No matter how you choose to spend your time at DefyGravity, it’ll be impossible not to make some incredible memories along the way. This is not only a place of thrilling adventure but also a place to connect with yourself, your friends and family, and your community. Come as you are, be transformed, then leave inspired and alive.
Gold’s Gym Family Sports Complex
Nestled in the rolling hills of Indian Trail, North Carolina, lies a hidden gem for every member of the family. The Gold’s Gym Family Sports Complex is more than just a place to stay fit and active – it’s where lasting memories are made!
From the thrilling water slides to the relaxing lazy river, their indoor water park is a great way to make a splash with your family. With pool temperatures set at a comfortable 82 degrees, you can take a dip in their sparkling heated pool without worrying about any surprises from Mother Nature.
Beyond just having some fun in the sun (or the shade!), The Family Sports Complex also lets you wind down and relax after a hard day’s work. Their state-of-the-art fitness center has all the equipment and facilities you need to stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Their yoga studio offers daily classes with certified instructors who can guide you through an invigorating practice that’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle tomorrow.
As you can see, the only two indoor water parks in North Carolina are clustered in the Charlotte area. Given how popular indoor parks have gotten in recent years, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this change in the coming years. Be sure to check this space for updates the next time you plan a vacation in the Tar Heel State.