North Carolina Hotels with Indoor Waterparks
With its diverse landscape and metropolitan areas, North Carolina has something to offer just about everyone. Whether you’re looking for a fun place to stay on your vacation, or live in the state and just need a quick getaway for an afternoon or weekend, splashing around at an indoor water park is one more way to have (weatherproof) fun in North Carolina. Parents, in particular, appreciate the benefits of an indoor park, which makes it relatively easy to keep an eye on the kids. There are two indoor water parks in North Carolina to choose from, each designed for different purposes.
Great Wolf Lodge (Concord)
If you’re looking for 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 also restaurants, a large arcade, and many other activities geared toward 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 keep you and the kids entertained 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)
This little water park is operated by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. 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
Overall, 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.
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.