It certainly can get mighty toasty and humid in North Carolina. The state's water parks are great places to find some relief from the heat, as well as have some fun.
It can also get a bit frosty at certain times of the year. Even in the summer, the weather does not always cooperate for a day out at a waterpark. But a day in at a water park: That's something that folks in North Carolina can do year-round at indoor water parks, regardless of the weather.
Let's run down the state's outdoor and indoor water parks. They are listed alphabetically.
Carolina Harbor at Carowinds in Charlotte
Located adjacent to the major theme park, Carowinds, Carolina Harbor is one of the state's largest outdoor water parks. It got a major expansion and name change in 2016. (The park was previously known as Boomerang Bay.)
Highlighted attractions include Blackbeard's Revenge, which offers near vertical drop slides with launch capsules and Seaside Splashworks, a huge interactive water play structure with a tipping water bucket. Other features include two wave pools, enclosed tube slides, a lazy river that allows passengers to float past the Carolina state line, a family raft ride, a halfpipe ride, and a bowl slide.
Entrance to the water park is included with admission to Carowinds theme park.
Fantasy Lake Water Park in Hope Mills
A relatively small outdoor water park, Fantasy Lake offers slides that deposit riders into its lake.
Attractions include enclosed tube slides, mat slides, "Tarzan" swings, and drop slides that end in midair and allow riders to freefall into the water. For younger children, the park offers Fantasy Land with pint-sized slides and activities.
Among its more unusual features, Fantasy Lake includes a jump tower, see-saws in the lake, and a trapeze and monkey bar rings over the water.
Visitors can rent paddle boards and kayaks. Water volleyball and water basketball is available. Dry activities include shuffleboard, ping pong, and cornhole.
Great Wolf Lodge Concord in Concord
Part of a chain of Indoor water park resorts, the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord offers weatherproof fun. The park is only open to registered guests of the hotel. Attractions include a funnel ride, a family raft ride, mat-racing slides, and a large interactive water play structure.
Dry activities include MagiQuest, an interactive adventure, the Howly Wood XD Theater, a 3-D motion simulator experience, bowling, an arcade with redemption games, mini-golf, and a ropes course. The resort also offers a spa, a fitness center, and restaurants.
Jungle Rapids in Wilmington
Jungle Rapids is a family entertainment center with a small, outdoor water park. The park includes a wave pool, lazy river, a children's activity area, a half-pipe slide, body slides, and tube slides. Dry activities include go-karts, mini-golf, laser tag, a climbing wall, and an arcade, and other "dry" activities.
Lions Water Adventure in Kinston
A small, municipal outdoor park, Lions Water Adventure includes water slides, a lazy river, and a kiddie area.
It also offers a lap pool and a therapeutic pool.
Ray's Splash Planet in Charlotte
Ray's Splash Planet is a small, municipal, indoor water park. Attractions include water slides, a lazy river, zero-entry pool, and an interactive water play station. The park also offers lap swimming, swimming lessons, and other programs.
Sun Crest Water Park in Taylorsville
Sun Crest is a small, outdoor water park with water slides, a rope swing, features for young children, swimming, and picnicking.
West Water Park in Kinston
A small, outdoor park, West Water Park offers water slides, a trapeze swing pool, an activity pool, a large swimming pool, and beach volleyball.
Wet'n Wild Emerald Pointe in Greensboro
Wet'n Wild is a major, outdoor water park with lots of slides and rides. Highlights include Dragon's Den, a themed bowl ride, Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror, a themed funnel ride, Daredevil Drop, a 76-foot-tall speed slide, and Twin Twisters, enclosed body slides.
For younger children, the park offers the play areas, Happy Harbor, Leisure Lagoon, and Shipwreck Cove. At the park’s center os Thunder Bay, a huge wave pool.