Growing up in the Charlotte area, Carowinds is the one place that a kid wants to visit. The name is created from the two states the park lies on, North and South Carolina, and the winds that blow across them. The park has roller coasters, a children’s section, live entertainment, and a water park. Opening in June 1973, the theme park has changed in style as well as in ownership through out almost forty years of being open. Every few years a new addition or ride is added to the park which keeps the theme park vibrant. Scarowinds, a Halloween themed event, extends the park hours into October and creates a haunting experience.
In a similar 400 acre size, but with a completely different theme is the U.S. Whitewater Center. This theme park takes a hands on approach which allows more outdoor activities. Rafting, a zip line, and rock climbing are just a few of the activities available to Charlotteans. The Whitewater Center has been used many times as the training center for USA Olympic athletes for rafting sports.
The Whitewater center, a 10-year-old non-profit, promotes a healthy and active lifestyle while Carowinds, an almost 40-year-old amusement and water park, promotes family fun. Both theme parks have regularly scheduled events during the summer months to help Carolinian’s get out and active in the sun.