WinterFest at Carowinds

Now that Halloween is over for another year, here in North Carolina, it’s time to get ready for WinterFest at Carowinds!  Every year, the park is transformed into a magical, winter wonderland covered in 5 million twinkling lights, and the transformation is breathtaking– I never thought that our local amusement park could pull off such a magical feat!

Magic at WinterFest

The night begins with the tree lighting show at 5:30pm, at the giant, 70-foot Christmas tree.  A full cast of singers and dancers, as well as Snoopy and his friends, countdown to the opening of the park and then the tree lights up and the Christmas-y family fun begins!

WinterFest Rides

Even though the big roller coasters are not open during WinterFest (due to the cold temps!), many of the attractions are still open and running.  Of course, we ALWAYS ride the carousel since it’s Ellie’s fave!

The swings in the County Fair area of the park are always a hit as well!  It’s so much fun to go on the rides in the dark and see all of the Christmas lights throughout the park.

WinterFest Snacks

Carowinds really upped their game in the seasonal snack department last year and I cannot wait to see what they add this year!!  Our kiddos LOVED decorating the giant Christmas cookies from Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen.  You do have to pay extra for them but at $14 for 4 ginormous cookies and unlimited frosting/toppings, we found it to be an excellent deal!!

Plus, they have to-go boxes if you can’t finish eating your creations– they’re REALLY big!  They made for a great snack throughout the night.

WinterFest Fun

The Christmas lights adorn nearly every tree in the park, as well as many of the walkways, and they do a great job getting you into the Christmas spirit!  They also make a great background for your Christmas card photos!

There is a really fun petting zoo that our crew adored!!  Lots of goats, plus donkeys and a camel!!

We all had a great time at WinterFest last year and cannot wait to go again this season!  It is easily one of our favorite places for Christmas fun in the Charlotte area!

Things to Remember When You Visit WinterFest

  • WinterFest at Carowinds is a ticketed event unless you have a Gold or Platinum season pass.  If you buy your Gold Season pass now, it includes unlimited visits to WinterFest in 2018, plus admission to Carowinds for ALL of 2019- such a great deal!!
  • Tickets start at $26+tax and vary depending on the night you’re attending.  Check online for the latest deals!
  • This year, WinterFest kicks off on November 18 and runs Fri-Sun through December 9.  Starting December 14, WinterFest runs every night through the end of the year (except December 24-25).
  • Lots of people dress up for Christmas-y fun at Carowinds- we either wear Christmas-y shirts or sweaters!
  • Check the weather because it can get REALLY cold once the sun sets!

What’s your favorite holiday event in your city??


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