guides

Local Places to Get Wet

Splash Pads, Pools, Water Parks & More

May 21, 2018


As temperatures climb during the summer months, there's no better way to cool off than by getting wet! Most water attractions open around Memorial Day and remain open through Labor Day and make for a perfect hot summer day activity with the kids. Here's a list of local splash pads, pools, water parks and beaches in our area or within a day's drive. As always, we strive to keep our information as accurate as possible.  It's always best to call or click ahead before heading out as times, prices and weather can change without notice!  Have a splash spot to add to the list? Email me!

SPLASH PADS

Kiwanis Park (805 6th St SE, Hickory) - Home to the Zahra Baker All Children's Playground, Kiwanis Park now includes a splash park! Opened July 2016, the Charles D. Dixon Memorial Splash Pad is open daily May 1 through September 30. Facilities at the park include 2 picnic shelters with tables and grills, tennis court, outdoor basketball court, 4 lighted baseball fields, 2 playgrounds, horseshoe pits, walking trail, rest rooms and 2 concession stands. Read review here.
Splash Pad Hours: 10am to 8pm daily after June 15th (May 1-June 15 hours are 10am-4pm weekdays, 3-8pm Saturdays and 10am-8pm Sundays unless there's a baseball game scheduled)
Admission: Free

Lowes Foods City Park (Corner of 3rd St NW and Main Av NW, Hickory) - Opened in December of 2016, the park’s components consist of water play, art, education, music, local craftsmanship, and top of the line, modern play equipment. The splash pad is open May 1 through September 30. Read review here.
Park Hours: 7am to 9pm in the summertime
Admission: Free

Conover City Park (361 5th Ave SE, Conover) - 6 acres in size with over 1/2 mile of asphalt walking trails, picnic shelter with 6 tables, public restroom, two nature themed playgrounds and a splash pad. The splash pad is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Read review here.
Splash Pad Hours: 11am to 8pm daily
Admission: Free

Splash Pad Park (312 Massel Ave SE, Valdese) - 1-acre playspace features a splash pad, playground equipment, concrete cornhole boards, a picnic shelter and a multi-purpose building for community events and fitness classes. The brand new park opened July 18th, 2017. The splash pad is typically open the 3rd week in May through the 2nd week in September.
Splash Pad Hours: 8am-8pm Mon-Sat, 1-5pm Sun
Admission: Free

Martha's Park (200 Block Collett St., Morganton) - 1.4 acre park with fenced and gated play area, playground equipment, 3 picnic shelters, handicapped accessible restrooms and a children's water splash pad. The splash pad opens middle to late May and closes middle to late September, depending on the weather. Read review here.
Splash Pad Hours: 10am-8pm daily
Admission: Free

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park (111 Alphabet Ln, Morganton) - This park underwent extensive renovations in 2019 and includes a circular splash pad similar to Martha's Park.
Splash Pad Hours: 10am-8pm daily
Admission: Free

Adrian L. Shuford Jr. YMCA (1104 Conover Blvd E, Conover) - Full service facility includes fitness center, indoor pool and splash park. Admission covers access to whole facility.
Splash Park Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-8:30pm, Fri 11am-7:30pm, Sat 11am-4:30pm, Sun 1-4:30pm (weekends only through June 10th)
Admission: $10 non-members, $5 guests with member, free for members

Maiden Municipal Park (207 E. Klutz St, Maiden) - Located adjacent to the Maiden Recreation Center, the park features playground equipment, a picnic shelter, a walking trail and restroom facilities. A brand new splash pad is operates season of May through Labor Day.
Splash Pad Hours: 10am-7pm daily
Admission: Free

West Lincoln Park (369 Hulls Grove Church Road, Vale) - This 54 acre park includes a picnic shelter, two playgrounds, two baseball fields, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits, a multipurpose field, an amphitheater and mountain bike/walking trails. A splash pad opened in June 2014 is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Splash Pad Hours: 10am-7pm daily
Admission: Free

First Federal Park Splash Pad (201 N. Poplar St, Lincolnton) - This small park in Lincolnton opened Sept 23rd, 2017 and features a splash pad, green space for outdoor events, and restroom facilities. The splash pad is open May 1 through the end of September, weather permitting.
Splash Pad Hours: sun-up to sun-down
Admission: Free

OUTDOOR POOLS

Newton Rec Center Swimming Pool (23 S. Brady Ave., Newton) - Outdoor swimming pool opens when school is out and remains open through mid-late August.
Hours: Mon-Sat 1-6pm, Thur night swim 6-8pm. 
Admission: Adults 18+ $4, children 6-17 $3, seniors 62+ $2, children 5 and under $1

Lenoir Aquatic Center (1031 Jim Barger Court, Lenoir) - Outdoor pool with slides currently closed, including a children's pool. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting.
Hours: Hours vary, check recreation hours here
Admission: Adults $5, seniors & children 17 and under $3, 2 and under free

Hickory Foundation YMCA (701 1St. St. NW, Hickory) - Full-service facility includes fitness center, climbing tower, indoor and outdoor pool. Admission covers access to whole facility.
Outdoor Pool Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-8pm, Fri & Sat 11-7pm, Sun 1-7pm (weekends only through June 10th).
Admission: $10 non-members, $5 guests with member, free for members

Kool Park Pool (3170 31st Ave. Court NE, Hickory) - Public pool with water depth ranging from 18in to 15ft, featuring a 90ft fiberglass slide, three diving boards ranging from 3ft to 12ft, a 15ft diving tower, 100 picnic tables, wooden benches for sunbathing, shaded areas, concession stand, game room and restrooms. The park is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, weather permitting. Read our feature here.
Hours: Open daily 10am-6pm, Wed Fri, and Sat Evening Swim 6:30-9pm
Admission: ages 13-64: $15, 12 and under & 62 and older: $8, 2 and under free. Cash only.

Granite Falls Swimming Pool (56 Pinewood Rd, Granite Falls) - Outdoor pool and splash pad; renovated in 2015. The pool opens when school is out for summer, then remains open daily until school resumes.
Hours: Mon-Sat 1-5pm, Sun 2-5pm, Mon Night Swim 6:30-8pm
Admission: Mon-Sat: Adults $4, students 16 and under $3, Sun & Mon Night Swim: Adults $3, students $2

McCreary Family Aquatic Center Redwood Pool (450 Redwood St., Hudson) - Redwood Park includes an outdoor tennis and volleyball court, walking trails, bike trails, playgrounds, four picnic shelters, six softball/baseball fields, and an outdoor pool which opens when school is out for summer break. 
Pool Day Hours: Mon-Fri 1-5pm, Sat 12-5pm, Sun 2-5pm; Night Hours: Tue & Thur 6:30-8:30pm (night dates vary)
Admission: Day: ages 3 & under, $3, ages 4 and older $5, non-swimmer, $2, Sundays $3/all ages Night: All ages, $3, non-swimmer $2 , punch cards $30/10 visits, chair rentals, $5/day

Collett Street Pool (401 N. King St, Morganton) - The pool usually opens around Memorial Day and closes for the season the day before Labor Day. When school is in session during this time, the pool will only be open on weekends.
Hours: Mon-Fri 1-5pm and 7:30-9pm, Sat 10-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
Admission: Adult $4 city residents / $5 non-residents, Child $2.75 city residents / $3.25 non-residents, Senior $3 city residents / $3.75 non-residents, wading pool $1.50 city residents / $2 non-residents

Jimmy C. Draughn Aquatics & Fitness Center (312 Massel Ave. SE, Valdese) - The pool is twenty-five yards long, with ten lanes for swim meets or lap swimming. It is enclosed from October through May to allow for year-round swimming. In warm months, the cover is removed, allowing you to tan as you swim.
Public Swim Summer Hours: Click here for schedule.
Admission: ages 19 and up $4, ages 5-18 $3, under 5 $2

Hiddenite Family Campground (601 Princess Lane, Hiddenite) - Large outdoor pool open late-May thru mid-September (weather permitting); admission includes access to pool and all campground amenities which include volleyball, covered picnic area, creek, farm animals and more. 
Hours: Open 10am to dark daily
Admission: $5 per person day pass

Statesville Leisure Pool (1877 Simonton Road, Statesville) - The outdoor pools includes a zero depth entry splash pad and spray playground, a lazy river and two large water slides. It is open weekends only Memorial Day through Labor Day, and 7 days a week while school is out for summer. Read our review here.
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 1-6pm, night swim 6-8pm Mon-Sat
Admission: Day Swim: $4 ages 12 and under, $5 ages 13 and over; Night Swim: $2 ages 12 and under, $3 ages 13 and over 


LAKE BEACHES & CREEKS

Lake James State Park (6883 NC Hwy 126, Nebo) - Swimming area located in the Paddy's Creek Area of the park, open May 1 through September 30. Fee is in effect when lifeguards are on duty. Amenities include restrooms with showers, picnic shelters, picnic tables and concession stand. Read our feature here.
Hours: 10am-6pm daily
Fees: Adult 13 and over $5/day, Child ages 3-12 $4/day

McGalliard Falls Park (1400 Falls Road NW, Valdese) - In addition to the natural attraction that is McGalliard Falls and the creek that creates the falls, the park consists of four lighted tennis courts, a volleyball court, a nature trail, picnic facilities and restrooms. Read our feature here.
Hours: sun-up to sun-down daily, year-round
Fees: Free except for picnic shelter rental

Lake Norman State Park (759 State Park Road, Troutman) - Swim area with 125 yard long sand beach and bathhouse with concession stand, restrooms, changing stalls, warm showers and lockers is located in the south area of the park at the end of State Park Road. Open to the public April-October but lifeguard service is offered from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day. Fee to swim is charged only when lifeguards are present.
Hours: 10am-5:30pm daily
Fees: Adult 13 and over $5/day, Child ages 3-12 $4/day

Lake Lure Beach & Water Park (2930 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure) - 100 yards of clean, sandy beach and swimming area; water park with water slides and water games; change area, bathrooms and snacks; covered picnic shelter on the beach and individual picnic tables. Open Memorial Day thru Labor Day.
Hours: 10am-6pm daily
Fees: Adults $9, Seniors $8, Children (4-12) $7, Children under 4 free if accompanied by an adult 


WATER PARKS

Steele Creek Park (7081 NC Hwy 181, Morganton) - Features a 400ft waterslide, two diving boards, an outdoor swimming pool, miniature golf and camping facilities. The park is open May-October.
Waterslide Hours: 10am-6pm daily
Fee: $5 per person for 30min, $10 per person all day for the waterslide; $6 adults, $4 children ages 4-11, $5 seniors and military for swimming and picnicking 

Sun Crest Water Park (6806 All Healing Springs Rd., Taylorsville) - A naturally spring fed water park with an old fashioned swinging rope, water slides for all ages, and plenty of space to enjoy. The park is open each year when school is out for summer. Read our feature here. *due to recent flooding, the park has been closed.  Please call ahead at 828-632-2731 to confirm before making your visit, or check their updates online. updated: 7/7/19*
Hours: Mon-Wed 10:30am-5:30pm, closed Thur except the week of July 4th, Fri 10:30am-5:30pm, Sat & Sun 10:30am-6pm
Admission: Adults 12 and over $9, Children 11 and under $6, 1 and under are free

Carolina Harbor at Carowinds (14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte) - Boomerang Bay has undergone a historic transformation into the all new Carolina Harbor Waterpark. The new expansion doubles the amount of water slides at Carowinds and includes wave pools, slides & twisters, lazy river, raft slide, a water jungle gym, children's area and more.
Hours: Check hours HERE
Admission: included with ticket to Carowinds, online single day tickets start at $45

Wet'n Wild Emerald Pointe (3910 South Holden Road, Greensboro) - The largest water park in both the Carolinas, with over 36 rides and attractions for kids of all ages. The park is open Memorial Day through Labor Day each year.
Summer Hours: 10am-5pm weekends thru Jun 3 and after Aug 19, 10am-6pm Sun-Fri, 10-7pm Sat Jun 8-Aug 19; extended hours July 4th weekend
Admission: Online day tickets start at $39.99 for adults, $30.99 for kids

Ray's Splash Planet (215 N Sycamore St, Charlotte) - Indoor water park offered by the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department.  Includes two story slide, lazy river, splash zone and more. Read our feature here.
Summer Hours: Monday- 10am-7:30pm, Tuesday through Thursday, 12pm-7:30pm, Friday, 10am-7:30pm, Saturday 9am-6:30pm and Sunday 1pm-6:30pm, modified hours for July 4th week call 980-314-4729 for details
Admission: Non-resident rates: age 1-17, $8/day, Adults 18-54, $11/day, Senior/Disabled, $8/day, Dry Ticket (non swimmer), $5/day


OTHER DAY TRIP IDEAS

US Whitewater Center (Charlotte)
The Quarry at Carrigan Farms (Mooresville)
Ramsey Creek Park (Cornelius)
Tanglewood Aquatic Center (Clemmons)
Sliding Rock (Brevard)
Deep Creek (Bryson City)
Wahoo's Adventures (Boone)
River Girl Fishing Company (Todd)
Zaloo's Canoes (Jefferson)

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