Looking for Halloween activities in NC theme parks?
Carowinds and Tweetsie Railroad offer weekend fun for a variety of ages.
North Carolina boasts four seasons, mountains, plains, and the coast. With such a variety of scenery, people in the Tarheel State have loads of choices for Halloween fun as the leaves begin to turn and the weather becomes cooler. Two theme parks, Carowinds and Tweetsie Railroad, invite guests to join in some Halloween fun with special activities for all ages of late-season guests before the parks close during colder months.
Carowinds Offers Halloween Fun in the Fall
Carowinds, an amusement park located on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, offers several Halloween-themed activities. Younger family members may particularly enjoy the Carowinds Howl-o-Fest’s Boo Blast, in which kids can trick-or-treat at designated stations, try some karaoke, enjoy a puppet show, weave through a maze, or brave the foam pit. Of course, everyone can enjoy the rides within the park. Carowinds typically hosts Boo Blast in daylight afternoon hours on October weekends when the park is open.
Halloween in North Carolina Amusement Parks
My kids enjoyed getting the chance to trick-or-treat and participate in the Halloween activities at Carowinds. Some of the trick-or-treating lines got a little long, but they tended to move fairly quickly. Many of the lines for rides are shorter in the Fall, and the weather is often more comfortable than in the summer months.
Those who are looking for something a bit scarier may find SCarowinds at Carowinds to be a great choice. SCarowinds requires a separate ticket and features a more intense Halloween experience that might frighten younger kids. Carowinds tends to be offered on weekends starting in mid-September and extending through October. The operating hours for SCarowinds usually begin at 7:00 p.m. and extend until midnight or 1:00 a.m., depending on the date.
Carowinds offers a wide variety of roller coasters, some designed especially for kids while others have adults either sitting, standing, hanging, or lying down for the ride. I enjoyed Carowinds as a kid and recognize a lot of the rides, but many new ones are added on a regular basis. A few height restrictions have been added or changed in the last few years. Readers may also wish to read Take a Virtual Ride on Carowinds Intimidator: The Southeast’s Tallest, Fastest, Longest Roller Coaster.
Tweetsie Railroad Offers Halloween Rides, Games, and More
Another less known amusement park in North Carolina, Tweetsie Railroad, offers a Ghost Train ride near Halloween. Although Tweetsie’s famous train ride has mellowed quite a bit when compared to those rides years ago, this amusement park in Blowing Rock, North Carolina now offers a Halloween-themed train ride on Friday and Saturday evenings in October from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. while daytime hours still offer the Wild West theme.
Tweetsie also offers a variety of October activities, such as a haunted house and freaky forest in addition to the haunted train ride. Each of these activities is recommended for children at least 8 years old. The ghost train runs about every 30 minutes and is first-come, first-served. Some ghost train nights may sell out, so readers may wish to purchase advance tickets to make sure they can enter the park.
My kids are a bit too young for the scary rides and activities, but we found that sitting in the middle train car on the “passenger” side offered the best view of the Wild West showdown as the action took place off the train as it made two stops on its way around the mountain. My kids particularly enjoyed getting their pictures made while sitting on the fake horses while I took every opportunity to hop on the chairlift since that ride doesn’t involve spinning around in circles!
An interesting fact about Tweetsie is that a real graveyard for Middle Fork Baptist Church is located right in the middle of the amusement park. You can get a great view of the graveyard while riding the Ferris wheel. My mom mentioned she remembered taking us kids to Tweetsie and they stopped all the rides for a funeral procession. Some people still enter the park to place flowers on graves of friends or family members, and I’ll be honest to say that we peeked through the gate to get a closer look at the graveyard the last time we visited Tweetsie.
Readers may also wish to check out Kannapolis Christmas Train and Light Show in North Carolina.
Amusement Parks in North Carolina With Halloween Themes
Halloween and autumn activities abound in North Carolina, and theme parks can offer an interesting alternative for those who love rides, shows, and getting outside and active. People who visit Carowinds and Tweetsie Railroad in the Fall may find discounts for the next year’s season passes, which often equals a much better price when compared to visiting multiple times at the daily rate.