Columbia SC Moms Blog is honored to partner with Carowinds to bring our readers the following post. All opinions are entirely our own.
It’s fall y’all! The dog days of summer are fading away, the weather is cooling off (finally!), leaves are changing … and with the new season comes a whole host of new activities families can participate in.
With fall, and most notably in October, all things pumpkin make their debut. And while my Halloween obsessed son could not be happier, and we love the array of festive activities the Capital City offers, sometimes you just want to head out of town and experience something new.
I found out about Carowinds The Great Pumpkin Fest, which runs Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 17 – Oct. 30 with Halloween activities from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and I knew this would be the perfect day trip! Not only is it all things fall and Halloween, it includes the Peanuts gang, amusement park rides, additional fun activities for the season, and their regular attractions to keep guests entertained.
My little boy caught one glimpse of the website page and exclaimed, “Mama, I want to go!” So we loaded up the car on a Saturday and headed up 77 to Charlotte – and had the BEST time! Here’s what you can expect:
Kids can choose their own mumpkin (mini-pumpkin) to decorate and take home as a spooktacular keepsake! (Limit one pumpkin per guest under 12 years of age.) My little one loved hunting for his very own pumpkin and wanted to bring it home for us to carve later. Since you’ll be toting it around after you leave the patch, I would suggest saving this as your last activity. Just be sure to visit this area before it closes at 5 p.m.
Hay Bale Maze
Guests will weave their way through a twisting path of hay bales and cornstalks, all while dodging a series of dead ends as they attempt to make their way toward the exit. We literally went through the maze no less than 10 times. My 4-year-old easily found his way to the end, then liked trying again and making a “wrong turn” into the dead ends. Halloween clad Peanuts characters are included at various twists and turns, making it more exciting for the kids.
Fall is the perfect time of the year to visit the farm, and they have an entire barnyard full of animals ready to meet you! We saw rabbits, a lama, sheep, a tortoise, a donkey and much more! There was even staff on hand holding various small animals providing more details on the creatures and allowing kids to safely pet them.
Kids will be able to trick-or-treat at various stations throughout the Great Pumpkin Fest from 3 – 5 p.m. each day. Small trick-or-treat bags are provided, and my son loved walking around Planet Snoopy trying to discover where the next station was. Lots of kids (and some parents too!) are dressed in Halloween costumes, but there are plenty of folks in regular clothes too. Come dressed in either!
Live Shows & Events
There is no shortage of special events occurring throughout the day. From readings of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to a Kids Costume Parade, plus special character appearances, a Peanuts Dance Party, Fraidy Cat Puppet Show and more – there is plenty to keep your family occupied and having a great time!
Midway Games & Special Attractions
Test your luck and skill with a variety of traditional, fall festival games on our midway and take home a prize! While they might look intimidating, my 4-year-old was able to throw a ball and pop a balloon ALL BY HIMSELF, and was super proud of the stuffed Scooby Doo he won.
We all know kids love bubbles! And what an extra special treat to have them blow out of the hood of this car! All day long kids could be found dancing beneath and popping bubbles.
There’s also a “haunted house” ride called Boo Blasters. While the ride is not super scary by any means and you are shooting friendly looking ghosts and skeletons, my child who loves getting spooked said it was “too scary” for him and continued to talk about it for two days straight. We explained it was pretend and just for fun, and that mommy and daddy are always here to keep him safe. This seemed to appease him, but if you do have a child who is easily frightened, you may want to skip this one.
Overall, the park is outfitted for fall and Halloween fun – so be prepared for lots of pumpkins and spooky sites. While The Great Pumpkin Fest is limited to Planet Snoopy (the children’s area), the rest of the park is decorated for SCarowinds, which opens later in the evening for guests 13 and above, and is truly for those who enjoy the more frightening aspect of Halloween. So be prepared to see graveyards, dark looking villages, and other sites on your walk through the park. While these can be a little more on the “scary” side, they aren’t any more graphic than what you might see in a Halloween store, and in our 4+ hours at the park, we didn’t witness any kids running away in terror over what they saw.
Overall, we had an INCREDIBLE time and it was well worth the drive up to Charlotte. In addition to celebrating the fun of the season, we had the opportunity to spend valuable time together as a family. These are the types of memories I’ll remember for years to come, and I know your family will too. Happy fall, y’all!
We had such a great experience, we wanted to share the love with our readers! Enter now to win 5 tickets for admission to Carowinds and The Great Pumpkin Fest! (Note: This giveaway is only for daily admission and cannot be used for SCarowinds.)