A Family Guide to Happy Thrills at #Carowinds | #AmazingLooksLike @Carowinds #FamilyFun

Thanks to Carowinds for hosting SobeSavvy.com to a day of summer fun and “happy thrills”! Complimentary media passes were received in exchange for marketing purposes. Opinions and photos used in this review of my experience are 100% my own.

Recently my #HeighPartyof3 which consists of my husband, daughter and me, traveled from Raleigh,NC for a short 2.5 hour drive to Carowinds. This 400 acre amusement park, with 13 roller coasters, seven water rides and the new Camp Snoopy, was the perfect place to enjoy some end of summer fun and to celebrate #outandaboutAva turning 7 years old!

#outandaboutAva gets a birthday hug from Sally and Schroeder from Peanuts at Camp Snoopy in Carowinds

I asked my daughter to give me two words to describe our family fun day at Carowinds to which she replied: “Happy and Thrilling”. So from the mouth of babes, I present to you “A FAMILY GUIDE TO HAPPY THRILLS AT CAROWINDS”. While this was not our first visit as a family to the amusement park, this was our first time experiencing the Carolina Harbor Water Park, checking out the new County Fair rides and seeing what’s new at Camp Snoopy. I have some mom friends who have children 7 and under who have not visited Carowinds yet, so my hope is that they will read this and be inspired to go and learn from our family experience.

Arriving at CAROWINDS

Upon arrival the first decision to be made is where to park. One thing folks like to complain about is parking. Yes Carowinds is a huge park that has thousands of daily visitors. These visitors also need thousands of parking spots. Parking is plentiful and visitors have two parking choices , General and VIP. VIP sections tend to be closer to the entrance than general.

Entrance in the water park is also entrance into the main park. You can purchase all the same tickets and passes there that can be bought at the main entrance. It is also smart to start here if you want to purchase a cabana for the day because they usually sell out in the first hour or two also.
We started our day at the Water park first and then enjoyed the main park.
The order you choose needs to only make sense to you !

SobeSavvy Tip:

For this trip, we found that if you drive around to the Carolina Harbor Waterpark entrance in the first hour or two of opening parking spots can be found that do not require a long walk.

Waterpark Fun in the Sun at CAROLINA HARBOR

Nestled right between the two states of North and South Carolina is Carolina Harbor Waterpark at Carowinds. There are so many splash adventures to be had at this 27 acre waterpark, including Blackbeard’s Revenge, a six story water slide, two wave pools and a two-acre family area. We are water lovers and really enjoyed staying cool by the pool, soaking up sun and relaxing on the lazy river ride. It’s no wonder Carolina Harbor Waterpark was one of the top winners of USA TODAY “Best Outdoor Waterpark” because of it’s themed water rides and one of a kind attractions for all ages.

SobeSavvy Tip: Now that you know that Carolina Harbor is the coolest place to slide,splash,chill and dine (BTW…the pulled pork Carolina BBQ sandwich is so good!), you should definitely consider renting a cabana. Cabana Life is the way to go to have your own private shaded haven. It comes with a flat screen tv, a mini fridge with half of dozen cold waters waiting for you, a table with 4 chairs, 2 lounge chairs, and menu service. It fits up to six people. So if you come with another small family, you can split the costs!

Love, Peace and Water Tubes at Tidal Wave Bay | Carolina Harbor

Happy Days Are Here Again at the COUNTY FAIR

The all-new County Fair themed area features 3 acres of timeless fun for all ages. There are 4 retro rides like the Zephyr swing ride, go round in a circular motion while enjoying music and spectacular lighting on the Rock ‘N’ Roller, flip upside down 63 ft above the ground on the Electro-Spin and don’t miss the twists and turns of Do-Si-Do, which glides guests up, down and around on three giant arms!

SobeSavvy Tip: Save room for some traditional fair food to eat! Here is wherr you can find hot dogs, cotton candy and my favorite..funnel cake!

Go back in time to 1959 County Fair and ride the Do-Si-Do Ride

Enjoy Kid Sized Thrills at the New CAMP SNOOPY

The former kids’ area known as Planet Snoopy has been completely transformed to the newly expanded Camp Snoopy, which includes six new attractions, a new wilderness theme and parent-friendly enhancements. There were lots of fun photo ops especially for fans of The PEANUTS and you may even get a chance to see your favorite characters. There is so much for young children to see and do here and great memories to be made at Camp Snoopy!

SobeSavvy Tip: Ride the Woodstock Express rollercoaster and choose a FunPix souvenir photo to take home. FunPix is a way to capture and share your memories of Carowinds with unlimited digital photo downloads! Its just one of the many great amenities at Carowinds.

This photo magnet of my daughter with her Dad on her first roller coaster ride at Carowinds is priceless!

Be sure to download the Carowinds mobile app from the App Store or Google Play and Follow Carowinds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or head to Carowinds.com for more information.

Check out more ‘happy and thrilling’ moments at #Carowinds, plus WATCH my video recap of our family fun experience here ⤵️

What “Happy Thrills” did you experience this summer? Have you ever been to Carowinds? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

#HeighPartyof3 at Carowinds Aug. ’18

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Photo Recap of #CarowindsBBB #FamilyFun #Food #Beer #BBQ #LiveMusic in #CLT @Carowinds

Summer Days are for Beers and BBQ..throw in a live band and you have a fun foodie celebration! Beginning July 29, Carowinds fires up the grill for its Second Annual FOOD AND BEER FESTIVAL: BANDS, BREWS & BBQs !

It will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 29 through August 14 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and is included with park admission. On Sunday, SobeSavvy.com joined other foodies at this festival known for its good food, good beer, good music and good times! 

As soon as we arrived at Carowinds, we just followed the smell of barbecue to food booths near Harmony Hall. I was happy to see such a variety of smoked meats paired with Chow Chow to choose from ! Park goers got to sample everything from beef brisket (my personal favorite! So tender and flavorful) to turkey wings to duck, and top it off with one of many variations of sauces ranging from sweet to tangy to mustard and downright vinegar. We tried a blueberry chipotle that was amazing!

To purchase beer or food for Bands, Brews and BBQs, guests bought tokens from a token booth inside the park located near Harmony Hall. Guests 21 years of age or older were able to choose from an amazing selection of craft beers from several Carolina breweries. Nothing goes better with barbecue than a nice, cold brew! And for dessert? Some good ol’ homemade banana pudding!  We sat down and chowed down while listening to local bands play on the patio just outside of Harmony Hall.  And inside the air conditioned Harmony Hall , we got to see more entertainment: The Lunch with the Peanuts Gang! If you haven’t seen Snoopy and Charlie Brown get down, this is your chance.

“We’re so pleased to bring back Bands, Brews and BBQs for another year at the park,” says Kris Suita, Carowinds executive chef. “We’ve brought together three favorites under one roof- food, brew and music. Mix that with world-class rides and attractions, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for fun.”  

Where to Stay for Carowinds ” Bands, Brews and Bbq “   

If you are looking for comfortable accomodations that are suitable for families and conveniently close to Carowinds , I recommend Homewood Suites by Hilton Charlotte Ballantyne.  

It’s a full suite property just 10 miles from Carowinds ! My family of 3 stayed in a King One Bedroom Suite , which had a sleeper sofa couch in the living area with its own TV, a full kitchen as well as a great privacy factor between the living space and bedroom area. Read my prior full review of this hotel and why we love it so much here and be sure to follow this wonderful hotel on Facebook .

To find out more about Bands, Brews & BBQs, see a complete band line-up for the event, or to purchase Carowinds tickets, visit www.carowinds.com.Also check out social media to see what guests are sharing using hashtag #CarowindsBBB
Before the summer ends make sure to take your family or plan a visit with friends to Carowinds. This festival is one not to be missed and enjoyable for all. 

Here are some of my foodie pictures along with family fun moments made at Bands, Brews and BBQ!


https://www.instagram.com/p/BIidXeZjU8h/


Look who we ran into.. fellow Lifestyle/Food/Mommy Blogger @BeingReese

#TravelTuesday : #SobeSavvy Samples the Carolinas at #TasteCarolina @Carowinds

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This past Sunday I took my daughter on a little road trip from Raleigh to Charlotte. Off we went on I-85 South to the famous Carowinds Amusement Park https://www.carowinds.com

The Spring weather had finally taken hold and it was a bright and warm afternoon when we arrived. Although they have immense rollercoasters and rides , we were there for the Taste Of The Carolinas Food and drink Festival https://www.carowinds.com/taste

This event is a culinary salute to unique Carolina cuisine from both North and South. There are 7 different food booths representing different regions/areas of the Carolinas. Simply purchase your tokens of various amounts and take a food journey through the history of the Carolinas.

We didn’t know where to start, but we decided on the Charleston booth. We chose the shrimp and grits. Unlike the traditional dish, the fresh Carolina shrimp were coated in a grits batter and fried to a golden brown served with awesome tarter sauce. Superb! Next up around the corner was a order of catfish from the Outer Banks booth. Fresh and delicious. Time for something cold to wash all that goodness down with. I went with a local craft beer from the wine and beer booth. All beer and wines on sale are from Carolina breweries and wineries. We strolled down to the Low Country of South Carolina booth for seafood gumbo. Right amount of heat and the Okra was perfect.

Since my sweet tooth was calling, I decided on some Pecan Cinnamon Bread Pudding from the mountains of Asheville. Topped with cream cheese icing, this was literally a great way to end our food travels at Carowinds. It was great to be able to take a food tour all in one compact area. This unique even takes place every Saturday and Sunday through May 1. Whether you are near or far from Charlotte, take a trip to Carowinds..your stomach will thank you !

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Photo Credits: Barry Heigh