10 tips for visiting the Great Pumpkin Fest Halloween event at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina

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Are you looking for a fun, family-friendly fall event in the Charlotte, North Carolina area this year?  Then look no further than Carowinds’ annual fall festival, the Great Pumpkin Fest!  It’s back in 2022, and my family visited this past weekend.  Before you go, we wanted to share with you some tips that can make your visit even better.

1. Take Advantage of Photo Ops

There are some great photo opportunities at the Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC

There are plenty of great photo opportunities throughout the park.  There are plenty of great decorations your child or you can pose in front of that makes a great picture, like the skeleton pictured here in the Blue Ridge Junction area.  There are a lot of fun activities to do at Great Pumpkin Fest and it’s not open that long.  Make sure you don’t leave the park without taking advantage of these great photo opportunities!

2. Stay after The Monsters are Coming! for Pictures

There are great photo ops with characters like Snoopy after The Monsters Are Coming! show at Carowinds' Great Pumpkin Fest in Charlotte, NC

Speaking of photo opportunities, there are great ones to be had with Peanuts characters, including Snoopy.  Just stay after The Monsters are Coming! show over at Camp Snoopy.

3. Buy a Charger for your Phone

So you are going to want to take a lot of pictures and videos.  So don’t make the mistake I did.  I forgot to charge my phone before I came and I forgot to bring a portable charger.  So I had to worry during my visit that my phone would die.

Don’t make that mistake.  Buy a portable charger like this one that my family likes.  Then you don’t have to worry you missed out on any great photos of your child.

4. Bring a Trick-or-Treat Bag

Did you know that you can trick-or-treat at Carowinds?  Well, you can at the trick-or-treat trail at Candy Corn Acres at Crossroads!  It’s a fun safe way to trick-or-treat during the day.

If you decide to do it, consider bringing your own bag or container.  You can find a cheap one here.

5. Try the Hay Bale Maze

If you love corn mazes, then you'll love the hay bale maze at the Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC

Corn mazes and hay bale mazes are a really fun thing to do in the autumn.  You can do it at Carowinds during the Great Pumpkin Fest.  Just head over to Camp Snoopy Fountain to try Peppermint Patty’s Hay Bale Maze.

6. Check out Bluegrass JamBOOree!

A picture of Bluegrass JamBOOree a Carolina band who performs live at Carowinds family-friendly Halloween event, The Great Pumpkin Fest

There’s a lot of good live entertainment at the Great Pumpkin Fest.  But if you only have time to check out just one, I’d pick the Bluegrass JamBOOree over at Crossroads Gazebo.  They’re really good and a lot of fun.  I love their Bluegrass versions of popular songs.

7. Try the Midway Games

A picture of Creepy Crawlers game at the Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC

Enjoy the Gameyard Game Zone at the Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC

Love winning prizes?  Then check out the midway games at the front of the theme park, in Graveyard Game Zone at the Cemetery!

Play midway games at the Cemetery at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC during their Halloween Great Pumpkin Fest

8. Check the Weather Before You Go

The weather was good this past weekend.  This was not the case last weekend.  It was incredibly hot at Carowinds.  And a lot of the activities and shows take place outside.

If you come when it’s not, bringing a fan really helps.  I was glad I brought one.  You can get a fan like this.  This is a great fan because you easily fit it in your bag or you can attach it to a stroller.  You could also consider getting a fan you can wear around your neck like this.

You also will want to bring sunblock if it’s not to protect your family from the sun.

If the weather calls for rain, then bring an umbrella or poncho.  Trust me, you don’t want to make the long walk back to the car in the Carowinds parking lot if you are soaking wet.  You can get a great deal on a family poncho pack here.  You can get a cheap mini umbrella that won’t take up too much room in your bag or stroller here.

9. Eat at Culver’s

Food is available at Carowinds during the Great Pumpkin Fest.  But like all food at theme parks, it is a bit overpriced.

If you want to save some money, depending on when you visit the event, consider eating at Culvers.  My family loves eating at Culver’s whenever we go to Carowinds.  Culver’s is really close to Carowinds.  The food is really good and the prices are affordable.  My dad has said before they have the best fast food burgers, and I love getting the scoop of the day.

The event runs from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  You could either have lunch beforehand there or dinner there afterward.  If you’re planning on also attending Scarowinds later that night, you can consider having lunch there in between the two events.

If not Culver’s, consider eating at home before you go and when you get home to save money.  That is of course if you live close by Carowinds.  If you are coming from out of town, keep reading.

10. Stay Nearby

Coming to Charlotte from out of town?  Consider staying at one of the hotels that are close to Carowinds.  Springhill Suites is around a 10-minute walk to the main gates of Carowinds, and you can get a great rate for the hotel here.  Comfort Inn At The Park in Fort Mill is also really close to the park – and quite affordable if you book your stay here.