Breaking News
More () »

Beat the heat: Splash pads, cooling centers and water parks in the Charlotte area

Summer's here and so are the heat and humidity. Here are a few ways to soak up the sun and keep cool in the Carolinas.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Summer break is here for many schools in the Charlotte area, and Mother Nature has brought plenty of heat and humidity to the Carolinas.

Many families will be looking for ways to beat the heat. From community pools and splash pads to a day at the water park, there are plenty of options to soak up the sun while keeping cool. 

Click here to sign up for the daily Wake Up Charlotte newsletter 

Community pools

Mecklenburg County public pools opened on Memorial Day weekend, including Ramsey Creek Beach at Lake Norman. The county plans to operate two public pools all summer long. 

  • Cordelia: Noon to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Double Oaks Family Aquatic Center: Noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Both facilities will offer free swim lessons all summer. 

Splash Pads

Many communities in the Charlotte area have splash pads in parks for families to enjoy the outdoors without getting too hot. Don't see your local splash pad listed? Text us at 704-329-3600 and we'll add them to our list!

Latta Splash Park: 601 E. Park Ave
Nevin Park Splash Park: 6000 Statesville Road

New Centre Park: 501 Memorial Drive

Lineberger Park: 632 East Garrison Boulevard

Harrisburg Splash Pad: 191 Sims Parkway (Pre-registration recommended)

Indian Trail
Crooked Creek Park: 5900 Oakwood Lane 

Village Park: 700 West C Street

Kings Mountain
Patriots Park: 220 South Railroad Avenue

Lincoln County
Beatty's Ford Park: 8335 Shipley Lane, Denver
West Lincoln Park: 369 Hulls Grove Church Road, Vale

Hope Park: 170 Joe Knox Boulevard

Dan Nicholas Park: 6900 Bringle Ferry Road

Carowinds' Carolina Harbor

Carowinds' water park features everything from huge water slides to wave pools and a three-acre kids' area. There's something for everyone, and every Carowinds ticket guarantees guests admission to Carolina Harbor for a full day of fun. 

Cooling Stations:

In collaboration with Mecklenburg County, Roof Above will use its Day Services Center as a cooling station to anyone experiencing homelessness in Mecklenburg County. The Day Services Center is located on 945 North College St. The Center will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Misting stations, fans, water fountains and chairs are also available. In addition, homeless outreach staff will visit homeless encampments to provide information about cooling station locations and to provide water if needed.  

Park and Recreation - Spray Grounds: 

The following Park and Recreation spray grounds are also available for use from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily:

  • Clarks Creek Community Park, 5435 Hucks Rd.
  • Captain Jack, Elizabeth Park, 1100 E. Trade St.
  • Cordelia Park, 600 E. 24th St.
  • First Ward Park, 309 E. Seventh St.
  • Latta Park, 601 East Park Ave.
  • Nevin Park, 6100 Statesville Rd.
  • Romare Bearden Park, 300 S. Church St.
  • West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2401 Kendall Dr.
  • Veterans Park, 2136 Central Ave.

Free fans

Free fans, expected to be available to eligible residents, are not yet available. Last year, the state was able to pass out over 3,200 fans and 26 air conditioners. 

Fans will be distributed at the following locations. Appointments must be made through phone or online pre-registration. Walk-ups will not be permitted. Adults who are 60 and up, as well as adults who receive disability income can register to pick up a fan while supplies last. 

  • Albemarle Road Recreation Center - 5027 Idlewild Rd. North, Mint Hill, NC 28227, 980-314-1101 

  • Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center - 2921 Tuckaseegee Rd., Charlotte, NC 28208, 980-314-1111 

  • David B Waymer Rec/Senior Center - 14008 Holbrooks Rd., Huntersville, NC  28079, 980-314-1127 

  • Eastway Regional Rec Center - 3150 Eastway Park Dr., Charlotte, NC 28213, 980-314-3772  

  • Mallard Creek Recreation Center - 2530 Johnston-Oehler Rd., Charlotte, NC 28269, 980-314-1121  

  • Southview Recreation Center - 1720 Vilma St., Charlotte, NC  28208, 980-314-1105  

  • Tyvola Senior Center - 2225 Tyvola Rd., Charlotte, NC  28210, 980-314-1320  

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Libraries:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library locations are generally open to the public from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Click the following link for branch information Branches & Areas of Interest | Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (cmlibrary.org)

Do's and don'ts for kid water safety

Margot Payne, a swim instructor for over 29 years, said the worst thing a parent can do is put their kids in floaties. Payne told WCNC Charlotte floaties are designed to keep a child above water vertically. She said during swimming, you want to be horizontal in the water.

“The floaties give the child a false sense of security,” Payne said.

Ame Guy, association director of aquatics for YMCA of Greater Charlotte, previously told WCNC Charlotte parents on the sidelines need to put their phones away and pay attention because a child can go underwater silently in a matter of seconds. 

In North Carolina, data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in 2020 showed that 24 children died of accidental drowning. Seven of those drownings - about a third - happened in a pool.

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is encouraging parents to enroll kids in swim lessons, know their child’s skill level in the water, make sure they’re wearing the appropriate flotation devices, and appoint a water watcher at all times.

Know the signs of heat stroke

Experts say it's critical to know the signs of heat stroke. Those symptoms include throbbing headache, not sweating, red, hot and dry skin and a body temperature above 103 degrees. Other symptoms are a rapid pulse and a loss of consciousness. 

If you experience any of these symptoms while outdoors, you should call 911 immediately. 

WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you. Send your tips or questions to newstips@wcnc.com.

Before You Leave, Check This Out