WinterFest transforms Carowinds into a holiday wonderland with 5 million lights, festive live performances and seasonal treats

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Carowinds returns this weekend with a holiday attraction that extends the park’s operating season through the end of the year.

WinterFest transforms the theme park into a holiday wonderland with more than 5 million lights, elaborate displays, ice skating, festive live performances and seasonal treats.

WinterFest opens Sunday, Nov. 18 and is open 5-10 p.m. select days through New Year’s Eve.

Catch it Nov. 18, 23-25, 30, Dec. 1-2, 7-9, 14-23, 26-31.

Tickets are $24 for kids and $26-$35 for adults.

Be sure to arrive in time for the tree lighting ceremony nightly at 5:30 p.m.

Most of the big rollercoasters are closed for the season, but there are several rides still operating along with a number of special holiday activities.

Sixteen (mostly kid-friendly) rides are open, including the carousel, swings and Scrambler. See all rides open during Winterfest.

There’s also a skating rink ($15, includes skate rental), Charlie Brown Christmas tree maze, letter-writing station at the North Pole Post Office, holiday crafts (for kids 12 and under) and a cookie-decorating station in Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen ($15, includes four large cookies).

There are also lots of costumed performers singing, dancing and spreading cheer throughout the park. See all performances.

Ice skating at Snowflake Lake is $15 and includes your skate rental

This event is extremely well done and will appeal to kids and adults alike.

I took my 4-year-old niece on a Sunday night and she was floored. I couldn’t get over how thoroughly they’d decorated the park.

The lights are insane (easily the most elaborate in the region) and the performers do an excellent job interacting with kids and livening up the whole experience.

Catch WinterFest before it closes Dec. 31.

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Katie Levans
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Co-Founder and Creative Director