Thursday, January 2, 2020

Ray's Splash Planet

I'm always impressed with -- and sometimes surprised by -- the recreational resources available in Charlotte. Beyond parks, greenways and nature preserves, there's an abundance of programming, activities and facilities that are free or very low-cost, making movement and play both fun and accessible.

One example? Ray's Splash Planet, an indoor waterpark run by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department located uptown. For $8 ($10/non-county residents), kids can spend the day playing in this 117,000-gallon pool featuring a 3-story slide, fountain station, lazy river and swirling vortex pool. Grown-ups can join in the fun for $10 ($15/non-county residents) or watch from the side for $3.

The pool also offers a zero-entry section for young swimmers to splash in and a 4-foot area for taller visitors to swim laps or play water basketball or volleyball.

At a constant bath-tub-like 86 degrees, the waterpark is comfortable on a frigid winter day and a welcome relief during the heat of summer.

The lifeguard staff is friendly and remarkably attentive, and there are complementary life jackets available.

Rays also offers a fitness center for adult workouts, and men's, women's and family locker rooms.

The facility opened in 2002 but recently underwent a major renovation. It's a great option for birthday parties and group reservations. They also offer a variety of programs for a range of ages and interests.

Visitors can pay by the visit, but the best deal might be in the MeckPass, which provides access to all Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation fitness and aquatic facilities on a monthly basis.


Facility hours vary daily and on holidays.

How to get there:

Ray’s Splash Planet is located at 215 North Sycamore St, Charlotte, NC, 28202


Don't forget to pack:
  • Swimsuit: Proper swimwear is required
  • Towel: You'll need to bring your own
  • Locker room shoes: Flip flops or Crocs for before and after play
  • Lock: There are plenty of lockers to stash your gear in the locker room.
  • Change of clothes: Don't go home wet!

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