Charlotte skies rarely bring snow, but that doesn't mean you and your family can't enjoy the winter weather.
SnowPark USA, which opened in mid-December at Symphony Park next to SouthPark mall, aims to fill the void by offering nine inches of powder perfect for sledding, tubing and other snow activities.
How's it possible? Like ski resorts, SnowPark USA uses a snowmaking machine that sprays a fluffy blanket of powdery snow. Unlike ski resorts up North, it doesn't need to be a certain temperature outside to create a faux winter wonderland. There's always nearly a foot of snow on the ground perfect for:
Snowboarding: Fledgling boarders can learn to stand and slide with the aid of an instructor before tackling Western Carolina's mountains. The small slopes and short distance can provide a primer for steeper hills and snowier climates.
Sledding: Sliding the slopes on a snow sled provides a touch of Northern nostalgia.
Tubing: Tubing lanes vary from slow and smooth to faster-paced, bumpy rides for the more adventurous.
More: Build snowmen and igloos, make snow angels, and throw snowballs under shelter of the amphitheatre. There's even an abominable snowman providing a moving target.
Charlotte's location is the first SnowPark USA. Parks in Atlanta and Washington are in the works.
Know before you go
Dress warmly and appropriately. It may be in the 40s, but when you're zipping down the hill, it'll feel much chillier – and though the snow is manmade, it still gets wet.
Tubes and sleds are provided by the park. Snowboarders should bring their own board.
No food, drinks or pets. Food and drinks are available on site.