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6 Floating Obstacle Courses at Aqua Parks in Georgia and South Carolina

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Are you curious about Aqua Parks? Need something different but also super fun to cool off during the summer and get out all your kids’ energy? Here are six floating obstacle courses in South Carolina and Georgia to do just that!

Floating obstacle courses are one of my new favorite summer activities. Here’s why:

  • I get to make my Wipeout and ninja warrior dreams come true
  • I get in an awesome workout
  • My kids are obsessed with and so happy to enjoy these aqua parks
  • My kids are completely wiped out afterward because it’s super exhausting
  • They are excellent for both kids and adults!

If you haven’t tried one of these, I’ve compiled a list for you so you can try them all too! I’ve noted the differences between the places to help you out in choosing your adventure. I’ve been to all of the places listed below so these are firsthand reviews and comments. Most are open all summer through September, depending on the weather.

Splash Island
Splash Island at Big Water Marina

Who says you need a lazy river and wave pool to have a water park, just head to one of these aqua parks on a lake! So, if you have been wondering “Where are the water obstacle courses near me?”, don’t worry. We have all the information you need!

Water Obstacle Courses Near Me: Upstate, South Carolina

Splash Island at Big Water Marina

This huge floating obstacle course opened in the summer of 2022 on Lake Hartwell. It is like a theme park on the water! The Splash Island floating water park is situated at Big Water Marina and Campground, which has a sandy beach, hammocks, chairs, shaded spots, tiny cabins, TV pads, and a delicious restaurant, J.R. Cash’s on-site (it has a pirate ship playground!).

Cost: $15/hour; $25/two hours; kids must be 42″ tall (under 46″ are allowed with an adult)
Hours: Thursday-Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm and the two-hour sessions are 10 am – Noon, 1-3 pm, and 4-6 pm.
Distance from Greenville: One hour
Highlights: Sandy beach, restaurant, hydrobike/SUP/kayak rentals, tiny cabins for rent, restaurant with a playground
Address: 320 Big Water Road, Starr, SC
Kidding Around Review of Big Water

Big Water Marina Beach
Splash Island at Big Water Marina

Aqua Zone at The Shores at Asbury

The Shores at Asbury has their giant Aqua Zone floating obstacle course on Lake Hartwell also. It’s situated on a huge sandy beach, with sand imported from Florida, kayak and SUP rentals, and a restaurant on site. They also have a kids obstacle course for kids who are under 47″.

Cost: $18/hour or $25/two hours if bought online; $20/hour on-site; $35/all-day pass, $120/family four pass for all-day access; follow on Facebook for deals on tickets
Hours: 11 am – 7 pm daily, closed Noon-1 pm, and 3 – 4 pm for safety checks and lifeguard breaks
Distance from Greenville: One hour
Highlights: White sandy beach with tents and lounge chairs, kids floating obstacle course, lawn games, a restaurant
Address: 1600 Asbury Park Road, Anderson, SC
Kidding Around Review of the Shores at Asbury

Floating obstacle course at the Shores of Asbury
Aqua Zone Shores at Asbury

SouthTown Wake Park

Located in Rock Hill, SC, SouthTown Wake Park has wake boarding plus a big floating obstacle course. This is a great activity to tire those kids (and adults) out, as it takes a ton of energy to climb and jump over the obstacles. Kids have to be 7 years old to participate on the aqua course.

Cost: $18 for 45 minutes
Hours: Open daily Noon-6 pm
Distance from Greenville: 1.5 hours
Highlights: Big aqua park, wakeboarding, disc golf, cornhole
Address: 255 E Rambo Rd Rock Hill, SC 29730
Kidding Around Review of SouthTown Wake Park

Aqua Parks in Charleston, SC

Charleston Aqua Park

The Charleston Aqua Park is super cool because it not only has an aqua park but also the only ropes course over water in the country. It is also one of the area’s only floating water parks. The owner assured us there aren’t gators at Trophy Lake, too. We had such a blast at this park and the water felt so good on a hot, summer day. Plus, it’s really close to the beautiful Angel Oak Tree!

Cost: $19/hour; discounts available during the week and/or if you book both the aqua park and ropes course
Hours: Open daily 10 am – 6 pm
Distance from Greenville: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Highlights: Big aqua park, a little beach, and swimming area for smaller kids, only over-water ropes course in the country, kids summer camps (you can send a kid there for a day while you’re on vacation), covered picnic areas, other water activity rentals
Address: 3050 Marlin Road, Johns Island SC
Kidding Around Review of Charleston Aqua Park

Charleston Aqua Park
Charleston Aqua Park

Aqua Parks in Georgia

Marina Station Water Park

This is one of the most family-friendly aqua parks in Georgia. The park is located on Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, GA, and also has a sandy beach with chairs and umbrellas for rent. They just upgraded their equipment and life jackets for 2023 and it’s so much better than previous years. They also have a smaller kids course for ages 4-7 years old, making for a great floating playground. We really enjoyed our time at Marina Station Water Park.

Cost: $18/hour or $42/all day; kids have to be 45″ tall or 7 years old for the big course; $150/family of four all-day pass
Hours: Open daily 10 am – 7 pm (last ticket sold at 6:30 pm)
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Highlights: Huge splash island, kids floating obstacle course, sandy beach, chair, and tent rentals, offers season passes
Address: 3379 US Highway 76, Hiawassee, GA
Marina Station Water Park

View of the obstacle course at Splash Island aqua park in Georgia
Splash Island at The Ridges Resort in GA

Terminus Wake Park

We loved the aqua course at this outdoor adventure park near Cartersville, Georgia. You can also go wakeboarding here but I’m not coordinated enough for that. There’s also a lot to do in the Cartersville-Bartow area to make your trip here an overnight adventure.

Terminus Wake Park in Cartersville, Georgia.
Terminus Wake Park

Cost: $24-$28 a person depending on if it’s a weekday or weekend/holiday
Hours: Open daily usually from Noon-8 pm but check the website for updated hours.
Distance from Greenville: 3 hours and 15 minutes
Highlights: Huge aqua course with body slides, climbing wall, cabanas with beanbag chairs for parents/spectators, wakeboarding, big bathroom for changing
Address: 171 LakePoint Pkwy, Cartersville, GA 
Kidding Around Review of Cartersville-Bartow (includes Terminus Wake Park)

Would you try out one of these aqua parks? Did we miss your favorite place? Let us know in the comments


Where to go swimming and play in splash pads near Greenville, SC.

If you are looking for more places to swim, check out our Guide to Where to Swim and Splash This Summer!


What You Need to Know for a Day at Carolina Panthers Training Camp

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The Carolina Panthers Training Camp is a unique opportunity to watch a professional football team up close, and it should be on every Spartanburg family’s bucket list! After a two-year absence from the training facility at Wofford, the Carolina Panthers are back in Spartanburg.

We’ve got all the info you’ll need if you plan on going to watch the Carolina Panthers train at Wofford this year!

Play 60 Park in Spartanburg, SC
Play 60 Carolina Panthers Park in Spartanburg, SC

This article includes:
How to Attend Panthers Training Camp in Spartanburg, SC
Things to Do in Spartanburg During Training Camp
How to Get a Panthers Autograph
“Back Together” Free Panthers Fan Event in Spartanburg, SC
See the Panthers in Charlotte, NC at Fan Fest

Carolina Panthers Training Camp In Spartanburg, SC

The 2023 Carolina Panthers’ Training Camp will be held July 22nd – August 10th, 2023

When Carolina Panthers Training Camp roars into Wofford College in Spartanburg, fans of professional football should be sure to head to this beautiful campus to watch!

Whether you have multiple trips under your belt or are visiting for the first time, this information will be handy to help you make the most of a day watching the Carolina Panthers Train.

Carolina Panthers Training Camp
Carolina Panthers Training Camp 2016 Wofford College Spartanburg, SC

What to Expect at a Carolina Panthers Training Session

Not sure what to expect? Here’s a video of a 2021 practice session.

2023 Carolina Panthers Training Camp Schedule

Most training sessions are at 10:15 am but see the schedule below. Attendance is completely free, but NEW this year, you will need to reserve your free Panthers training tickets on Ticket Master.

There is a great parking map available on the Panthers Training Camp site.

The free Carolina Panthers’ training schedule is as follows:

  • July 26th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • July 27th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • July 31st, 2023 at 10:25 am
  • August 1st, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 4th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 5th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 6th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 8th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 9th, 2023 at 10:15 am (Joint Practice with the New York Jets)
  • August 20th, 2023 at 9 am (Joint Practice with the New York Jets)

There are two events not happening at Wofford Field. These are: July 29th, 2023 at 11 am (Back Together Saturday at Gibbs Field) and August 2nd, 2023 at 7 pm (Fan Fest Charlotte, NC- tickets are $5)

Attending The Carolina Panthers’ Training Session in Spartanburg, SC

Seating is first come – first serve along the grassy hillside of the training practice field at the back of the campus. Strollers, coolers, and non-alcoholic beverages are welcome at the training camps, as well as sunshade umbrellas and folding chairs. Pop-up tents are not permitted.

In the event of inclement weather, practice times may be shifted or canceled. Updates for training camp status will be posted by the Panthers on Twitter.

Can I bring food to the Panthers Training Camp?

Yes! Coolers are allowed, with food and non-alcoholic beverages. No glass is permitted for safety reasons. You can also bring backpacks and bags, strollers, blankets, folding chairs, etc.

Visiting Spartanburg, SC for Training Camp

Fans of the Panthers will be visiting Spartanburg, some for the first time. The training camps are just a few hours in the morning, so that leaves the rest of the day to explore!

Guest Itinerary for Spartanburg Visitors to Carolina Panther Training Camp

Here are a few great things to do from Kidding Around Spartanburg:

  • Visit the Panthers themed Play 60 Park where kids can train like the pros. FREE
  • Summer equals kids wanting to splash around in the water, and who can blame them? Luckily Spartanburg has several splash pads and a waterpark to enjoy while you are visiting Spartanburg!
  • Grab the family, and hit the road, grabbing breakfast from a local coffee shop on the way to your chosen splash spot. Enjoy the sounds of kids laughing and having fun!
  • When lunchtime hits, you can grab another perennial summer favorite! We’ve got a list of local places where readers love to grab a hot dog, and then you can return to the splashing!
  • A long day in the sun will make everyone tired, so why not grab a family meal of BBQ to eat at the place where you are staying. If everyone has the energy and room in their bellies, you can treat the family to a frozen dessert at a local favorite!

Make The Most of Your Time With This Weekend Itinerary For A Trip to Spartanburg, SC

Where to Stay in Spartanburg, SC

Getting An Autograph From A Carolina Panther

Autographs are back this year! Fans will be hopefully able to get an autograph after practices are over. Look for the signs that will direct you to the area along the Field 1 fence. All players don’t necessarily stop there but there is certainly the potential for players to stop and sign autographs for fans.

Attending The Carolina Panthers’ Fan Fest in Charlotte, NC

Fan Fest is August 2nd at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. They have entertainment, inflatables, fun things for kids, and fireworks. Tickets are $5 a person.

Here is the schedule:
5:30 pm Gates Open
6 pm Entertainment Begins
7 pm Practice Begins
~9:15 pm Fireworks and laser show

Carolina Panthers Training Camp News

  • The Carolina Panthers have launched an app to help fans keep up do date and informed of all the things going on with the team.
  • Head Coach Frank Reich will take part in the training camp practices at Wofford this summer.
  • Rookie Quarterback first overall pick Bryce Young will also be at training camp, giving fans an early chance to likely see a new leader in action.

For more fun to be found when visiting the Carolina Panthers hometown, Check out the Kidding Around Ultimate Guide To Fun With Kids in Charlotte

The Lake Lure Beach and Water Park Is Surrounded by Beautiful Mountain Views

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Have you visited the Lake Lure beach and water park? The combination of a mountain lake with a sandy beach along with waterslides that run right into the cool mountain water is spectacular! Plus, you only have to pay one admission fee at this famous lake in North Carolina.

A local mom visited Lake Lure with her family. They had a blast! Read about their trip and catch all the tips so you’ll know just what to expect when you visit.

Hanging out in the water in tubes on Lake Lure.

Find a place to stay in Lake Lure, NC. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Getting to Lake Lure

After reading all about Lake Lure and its nostalgic filming of the movie “Dirty Dancing”, I was intrigued to make a day visit. From Greenville, Lake Lure is a little over an hour but well worth the beautiful scenic drive up into Chimney Rock State Park. From Greenville, you will use 25 North to I26 West to 2724 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure, NC 28746 (I also recommend using Google Maps for directions).

Also, don’t forget to bring a packed lunch as well as buckets and shovels for the kids, as the sand beach is ideal for sandcastle building. Once you get close to the Chimney Rock area, you will drive through a quaint little town and see an array of restaurants, shops, and gem mine stores for the kids. It has an old Western-type feel with the picturesque backdrop of Chimney Rock in the background. 

The Lake Lure Inn.

Having arrived at the lake around noon, we noticed that parking was filling up quickly but luckily there seemed to be several spots across the street in front of the historic Lake Lure Inn. Once we parked and gathered our beach gear, we headed through the main entrance where we were banded after paying the daily fee.

The admission for adults is $10 and kids 4 to 12 was $8, with under 4 free. You can find pricing and information on the Lake Lure website. The price of admission includes the water park and beach access.

Waterslides at the Lake Lure beach and water park.

Lake Lure: Beach and Water Park!

The kids spotted the water slides right as we entered and sped off. I noticed a lifeguard at the bottom of the slides in the water as well as a lifeguard standing by the swimming area in the lake. In addition to the slides and swimming is a splash pad, as well as a water balloon zone. You can purchase water balloons for an additional cost at the ticket counter. There are also restroom facilities and showers.

The water is roped for designated swimming and there were many people with rafts and water toys. You can easily spend all day at the beach with plenty to do for kids and adults. And of course, no trip to Lake Lure is complete without doing “the lift” from the movie Dirty Dancing, which was filmed here.

Lake Lure Boat Rentals

If you’d like to cruise around the lake in a kayak, paddleboard, or hydro bike, you can rent one on site. Stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and two-person kayaks are $20/hour or $85/all day while single kayaks are $18/hour or $70/all day. Hydro bikes are $12/hour. Rentals are available at the beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

If you want to bring your own non-motorized watercraft, you will have to pay a daily fee of $25, a weekly fee of $50, or a yearly fee of $100.

The Flowering Bridge at Lake Lure

Having swam, slid, and sunned our day away, it was time to head back, but not before uncovering an enchanting (and free) roadside attraction. 

The flowering bridge near Lake Lure in Western North Carolina.

On the way out from the resort area, there was a nice little surprise awaiting us, called The Flowering Bridge. It is free to walk the bridge and is filled with gardens of all types of flowers, plants, and scenery. We all enjoyed reading about the bridge’s history and learning about the various flowers.

There were little cutouts of secret gardens and sitting areas. Each section of the garden has cute facts pertaining to plant life with a list of every type of plant and flower. You may even spot a few butterflies! It was the perfect ending to a perfect day trip from Greenville.

Have you ever been to Lake Lure?

Sandy Mountain Beaches

Love a great mountain beach? Check out our list of Upstate mountain beaches for an excellent time with your family!

Kidding Around WNC: things to do in Western North Carolina towns

There’s more to love in WNC.

Find it all in our Kidding Around Guide to Western North Carolina.

Draper WMA Sunflower Fields: Gorgeous and FREE to Visit

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Have you heard about the sunflower fields at the Draper Wildlife Area? If you are looking for a magical place to take family photos or just a place to visit for fresh air and a change of scenery, we found a place just south of Rock Hill that won’t cost you a dime to enjoy. The Draper WMA Sunflower Fields are only in bloom for a few weeks over the summer, but if you hurry you can see them in full bloom.

DNR Sunflower field
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Best Beaches in the Southeast: Don’t Miss These Family-Friendly Beaches

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Looking for the best beach for a vacation near you? The Carolinas and other states in the Southeast are home to some of the best family beaches. We’ve included information on some top-rated beaches, plus other locations that were recommended by Kidding Around readers and families.

Some beaches are perfect for a day trip if you get an early start, and some will require a long weekend commitment. Whether you are looking for the closest beaches to Greenville, SC, or just trying to find “family-friendly beaches near me”, this list is a great place to start if you are planning a beach trip anytime soon.

Find a great beach near you!

Looking for "family friendly beaches near me?"

This article includes:
Best South Carolina Beaches
Best Beaches in North Carolina
Favorite Beaches in Florida
Top Beaches in Georgia
Reader Favorite Beach in Alabama

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