8 fun things to do with kids in Charleston, South Carolina
Published Date: January 6, 2023
Charleston, South Carolina, is simply bursting with opportunities for exploration, whether you’re a history buff, beachcomber or foodie. But this town of roughly 135,000 is also a popular destination for families with kids. Why? It’s packed with family-friendly attractions and activities. Here are eight of our favorite things to do.
1. Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
Kids of all ages can get front-row views to over 5,000 creatures, including otters, fish, sharks, turtles, birds and more. The centerpiece of the South Carolina Aquarium is undoubtedly the 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank, the deepest in North America. This two-story tank is home to sharks, fish and a 220-pound sea turtle. The kids will also love the interactive touch tank and the Sea Turtle Recovery, where they can see firsthand how turtles are rescued, rehabilitated and released.
2. Wander through the Charleston Farmers Market
Located in downtown’s Historic District, the Charleston Farmers Market runs every Saturday from March through November. In addition to plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll discover delicious local snacks, crafts and artwork, activities and live entertainment. Grab a casual breakfast or lunch from a local vendor and enjoy some people-watching!
3. Cheer on the Charleston RiverDogs
The RiverDogs are Charleson’s hometown Minor League Baseball team. A trip to Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park (AKA “The Joe”) to cheer on the home team makes for a great spring or summer evening. Sundays at this riverside ballpark are family nights, where kids eat free and can even go out on the field before the game. Hang around after the game for player autographs and a chance to meet the RiverDogs mascots, Charlie and Chelsea.
4. Beat the heat at Splash Zone Waterpark
The weather can get hot and humid in Charleston, and a day at the Splash Zone Waterpark is the perfect way to cool off. For the younger family members, there’s a rainforest play structure with buckets, sprays and slides. Older kids will love sailing down the 200-foot-long open and tube slides. There’s also a 500-foot-long lazy river with sprays and waterfalls.
5. Explore Folly Beach
Folly Beach is located where the Folly River meets the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s the closest beach to Charleston proper. You’ll find white sand, crystal-clear water and plenty of activities like fishing, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. There’s also a vibrant boardwalk with locally owned shops, Lowcountry cuisine and live music.
6. Play at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Families with young children won’t want to miss the chance to spend a few hours at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. This interactive museum has permanent exhibits like an art room, theater (with dress-up costumes, of course), organic garden, pirate ship and grocery store. There’s also a special infant and toddler playspace for visitors from birth to age 3, filled with age-appropriate toys and books.
7. Marvel at the Angel Oak
Stop by Angel Oak Park to check out the incredible Angel Oak tree. The tree, on a property once owned by the Angel family, is believed to be over 400 years old. It’s an incredible 65 feet tall, with some branches spanning more than 180 feet. Under 17,000 square feet of shade, nature lovers of all ages can get up close to the tree. The park is also a great place to snap a few family photos with this awesome backdrop.
8. Get a hands-on history lesson at Patriots Point
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum has a myriad of kid-friendly exhibits. Start by taking a self-guided tour of the USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier that was home to some 2,000 naval officers and enlisted men. Inside the museum, you can sit in a fighter plane, try out a flight simulator and participate in an interactive scavenger hunt.
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