Family Fun in Charleston: Activities for All Ages

If you’re searching for activities to enjoy with the kids in Charleston, SC, you’re in luck! This city has plenty of entertainment, attractions, and experiences to satisfy children of all ages. From educational opportunities to unique activities, there is something for every family member to appreciate. Here’s a compilation of incredible things to do in Charleston with kids. Keep reading to find out more about the city’s top educational, indoor, outdoor, and unique spots.

Key Takeaways

  • Charleston offers a wide range of activities for families, from historic sites to outdoor adventures.
  • Interactive museums and learning centers provide educational fun for children of all ages.
  • Nature and wildlife experiences allow families to connect with the environment.
  • Unique tours, such as pirate ship adventures and ghost tours, add a special touch to your visit.
  • Family-friendly accommodations and delicious dining options ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Exploring Charleston’s Historic Sites

Charleston is a treasure trove of historical landmarks that offer a glimpse into America’s past. Families can embark on a journey through time as they explore these fascinating sites. Each location provides a unique experience that is both educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages.

Outdoor Adventures for the Whole Family

family outdoor adventure Charleston

Charleston offers a plethora of outdoor activities that are perfect for families looking to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Here are three of our favorite outdoor spots in the city.

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is a must-visit for families. With its scenic views of the Charleston Harbor, it’s an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. Kids will love the splash fountains, and parents can relax on the swinging benches. Don’t miss the iconic Pineapple Fountain, a favorite photo spot for visitors.

Folly Beach

For a day of sun and sand, head to Folly Beach. This family-friendly beach offers plenty of activities, from building sandcastles to surfing the waves. The laid-back atmosphere makes it a great place for families to unwind. Folly Beach Pier is also a popular spot for fishing and taking in the stunning ocean views.

Charleston Waterfront Park

Charleston Waterfront Park is another fantastic destination for families. The park features beautiful gardens, fountains, and plenty of open space for kids to run around. It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic or simply relax and take in the views of the Cooper River. The park’s proximity to downtown Charleston makes it a convenient stop during your family adventure.

Interactive Museums and Learning Centers

family at interactive museum Charleston

Charleston offers a variety of interactive museums and learning centers that are perfect for families looking to combine fun with education. These venues provide hands-on experiences that will captivate both children and adults alike.

Nature and Wildlife Experiences

The South Carolina Aquarium offers an immersive experience where families can explore marine life native to the region. Kids will be thrilled to see the touch tanks and interactive exhibits, which provide a hands-on learning experience. Don’t miss the daily dive shows and the chance to see the resident sea turtle, Caretta.

A visit to the Charleston Tea Garden is both educational and relaxing. Families can take a trolley tour through the tea fields and learn about the tea-making process from plant to cup. The lush, green environment is perfect for a leisurely stroll, and the free samples of tea are a delightful bonus.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a must-visit for nature lovers. The historic gardens are home to a variety of wildlife, including peacocks, alligators, and numerous bird species. The Nature Train and Wildlife Center offer additional opportunities for kids to learn about the local ecosystem. Exploring the beautifully landscaped gardens provides a glimpse into the past and a chance to see animals up close.

The unforgettable wildlife interactions and beautifully landscaped gardens at Magnolia Plantation will keep your kids on their toes.

Unique Charleston Tours

Pirate Ship Adventure

Set sail on a thrilling Pirate Ship Adventure where the whole family can experience life as a pirate. Kids will love the interactive treasure hunts and pirate-themed activities. This tour is perfect for sparking imagination and adventure.

Ghost Tours

Dive into the spookier side of Charleston with a Ghost Tour. These tours are designed to leave everyone in your family spellbound. Please note, some tours may not be suitable for young children, so it’s best to consult with the tour operator beforehand.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Experience Charleston’s historic charm with a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride. This leisurely tour offers a unique perspective of the city’s beautiful architecture and rich history. It’s a relaxing way to explore Charleston’s historic sites and learn about its past.

Family-Friendly Festivals and Events

Spoleto Festival USA

Experience the magic of the Spoleto Festival USA, a premier event that showcases Charleston’s vibrant art scene. This festival offers a variety of performances, including theater, dance, and music, making it perfect for families looking to explore art tours and family-friendly activities.

Charleston Farmers Market

The Charleston Farmers Market is a delightful spot for families to enjoy fresh produce, local crafts, and delicious food. Held every Saturday, this market is a great way to immerse yourself in Charleston’s rich cultural tapestry while enjoying some quality family time.

Holiday Festival of Lights

The Holiday Festival of Lights is a must-visit event during the festive season. With millions of twinkling lights, holiday-themed displays, and fun activities, this festival is sure to create lasting memories for the whole family. Don’t miss the chance to explore the culinary delights and historic venues that Charleston has to offer during this magical time.

Delicious Dining Options for Kids

Charleston offers a variety of dining options that cater to families with children. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, there’s something for everyone.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants

For a delightful breakfast, head to Daps, where the whole family can enjoy a hearty start to the day. If sandwiches are more your style, Brown Dog Deli offers a huge selection of gourmet options, including plenty of veggie choices. Don’t miss the biscuits at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit; they’re a hit with kids and adults alike.

Ice Cream Shops

Cool down with a visit to one of Charleston’s many ice cream shops. Glazed is known for its gourmet doughnuts, but their ice cream is equally impressive. For a sweet treat, Sugar Bakeshop offers an impressive selection of cakes and cookies that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Family-Friendly Cafes

Basic Kitchen is a great spot for health food in an upscale, hip environment. While it’s not specifically aimed at families, kids are always welcome. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a nutritious meal together.

When dining out in Charleston, you’ll find that many places are not only welcoming to kids but also offer menus that cater specifically to younger palates.

Fun on the Water

Kayaking Tours

Experience Charleston’s waterways up close with a kayaking tour. Paddle through serene marshes and get a chance to see local wildlife. Adventure Harbor Tours offers guided trips that are perfect for families looking to explore the natural beauty of the area.

Dolphin Watching Cruises

Set sail on a dolphin watching cruise and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Speed Boat Adventures provides an exhilarating experience that combines the thrill of speed with the joy of dolphin spotting. It’s a must-do for families visiting Charleston.

Fishing Charters

For those who love to fish, Charleston offers a variety of fishing charters. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, you’ll find a charter that suits your needs. All In One Charters is a popular choice, offering everything from inshore to deep-sea fishing adventures.

There’s nothing quite like spending a day on the water in Charleston. From kayaking to dolphin watching and fishing, there’s an activity for every family member to enjoy.

Creative and Artistic Activities

Art Classes for Kids

Charleston offers a variety of art classes tailored specifically for children. These classes provide a fantastic opportunity for kids to explore their creativity and develop new skills. From painting to pottery, there’s something for every young artist to enjoy.

Craft Workshops

Craft workshops in Charleston are perfect for families looking to spend quality time together while making something unique. These workshops often include activities like jewelry making, scrapbooking, and DIY home decor projects. It’s a wonderful way to bond and create lasting memories.

Theater Performances

Introduce your children to the magic of live theater with family-friendly performances in Charleston. Many local theaters offer shows that are suitable for all ages, ensuring an entertaining experience for everyone. Theater performances can inspire a love for the arts and provide a fun outing for the whole family.

Engaging in creative and artistic activities not only nurtures children’s imaginations but also strengthens family bonds through shared experiences.

Relaxing Spots for Family Picnics

Hampton Park

Hampton Park is a serene oasis perfect for a family picnic. With its expansive lawns, beautiful gardens, and shaded areas, it’s an ideal spot to relax and enjoy a meal together. Kids can run around and play while parents unwind under the trees. Don’t forget to bring a blanket and some outdoor games!

James Island County Park

James Island County Park offers a variety of picnic spots surrounded by nature. The park features picnic tables, grills, and plenty of open space for kids to play. After your meal, you can explore the walking trails, visit the playground, or even rent a paddleboat. It’s a great place for a full day of family fun.

White Point Garden

Located at the southern tip of the Charleston Peninsula, White Point Garden provides a picturesque setting for a family picnic. The park is filled with historic monuments, beautiful oak trees, and stunning views of the harbor. Pack a lunch and enjoy the scenic surroundings while the kids explore the open spaces and learn about Charleston’s history.

For a memorable family outing, these picnic spots in Charleston offer the perfect blend of relaxation and fun. Whether you’re looking for a quiet retreat or an active day out, you’ll find the ideal spot to enjoy quality time with your loved ones.

Indoor Fun for Rainy Days

Indoor Play Areas

When the weather isn’t cooperating, Charleston has plenty of indoor play areas to keep the kids entertained. Bizzy Bee Indoor Play Center is a fantastic spot where children can burn off some energy with various play structures and activities. It’s a safe and fun environment for kids of all ages.

Trampoline Parks

For those who love to jump, Sky Zone is the place to be. This trampoline park offers a variety of activities, from freestyle bouncing to dodgeball and even fitness classes. It’s a great way for the whole family to stay active and have fun, regardless of the weather outside.

Bowling Alleys

Bowling is a classic indoor activity that the entire family can enjoy. Head over to one of Charleston’s family-friendly bowling alleys for a few games. Many of these venues also offer arcade games and snack bars, making it a perfect spot for a rainy day outing.

Don’t let the rain dampen your spirits. Charleston offers a variety of indoor activities that ensure fun for the whole family, no matter the weather.

Where to Stay: Family-Friendly Accommodations

When planning a family trip to Charleston, finding the right place to stay is crucial for a memorable experience. Charleston offers a variety of family-friendly accommodations that cater to all needs and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for everyone.

Hotels with Kids’ Amenities

For those who prefer the convenience of hotels, Charleston has several options that are perfect for families. The Mills House Charleston, Curio Collection by Hilton, is a historic hotel with a lovely pool, making it a great choice for families. Another excellent option is the French Quarter Inn, known for its welcoming atmosphere and kid-friendly services.

Vacation Rentals

If you’re looking for a more home-like experience, vacation rentals are a fantastic choice. Charleston boasts a range of beautiful homes available for rent, providing the flexibility of self-catering and a taste of local life. Many of these rentals come with amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, multiple bedrooms, and even private pools.

Camping Sites

For families who love the great outdoors, Charleston offers several camping sites that provide a unique and adventurous stay. These sites are equipped with essential facilities and are located in scenic areas, allowing families to enjoy nature while staying close to the city’s attractions.

Whether you choose a hotel, vacation rental, or camping site, Charleston has something to offer every family. Make sure to book in advance to secure the best accommodations for your trip.


Overall, Charleston, SC, offers many activities that kids of all ages will love, including exploring history, unleashing creativity, connecting with nature, or experiencing the city’s unique attractions. Your family has so many options for making unforgettable memories together. Whether you’re strolling along the beach, visiting a museum, or catching a show, Charleston is made for family fun. Looking for more things to do in Charleston? Check out our blog for more information!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see historic sites in Charleston for families?

Charleston offers several historic sites that are perfect for families, including Fort Sumter National Monument, Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.

Are there any family-friendly beaches in Charleston?

Yes, Folly Beach and Charleston Waterfront Park are great options for families looking to enjoy some beach time.

What interactive museums can we visit in Charleston?

Families can visit The Charleston Museum, Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, and North Charleston Fire Museum for interactive and educational experiences.

Where can we experience nature and wildlife in Charleston?

The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Tea Garden, and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens offer wonderful nature and wildlife experiences for families.

Are there any unique tours in Charleston that kids will enjoy?

Yes, kids will love the Pirate Ship Adventure, Ghost Tours, and Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides.

What are some family-friendly festivals and events in Charleston?

Families can enjoy events like the Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston Farmers Market, and the Holiday Festival of Lights.

What dining options are available for kids in Charleston?

Charleston has many kid-friendly dining options including restaurants, ice cream shops, and family-friendly cafes.

What activities are available for families on the water in Charleston?

Families can enjoy kayaking tours, dolphin watching cruises, and fishing charters for fun on the water.

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