Best Things To Do In Charleston With Kids

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In this post, read the best things to do in Charleston with kids and enjoy some family-related stuff in Charleston, SC.

ALSO READ: Perfect 3 Days in Charleston Itinerary (With Maps)

things to do in charleston with kids

Things To Do In Charleston With Kids

Charleston is worth visiting with kids because it offers a rich historical experience, interactive attractions, and educational opportunities that engage and entertain young minds. The city’s family-friendly atmosphere, outdoor adventures, and welcoming hospitality create a memorable and enjoyable vacation for the whole family.

Best Things To Do In Charleston With Kids – Activities

  1. Visit the South Carolina Aquarium: Explore a variety of marine life exhibits, including sea turtles, sharks, and interactive touch tanks. 
  2. Take a carriage ride through historic downtown: Enjoy a guided tour of Charleston’s historic district in a horse-drawn carriage, learning about the city’s rich history and architecture. Complete Charleston Travel Guide - best things to do in charleston with kids
  3. Explore the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry: Let your kids engage in hands-on exhibits and activities that promote learning through play, including a pirate ship, a medieval castle, and a water play area.
  4. Play at the Waterfront Park and Pineapple Fountain: Let your kids splash around in the interactive fountains while enjoying beautiful views of the Charleston Harbor and the iconic Pineapple Fountain. The iconic Pineapple Fountain is a popular photo spot and an excellent place for a family picnic. 3 Days in Charleston Itinerary - weekend getaway
  5. Visit the Charleston Museum: Discover the history of Charleston through exhibits featuring artifacts, fossils, and interactive displays, including a kid-friendly natural history gallery.  
  6. Take a boat tour to Fort Sumter: Embark on a boat ride to the historic Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Learn about the fort’s significance and enjoy the scenic harbor views. Things to do in charleston sc today
  7. Explore the Magnolia Plantation and GardensWander through beautiful gardens, take a nature train tour, and visit the petting zoo at this historic plantation, which also offers a nature-themed children’s program.

    3 Days in Charleston Itinerary - weekend getaway
    Plantations near Charleston, Sc

  8. Visit the Charleston City Market: Browse the vibrant open-air market, where you can find unique local crafts, art, and souvenirs. Enjoy sweetgrass basket weaving demonstrations and sample delicious treats.
  9. Go on a ghost tour: Charleston is known for its haunted history, and several family-friendly ghost tours offer a mix of spooky tales and history, providing a unique and thrilling experience.
  10. Spend a day at the beach: Charleston has several nearby beaches, such as Folly Beach and Isle of Palms, where you can relax, build sandcastles, swim, and enjoy water activities with your kids. Beaches Near Charleston SC - beaches in south carolina
  11. Explore Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum: Visit this interactive museum in Mount Pleasant, across the harbor from Charleston. Tour the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, explore a submarine, and see other military exhibits.
  12. Enjoy a dolphin cruise: Hop aboard a boat tour designed to spot dolphins in their natural habitat. Your kids will love seeing these playful creatures swim and jump alongside the boat.

    activities in Charleston with kids

  13. Go on a nature hike: Charleston has several parks and nature preserves that offer hiking trails suitable for families, such as James Island County Park and Caw Caw Interpretive Center. Enjoy the outdoors and spot local wildlife.
  14. Take a historical plantation tour: Visit one of the area’s historic plantations, such as Boone Hall Plantation or Drayton Hall, and take a guided tour to learn about the history of plantation life and the region’s past. plan a trip to charleston SC - day trips from Charleston sc - weekend road trips
  15. Attend a RiverDogs baseball game: If your family enjoys sports, catch a Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball game at the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Enjoy a fun and lively atmosphere while cheering on the home team. This is one of the fun things to do in Charleston with kids.

Hotels in Charleston’s Historic Downtown

Here are a few children-friendly mid-budget and exclusive hotels located in Charleston’s historic downtown:

  1. Homewood Suites by Hilton Charleston Historic District.
  2. Hyatt House Charleston Historic District.
  3. Courtyard Charleston Historic District.
  4. Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District.
  5. The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
  6. The Vendue.

These hotels generally offer amenities suitable for families, such as spacious rooms, complimentary breakfast, swimming pools, and convenient locations close to attractions. However, it is always a good idea to check specific details, reviews, and availability before making a reservation to ensure they meet your family’s needs and preferences.

Charleston Historic Downtown Video Tour

Why Charleston is a kids & family-friendly destination

Charleston, SC, is renowned as a family-friendly destination for several reasons:

  1. Rich History and Culture: Charleston has a fascinating history that can captivate the entire family. From the colonial era to the Civil War, the city offers numerous historic sites, museums, and guided tours that bring the past to life. Families can explore historic homes, visit plantations, and participate in interactive exhibits that educate and entertain. 3 Days in Charleston Itinerary - weekend getaway
  2. Kid-Friendly Attractions: Charleston boasts a variety of attractions specifically designed to engage and entertain children. From interactive museums like the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry to the South Carolina Aquarium, there are plenty of places where kids can learn, play, and have fun. These attractions often offer hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs tailored to different age groups.
  3. Outdoor Adventures: With its beautiful coastal location, Charleston provides ample opportunities for outdoor family adventures. Families can enjoy beach days, go on boat tours to spot dolphins, kayak through scenic marshes, or take nature hikes in nearby parks and nature preserves. Outdoor spaces like Waterfront Park offer playgrounds, fountains, and green areas where kids can run and play.

    3 Days in Charleston Itinerary - weekend getaway
    Beaches near Charleston, SC

  4. Family-Friendly Dining: Charleston’s culinary scene caters to families with a wide range of dining options. Many restaurants offer kid-friendly menus, high chairs, and accommodating staff. 
  5. Festivals and Events: Charleston hosts numerous family-friendly festivals and events annually. From the Charleston Wine + Food Festival to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, families can immerse themselves in local culture, enjoy live music, participate in hands-on activities, and indulge in delicious food.
  6. Southern Hospitality: Charleston is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere. The city’s residents are friendly and accommodating, making families feel comfortable and at ease. Local businesses and attractions often go the extra mile to ensure families have an enjoyable experience. day trips from Charleston sc weekend road trips
  7. Accessibility and Walkability: Charleston’s historic downtown area is compact and easy to navigate, making it convenient for families to explore on foot. Many attractions, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance of each other, reducing the need for extensive travel or transportation arrangements.
  8. Safety: Charleston is considered a safe city for families, with low crime rates and a strong sense of community. Families can feel secure while exploring the city’s various attractions and outdoor spaces.

These factors combine to make Charleston, SC, a family-friendly destination that balances history, culture, outdoor activities, and warm hospitality. Whether it’s engaging educational experiences, fun-filled adventures, or simply enjoying quality time together, Charleston provides a memorable and enjoyable vacation for families of all ages.

Kids-friendly day trips from Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC, is a fantastic destination and a gateway to various child-friendly day trips in the surrounding areas. Here are some options for kids friendly day trips from Charleston:

  1. Boone Hall Plantation: Located just a short drive from Charleston in Mount Pleasant, Boone Hall Plantation offers a glimpse into the region’s history and plantation life. Families can take guided tours of the plantation house, explore beautiful gardens, visit the petting zoo, and enjoy activities like corn mazes and hayrides during the fall season. One day in Charleston sc - 24 hours in Charleston tour
  2. Middleton Place: Another historic plantation near Charleston, Middleton Place provides a family-friendly experience with stunning gardens, a stable yard with friendly farm animals, and a butterfly lakeside walk.
  3. Edisto Island: Approximately an hour’s drive from Charleston, offers a serene and family-friendly beach getaway. The island features uncrowded beaches, nature trails, and the Edisto Island State Park, where families can picnic, hike, and go on guided kayak tours to explore the area’s unique ecosystem.

    edisto island - day trips from Charleston sc weekend road trips
    Pic Courtesy – Pixabay

  4. Hunting Island State Park: About a two-hour drive from Charleston, Hunting Island State Park is a natural playground for families. The park features a beautiful beach, hiking trails, a lighthouse, and a nature center. Families can swim, picnic, hike, spot wildlife, and climb to the top of the lighthouse for panoramic views.
  5. Charleston Tea Plantation: Situated on Wadmalaw Island, the Charleston Tea Plantation is a unique day trip option. Families can take a guided trolley tour of the tea plantation, learn about the tea-making process, and sample various teas. The plantation also hosts special events and festivals throughout the year.

These family-friendly day trips offer a mix of history, outdoor adventures, and unique experiences that can complement your visit to Charleston.

Vegan-friendly restaurants in Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC, offers a growing selection of vegan-friendly restaurants that cater to plant-based diets. Here are some notable options:

Also, you can do a Historic Downtown food tour. Best places to visit in Charleston SC

  1. Basic Kitchen
  2. Verde
  3. Huriyali
  4. Beech
  5. The Daily

Festivals or concerts in Charleston – Things To Do In Charleston With Kids

Charleston, SC, hosts various children-friendly festivals and concerts throughout the year. Here are a few examples:

3 Days in Charleston Itinerary - weekend getaway - fun facts about charleston sc

  1. Charleston Children’s Festival: This annual festival celebrates children with a day filled with interactive activities, games, arts and crafts, live performances, and more. 
  2. Charleston Kids Fair: Held at the Charleston Gaillard Center, the Charleston Kids Fair is a family-friendly event featuring live performances, interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and entertainment geared towards children. 
  3. Family Circle Cup Kids’ Day: As part of the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament, Kids’ Day is a dedicated event where families can enjoy various activities, including tennis clinics, inflatables, face painting, interactive exhibits, and performances. It’s an excellent opportunity to introduce kids to the sport of tennis and enjoy a day of family fun.
  4. Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival: This annual arts festival offers a range of family-friendly performances and events, including theater productions, music concerts, dance performances, and visual arts exhibitions. 
  5. Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series: At James Island County Park, the Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series offers family-friendly outdoor concerts featuring local and regional reggae bands. Families can bring blankets, chairs, and picnic baskets to enjoy the music and relax in the park.
  6. Charleston Farmers Market: The Charleston Farmers Market, held every Saturday during the spring and summer months, is a vibrant gathering featuring local vendors, artisans, food trucks, and live entertainment. 
  7. Symphony Sunday: The Charleston Symphony Orchestra presents Symphony Sunday as a free family concert at Marion Square. 

Remember to check the event schedules and details closer to your visit, as dates and specific activities may vary from year to year. These festivals and concerts provide opportunities for families to engage in arts, culture, and music while creating lasting memories together in Charleston, SC.

Frequently Asked Questions – Activities In Charleston With Kids

  • What are some must-visit attractions in Charleston for families with kids?  activities in Charleston with kids

There are several must-visit attractions for families in Charleston. The popular choices include the South Carolina Aquarium, Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, and Waterfront Park with the Pineapple Fountain. Additionally, exploring historic sites like Fort Sumter, taking a carriage ride, and visiting plantations like Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place offers unique experiences for families.

  • Are there any family-friendly outdoor activities in Charleston?

Absolutely! Charleston offers numerous family-friendly outdoor activities. You can spend a day at the beach on Folly Beach or Isle of Palms, go on a dolphin cruise, explore the beautiful gardens and nature trails at Magnolia Plantation or Cypress Gardens, or enjoy outdoor recreation at parks like James Island County Park.

  • Are there any educational and interactive experiences for kids in Charleston? 

Yes, Charleston has several educational and interactive experiences for kids. The South Carolina Aquarium provides a hands-on learning experience with its marine life exhibits. The Charleston Museum offers interactive displays and artifacts to learn about the city’s history. The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry has interactive exhibits encouraging play-based learning.  10 Best Things To Do This Weekend In Monterey CA

  • Are there any family-friendly events or festivals in Charleston? 

Charleston hosts a variety of family-friendly events and festivals throughout the year. The Charleston Wine + Food Festival, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, and Piccolo Spoleto Festival offer engaging activities, live music, and culinary experiences for the whole family. Check the events calendar for specific dates and details.

  • Can we take a boat tour or cruise to explore Charleston with the kids?  Beaches Near Charleston SC

A boat tour or cruise is a great way to explore Charleston with kids. You can embark on a harbor tour to learn about the city’s history, enjoy dolphin-watching cruises, or even take a ferry to visit Fort Sumter. Kids will love the excitement of seeing Charleston differently on the water.

  • Are there any family-friendly restaurants in Charleston? 

Charleston has a range of family-friendly restaurants catering to various tastes. Many establishments offer kid-friendly menus, high chairs, and accommodating staff. 

  • Are there any ghost tours suitable for families in Charleston? 

Yes, there are family-friendly ghost tours available in Charleston. These tours blend ghost stories and history, tailored for all ages. They offer a unique and slightly spooky experience for families exploring the haunted side of Charleston’s historic district.

  • Can we rent bikes or tour with kids in Charleston? 

Yes, bike rentals are available in Charleston, and you can take bike tours with kids. Exploring the city on bicycles is a fun and active way to see the sights. There are guided bike tours that cater to families and provide a safe and informative experience.

Nearest Airports – Charleston With Kids

Charleston, SC has its airport, Charleston International Airport (CHS), the nearest and most convenient airport for travelers flying directly to Charleston. 

  1. Charleston International Airport (CHS): This region’s primary airport is located in North Charleston, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Charleston. It offers numerous domestic flights and some international connections.
  2. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV): Situated in Savannah, Georgia, approximately 107 miles southwest of Charleston, this airport is an alternative for travelers visiting Charleston. It offers a broader range of flight options and is easily accessible via a scenic drive along Highway 17.
  3. Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR): Located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, approximately 95 miles northeast of Charleston, this airport is another option for travelers. It serves as a significant gateway to the famous beach destination of Myrtle Beach and offers a variety of domestic flights.

Now you know some of the best Things To Do In Charleston With Kids or activities in Charleston with kids.

More Charleston Travel Resources

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