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Kid-friendly activities in Charleston

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Charleston, SC has to offer — complete with art classes, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.

A family looks at a turtle in the aquarium.

Pro tip: An Aquarium membership is the perfect gift for all the hard-to-shop-for folks in your life — it’s a gift that keeps on giving, all year long.

Photo provided by the South Carolina Aquarium

Table of Contents

We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry to outdoor gems like Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, there’s something in the Holy City for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the youngsters with this list of 25 kid-friendly activities around the 843.

Charleston Museum Jan 2023

You can’t miss this whale skeleton at the museum.

Photo provided by The Charleston Museum

🧠 Educational activities

The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. | $5+
Kids can examine fossils, explore historic artifacts, and learn about the Lowcountry’s cultural and natural history. Kids will remember trying on colonial clothing.

McLeod Plantation Historic Site, 325 Country Club Dr. | $6+
Visit this 37-acre Gullah Geechee heritage site to learn about slavery and the lives of those that lived and worked on the site in a way that is accessible for children. Kids will remember what they learned on the guided tour.

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, 25 Ann St. | $13+
This museum has everything from an art room where kids can express themselves to a garden that teaches the basics of botany. Kids will remember making friends aboard the pirate ship.

North Charleston Fire Museum, 4975 Centre Pointe Dr., North Charleston | $6
Aspiring firefighters will love interactive displays and safety demonstrations. Kids will remember lifting heavy gear.

Pirate Ship

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry’s new ceilings + track lighting | Photo by Leigh Webber via Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

🎳 Indoor adventures

Sky Zone, 411 Wando Park Blvd., Mt. Pleasant | $18+
Jump out all that energy at this indoor trampoline park. Kids will remember learning aerial acrobatics.

The Alley, 131 Columbus St. | $35+ per lane
Make this the birthday party of the year with bowling and arcade games like Galaga, Skee-Ball, and pinball. Kids will remember falling in love with all the games you played when you were young.

Summit Adventure Park, 1964 Ashley River Rd. | $23+
Between dodgeball, soccer, and an arcade zone, there’s something for everyone at Summit Adventure Park. Kids will remember their first slam dunk.

Splash Island Waterpark | Photo by @palmettomermaidmommy

Splash Island Waterpark | Photo by @palmettomermaidmommy

🌊 Splash around

MLK, Jr. Pool, 155 Jackson St. | $1.50+
The year-round pool offers youth summer rates as low as 50 cents. Kids will remember beating the heat.

Splash Island Waterpark, 444 Needlerush Pkwy., Mt. Pleasant | $2/person gate admission, $8.99 general park admission
Kids can splash around sprays, geysers, and raindrop waterfalls, plus slides for the older kids. Kids will remember the 200-ft body flume.

Splash Zone Waterpark, 871 Riverland Dr. | $2/person gate admission, $11.99 general park admission
The rainforest play structure with slides is a highlight of this park for the smaller kids. Kids will remember the sprays and waterwalls of the 500-ft lazy river.

R.L. Jones Center Pool, 391 Egypt Rd., Mt. Pleasant | $5+
This indoor pool is perfect for rainy days and also offers swim lessons, non-competitive swimming, and water safety classes. Kids will remember learning to swim.

folly beach

Life is jolly when you head to Folly. | Photo by CHStoday

⛱️ Hit the beach

Folly Beach | Free
Frolic at this family-friendly beach and enjoy beach staples like collecting shells and boogie boarding. Kids will remember building castles in the sand.

Sullivan’s Island | Free
Spend a day in the sun, then grab a bite to eat at Home Team BBQ — known for its award-winning barbecue. Kids will remember the live entertainment.

Isle of Palms | Free
Pack your sunscreen and explore seven miles of beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Kids will remember splashing in the water.

Splash Zone Waterpark | Photo by @charlestoncountyparks

Splash Zone Waterpark | Photo by @charlestoncountyparks

🎢 Thrill-seeking fun

Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, 8888 University Blvd., North Charleston | $18.99
The Big Kahuna wave pool and giant slides will be a surefire draw for the bigger kids while the younger ones can enjoy the Big Splash Tree House. Kids will remember getting splashed by the giant bucket.

Charleston Fun Park, 3255 N. Hwy 17, Mt. Pleasant | $3+
Treat the family to bumper cars, go-karts, and even axe throwing. Kids will remember leaving you in the dust during a race.

Wild Blue Ropes, 1595 Highland Ave. | $21
Check out this outdoor climbing park serving all skill levels. Kids will remember the 15-ft high course.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

Pet the animals.

Photo provided by Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

🦁 Animal encounters

South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf | $28.95+
This aquarium has more than fish — kids can encounter 5,000+ animals including turtles and bald eagles. Kids will remember feeding a cownose ray in the touch tank.

Bee City Zoo, 1066 Holly Ridge Ln., Cottageville | $17
Head to this educational bee farm and interactive zoo. Kids will remember hand-feeding monkeys.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, multiple locations | $35+
Kids can ride ponies and pet animals in the “Kid Zone” at Brittlebank Park or marvel at birds of prey flight demonstrations in Marion Square during this annual celebration. Kids will remember their first camel ride.

The Zoo and Nature Center, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Rd. | $15+ admission, exhibit included
View rescued and indigenous animals like gray foxes and bobcats. Kids will remember coming face to face with venomous snakes.

The Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Rd. | $7+
See animals like otters, bears, and pumas in this 22-acre habitat. Pro tip: Be sure to go early and wear comfortable shoes. Kids will remember learning about unique animals.

With this landscape, we’ll take a walk any day.

🌳 Great outdoors

James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Dr. | $2
Featuring four miles of paved trails and one mile of unpaved trails, this park is perfect for young legs. Kids will remember renting a bike or kayak.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center, 5200 Savannah Hwy., Ravenel | $2
Catch a glimpse of wildlife across more than six miles of natural trails featuring trail-side exhibits. Kids will remember spotting songbirds, otters, and deer.

Joe Riley Waterfront Park, Vendue Range, Concord Street | Free
Kick your feet up on the family-sized swing and bring a picnic. Kids will remember splashing in the fountain.

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