Family Activities » Charleston, SC

Family Activities in Charleston, SC

Ocean beaches, Revolutionary and Civil War museums, family fun centers, sprawling plantations, an aquarium -- when it comes to family fun, Charleston’s got it all.
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South Carolina Aquarium

The state’s many magical underwater worlds come alive at the South Carolina Aquarium. Rather than featuring only the incredible creatures living along South Carolina’s ocean coastline, the aquarium devotes special attention to the water-loving wildlife found all across the state. In the Mountain Forest regional exhibit your family will learn all about Brook Trout and River Otters. The Piedmont Gallery has several exotic specimens including the Fieryblack Shiner and the Greater Siren. Other exhibits include alligators, turtles, even lemurs. Don’t worry, the ocean’s well represented too, with sharks, octopus, jellyfish, plus a touch tank featuring stingrays, sea urchins and more.

Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens

Named a “must see” locale by NBC’s Daytime, there’s a reason Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens is “America’s Most Photographed Plantation.” From the towering, moss-draped oaks to the pristine, two-story columns on the front veranda, Boone Hall is a beautiful example of bygone days. One of the country’s oldest working plantations, Boone Hall still produces crops of strawberries, tomatoes, pumpkins and more in You-pick fields open to guests in-season. Boone Hall has been open to the public since 1956, allowing visitors to experience what plantation life was like. Take in the grounds on the guided Plantation Coach Tour and the House Tour, or explore on your own by following the self-guided tours and presentations.

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

Get creative with your kids during your visit to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. Art and imagination reign throughout the museum’s many interactive exhibits. Channel your inner  Shakespeare and put on a play at the Medieval Creativity Castle, then pretend you’re Peter Pan and go shadow chasing in the Shadow Cave. When the weather’s nice, head outdoors to the Children’s Garden, or have rainy day fun inside playing King of the Mountain and rolling balls on the Raceways. Don’t plan on staying completely dry inside, though -- the WaterWise exhibit encourages kids to get a little wet as they race boats and paint a color-changing wall with water. There’s more seaworthy fun to be had in Pirates exhibit where your kids can put on eye patches and walk the plank of a play pirate ship.

Whirling Waters Adventure Waterpark

You’ll never have as much fun at another government-run park once you’ve paid a visit to Whirling Waters Adventure Waterpark -- located inNorth Charleston Wannamaker County Park! The 15-acre, island-themed water wonderland has wet and wild fun perfect for entertaining kids of any age. Toddlers can splash the day away in the Lily Pad Lagoon, while those just a little older can take on the 10 interactive water features in Otter Bay. Teens and tweens can challenge each other to races on the 6-lane Riptide Run, brave the three slides of Tubular Twister, or take on the tides in the Big Kahuna wave pool. Don’t forget about the 66 water features and the 1,000-gallon dump bucket in the Big Splash Tree House, and for parents, the can relax while floating on the Rollin’ Lazy River.


The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Forget about history being “boring,” at The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon kids will be thrilled to learn about the past as they’re led through the eerie confines of the dungeon where storytellers spin yarns and tell tales of pirates and patriots. Guided tours are led by costumed docents who bring history to life by delivering their information “in character.” The tours focus primarily on Charleston’s history in the Revolutionary War and is accented by child-delighting stories of roving pirates and the tricks our troops played on the British. After the guided tour, explore the upper floors on your own and help your kids complete the museum’s scavenger hunt.