Things To Do With Kids in Charleston

Charleston is known for its scenic harbor views and the historic churches that dot its city skyline. Centuries-old mansions and cobblestone streets contrast delightfully against its more modern creative attractions. The Holy City may be one that at times feels lost in time, but families will be thrilled by its award-winning local restaurants, interactive museums, and nationally adored parks system. To discover the side of Charleston only the locals know and love, keep reading.

This bluesy southern city offers visitors of all ages a chance at excitement. Visit the oldest park in the country or catch thrills at the amusement park nearby. Try these popular ideas for things to do in Charleston with kids:

  • Ride through downtown like a royal on a horse-drawn carriage tour
  • Admire the blooming azaleas at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
  • Book a spooky fall haunt tour, where visitors wander the city’s most notable attractions with a personal guide
  • Ride the thrilling roller coasters at Carowinds in Charlotte
  • Book a shark-hunting cruise with Gillz n Thrillz

Charleston is packed with family-friendly deals that are unique to this southern city. Swim at the beach or wander the city. The options are endless for family-friendly things to do in Charleston, but start with these:

  • Bring the family on a Lost Stories of Black Charleston Walking Tour to learn about important African-American history
  • Pack a cooler and lounge at Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island
  • Go for a stroll across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
  • Swim in the ocean and then grab dinner at Poe’s Inn
  • Watch the sail boats come in at Pineapple Fountain

Charleston is known for its jazz clubs and moody gardens, and families are able to enjoy each of those for an affordable price. Make memories that last with the following free things to do in Charleston with kids:

  • Walk through the City Market, a giant 4-block market complex that serves as the cultural heart of the city
  • Visit the Charleston City Marina for the freshest fish in the city
  • At Middleton Place, smell the roses while touring the garden
  • Explore the funky galleries in the French Quarter neighborhood
  • Take a Charleston Water Taxi sightseeing cruise

When you want to treat the kids to a day of fun-filled adventure and exploration, head to the South Carolina Aquarium or play in the sand at the beach. Have a blast with the kids in Charleston by trying these activities:

  • Surf the whitewater at Folly Beach or build sand castles on the shore
  • Zip through the forest canopy on a ride with Charleston Zip Line Adventures
  • Splash through the fountain at Waterfront Park
  • Take a swamp-boat ride through the swampy waters at Cypress Gardens
  • Pet the piggies at the Magnolia Plantation petting zoo

Group activities require a special sort of planning, and Charleston simplifies that process by offering a variety of party-ready spaces for kids to enjoy. Try the following family-friendly group venues today:

  • Try your skill as an escape artist at Escape in 60
  • Feed your need for speed at Frankie’s Fun Park
  • Swim in the salty Caribbean waters at Splash Zone Waterpark
  • Spend the day outdoors with local wildlife on a Barrier Island Ecotour
  • Run around inside the world’s largest arcade at Adventure Cove Family Fun Center in Hilton Head

Charleston is a city where history comes to life inside its enthralling historic attractions. Learn about the Civil War, the U.S. navy, or aquatic habitats. Try these educational activities for kids:

  • Tour the city’s favorite historical hideaways on a Lowcountry Walking Tour
  • Visit Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired
  • Explore more than 60 aquatic habitats inside the South Carolina Aquarium
  • See the enormous USS Yorktown ship at the Patriots Naval & Maritime Museum
  • Get a closer look at medieval castles, pirates, and puppets at the Children’s Museum of Lowcountry

Lace up your tap dancing shoes and hit the dance floor. Or, sit in on a storytelling extravaganza. Here are the best creative and performing arts opportunities for kids in Charleston:

  • Paint your own pottery and make a keepsake at Kiln’ Time
  • Sign up your little one for a creative acting class at Storytree Children’s Theater
  • Create visual art in a small class setting at Art Connects Us
  • At the Gibbes Museum of Art, complete seasonal art projects
  • Paint a group painting alongside your peers at Fabulon

Some days, staying inside just feels right. Head to the indoor ice skating rink or run off energy at a gigantic play area. Here are popular indoor games for kids in Charleston:

  • Show off your ice-skating skills at Carolina Ice Palace
  • Clamor around the jungle gym and wall-to-wall obstacle course at Monkey Joes
  • Skate the night away at Music in Motion Family Fun Center
  • Learn about the world of reptiles at Edisto Island Serpentarium
  • See a comedic play at Dock Street Theatre