Discover Charleston

Things to Do With Kids in Charleston

It may be no coincidence that "children" and "Charleston" share many of the same letters of the alphabet: The two of them seem to go hand in hand. Three big water parks at county parks across the region and four major beaches top outdoor activity, particularly in the summer. Indoor possibilities, meanwhile, include a museum designed especially for the younger set and an aquarium that boasts a dozen exhibits, many animals and amphibians, and a 4-D Theater.

Add go-kart and mini-golf ops, World War II era ships in the harbor and 19th-century plantation-life re-enactors to the mix, you may think that keeping a kid happy in the Lowcountry is easy.

Here are 11 things to do that we think children, particularly, will enjoy:

South Carolina Aquarium

This is not your ordinary aquarium, especially one with a three-story, 385,000 gallon tank. Touted as North America’s deepest tank—42 feet—the Great Ocean Tank exhibits over 700 animals.

Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Nine interactive exhibits including a two-story Medieval castle, a pirate ship and an art room allow children to explore the arts, sciences and humanities through their own hands-on experiences. Open on the weekend for 2 hour play dates. Saturdays with 3 playdate times, 9:30am – 11:30am, 12-2pm, and 2:30-4:30pm.

Splash Island Waterpark

Splash around this rendezvous within Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park. Slides, sprays, geysers, waterfalls and more all have a tropical flair. Seasonal fun for the entire family. Open Sa-Su 10 am-6 pm May and Aug. -Sept. Open daily 10 am-6 pm, June -Aug. Admission: $6-$10.

Waterfront Park

Featuring the famous pineapple fountain (the symbol of hospitality,) this park a located just a couple of blocks north of the Battery is a wonderful spot from which to check out ships and sailboats in Charleston Harbor, watch kids play in the fountains, sit on a porch swing or take a leisurely stroll.

The Charleston Museum

Regarded as "America's first museum," this institution showcases a variety of cultural and natural history artifacts that tell the story of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Patriots Point Naval Maritime Museum

Experience the Medal of Honor museum and other exhibits aboard the WWII aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. Plan a camping overnight, squeeze your way through a Cold War submarine, experience a VR space mission, and try your hand at the Flight Academy's flight simulator. Need more ideas?

Frankie's Fun Park

A great place for little kids, big kids and those who still think they're kids, this park has it all: go-karts, mini golf, arcade, batting cages, bumper boats, a rock wall, a driving range and more. You pay as you play, so admission is free. Open M-Th 10 am-10 pm, F-Sa 10 am-midnight, Su 11 am-10 pm.

Charleston Fun Park

This Mount Pleasant amusement park is fun for the whole family, complete with go-carts, mini-golf, mini-bowling, an arcade and more. Open M-Th 2 pm-9 pm, F noon-11 pm, Sa 10 am-11 pm, Sun noon-8 pm.