What are some family-friendly activities in Charleston?
Let’s find you some good, clean fun. To make things more specific for what you might be looking for, we have split some of our favorite spots into two categories: indoor fun and outdoor fun. We’ve also included our suggestions for age ranges.
Indoor Fun In Charleston:
The South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401
Located along the waterfront of the wharf downtown, The South Carolina Aquarium is lauded as one of the best in the Southeast. The exhibits boasts over 5,000 species of animals with a focus on fauna from The Palmetto State--and not just sea creatures, you’ll find mountain-dwellers here as well.
A badge of pride for the aquarium is its Sea Turtle Hospital, a truly unique aspect of The South Carolina Aquarium experience. For a small fee, visitors and locals alike can tour The Sea Turtle Hospital daily at 12 noon and 12pm to witness the incredible presence of this endangered species.
Tip: Charleston’s aquarium does have a “touch tank”--so get your hands ready to dive in!
Charleston Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
25 Ann St, Charleston, SC 29403
The Children’s Museum is a wonderland for young minds and those who love to play. Located in the heart of downtown, but tucked back on Ann Street unbeknownst to the usual tourist foot traffic, The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry might be The Holy City’s best-kept family-friendly secret.
This arbiter of fun offers a treasure trove of programming from storytelling to arts and crafts, and even simple projects that focus on STEM criteria for those future engineers. There are plenty of opportunities to get your hands a little messy here, or just get in some much need running around.
Tip: Many of the offerings are drop-in, but others require registration, so be sure to check out the website and plan ahead.
P.S: Get a great deal with “Free Family Friday” on the second Friday of every month, 4-7pm.
131 Columbus Street, Charleston, SC 29403
The Alley will take you out of the hustle and bustle of the peninsula and into one of Charleston’s favorite places to play. There’s a little something for everyone here: arcade games, skeeball, miniature basketball, and of course--8 lanes of pins waiting to be toppled over.
The kitchen doles out bar favorites, like a burger with pimento cheese and fried green tomato on top, and we highly recommend The Holy City Nachos (the surcharge for added chicken is well worth it).
Tip: The arcade games are free on Wednesday nights from 5-8pm.
411 Wando Park Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
You’ll have to cruise inland to Mount Pleasant--the Charleston suburb sandwiched between downtown and Sullivan’s Island/Isle of Palms--to find SkyZone, but this mega complex trampoline park is the perfect find on a rainy day or if someone’s been spending too much time in the sun.
Grab some customized SkyZone socks and get to hopping. And this isn’t just the ordinary trampoline experience--you can literally bounce off the walls here. Not only that, but there’s a giant foam pit and staff-regulated dodgeball games.
Tip: Don’t pass by the basketball hoop to the left of the foam pit, where you can make all your slam dunk dreams come true.
Outdoor Fun In Charleston:
The Charleston Riverdogs (baseball)
360 Fishburne St, Charleston, SC 29403
Summertime in Charleston wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the ‘ole ball game--specifically Joe Riley, Jr. Stadium, home of The Charleston Riverdogs. Located along the Ashley River, “The Joe” offers beautiful river/marsh views just over the scoreboard and along the perimeter.
And while The Riverdogs may be in the minor leagues, their concession stands are known to draw some major leauge attention. Each season it seems The Riverdogs are trying to outdo themselves, whether it is with the toppings they put on their hotdogs, planting herb gardens or bringing in a smoker.
Tip: The Riverdogs are also known for their awesome (and often wacky) promotions. Keep an eye on the home schedule!
Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park & Pier
99 Harry M. Hallman Jr Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
Below the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge (home of the world famous Cooper River Bridge Run) sits The Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. Free and open to the public, the green space also offers plenty of parking. Here you will find a walking path and a playground for children under 12.
The 1250-foot long Mount Pleasant Pier sprawls into The Charleston Harbor with beautiful, wide-open views and ample seating for when your feet have had enough.
Tip: This is a great place to grab a scenic family photo!
Wild Blue Ropes Course
1595 Highland Ave, Charleston, SC 29412
Located on James Island, this ropes course provides a fun outdoor challenge. The course has been plotted out with 72 different obstacles and four designated pathways to create different levels of difficulty--from The Explorers Gateway path (ages 4-9) to The Wild Blue Yonder path.
Wild Blue also offers night climbs--so if you’re looking to expand your day in an active way, don’t let the sun setting deter you.
Tip: You can sign the Wild Blue waiver online ahead of your visit, so check out their website to get ahead.
145 Lockwood Dr, Charleston, SC 29403
HydroFly offers an adrenaline rush for the whole family--truly a unique experience out on the water. We love creating custom experiences that make each trip special. Check out a couple options below:
(Teens & Adults)
Ever been spurted into the air by pure water pressure? Flyboarding lets you take one heck of a ride. Byway of water jetpack, flyboarders are propelled up off the water, then soar as a jet ski zooms you across the water.
Wakeboarding & Tubing:
Got what it takes to ride the wave? Get your kicks by hopping on the HydroFly boat and strapping on a wakeboard. Newbie? No problem! Our staff is geared to help you “get up” for the first time and have fun doing it. Want something you can hold on to? We got the tube ready--and don’t think we’ll take it easy on ya!
Just want to cruise? Hey, we get it. Remember, you don’t have to have a boat, just a friend with a boat. We’re that friend. You can even plot out your course ahead of time to make sure you get the exact experience you want. When you say stop, we stop; when you say go--we go.
...but not just any tiki hut. HydroFly has a floating tiki hut complex. It’s like a two-story playhouse. There’s areas for diving and lounging, plus we always bring along our paddleboards for a little extra activity. There’s plenty of room on the tiki hut, so play games and play together or just find a warm spot in the sun.
Whichever options you choose, we hope you and your family find the fun in Charleston!