Though our time in the city was short, we ended up with a good list of things to do with kids in Charleson, SC. However, we didn’t start out that way.
The plan for our South Carolina trip was pretty simple. Kate was going to attend a chemistry conference in Charleston for the first part of the week, so the kids and I tagged along to see some sights while Mommy learned about molecules and stuff.
Then we all planned to head down to Kiawah Island for some beach time at the end of the week.
That’s about where the forethought ended.
Things To Do With Kids in Charleston, SC
We came to Charleston not knowing much about the city. Our crazier-than-the-usual-crazy schedules leading up to the trip kept us from doing really any research or planning.
So the typical morning routine at the hotel in Charleston involved a lot of Aurora and Jasper asking “what are we going to do today?” and me saying “I don’t know yet – let’s see what Google thinks we should do.”
Based on some highlights from our time in The Holy City we’ve put together this list of things to do with kids in Charleston.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is a former rice plantation on the Ashley River just a few minutes drive from downtown. The main draw at Magnolia are acres of gardens of all kinds, one rolling into the next in an informal style. We are big fans of botanical garden type attractions at most places we visit, so this was right up our alley.
South Carolina Aquarium
Coming from the Boston area, we have a pretty decent aquarium right in our backyard (the New England Aquarium in Boston) so any new aquariums have a high bar set for them. The South Carolina Aquarium did not disappoint us and we enjoyed a fun morning exploring its exhibits.
Charleston Horse Carriage Ride
The four of us were downtown one afternoon and noticed the abundance of horse-drawn (some mule-drawn as we would come to learn) carriages toting loads of tourists here and there. Of course, being tourists ourselves and not having had an opportunity to learn much about the history, architecture, or geography of the area on our own we decided to dive in and see what the fuss was about. We loved it!
Some days you’re just looking for something easy and fun. Brittlebank Park fit the bill for us as it was across the street from our hotel and full of fun stuff to keep us occupied, including an awesome playground and a fishing pier jutting into the Ashley River.
We honestly didn’t see a lot of Waterfront Park, but the bit we did see was so much fun that it had to make the list. The fountain at the end of Concord Street (north end of Waterfront Park) is one of the best splash fountains we’ve been to anywhere.
Boone Hall Plantation and Boone Hall Farms
While Magnolia Plantation & Gardens was overall a more kid-friendly plantation experience (mainly due to the petting zoo), Boone Hall Plantation and Farms should not be overlooked. In particular, the u-pick produce at Boone Farms is definitely worth a stop if the season is right.
Charleston Farmers Market
The Charleston Farmers Market is an awesome Charleston activity for kids for so many reasons:
- it’s in a park so there’s tons of space to run around and burn off energy
- it’s outdoors so being loud and rambunctious is totally fine
- there’s food for sale everywhere – well fed kids are happy kids!
- there’s all kinds of other stuff for sale, most of which can be touched, played with, and explored without too much worry of breaking it