As summer winds down, it is a perfect time for the whole family to get away before the school year begins. The promise of great weather makes Charleston the ideal destination for a family getaway. There are stingrays to touch, otters to watch, pirate ships to climb, fly balls to catch, and lots of tasty food to eat. Check out our guide for suitable ways to fill your Charleston vacation with family-friendly activities and restaurants for kids of all ages.
The South Carolina Aquarium
Located right on Charleston Harbor, The South Carolina Aquarium is home to more than 5,000 plants and animals. Its Toddler Cove play area features life-size aquatic structures, perfect for those toddlers who like to jump and climb. The largest exhibit in the Aquarium, the Great Ocean Tank which extends from the first to the third floors of the Aquarium, is the tallest in North America and contains more than 300 animals. The Aquarium’s the Salt-marsh Aviary exhibit features a Touch Tank where guests can touch horseshoe crabs, stingrays and other marine animals.
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing, a state park that was once the site of the first permanent settlement in the Carolinas, has a natural habitat zoo featuring animals indigenous to the Carolina Lowcountry including bison, bears, and elk. The Otter Exhibit features a viewing area that provides a look at the animal’s movements underwater. Programs are also held regularly on The Adventure, a replica trading ship moored at the park.
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Take a visit to The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Charleston’s only hands-on learning environment designed just for children ages three months to 12 years and their families. The museum’s eight interactive exhibits range from a pirate ship to a Medieval Castle to an area just for infants and toddlers. The museum is within walking distance of the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel.
Bring the entire family to a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game. Games are held every week at Joe Riley Jr. Park located downtown. Each night, the RiverDogs have a variety of family-friendly activities. From face painting to kids running the bases, to kids eat free and fireworks displays, there is entertainment for everyone.
Described by the New York Times as a “must-eat” and locally viewed has one of the breakfast hotspots in Charleston, Toast is a great place for you and your family to enjoy the most important meal of the day. One of the most popular breakfast items on the menu is their twist on a breakfast classic, “The Deluxe French Toast,” stuffed with cinnamon apples or peaches and topped off with apple or peach syrup. If you aren’t in the mood for something sweet, they have an immense menu full of delicious dishes for everyone to enjoy. If you cannot make it in time for breakfast, you can always try again around lunch or dinner time because Toast offers breakfast all day.
Wondering where to savor lunch with the family? Ideally located on the Charleston Harbor, Fleet Landing is the perfect spot for you and your family to enjoy a great view with even better food. With outside seating, your kids are sure to experience the iconic Charleston scenery complete with dolphins, ships, birds, and the distinguished Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Savor the variety of delicious Southern cuisine with the best seat in town.
Home Team BBQ
Mentioned by USA Today and noted for its authentic barbeque, Home Team BBQ is a Holy City must, especially when traveling with the little ones. Known for its savory comfort food and extensive menu of entrée selections, you can’t go wrong with this classic cuisine. And to finalize your decision, Home Team is set with a delicious children’s menu, as well as an outside play area for kids of all ages. Don’t miss out on the best place for you and your family to enjoy Charleston’s most loved barbeque.
The perfect place for a date night where the kids can tag along as it offers something for everyone. Magnolias consists of three different dining areas and offers an extensive children’s menu for the kids. A great restaurant for your family vacation or if your sitter bails, without having to sacrifice an elegant meal paired with divine wines. Mom and Dad will be able to enjoy the Southern, romantic atmosphere and the kids will be happy too.
The Palmetto Cafe
Located inside the renowned Belmond Charleston Place hotel, the iconic Palmetto Cafe combines the very best of American Lowcountry cuisine with the freshest ingredients. Marvel in the giant glass windows whose immensity welcomes you by bringing the remarkable outside garden-like setting to life inside as well. Grab the little ones and dine al fresco in the lush courtyard, perfect for entertaining while your food is being prepared. Revel in the accommodations of the hotel’s Rooftop Relaxation package where children eat free with a paying adult.
Charleston is equipped with multiple family friendly activities to add to your itinerary kids of all ages will love. Parents will appreciate indulging in the scenery and dining the city has to offer. Most restaurants conveniently offer a children’s menu so the kids can always find something they will enjoy too. Come experience family fun the Charleston way.