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Top Kid-Friendly Places In Charleston

With its historic Southern charm, endless things to do and beautiful beaches, Charleston is one of the most popular Southeast cities for people of all ages. Charleston is also a great family-friendly destination with many unique attractions just for kids. Below are some of the top kid-friendly places in Charleston.

South Carolina Aquarium

A family favorite, the South Carolina Aquarium showcases aquatic life native to South Carolina such as loggerhead turtles, stingrays, sharks, otters and alligators. The aquarium offers kids of all ages the ability to see animals up close (and sometimes hands-on) while also providing education on aquatic life and conservation. There are often many events and activities just for kids and there is a 4-D theater.

Childrens Museum of the Lowcountry

A non-profit organization, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) offers interactive and fun exhibits where children can learn while playing. Kids can climb aboard a pirate ship, race boats down rapids or find gems under a waterfall. Unique exhibits such as these inspire creativity and teaches kids  to explore the world around them. Exhibits are unique to Charleston and SC such as exhibits where they can learn about the history of Charleston.

The Center for Birds and Prey at the Avian Conservation Center

Located on 150-acres, the Avian Conservation Center has over 100 birds from over 40 species from all over the world. The center is dedicated to the study and preservation of birds in addition to providing education on conservation initiatives and environmental issues.  Kids get to see birds up close and personal and enjoy the flying demonstrations of species such as hawks, falcons, eagles and owls.

Charles Towne Landing

South Carolina’s original birthplace, Charles Towne Landing is a favorite kid-friendly place to visit in Charleston. Children can experience many fun and educational outdoor attractions like Animal Forest, a 22-acre zoo that is home to animals like pumas, bison, black bears and alligators. Another favorite is The Adventure, an attraction that features a life-size reproduction of a typical trading ship from the 17th century and where kids can learn about what it was like to be a sailor in colonial times.

Middleton Place

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and is known as America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. The Gardens are 65 acres of beautiful blooms and tranquil bodies of water. Tours through the garden are available or enjoy the outdoors at your leisure. The Middleton Place also has a Stableyard where kids can see water buffalo, sheet, goats, hogs and more animals that have been at the Middleton Place for over two centuries. There is a carpenter, weaver and potter among others demonstrating the skills practiced by artisan slaves from the 18th and 19th century. The House Museum has been meticulously restored and visitors can tour the museum to learn about the role the Middleton’s played in American history.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens was founded in 1676 and is one of Charleston’s best attractions for kids. The beautiful gardens just by themselves are reason enough to come out to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens but there are other activities that kids will enjoy. There is a petting zoo where kids can get up close with animals like donkeys, mini horses, sheeps and see beautiful peacocks. There is an area where kids can dig for fossils and a garden maze that is fun to try to navigate through for people of all ages! You can take a boat cruise through the pristine marshes where kids can view wildlife and may even see an alligator! Other kid-friendly things to do at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens include taking a stroll around the lake to the Wildlife Observation Tower where you will get amazing views or take a ride on the Nature Train, a tram tour of the plantation’s wetlands, lakes, forests and marshes.

Folly Beach

You don’t have to stay on the beach to enjoy a relaxing day at Folly Beach. This charming island town is only a short drive away and is a great way to relax and let the kids just enjoy being kids. Many guests enjoy staying at our downtown Charleston hotel so they can be close to all the beauty and attractions found downtown but like to spend one day of their Charleston vacation at the beach.


Charleston is full of many other family-friendly attractions and activities than just those listed above. From the horse carriage tours and ghosts tours to the USS Yorktown and Fort Sumter, your kids will enjoy a fun family vacation in Charleston that they will remember for years! Get your  family’s Charleston vacation started by booking our Charleston family vacation special called Waves of Family Fun.

Posted in News by French Quarter Inn on July 11, 2012