This post may contain affiliate links for which I may earn a small commission if items are purchased via the link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
Planning a trip to Charleston, South Carolina with kids? There are lots of things to do in Charleston with kids! Charleston is a great city to visit with kids, with lots of family-friendly restaurants, activities and even nearby beaches. Keep reading for some fun things to do in Charleston with kids.
Best time to visit Charleston
The best time to visit Charleston is March to May or September to November, when temperatures are mild but not hot and humid. We were told by many not to go in August, which is when our trip was. Well it was in the high 70s and low 80s during our entire time here in August and we even used sweatshirts in the evening!
Where to stay in Charleston with kids
If you’re looking for a family friendly hotel in Charleston, there is no shortage. We stayed at the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel. It’s located right in the middle of the city and once you are here, you can walk pretty much anywhere. The property is beautiful, centrally located with friendly staff. I recommend it when visiting Charleston with kids!
Things to do in Charleston with kids
Charleston is a very kid-friendly city and there are lots of things to do in Charleston with kids. Here are some fun things to do with kids in Charleston.
Walk around the Historic District
We loved seeing the gorgeous buildings and homes here! This is one of the best things to do with kids in Charleston. They will love seeing the rainbow colored structures and it makes for great photo ops. Rainbow Row is the most popular, however keep walking and you’ll find lots of other beautiful buildings.
Visit the famous Pineapple Fountain
Inside the Joe Riley Waterfront Park, you’ll find the famous Pineapple Fountain. Kids are allowed to go into the fountains in this park and many were cooling off when we visited. This park is also by the water, making for a great family walk in Charleston.
Visit the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Another fun thing to do with kids in Charleston is visiting the local children’s museum. Right in the middle of downtown is Charleston’s children museum. It’s not big but a great way to spend some time away from heat and rain.
Check out the Charleston Historic Market
Open daily from 9:30-5:30, this indoor market spans several blocks and has lots of local vendors selling pretty much anything you can imagine. This is a great way to support locals and get some cute souvenirs in the process! Strolling through the Charleston Market is one of the best things to do with kids in Charleston.
Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
Right in the middle of Charleston is the South Carolina Aquarium. It quickly became one of our favorite aquariums that we have visited! There are lots of exhibits and lots of volunteers throughout the aquarium with different animals, answering any questions you may have. We loved our visit and highly recommend visiting the aquarium when in Charleston with kids.
Visit a local beach
Charleston is close to several beaches, so you have some options if you want to visit a beach near Charleston. We chose Sullivan’s Island for our beach visit. Keep in mind if you come here, it’s your typical East coast beach where you park 17 miles away and walk another 47 to reach the water. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration but that’s exactly what I remember from when we lived on the East coast and this was no different! If you have young kids, basically be prepared for a very long, hot walk.
Where to eat in Charleston with kids
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly restaurant in Charleston, there are many options! Here are some of our favorite family and kid friendly Charleston restaurants.
Now this might not seem like a kid friendly restaurant in Charleston, but we went with Milana and loved it! They have a decent kid menu and some amazing steaks. As long as your kids aren’t the scream at restaurants type, we found them to love kids and saw quite a few while there and all were well behaved. The staff here is unbelievably welcoming and friendly and the owner himself came by our table multiple times to make sure we liked our meal.
The oysters are amazing and the steaks were really good. We each ordered filets and loved them. Their sides are all amazing and if you have 2-3 people, you are allowed to order half portions even though the menu doesn’t specify that. We tried half portions of the spinach, the brussel sprouts and mac and cheese and they were all amazing. The brussel sprouts are the best we’ve ever had, I wish I could recreate it at home!
Milana chose a burger as her meal and it was one of the best we’ve tried and perfectly cooked to a medium temperature. The burger was massive, we joked that it has to weigh close to a pound. And the best part? It was only $12! Don’t skip this place if you want some amazing service and food, it was one of the best restaurants in Charleston.
Pizzeria Di Giovanni
If you like pizza then this place is a must! It’s near the Charleston market and sells huge slices. The pizza tasted like the pizza we had in NJ/NY when we lived in the area. Highly recommend if you want a quick, no fuss meal.
Swig & Swine
If you’re looking for a family friendly restaurant in Charleston, look no further than Swig & Swine. This was some of the best bbq we’ve ever had. We tried the brisket, chicken, pulled pork and ribs and all were amazing. Don’t forget the banana pudding for dessert! This tops our list for kid friendly restaurant in Charleston.
Hyman’s was a short walk from our hotel and every single time we would walk by, there would be a ton of people outside waiting for a table. So on a Monday morning right when they opened, we decided to try them. There was no wait and we were seated right away.
This is one of our favorite restaurants in Charleston! If you’re looking for a kid-friendly Charleston restaurant, this is it. The food here is amazing, it’s really hard to pick a bad item. We ordered the Carolina Delight appetizer with shrimp (free if you check in on Yelp) and it was absolutely amazing! The description doesn’t sound great but it was really good.
For lunch, we shared the pick 3 plate with buffalo shrimp, salmon and shrimp and grits. Everything was unbelievably good. I highly recommend this restaurant when visiting Charleston with kids!
Handy and Hot
Do you like biscuits? Then this is a place for you! We found this place because it was connected to our hotel but we saw lots of locals enter from the street side. They have biscuit sandwiches, hand pies, and a nice coffee selection. Perfect place for a quick morning bite. We tried the hand pies another morning and loved both the blueberry and cheeseburger ones.
Off Track Ice Cream
If you’re looking for great dessert in Charleston, check this place out. It’s just off King Street and they have some really good ice cream. I had the key lime pie and Milana had the strawberry, both were delicious!
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
This was our favorite ice cream store in Charleston! Unlike many places, they only use natural ingredients and no artificial colors. Milana ordered the rocket pop, which was super blue thanks to spirulina which we also use at home for chia pudding and smoothies. It was really good, the blue was blueberry and the white pineapple. I had the vegan lemon bar which was amazing!
Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts
If you’re looking for doughnuts in Charleston, then check out this place! The owner is super friendly and they have some interesting combinations. Milana ordered the smoked sea salt butterscotch and loved it.
Have you visited Charleston with kids? It quickly became one of our favorite US cities to visit with kids! You have the best of both worlds. From the beautiful historic downtown, with lots of shops and restaurants to nearby beaches. Charleston is the perfect family vacation destination for families with young kids. Want to read this later? Pin one of the images below!