Being a parent gives you an excuse to go on all kinds of field trips. Here are some educational and recreational opportunities around Charleston — you know, for the kids.
Family Fun Park
Mt. Pleasant is a far cry from Myrtle Beach, but it's still home to one impressive mini-golf course. Blackbeard's Cove will keep you and the young'uns occupied all day with go-karts and arcade games, too.
Buddy Roe's Shrimp Shack
Looking for a place to take the critters for a round of mini-golf, but still interested in gettin' your drink on? Look no further than Buddy Roe's in Mt. Pleasant, a classic little seafood shack with a full bar, live music, and a mini-golf course right out the front door.
With a blacklit lazer tag battlefield and the area's only indoor go-kart track, this spot in North Charleston is a sure bet for keeping it cool when the temperature outside rises above 100 degrees.
Center for Birds of Prey
Why should teachers get to take all the fun field trips with your kids? This avian conservation center in Awendaw is open to the public Thursday through Saturday, and they offer guided tours.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
You can take a guided tour or just take a stroll through this well-kept historic site in West Ashley. The kiddos will learn about the colonial and natural history of South Carolina, and they'll love the zoo.
of the Lowcountry
Looking to up your arts-and-crafts game? The Children's Museum offers all kinds of fun guided activities in the Art Room. Other exhibits include the Medieval Creativity Castle, the Kids Garden, and the gravity-powered Raceways.
Frankie's Fun Park
Mini-golf, bumper boats, batting cage, burgers, pizza, go-kart track, slick track, arcade, driving range, rock wall ... you get the idea. Frankie's is always worth a trip to Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston.
This 17th-century plantation is one of the oldest public gardens in America, welcoming visitors from around the world since 1870. Ask to take a tour with the head gardener, who is a masterful storyteller, and be sure to bring quarters so you can buy food pellets for the petting zoo.
and American LaFrance Fire Museum
What kid doesn't love a big red firetruck? Or what grown-up, for that matter? The museum collection includes a range of trucks from a 1785 Richard Mason Hand Fire "Enjin" to a 1973 Century Series Pumper.
With an abundance of fields, forts, and obstacles, Paintball Charleston could make for a fun all-day outing with your older kids. They also offer low-impact paintball games for kids ages six and up. Equipment rental is available onsite.
You'll want to sit down for a while and take in the two-story, 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank, and make sure you get there in time to see the divers interact with the marine life. The newest exhibit at the Aquarium is Shark Shallows, where you can reach out and touch the skin of bonnethead sharks, cownose rays, and southern stingrays.
Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark
In addition to the classic wave pool, lazy river, and water slides, Wannamaker Park's Whirlin' Waters just opened a new Rip Tide Run mat-racing slide this summer. We're dying to try it out. For the little ones, there's also the Otter Bay kiddie pool, Lily Pad Lagoon toddler area, and Big Splash Treehouse.