There was a time when it was acceptable to plop the kids down in front of the TV and let them watch reruns of Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, The Brady Bunch, and H.R. Puffinstuff, but that's just unacceptable in this age of helicopter parenting, attachment moms, and lives that are as programmed as a television network. There's simply no time to spend a lazy summer day in front of the boob tube. And that's a shame. H.R. Puffinstuff was one seriously demented show. That's not saying you and yours shouldn't get outside for a little sunshine. Hell, we think you should be really daring and do it without sunscreen. But the point is, it's your responsibility to get your kids off their tushes. Here's a little guide to help turn your little coach potato into pre-Kardashian Bruce Jenner.
3255 Hwy. 17 N., Mt. Pleasant
(843) 971-1223, blackbeardscove.net
Blackbeard's Cove has daily activities that are fun for the whole family. Go-karts, miniature golf, a climbing wall, paintball, and arcade games are sure to keep the kids entertained for hours. A $19.95 Mutiny Pass will get you two hours of unlimited golf, go-karts, climbing wall, and jump land. They also have live music every Friday night from 6-10 p.m. The Cove also offers full- and half-day camps through Aug. 16. Morning sessions ($150 per week) are from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., while afternoon sessions ($225 per week) are from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. The camps are available for children five to 12.
4952 Centre Pointe Drive Ste. 116
(843) 202-1999, monkeyjoes.com
Monkey Joe's is a wonderland of moon bounces and inflatable slides designed for kids 12 and under. Joe's also has a Mini Monkey Zone, where the wee ones can safely play without fear of being pummeled by the older kids. Admission to Monkey Joe's is $7.99 Mon.-Fri. and $8.99 on Sat.-Sun.
131 Columbus St. Downtown
(843) 818-4080, thealleycharleston.com
AMF Triangle Lanes
1963 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley
(843) 766-0241, amf.com/trianglelanes
613 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant
(843) 884-7735, riverbowlcharleston.com
It's time to dust off those bowling shoes that your Uncle Frank wore in the 1970s — we know you've been dying to rock them — and take the kids to one of these bowling alleys for some competitive family fun. Each one offers a slightly different experience. Head to the Alley if your munchkin is a foodie in the making — big ups to the Hometeam Kitchen — or a fan of vintage arcade games like Tron, Galaga, and Afterburner. AMF Triangle Lanes in West Ashley is your more traditional alley, featuring a whopping 24 lanes and an arcade, while Sparians offers more of a luxe-casual experience, complete with super-comfy couches and a food menu that offers specialty pizzas, burgers, and calzones plus an ample amount of Ameri-Mex offerings. The rates vary at each one of these places, so check them out to find a time to best fit your budget.
Mt. Pleasant Paintball
2637 Clements Ferry Road. Mt. Pleasant
(843) 696-9930, mountpleasantpaintball.com
Not for the faint of heart, Mt. Pleasant Paintball offers a summer camp for children 10 and older. The camp teaches leadership, team-building, and mad paintball skills. Only 50 kids are allowed to sign up for each week-long $300 camp. The remaining weeks are July 8-12 and July 22-26. Mt. Pleasant Paintball provides lunch, equipment, all-day air, one case of paint per day, and a T-shirt.
Splash Island Water Park
at Palmetto Islands County Park
444 Needlerush Pkwy. Mt. Pleasant
Splash Zone Waterpark
at James Island County Park
871 Riverland Drive. James Island
at Wannamaker County Park
Hwy. 78 University Blvd. North Charleston
(843) 572-727, ccprc.com
The summer won't be complete without at least one trip to a waterpark, and Charleston has three great options, each one geared toward a specific age group. Splash Island is the most toddler-friendly, while Splash Zone is designed for the more daring older kids and Whirlin' Waters offers the high-flying, high-speed thrills that teens and adults crave. The prices vary from park to park, with Splash Island being the cheapest ($6.99 for Charleston residents) and Whirlin' Waters being the priciest ($19.99).
Hot Wheels Skating Center
1523 Folly Rd. James Island
(843) 795-7982, hotwheelsskating.net
Hey kids, you may not believe this, but there was once a time in the 1970s when it looked like roller skating might take over the world. Everybody was doing it. The president, Pelé, and pretty much the rest of the planet (OK, we may be wrong about the prez and Pelé). Sadly, the golden age of the roller rink has passed us by, but you can still find out what all the fuss was about at Hot Wheels on James Island. As far as inexpensive entertainment goes, roller skating is one of the least expensive good times out there (check out Hot Wheels' Family Night package on Sundays from 2-5 p.m.; $12 will get five family members in skates and on the floor). Prices and hours of operation vary, so be sure to give Hot Wheels a call or visit their website.