As the Lowcountry weather turns hot and muggy in late spring and early summer and school lets out, moms and dads will be searching for .activities to do with their kids. The beach and the pool are two obvious ways to beat the heat and enjoy some aquatic adventures, but the traffic and crowds can be a drawback on occasion. If you’re looking for a few alternatives and need a little inspiration, we’ve outlined some potential boredom busters in or near the Mount Pleasant area to consider as you plan your next outing.
Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Who says learning can’t be fun? The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry has plenty of interactive, interdisciplinary exhibits to entertain and engage your little ones, and it’s a perfect selection to save for a rainy-day occasion. They aim to offer environments and experiences that spark imagination in young children and stimulate curiosity through the power of play. Kids can explore building projects with real tools and materials in the Boeing BrightLab, climb aboard a Lowcountry pirate ship (Argh matey!) or tap into their creative side in the museum’s dedicated art center featuring a Creation Station and a Painting Place. Their Speak Loud Studio! encourages the budding actor in your child as they express themselves and perform their own version of a theater show. Children can also head outdoors to romp in the Kids’ Garden where they can watch butterflies, chase bugs and learn the basics of botany. The Infant & Toddler Playspace, where the littlest visitors can ride down tiny wooden slides or play with tactile and fine motor toys, helps develop motor skills. For more information, visit explorecml.org.
Palmetto Islands County Park
This 943-acre oasis tucked away in the Long Point area of Mount Pleasant provides countless outdoor recreational activities for children of all ages to occupy themselves. During the warmer months kids will delight in the Splash Island Waterpark, a seasonal water attraction featuring a 200-foot body flume, a 16-foot otter slide, sprays, geysers, raindrop waterfalls, a cyclone swirling water ride and an activity pool. Or get moving on Palmetto Island County Park’s 4.4 miles of nature trails and 1.1 miles of paved trails for walking, biking and skating. Survey the lay of the land from the 50-foot observation tower and bring your young children to the adjacent play area. Children can also rollick on the Big Toy playground. Additionally, there are kayak rentals and a kayak launch, as well as bicycle and peddle boat rentals for those who want to experience the park from the water. They also offer tidal creek fishing (requires a saltwater fishing license) and a crabbing dock. With all that exercising your family might work up an appetite, so pack a lunch and relax at one of their picnic sites equipped with tables and grills (they also have a snack bar and vending machines onsite). No need to leave your furry family at home either. Bring the canines along to run free in their off-leash dog park. Learn more at ccprc.com/69/Palmetto-Islands-County-Park.
Memorial Waterfront Park
Nestled under the base of the Ravenel Bridge, Memorial Waterfront Park is the ideal spot for family summer fun with an expansive lawn for picnics, a nautical-themed playground and soft-serve ice cream dispensed at the River Watch Café and Gift Shop. Soak up the beautiful views of Charleston Harbor from the 1,250-foot-long Mount Pleasant Pier, and tote along a fishing rod to cast a few lines. Fun fact: the pier’s foundation was created from pared-down pilings from the Silas N. Pearman Bridge that predated the Ravenel. Sit and lounge a spell in one of the swings or rocking chairs and idle away the afternoon. While there, immerse yourself in the local culture and explore the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion, War Memorial and Visitor Center. The pier also features an 8,100-square-foot covered pavilion that hosts dances and events throughout the year. Visit tompsc.com/Facilities/Facility/Details/35 for hours and contact information.
‘Jump around, jump around, jump up, jump up and get down.’ Need your kids to work off some of that boundless energy? Tired of them jumping on their beds? Take them to the Sky Zone Trampoline Park where they can jump, flip and bounce to their heart’s content and reach for the sky. Children can engage in a multitude of thrilling activities and one-of-a-kind attractions that mix play and exercise including skyslam, freestyle jump, ultimate dodgeball, foam zone, skyladder, ultimate volleyball, freeclimb (Sky Zone boasts South Carolina’s tallest indoor bouldering wall) and the warped wall. It’s also a great place to celebrate those spring and summer birthday parties. They even offer special programs such as Little Leapers that moms and their toddlers can enjoy together. For more information, visit skyzone.com/Charleston.
By Colin McCandless