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Posts Tagged ‘Charleston SC’

It’s Berry Season! Celebrate With These Berry Festivals Near Upstate, SC

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Are you planning to celebrate the berry season with one of the many berry festivals near Greenville, SC? South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia have several berry festivals is spring and summer worth a visit to. What better item to celebrate with a festival than juicy, sweet berries?

Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries are celebrated nationwide; luckily, we have a handful of festivals that are accessible to the Upstate! If you’re a huge fan of these vitamin-packed gems, you can plan your summer vacation to include part of a festival a little further from home!

RELATED: The Best U-Pick Berry Patches and Fruit Farms Near Greenville | Spring Festivals in Greenville, SC


Charleston Sites to Visit in Honor of Black History Month

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Looking to visit black history sites in Charleston, SC? Or maybe looking to learn more about Charleston black history? The beautiful city has some unique historical sites and museums where you can learn about the atrocities of slavery in this country and in South Carolina.

We recently visited and compiled this list of black historical sites in Charleston, SC, where you can go to learn anytime you’re in the area.


Be Amazed at Stingrays, Sea Turtles, & Bald Eagle at the South Carolina Aquarium: Charleston, SC

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Thinking about making a trip to Charleston, SC to visit the South Carolina Aquarium? We were able to experience all the SC Aquarium has to offer and we’re ready to share it with you! If you’re looking for South Carolina Aquarium reviews or information on how to plan your visit, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got all the info you need to plan your trip and have a blast with your family at the aquarium.

A visit to the aquarium is a fabulous day trip or an awesome part of an educational trip to Charleston.

Thank you to the South Carolina Aquarium for providing media tickets for our review. All opinions are genuine and those of our team member. 

SC Aquarium
Scenes from the South Carolina Aquarium

About the South Carolina Aquarium

In 2019, the SC Aquarium was one of ten recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor for an aquarium to receive. They received it “not for having a massive living collection of exotic species from around the world, but for keeping its collection’s focus local.” This focus is entirely evident as soon as you step foot into the Aquarium.

If someone asked me what the focus of the Aquarium is, I’d tell them conservation and education. It is easy to see how dedicated this nonprofit is to educating the public on the local species right there in Charleston and throughout the state as well as ways to conserve the beautiful animals you’ll see.

Bald eagle at the SC Aquarium
Bald eagle at the SC Aquarium

My favorite parts of the Aquarium were the two interactive talks given by the volunteers and staff at the Aquarium, which I’ll tell you about shortly. When you visit the beautiful Aquarium, you will no doubt walk away with a greater appreciation for the different climates and environments of South Carolina as well as the incredible work being done by the Aquarium in areas of conservation and the treatment and rehabilitation of sea turtles.

The Exhibits at the SC Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium is the perfect sized-aquarium for really getting to understand the different exhibits and spending time learning about sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, river otters, and even the resident bald eagle, Liberty. My daughters and I took our time going through the exhibits and attending the two educational talks and in total, spent about two hours there. We probably could have stayed longer if we had a snack at the Sea Turtle Snack Bar or fed the stingrays!

Spoonbill at the SC Aquarium
Spoonbill at the SC Aquarium

There are two public floors to the aquarium: the first floor houses the sea turtle hospital, the stingray touch tank, the gorgeous balcony overlooking the USS Yorktown and the Ravenel Bridge, and the bottom level of the Great Ocean Tank. The upper level has the kids play area, the salt marsh exhibit, the jelly fish, the mountains to Piedmont exhibits, and the upper viewing area of the giant tank.

There are many hands-on exhibits all throughout the Aquarium, which really any kid will find entertaining and fun. When you enter the Aquarium, you can scan the QR code located at the visitor stand or if you would prefer to print out a copy for your visit, here is a map of the South Carolina Aquarium Exhibits.

The Educational Programs at the SC Aquarium

At the advice of the Aquarium’s public relations staff member, we timed our visit so we could see the Dive Into the G.O.T and Turtle Talk programs.

The Dive Into the G.O.T. was phenomenal! The G.O.T. stands for the Great Ocean Tank, which holds more than 350,000 gallons of water and is 42 feet deep. There is a diver inside the tank who does a question-and-answer session with an Aquarium staff member and then takes questions from the audience.

Diver at the SC Aquarium
Diver at the SC Aquarium

We learned all kinds of cool things about how the volunteers and staff feed the animals in the tank, how they clean the tank, and ways to practice conservation on our own. The Turtle Talk was also amazing. The sea turtle care center is really neat and an active place where the sea turtles are taken when they are stranded or injured. Many are cared for and rehabilitated and then released back into the wild.

Sea turtle hospital at the SC Aquarium
Sea turtle hospital at the SC Aquarium

There are also animal encounters throughout the day. We saw a couple of volunteers and staff offering guests the opportunity to pet a snake. My kids passed on that one unfortunately.

The staff we met were all so, so kind and helpful. They all seemed to really love their jobs and were happy to be working at the Aquarium. The passion they had for the animals and education about them was easy to see.

Also, to add on some more educational fun to your visit, consider doing one of these onsite activities at the Aquarium, which include scavenger hunts, discovery bins, and deeper dives into the exhibits that are grade-level appropriate – looking at you, homeschoolers.

Interacting with the Stingrays

I personally think stingrays are pretty cool and just beautiful to watch, although I’m terrified of accidentally stepping on one while wading on the shore. Yet, seeing them up close and learning about them is fascinating. All of the times I’ve ever seen them in touch tanks and aquariums, they have been very playful and fun.

Stingrays at the SC Aquarium
Stingrays at the SC Aquarium

The ones at the SC Aquarium are no different. They have a huge tank to swim and play that overlooks the Charleston Harbor and it’s just gorgeous. The stingrays will come right up to the edge of the tank like puppies and basically beg for pets. It’s really adorable. They are a little slimy but once I got over that, I was all about it.

You can feed the ocean puppies for $5. I didn’t do that but I saw others who did and they looked like they were really enjoying the experience.

Trading Post at the SC Aquarium

I was really excited to see that the Aquarium has something called “The Trading Post”. If you’re familiar with the Nature Exchange at all at the Roper Mountain Science Center, this is a similar concept. You can bring in up to two natural items found in nature and earn points, which are redeemable for other cool things that the Aquarium has like shark teeth and pretty shells.

There are a few items that the Trading Post will not accept. This includes bird items (nest, egg, feathers), live animals, sea turtle bones, or anything else from an endangered species. 

A great opportunity to find shells and fossils can be found with the Sandlapper Water Tours that launch right around the corner at the maritime center. You can go on a morning eco-tour and then head to the aquarium. 

The trading post at the SC Aquarium

Visiting the South Carolina Aquarium

The Aquarium is located just minutes from downtown Charleston and right next to one of the places you can take a boat tour to Fort Sumter. The view from the deck is worth the experience alone!

You can purchase tickets in advance using the Aquarium’s dynamic ticketing system. Admission is determined by day of the week, school calendars, local events, weather, and holidays. You can see what the prices are for different days and purchase up to 60 days in advance.

There is an on-site gift shop as well as a snack bar, which is open 11 am – 3 pm daily. Parking is easy at the nearby Aquarium parking garage, which is $2/hour.

The Aquarium is open daily 9 am – last ticket sold at 3:30 pm and the building closes at 5 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day, closes at 1 pm on Christmas Eve.

South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston
843.577.FISH (3474)

Park Circle: The World’s Largest Inclusive Playground is in Charleston, SC

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Park Circle Playground in Charleston, SC has the honor of being the world’s largest inclusive playground because any kid, no matter their ability, can enjoy the park. We checked it out and can confirm it is enormous and fun!

I first laid eyes on Park Circle playground in Charleston, SC about two blocks away. It’s that big. I couldn’t even get the entire playground in one – or two- photos. And it was designed for any child, no matter their ability. 

Park Circle Playground
Park Circle Playground

About Park Circle Playground 

Park Circle, which opened November 2023, encompasses 55,000 square feet and is the world’s largest inclusive playground, meaning that the playground was designed for any child, no matter their development or ability. It also includes their friends, siblings, parents, and caregivers. Yup, you parents can play on the playground. I did!

Here’s how the park describes their inclusivity: 

“All children means everyone. The need for play does not distinguish between children who are typically developing and children with disabilities. Everyone of all abilities needs play. And everyone means not only children with a physical disability requiring an accessible playground, but it also includes developmental disabilities like autism; children with sight or hearing impairment and children with intellectual disabilities such as down syndrome.”

Park Circle Playground
Park Circle Playground

I think this is just beautiful. Seeing tons of kids and their parents and siblings playing at this playground made me happy. 

Park Circle, besides the enormous playground, also has walking trails, a farmers market pavilion, event space, nature garden, and an inclusive baseball field. 

Things to Play On at Park Circle 

I had no idea where to look first when we got to the playground. My kids, ages 13 and 9, seemed just as overwhelmed but recovered quicker than I did and decided to head to the nearest double slide massive climbing structure. 

There are just so many things to play on: slides, swings, zip lines, a legit ninja course, exercise equipment, obstacle courses, more swings. We were there for over an hour and probably didn’t even play on half of the playground equipment. 

park circle playground
Ninja course at Park Circle Playground

Our favorite was definitely the ninja course. I always had respect for the American Ninja warriors but after doing a bunch of the ninja obstacles (and massively failing), I have a whole new respect for those athletes. There are lots of upper body focused apparatus’ plus beams, a climbing rope, and other rope nets to traverse. 

There are areas of the playground for any age and ability as well from play houses to huge slides that you have to climb up to even get to. 

Park Circle Playground Design is Parent-Friendly 

I give a lot of credit to the designers of the playground because they absolutely nailed it when it comes to things that matter to parents: an enclosed space, seating, and shade. 

The playground is entirely fenced in. You may lose your kids while they are playing on the equipment but they won’t get far because there is a fence around the whole playground. 

There are shade sails everywhere to provide cover from that brutal summer sun. There are a few spots where the shade sails aren’t directly over but for the most part, the playground is covered. Way to go designers!

Park Circle Playground
Shaded bench at Park Circle Playground

And lastly, there are lots of benches around the playground. I didn’t sit down ever because I was playing with my kids but if we had stayed longer, I probably would have rested on a bench. Most of the benches are also shaded. 

I so appreciate the thought and consideration that went into the construction of this playground. They did a truly excellent job. 

There are also bathrooms on site at the adjacent pavilion to the playground.

Visiting Park Circle Playground 

Park Circle is in North Charleston, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Charleston. It is totally free to visit and is open daily from 7 am – 5:30 pm. 

Park Circle Playground
4800 Park Circle, North Charleston, SC
Park Circle Playground Website

Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

Discover more awesome things to do in Charleston, SC.

Here’s the Kidding Around Travel Guide to Charleston, SC.

Step Right Into “The Notebook”: Cypress Gardens Charleston, SC

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Ever wanted to have your own romantic boat ride through massive cypress trees like Noah & Allie in “The Notebook”? Well, you can right at Cypress Gardens near Charleston, SC. 

I loved the Nicholas Sparks romance, The Notebook, and while the book is always better than the movie, the film didn’t disappoint, especially when it came to creating a scene that looked like it was from another world on a boat amongst massive cypress trees and swans. 

While I took this trip with my kids (who have not seen the movie), the boat ride at Cypress Gardens was just incredible, beautiful, and peaceful. Doing it with your significant other would be next level up romantic. But there’s more to see at the gardens than the swamp gardens, which I’ll tell you all about. 

boat ride at cypress gardens
Look how pretty this is!

About Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens is a 170-acre nature preserve with trails, a swamp garden with boat rides, a Swamparium, a playground, and an education center. 

Think lots of beautifully tall trees and Spanish moss, flowers everywhere, and a sense of total peace, especially on the water. 

It seems that Hollywood also loves Cypress Gardens, Charleston SC. The Notebook was filmed here, as well as parts of the “Outer Banks”, Swamp Thing, The Patriot, and Cold Mountain. You can see the full list on the Cypress Gardens Website

The Swamparium

Just outside the Swamparium is a small waterway where we saw two big gators. I actually thought they were fake until we got closer. Nope, they are real and they are everywhere in the gardens. They are pretty docile – just don’t go trying to pet them. 

cypress gardens gators
Yup, those are real

The Swamparium is a building that houses lots of fish and reptiles that are found both in local waterways and swamps as well as in South America. We saw big catfish and a couple of venomous snakes but the biggest thing we saw was the massive Anaconda. 

This thing was huge – and it was feeding time. I’ll spare the details for those readers who would rather not read about this part of nature but for those who think it’s cool, it was. 

The Swamp Boat Tours

The self-guided swamp boat tours are part of your admission ticket, which is pretty awesome. We went in February, which could not have been more perfect in terms of temperatures and bug levels. It was cool and bugless so we could really take in the immense beauty of the blackwater and cypress trees. It’s truly a stunning sight. 

There are very sturdy rowboats to take out into the swamp and life jackets are available. Pro tip: for smaller groups, take a smaller boat. There were only three of us and maneuvering the larger rowboat was a challenge. 

boat ride at cypress gardens
Boat ride at Cypress Gardens

The self-guided tour takes you through the swamp by arrows on the trees so it is easy to follow. You’ll go right past the part of the swamp where Noah and Allie were filmed in the boat as well as the bridge that was shown at the beginning of the film, referred to by the guides as the “duck bridge” because you have to duck under it while paddling. It’s so pretty. 

We were told it would take us about 45 minutes to paddle through the swamp and it took us a bit longer, maybe. I totally lost track. It was peaceful and quiet paddling through the blackwater. We were given instructions to watch for gators and other wildlife and just to keep to ourselves. I’m sure they were there but we didn’t see any in the swamp. 

If you’d rather paddle with a pro, Cypress Gardens offers guided boat tours, it’s an additional $5/person and you can reserve that when you get there. 

The Trails, Butterfly House, and Playground

There are trails that wind all around the gardens. We took the pink trail around part of the swamp and it took us about 20 minutes to walk it all. There are places to sit along the swamp and admire the beauty. There are other, longer trails if you’d like. 

The Butterfly House is a must-see. The plants and flowers there are very pretty and you may get to see some newly-made butterflies. There is a small pond inside with koi fish as well.

And kids will love the playground at Cypress Gardens. There is a larger playground for bigger kids and a smaller one for the littles. There is also a covered pavilion with picnic tables that are perfect for a shaded rest. 

cypress gardens playground

Honest Mom Review: Cypress Gardens

My kids are 13 and 9 and they really enjoyed Cypress Gardens. They are used to me dragging them to gardens to see pretty flowers and plants but not to take a boat ride in a swamp. They both definitely liked it but for me, I was just awed the whole time. Yes, I love the romantic movie that was filmed there but I love nature more. The beauty of those huge cypress trees standing tall in the water just blew me away. I could have done that boat ride again. 

And the Swamparium was also really neat. I may be in the minority but I like snakes and turtles, especially the more I learn about them. The building was so well put together and educational.

And one of the best parts about Cypress Gardens was the price. I couldn’t believe the low cost of admission to see all we did and the fact that it included the self-guided boat ride. You can’t really do any better than that in the Charleston area. This place is a treasure – go visit.

Visiting Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm with the last admission at 4 pm and the last self-guided boat tour going out at 4:15 pm. They are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Admission is $10/adults and $5/kids ages 6-17 and free for kids ages 5 and under. 

Pets are allowed only from November through February and they must be leashed at all times. They are not allowed in buildings.  Be sure to check the website for special events, like an upcoming torch-lit boat ride!

Cypress Gardens
3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner, SC
Cypress Gardens Website

Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

Discover more things to do in Charleston, SC!

Here’s the Kidding Around Travel Guide to Charleston, SC.

10+ Things to Do in Mount Pleasant, SC

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Planning a trip to the Mount Pleasant area? If you’re looking for free things to do in Mount Pleasant, SC, you’ve come to the right spot. We’re sharing our top recommendations for things to do that you will not want to miss on your next trip to the Low Country. From history-rich tours to fun at the waterpark, we’ve got you covered on things to do and even where to eat in Mt. Pleasant.

Travel Guide to Charleston SC

Planning a trip to the Lowcountry? Here’s your ultimate guide to visiting Charleston, SC – read it before you go!

Want to plan an educational trip to the low country with your family? Discover all things you can learn on a Road Schooling Trip to the Charleston Area.

This article includes:
Free Things to Do in Mt. Pleasant, SC
Cheap Things to Do in Mt. Pleasant, SC
More Things to Do in Mt. Pleasant, SC
Where to Eat in Mt. Pleasant, SC

Free Things to do in Mt. Pleasant, SC

Charleston is a popular destination for residents of the Upstate of South Carolina. Tucked away, just at the other end of the iconic Ravenel Bridge, is the town of Mount Pleasant. And if you’re looking for free things to do in the area, we’ve got some recommendations for you to consider adding to your itinerary.

Playground at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
Playground at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park

Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park

As you cross the Cooper River into Mount Pleasant, you’ll be on top of one of the best places to visit. Beneath the Ravenel Bridge is the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.  The Park offers visitors a bunch of things to do for little to no cost. The Mount Pleasant Visitor’s center is located at the front of the park, and this should be one of your first stops. Inside you’ll be able to get all kinds of information about the area, grab discount tickets for area attractions, and book reservations for popular restaurants.

Underneath the bridge is a great playground for kids. With seating for parents and a fenced-in area, it will be a favorite stop for you. The park’s huge greenspace is host to several free events, including live music, moonlight movies, and more.

If fishing is something your family enjoys, you’ll love the pier. The bait shop offers everything you’ll need to drop a line in the water with your kids. You could be in for an exciting time on the pier!  If fishing isn’t your thing, the pier is excellent for people-watching.

boy looking out at Shem Creek
Shem Creek

Shem Creek Park

Another great place to visit in Mount Pleasant is Shem Creek Park. The 2,200-foot boardwalk extends over the marsh and out to the water. The creek is home to the local fleet of shrimp boats, and kids will love watching them come and go. The boardwalk is a great place to bring your kids’ scooters. If your family owns a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard, this is a great place to bring it. You can rent one at the shop right there if you don’t own one.

This is also a popular spot for watching dolphins frolic in the creek as they hope for scraps from the incoming fishing vessels. Grab a picnic lunch and enjoy the view from the many benches along the boardwalk.

sullivans island Edgar Allan Poe Library

Exploring Sullivan’s Island

If the crowds at Folly Beach aren’t your thing, then you’ll enjoy Sullivan’s Island, located off the coast of Mount Pleasant. Free public parking makes the beaches on this quiet island appealing, and the secluded nature of the beach makes it peaceful. Searching for shark teeth is a great lesson in patience and attention to detail for adults and children alike.

There’s also a small local library, the Edgar Allan Poe/Sullivan’s Island Library, you can visit. There’s a comfortable sofa and plenty of books for kids to enjoy. The Island has ties Poe, and you’ll find his name all over the island.

We’ve got even more things for you to do at Sullivan’s Island.

Pitt Street Bridge

The Pitt Street Bridge (also known as the Cove Inlet Bridge and the Cove Inlet Causeway) was once the only way to cross the water to get to the beaches. Originally built for a trolley, it was later widened for personal vehicles. The bridge closed in 1945 and was converted into a fishing pier. The old bridge burned, and now it’s covered by Pickett Park, a greenway lined with palm trees that takes pedestrians and cyclists across the former bridge site. At the end of the bridge is a great spot to go fishing.

Charles Pinckney National Historic Home

Charles Pinckney helped draft and sign the US Constitution, and now you can visit a 28-acre remnant of his original 715-acre plantation, Snee Farm. While visiting, you’ll be able to learn about Pinkney’s life and political influences, the People he enslaved, plantation operations, and the main cash crops of the Lowcountry (indigo and rice). There is no fee to visit Charles Pinkney’s National Historic Home.

Cheap Things to Do in Mount Pleasant, SC

Taking a trip to the Charleston area doesn’t have to break the bank. If you need some extra things to do on your trip, there’s plenty of low-cost fun to be had!

Charleston Water Taxi
Charleston Water Taxi

Charleston Water Taxi

Kidding Around’s fans are some of the best around! The suggestion of the Charleston Water Taxi was from a loyal reader. She hesitated to share her secret, but we’re glad she did.

The Water Taxi is a great way to see the waterfront from a different perspective. The pontoon-style boat picks passengers up at several different locations. Pro-Tip: There are no bathrooms on board, so make sure to stop at a restroom before hopping on.

One of the nice things about the taxi is you can stay on as long as you’d like, or hop on and off to sightsee. The taxi offers some very unique views of the ships docked at Patriots Point.

A complete trip around the harbor takes approximately 60 minutes. Make sure to have your camera ready because, in addition to the photo opportunities at Patriots Point, guests of the taxi are often treated to visits from dolphins. You can also capture some nice family photos with the Ravenel bridge in the background.  The guys that captain the ship are happy to jump in a play photographer, so you can capture the memory of your entire family’s day out on the water.

$14 a person gets you a pass that covers the entire day, and kids 3 and under ride free.

Fort Moultrie

Sullivan’s Island is also rich in history, as it was home to where some of the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Fort Moultrie is part of the National Park Service. Adult admission costs $10, and children 15 and younger receive free entry.

Among the ranks at the Fort was someone who was destined for fame later in life. Regimental Sergeant-Major Edgar Allen Poe spent just over a year stationed here, and you will find evidence of his time here all over the island.

More Things to Do in Mt. Pleasant, SC

Patriots Point Naval Maritime Museum

For more immersion into Lowcountry history, take a visit to Patriots Point. In June 1975, the USS Yorktown entered Charleston Harbor and was the first ship dedicated to the Naval & Maritime Museum. Patriots Points opened the following year, housing the museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships. You’ll be able to view a World War II Aircraft Carrier. You’ll also find the Cold War Memorial, the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the US, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and the official Medal of Honor Museum. It’s a very popular attraction and one to consider.

Give yourself 2-3 hours to go through everything. A single-day Patriots Point ticket for adults 12-61 years old is $27, children 6-11 years old tickets are $16, children 6 and under are free, and seniors 62+ years old will pay $19 for their tickets. There are bundle ticket options, and Veterans, First Responders, Teachers, and Active Military are offered discounts.

Splash Island Water Park

Splash Island Water Park is an excellent and fun attraction within Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park. The water park features a 200-ft body flume, a 16-ft otter slide, cyclone swirling water ride, a pool, and plenty of sprays, geysers, and raindrop waterfalls. There are lifeguards on-duty, and you’ll find concessions, restrooms, showers, and changing areas. Be sure to check their site for hours of operation because they do close during the winter season.

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens

Another thing to do in Mt. Pleasant is to visit Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens. The plantation was founded in 1681 by Major John Boone. His family and descendants were significant influencers in South Carolina’s history. It’s one of the oldest working plantations in the US; it continues growing crops to this day. Boone Hall has been dubbed “a must-see stop on any trip to Charleston, SC” by NBC Daytime and is recognized as the “#1 Plantation in the Charleston Area by USA Today 10Best.”

Regular Adult tickets are $28, Seniors/Military/AAA are $25, children 6-12 years old are $12, and children 5 and under are free.

Where to Eat in Mount Pleasant

There’s no shortage of pitmasters in the Lowcountry, that’s for sure. Swig & Swine BBQ is a favorite. If you haven’t been yet. Be sure to follow Swig & Swine BBQ on Facebook so you don’t miss out on their daily specials, like $5 burger night and Wing Night!

BBQ near Mount Pleasant

Bon Bahn Mi is another local favorite restaurant in Mount Pleasant. They have delicious food and a build-your-own kid’s meal menu that is a hit when we go! Kids get to choose from a taco, a rice bowl, a noodle bowl, or a sandwich – and build it with protein and veggie options all for just $7 with an included drink!

Be sure to treat yourself to one of their iced Vietnamese coffees, they are amazing!

lunch in Mount Pleasant

The Pitt Street Pharmacy Soda Fountain is an old-school spot where you can grab a no-frills meal and a low price. Cheap burgers, sandwiches, and ice cream are the perfect lunchtime meal when you are on the go. Dine in and go around exploring Historic Mount Pleasant, or get it to go and head up the road to Shem Creek to relax.

Every Monday night, from 6-8 pm, Dog & Duck has family bingo night! The family-friendly prizes include gift cards for X-Box, iTunes, and more. If you make it there before we do, let us know!

Want to read our entire guide to visiting Charleston, SC? We’ve got you covered with Charleston Itineraries, Things to Do in Charleston, Where to Eat, and Places to Stay.

We can’t wait to add more free and cheap fun to our list of activities in Mount Pleasant! Check back often to see where our next adventure takes us.

2 Million Twinkling Lights Are Waiting For You at The Holiday Festival of Lights in Charleston, SC

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Thinking about some holiday fun in Charleston, SC at the Holiday Festival of Lights? The low country is full of holiday fun, including this awesome holiday light display! Here’s everything you need to know about the Holiday Festival of Lights in Charleston, SC.

For more info on our adventures in Charleston, check out the Kidding Around Travel Guide to Charleston, SC: Things to Do, Where to Stay and Places to Eat

This review is from a previous year’s event and has been updated with 2023 dates and fees.

Charleston Holiday Fun

An Educational Trip To Charleston, SC

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Are you looking for a way to sneak in a trip to the South Carolina coast with the kids, while also working in some educational content? There are so many opportunities for educational things to do in Charleston, SC! We’re sharing our recent educational trip to Charleston, SC with you just in case you want to explore, learn, and expand your knowledge, too.

Charleston is so rich with opportunities for learning. You, the parent might even learn some fun things along the way. 

  • Like did you know a famous poet called one of the barrier islands home for a short time, prior to his fame? 
  • You might know that the Civil War started in Charleston Harbor, but did you know what started it? 
  • Did you know that there is a certain behavior that the dolphin pods that reside in Charleston Harbor teach their young, that isn’t seen anywhere else? 

See right there we covered language arts, history and science. That’s just a drop in the bucket of the things you can discover in Charleston, not to mention getting to relax in a beautiful setting. 

Educational travel to Charleston, SC

For more things to see and do while in Charleston, check out our huge Guide To Charleston, SC.

Accommodations for this trip were generously provided by The Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant. All opinions are my own, honest and genuine.

Educational Things to Do in Charleston, SC

Here are some of the fun educational things we found in in Charleston, SC:

The Young Soldier Stationed At Fort Moultrie

Subjects: Language Arts and History

On May 26th a young man enlisted in the Army, unable to afford the last three years of university and left without options. He lied about his age and his name and after just two short years of a five year term, he “hired” someone to complete his term. 

That young man’s name was Edgar Allan Poe, and evidence of his short stay on Sullivan’s Island is all around you when you visit. If you are very clever, you can slip some Poe related math into your lesson. 

Edgar Allan Poe Library Charleston

Learning Opportunities:

You can also include lessons on the history of Fort Moultrie. If you’ve never been to this National Park location before you can read this local mom’s review of Fort Moultrie, before you head out.  

The Ellis Island Of Slavery

Subject: History/Social Studies

While you’re visiting Sullivan’s Island and Fort Moultrie, go behind the visitors’ center. There you will find a small black bench. Have a seat. That bench was placed there as a place to memorialize the history of enslaved Africans, and a place for people to reflect. When seated on “The Bench By The Road”, the first of many to have been placed since 2008, you’ll be looking out onto the water where most enslaved people entered this country.

This provides you with a great opportunity to talk to children about what it must have felt like to be brought to a foreign land, and how they would feel. 

Exploring black history in Charleston, SC

Learning Opportunities

There are endless opportunities around Charleston to learn about slavery. One of my favorite “hands-on” opportunities is on Philadelphia Alley in the historic district. You and your children can stroll this brick-paved alley and find the handprints left behind by the slaves that formed the bricks at local plantations. Those bricks can also be found in the buildings at the local plantations, like Boone Hall Plantation.

The Unique Dolphins Of Charleston Harbor

Subject: Science 

There are so many different things that are different ecologically in the Low Country from what we have around us in the Upstate. I love that in just a few hours we can go from a mountain ecosystem to a coastal one. This provides our children with so many opportunities to learn about the environment!

As a volunteer with a research laboratory in Florida while in college, I sat next to a Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest as it unexpectedly erupted. If I could somehow provide everyone on the planet with that magical experience I would. The next best thing is learning about them from afar, and maybe if you time your trip to the coast right, you could have a once in a lifetime sea turtle experience, too.

A more common sight off the shores of Charleston are the pods of wild dolphins that call these waters home. But these aren’t just any dolphins, they are so unique that they have been the subject of research studies. No one knows why, but the dolphins that are native to this area do something called strand-feeding. 

Learning Opportunities 

There is a good deal of eco-tours that will take you around the harbor and some will even have an ecology expert on board. We recently took an eco-tour with Sandlapper Tours and would recommend it as a safe option to learn about the ecology of the coastal waters.  

Another option for aquatic study while in Charleston is a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium. You can use a virtual aquarium field trip, or go in person and then do the activities found online. The Aquarium is a great way to learn about the ecology of our state!

South Carolina Aquarium

Home Away From Homeschool 

Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant

The Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant generously provided us with a home-away-from-homeschool for this article and we loved our time there. Schoolwork is hard work, and it’s nice to have a place you feel safe to kick back and relax afterward. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, a huge outdoor pool deck, and heightened cleaning protocols.

Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant

Eliza’s Bar + Kitchen has delicious options for any meal of the day. The kids loved having chocolate chip Belgian waffles for breakfast! My favorite was the wedge salad at dinner, make sure you get the ranch dressing.
The rooms also include a properly functioning mini-fridge. Something we find essential when traveling because there are always leftovers! 

Charleston SC Hotel Indigo

For those traveling with pets, The Hotel Indigo is pet-friendly too! There are several great travel packages that include meals, pet stays, and more on the Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant website

We love staying in Mount Pleasant because it’s centrally located. The Hotel Indigo is just a short drive across the Ravenel Bridge to the downtown area, and you don’t have to pay downtown parking prices, in fact, parking here is totally free! 

Travel Times to Popular Destinations from Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant :

  • Patriots Point – 3 minutes
  • The South Carolina Aquarium – 9 minutes
  • Sullivan’s Island – 10 minutes
  • Historic Charleston – 11 minutes
  • Isle Of Palms – 14 minutes 
  • Folly Beach – 24 minutes
  • Kiawah Island – 58 minutes

Have you found an awesome way to work homeschooling or an educational aspect into a trip to Charleston? We’d love to know in the comments!

Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

Looking to make a longer trip? Here’s our Charleston, SC Visitor Guide… things to do, where to eat, and where to stay.

There is a Suspension Bridge Themed Playground at Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park!

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If you have kids and love Charleston, SC, then the suspension bridge playground at Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park is worth a visit! This park features a unique suspension bridge-themed playground under the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Not only is it a free activity in a city that can be quite expensive, but you can also walk along the pier and search for dolphins with your kids!

View of underneath the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge at Waterfront Memorial Park

Tucked under the gorgeous Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston sits a fun playground themed just like the iconic bridge itself. The fenced-in playground has a nautical design, complete with cable stays just like the bridge which towers high above. It also boasts a toddler area designed like the flight deck of the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point! There are jogging and bicycling paths that weave through a manicured park right along the Cooper River, making this a favorite stop!

Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park & Pier

Jutting out from the park is the 1,250 ft Mt. Pleasant Pier which was built on the old pilings from the Pearman Bridge. It is the longest pedestrian pier in the southeast and offers panoramic views of Charleston Harbor. Bring along some quarters for the kids to place in the binocular machines located along the pier. This area is considered the crown jewel of Mt. Pleasant, especially since the view is spectacular!

We were able to gaze upon the Charleston skyline, spy the aircraft aboard the carrier at Patriots Point, and watch a school of dolphins play in the river. There are several benches along the pier to relax. There is also a huge covered pavilion at the end which made a great spot for a picnic.

Located at the pier entry is a shop where you can get fishing and tackle supplies, souvenirs, ice cream, or a tasty sandwich.

The park at Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park.

Plan Your Own Trip to Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park

Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park
99 Harry M. Hallman Jr Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC

Open Daily from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Would your family enjoy a visit to Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park & Pier?

Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

Check out our complete Guide to Charleston, with things to do, places to eat, and the best places to stay!

The Charleston Aqua Park Will Make Your Ninja Warrior Dreams Come True

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If you’re planning a trip to Charleston, SC and need something a little out of the ordinary to do and satiate your adventurous family, we’ve got just the place at the Charleston Aqua Park! Kristina tried it out and has all the details for our readers.

Media tickets were provided for this review but the opinion is completely that of the author.

Charleston Aqua Park obstacles course on Trophy Lake.

I love anything adventurous as do my kids so when we had the opportunity to try out the floating obstacle course and first-ever ropes course over water in the country at the Charleston Aqua Park, I was one hundred percent on board. My kids and I love to watch “American Ninja Warrior” and old re-runs of the hilarious show “Wipeout” so we wanted to see how good we’d be at anything remotely like either of those shows.

Spoiler alert: we have a whole new respect for people who do obstacles over water and slide around on water obstacles!

So if you’re in the Charleston area or anywhere nearby and want something fun and unique to do over the summer months, the Charleston Aqua Park is your place.