Travel with Kids: Family Spring Break in Charleston, SC

Throwing it back to spring 2018 today! We visited Charleston, SC for the girls’ spring break this year. Our original plan involved a couple of beach days at one of the many beautiful islands near Charleston but the weather never quite warmed up enough to do so. We ended up staying in Charleston the entire time and made the most of what the charming city had to offer!

I had done extensive research on kid-friendly things to do in Charleston before we ventured there. Some of the activities that came up in the searches included: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Fort Sumter, South Carolina Aquarium, etc. The girls vetoed all indoor museums since we had done enough museum-going in Boston all winter long. 

The openness and ease of being in the outdoors is what we were all craving. Naturally, we decided to not plan anything and simply go with the flow. It was so freeing and just what we needed as a family.

Take a peek at our top 5 trip highlights below:

1. Long, unstructured walks

From  bustling streets like King Street to quieter, residential neighborhoods, we walked through it all. The lush greenery and pretty spring flowers were breathtaking. And the cozy backyards and beautiful porches helped us  discover what southern living is all about.  

I, of course, enjoyed taking pictures and so did my five-year-old. We had recently bought her a ‘real’ kids camera and she went all out taking pictures during the trip! It was fun to do together and so cute to watch. 

2. Middleton Place

Middleton Place has 110 sprawling acres that include 65 acres of America’s oldest landscaped gardens, a house museum, plantation stable yards, a restaurant, inn and organic farm. The plantation was the only ‘planned’ or ‘ticketed’ activity we did. The girls led the way and we happily followed them and enjoyed the quiet outdoors. The alligators, piglets and a colorful peacock were wonderful surprises to see. 

3. Downtime at bookstores/Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

To take breaks from our long walks, we found bookstores and enjoyed some reading downtime to recharge for the rest of the day’s adventures. The girls were totally into it and us adults appreciated the quiet time, too.

While walking around the campus of the College of Charleston, we went and explored the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art on a slightly chilly morning. We looked at student art and discussed the different mediums of artworks - charcoal on paper, oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, and watercolor on paper. We also watched an intriguing documentary on making of one of the  saltscapes by Motoi Yamamoto at the Halsey Institute.

4. Leisurely Meals

Besides walking, leisurely meals were our favorite! This was one of the first trips where the girls were not selecting meals only from the kids menu! They were experimenting with food and ordering for themselves. We tried great southern food and some amazing inventive cuisine. A few memorable meal experiences were at Butcher and Bees, One Broad Street Cafe, 82 Queen and Toast. 

Some quotes from the girls: “I think I’m going to skip lunch!” (after a big breakfast). “Try the mashed potatoes, they are killer.” “I’m full alright. All I want is a movie and a good night’s sleep.”

5. Movie Nights at the hotel

Last but not least, plunking ourselves on the bed and getting some screen time after dinner was the best! This was a zero screen time getaway for all of us but we allowed ourselves movie nights once we were finally back at the hotel for the night. The girls watched kid-friendly movies together and the adults caught up on a few episodes of Sneaky Pete. It was fun!

P.S. Click here to view pictures of our India trip with kids from December 2017.


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