South Carolina's best kid-friendly summer activities

Jul 13, 2011 at 10:55 a.m. ET

The sun is shining, the thermometer's climbing, and your kids are whining for something new to do. Beat the mid-summer boredom and chill out at some of South Carolina's best bets for summertime fun. 

Fort Sumter

1Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

Voted Best Place to Take Your Children for the Afternoon by Palmetto Parent magazine, Riverbanks Zoo is home to lions, tigers and bears – and more than 350 other species – to excite your whole family's creature curiosity. Be sure to swing by the gardens for more than 70 acres of botanical beauty at its best.

500 Wildlife Parkway
Columbia, South Carolina 29210 
803-779-8717

2EdVenture Children's Museum

The South's largest children's museum, EdVenture is a must for any family on the hunt for fun. With permanent and seasonal exhibits such as BodyWorks, Blooming Butterflies and EDDIE – a 40-foot child constructed to model the inner workings of the body – it's easy to see why Women's Day magazine voted EdVenture one of the 10 Best Children's Museums to Visit This Summer.

211 Gervais Street
Columbia,
South Carolina 29201
803-779-3100

3Fort Sumter

When Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in April 1861, they set in motion a four-year civil war that changed our nation forever. Today, you can spark some cultural curiosity with an educational tour of this important landmark in our nation's history.

1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island,
South Carolina 29482
843-883-3123

4Soar + Explore Zipline & Ropes Course

Soar 50 feet above water across 1,000-foot stretches of cord, or put your minds together and compete as a family through 33 challenges in a three-level, 40-foot tall, pirate-themed ropes course at one of Myrtle Beach's most engaging family activities. Stick around and enjoy more than 100 other hands-on exhibits at WonderWorks, too.

1313 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
843-448-7627

5Myrtle Waves Water Park

With more than 20 acres of twists, turns and slides flowing with more than a million gallons of water, there's no better place in the Palmetto State to dive into a splish-splashing good time. Be one of the 200,000 visitors each year who cool off and chill out at this Grand Strand hotspot.

3000 10th Ave Extension North
Myrtle Beach
South Carolina 29577
843-913-9260

6South Carolina Aquarium

Your kids aren't the only ones who like to swim. Spend a day with more than 6,000 aquatic plants and animals including alligators, otters, jellyfish and turtles – plus a touch tank with horseshoe crabs, stingrays and other gentle marine animals -- at this must-see summer spot.

100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston,
South Carolina 29401
843-720-1990

7South Carolina State Museum

Without knowledge, history is bound to repeat itself. Fortunately, your family can explore their roots at the State Museum. With exhibits in art, history, natural history, science and technology, plus more than 70,000 artifacts in its collection -- including the building itself (the 1893 Columbia Mill) – there's plenty to brush up on at a museum voted one of the top three in the Southeast by readers of Southern Living magazine.

301 Gervais Street
Columbia,
South Carolina 29201
803-898-4921

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