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A Charleston Mom’s Guide to the Best Local Playgrounds

The sun is shining, the weather is warming up, and if your child is anything like mine, they are craving outdoor time! Now that my daughter is two, going to the playground is a much more enjoyable experience. She is finally independent enough to climb stairs or go down a big slide without my help, yet cautious enough that I don’t have to be two steps behind her at all times. Trips to the playground are quickly becoming apart of our weekly routine, but sometimes we need a change of scenery. I surveyed some friends and CMB contributors to bring you this list of the best playgrounds in and around Charleston!

This will be an ever-evolving list, so if you have more information on any of these playground, or your favorite neighborhood spot isn’t represented and you think it should be, comment below.

Mt Pleasant

Big Toy Playground

Palmetto Islands County Park, 444 Needlerush Pkwy, Mt Pleasant

What makes it great: Built in a beautiful tropical setting, this playground offers bathrooms, picnic tables & shelters, hiking & biking trails, and separate playgrounds for big and little kids.

Palmetto Island

Big Toy Playground


131 Middle Street, Mt Pleasant

What makes it great: Pack a lunch and eat on the picnic tables or big lawn. Lots of shade for those hot summer days.

Park West Recreation Complex

1251 Park West Blvd., Mount Pleasant

What makes it great: The playground is next to a big dirt hill that little ones love to climb. It’s surrounded by sport fields and a nearby lake. It also has water fountains and bathrooms. We’ll let you in on a little secret: the fire department plays frisbee there sometimes so if you’re lucky fire trucks will be there too!

Park West

Park West Recreation Complex

LifePark – Noah’s Ark Playground

1151 George Browder Blvd, Mt Pleasant

What makes it great: A giant wooden ark is the centerpiece of this park. Most kids I know refer to it as the “Pirate playground.” Parents will love that it’s surrounded by a fence so little ones can’t escape. A large lawn outside of the fence is great for running around and burning off any extra energy. Bathrooms on site.

Noah's Ark

The lawn at LifePark

Waterfront Park

71 Harry Hallman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant

What makes it great: Shade, fishing pier, bike trails, gift shop, bathrooms, and a cafe. This playground has it all! Plus stunning views of the Ravenel Bridge.


Brittlebank Park

0 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston

What makes it great: Located along the Ashley River next to the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, Brittlebank Park has a playground that includes ramps for handicapped children.

Hampton Park

30 Mary Murray Drive, Charleston

What makes it great: Picnic tables, trails, restrooms, baseball fields, ponds, trails – this park has it all in a beautiful downtown setting!

Hazel Parker Playground

70 E Bay St, Charleston

What makes it great: This park, in the heart of the peninsula, included tennis courts, restrooms, drinking fountains, picnic tables, and more!

Daniel Island

Smythe Park – Pirate Cove

2364 Daniel Island Dr, Charleston

What makes it great: This park offers walking paths around a pond, picnic tables and a grill. And did we mention it’s a pirate ship??

Pirate Park DI

Pirate Cove Daniel Island

Governor’s Park

Seven Farms Drive, Daniel Island

What makes it great: Located near the Family Circle Tennis Center, this playground has soccer and baseball fields, a playground, waterfront trails and more. The playground itself has a zip line that your kids will love!

James Island

James Island County Park

871 Riverland Drive, Charleston

What makes it great: You could spend an entire day at James Island County Park playing on the playground, cooling down on the splash pad or Splash Zone Waterpark, biking, kayaking, walking, picnicking and and more.

JI splash pad

James Island County Park

Plymouth Park

35 Plymouth Ave, Charleston

What makes it great: A park shaded by oak trees right along Wappoo Creek, Plymouth Park is located across from a fire station and baseball field for added fun!

North Charleston

Wannamaker Park

8888 University Blvd, North Charleston

What makes it great: With two playgrounds, the Tot Lot and Fun Lot, Wannamaker has so much to offer! A large hill nearby is perfect for running and sliding down. A fountain to splash in, trails for biking and hiking, and lots of green space to run around on make this a playground you won’t want to miss!


Gahagan Park

184 W Boundary St, Summerville

What makes it great: This large park is completely shaded, with plenty of areas for parents to sit and watch their children play.

Sullivan’s Island

J. Marshall Stith Park

Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island

What makes it great: Shade, separate enclosed area for little ones, tennis court, basketball courts, picnic tables and lots of local restaurants nearby. The recipe for a perfect playground!

Sullivans Island

Sullivan’s Island

Isle of Palms

IOP Recreation Center

28th Street, Isle of Palms

What makes it great: This HUGE playground is just minutes from the beach and has bathrooms onsite.

IOP Park


Folly Beach

Pirate Cove Playground

510 E Erie Ave, Folly Beach

What makes it great: Pirate. Playground. Need I say more? This park is shaded by a large tree in the center and has a covered gazebo for events. There is also a skate park nearby for bigger kids.

What’s your favorite playground? Leave your answer in the comments below!

Beat boredom with our Ultimate Guide to Summer around Charleston! You’ll definitely want to keep this handy all summer long!

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One Response to A Charleston Mom’s Guide to the Best Local Playgrounds

  1. Jennifer March 11, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    We love Plymouth Park on James Island, also. It has quite a few toys that people have left behind for the kids to play with. It is right on the water, shaded by oak trees, and across the street from a fire station and baseball field.