Whether you are a flip-flop mom changing sandy diapers or a Charleston Momma shopping on King, entertaining visitors with different agendas is exciting but exhausting. If you are a free-spirit soaking up the salty, natural surrounding or a veteran host looking for new savory dishes and cocktails, there might be a new addition to your family tradition for making memories.
While family event planning can be a great adventure, it can also be about those Benjamins. So, for our daily activities many of us look forward to free or reasonably-priced activities and splurge on the weekend when we have visitors. Hopefully we can help moms sift through the array of choices for our Low Country locals and visitors.
Below are a few agendas to tackle with or without your guests or little ones in tow, and hopefully one of these events will be a crowd-pleaser for the young, old and in-between.
Coffee with a Splash of Art: Claire Monahan of North Charleston shares her go-to downtown agenda that also enables her toddler Rose to participate.
Pit Stop #1: East Bay: Bakehouse for coffee and a special treat
Pit Stop #2: City Waterfront Gallery for an art exhibit–a baby-friendly spot for crawlers and non-walkers, clean bathroom and changing tables!
Pit Stop #3: The pineapple fountain or splash fountain off Vendue. If time allows, Hazel Parker Playground and Rainbow Row are right around the corner.
Pit Stop #4: Lunch at Minero, a delicious, kid-friendly spot, or pack a picnic lunch with endless options.
Babies Starboard and Party at the Port: Olivia Sigman of Mount Pleasant loves to soak up all the Charleston area has to offer. If family from Anderson comes into town, they better be ready to jump on board! If there is a Strawberry Festival, Party at the Point (Fridays at Patriots Point) or Blessing of the Fleet, the Sigman family is ready to go! Her personal favorite activity, however, is going on the boat because that includes her furriest family member.
Pit Stop #1: Capers and Dewees Islands: Post-work rides and weekend day trips are always a good time with her husband and daughter, June. June would nap as a baby in the Ergo carrier, and now when they pull up to Capers or Dewees she is ready to splash around! Furry baby runs leash-free and gets some QT in the sand with fam!
Pit Stop #2: Morgan’s Creek Grill Isle of Palms: Temptation is too much to pass up with all the yummy snacks and cocktails on the covered or open deck overlooking the Intracoastal and Goat Island across the way. Parental Bonus: beach babies can play on the stage or brush up on their cornhole skills!
Pit Stop #3: Bed time. Toddler, parents, furry and less-furry friends can call it a day!
Weekends with our Wild Family and Wild Life: After a decade of vacationing in the Low Country, my sister-in-law Jennifer has created many fun family memories from the beaches, trails and shopping she and her husband and now teenage daughters have explored much of what this area has to offer. My husband, Mike, also loves photography, so it is a perfect combo!
Pit Stop #1 Santee Coastal Reserve in McClellanville: This trail is loaded with wild life and last time we counted seven gators, so be vigilant on this hike. For little ones, a stroller or carrier is a must. They can get out at certain points, but it is not a place to freely roam. If you have time to check out McClellanville and grab a bite to eat there a few options nearby.
Pit Stop #2: Sewee Outpost: Sandwiches, cool gear, and sweet souvenirs that every person I know absolutely loves. The biscuits are to die for, and the quick-grab options are all homemade and delicious.
Pit Stop #3: King Street Shopping: With two teenage nieces, shopping is always popular, and sweets near the Market candy shop have never failed over the years. Rooftop bar or your favorite spot for a cocktail is a way to unwind after the whirlwind of downtown.
Pit Stop #5: Seabrook Island–visting Grandparents.
Every beach has different wildlife and new options to break up the same routine. Biking from Seabrook to the end of Kiawah might be one of our favorites for wildlife viewing. Dolphins can be seen strand feeding, pelicans, sand dollars, starfish and more. Over the years, my family has visited Isle of Palms, Sullivans, Folly, Seabrook, Kiawah, Edisto and boated to others as well. You can also check out the distillery or tea plantation on Wadmalaw Island, especially if we need a break from the weather. Scheduling your family’s visit around several events can give everyone of all ages something to do. Catching a River Dogs game or some great tennis on Daniel Island is always exciting, the Cooper River Bridge Run, or our favorite the last few years has been SEWE.
South Eastern Wildlife Expedition
This year our family will definitely be coming into town for SEWE February 17-19, 2017. Our dog Pippa entered the Dock Dogs jumping contest at Brittlebank, and after a whirlwind trip to see the Retriever Demo, petting farm and shopping tents, we took the bus to Marion Square for tons of tasty cocktails, food samples and the Birds of Prey demonstration.
Looking for FREE Weekday Outdoor Activities? Social play and exercise for you and your lil’ one!
Hike It Baby! The county parks are a great place to start, and then make your way into the Francis Marion for more wildlife and adventure. Hike It Baby is a non-profit parents group dedicated to getting families together and out into nature with newborns and little ones.“We’re Goin’ on a Bear Hunt!” for National Trails Day is the next event on June 4th, National Hiking Day. Kids will read the book then hunt in nature for hidden bears!
Branch Leads can help answer any questions. Just look them up on the website and join them for a hike or stroll in the outdoors.