Keep ’em busy, right? Here’s where to take the kids in Charleston:
S.C. AQUARIUM: It’s on the east end of Calhoun Street and its well-designed and well-stocked series of mountains-to-the-seas tanks literally go from S.C. mountain fish to saltwater creatures. Start at the top floor (mountain stream critters/fish) and follow the route down to main-floor tanks/displays. Show stopper? The two-story, 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank. $17.95; $10.95 for kids. (www.scaquarium.org)
PATRIOT’S POINT: The naval and maritime museum is just over the Cooper River in Mount Pleasant. The big draw is the USS Yorktown, the World War II/Vietnam aircraft carrier so big you can wander around it for hours. You can truly get lost wandering inside it. Two other ships and a sub can be toured, too. $16; $9 for kids. (www.patriotspoint.org)
CHARLES TOWNE LANDING: State park west of downtown, across the Ashley River, is on the city’s original 1670 site. Visit the modern visitor center/museum; outside, see ongoing archaeological excavations, a replica of a 17th-century sailboat, an outdoor zoo and other displays. $6; $3 for kids. (www.charlestowne.org)
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JAMES ISLAND COUNTY PARK. Head 8 miles southwest of downtown to this amazing place on the Stono River. The $1 admission allows you to fish on the tidal creek (no license required), walk, bicycle or skate on paved trails, use picnic facilities and enjoy the Funyard playground. For a fee, you can also use the 50-foot climbing wall or lease bikes or paddleboats. In warm weather, its Splash Zone water park ($11.99, less for kids) sports tube slides and a 500-foot tubing river. (www.ccprc.com)