Exploring Historic Charleston with Kids

Whenever we go on vacation, as you may know from my previous post, I try to find things that are free or low-cost.  It’s also important to me that we all experience the uniqueness of the destination.  While putt putt golf is fun and entertaining, it’s pretty much the same everywhere.  So our list usually includes historic and cultural sites so that we can appreciate where we are in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Charleston has a lot of history and a lot of culture, so we were excited to explore!  The first morning we were in the city, we took time to walk around the historic area of the city.  We also made a few stops, including visiting the historic Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon.  This building has been there since 1771, and it is currently a historic site revolving around the history of colonial Charleston and the American Revolution.  Many American revolutionaries were imprisoned in this dungeon.  

You can enter for a small fee.  Kids under 6 are free, and kids under 12 get in for $5.    They offer a combo ticket of this and the slave market museum, but we took a hard pass on the combo due to the ages of our young children.  It is open everyday.  

You are free to explore the main and upper floors of the building, and there is a guided tour of the lower level (the dungeon!) offered.  The people who work here were dressed in period dress and were very excited to have children visiting, so they were very enthusiastic and welcoming to our family.  The kids got to sign a copy of the declaration of independence, and at the time we were there, there was a man doing a musket demonstration.  George Washington visited here and held a big party in the ballroom, so that was an exciting point of interest for our older boys.  There was a lot to see and learn about regarding the American revolution.  We haven’t gotten to visit many revolutionary historic sites, so this was especially interesting and fun for us.

There were also a number of models of historic ships that really piqued all of the kids’ interest.  We went down to the dungeon for the guided tour.  This was a very informative and entertaining tour.  There are also exposed old foundational city walls to see down here, and there were many stories of brave and loyal American revolutionaries that were very intriguing to our older kids.  Jimmy lost interest and became somewhat disruptive, so we took a break.  He was tired, as you can see, but he did well the rest of the time at the place.  We were there for a couple hours.

We walked around the city and got to see the famous rainbow row.  We visited the pineapple fountain as well of course.  Charleston is a beautiful city, and it was a treat to just take it all in.  The kids noticed differences between home and here, and they asked lots of good questions about why it was the way it was.

The city has a big historic market called the City Market which is also open daily.  We had lunch across the street from it on our city day.  It was very lively and busy!  There were many people weaving and selling seagrass baskets, which we came to see pretty much everywhere we visited.  

Our first morning getting acquainted with Charleston and its history and charm was delightful!  We were so happy and grateful to be there and excited for what was next!