Charleston beaches

Charleston: Free & Low-Cost Events for Families


What’s better than summer fun? Summer fun on the cheap! We’re compiling a list of free and low-cost summertime events perfect for visitors or families looking to entertain the kiddos until school’s back in session.

We’d love to add your free and low-cost events to our list! Email us at [email protected] or post your event to our newly designed calendar.

1. Movie Nights

Spread out on a blanket and enjoy a family flick under the stars at one of the local movie nights. Wannamaker Movie Night is July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept. 12 at Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston. Admission is free with regular park admission ($1/person).

Starlight Cinema at Freshfields Village on Kiawah Island plays movies on the green at 8:30 p.m. each Wednesday through Sept. 2. Free admission. Movies in the Park with Cinebarre is at Memorial Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant. Movies begin at sunset (about 9 p.m.) each Friday night in August. Free admission and parking.

The Town of Summerville is hosting free movies on the football field at Gahagan Park. Movies begin at 8:30 p.m. on July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14.

2. A Day at the Beach

Spend the day soaking up the sun at the beach. Visit one of Charleston’s local beaches – Isle of Palms, Kiawah, Sullivan’s Island or Folly – to splash in the waves and walk the beach collecting shells to take back home. Review our Charleston Area Beach Guide.

3. Ready to Readstack of books

The Charleston County Public Library offers a host of free activities for kids, including crafts, storytelling, puppet shows, movies and more. Many events are part of the summer reading program; check the schedule and locations at ccpl.org.

4. Play at the Park

Splash in fountains at Waterfront Park. This city park on the Charleston harbor has fountains perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Explore Charleston’s other parks – all 120 parks and green spaces in the city. View a full Park Directory on the Charleston Parks Conservancy’s website.

5. Splash Day

Get wet and wild at Splash Day on July 15 at Memorial Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant. Kids can play on the giant water inflatables while cooling off in a fire department spray down. Special area for ages 6 and under. Free admission and parking.

Charleston RiverDogs

photo/Charleston RiverDogs

6. Charleston RiverDogs Game

Take the kids out to the ballgame and enjoy a night at Joe Riley Stadium on the Ashley River. Watch the Charleston RiverDogs and enjoy some serious ballpark grub. Tickets start at $15.

7. Save on Children’s Museum

On a hot day, cool at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. And use our coupon to save $5 off admission. The museum has a kid-sized grocery store, arts and crafts room, pirate ship and castle for pretend play.