Family vacations are a fine art. If you spend too much time lounging at the beach, the kids will get antsy. Jam pack your days with active pursuits, and you might leave feeling more tired than when you arrived.
But with its bike paths and marshes, scenic parks, and kid-friendly activities, Kiawah Island offers the ideal setting for an all-ages getaway. Here, you’ll strike the perfect balance between fun and relaxation.
As a family ourselves, we’ve done plenty of firsthand research on the best things to do on Kiawah Island, for kids from young to old. So if you’re searching for ideas on how to spend your time as a family on Kiawah, look no further. Here are our ten favorites.
1. Cast a line in a Kiawah river
Book a fishing tour with your tiny anglers. Let the little ones cast their lines in Kiawah’s channels and creeks and reel in some prize catches. Or if you’d rather stay on land, grab a bucket of bait and head to the island’s fishing lagoons or the pond at Night Heron Park.
2. Swim your hearts out
With 10 miles of beach, Kiawah is a haven for water-lovers. We recommend heading to Beachwalker Park if you’re planning on doing some serious swimming: lifeguards are on duty there during the season. Or if you’re seeking a little more excitement, bring the family to the Splash Zone at nearby James Island County Park. Let the kids zoom through the waterslides while you meander down the lazy river.
3. Have a sandcastle competition
Look at the beach and you’ll see the proof—building sandcastles is one of the islanders’ favorite things to do on Kiawah Island. With smooth, compact beaches, you’ll have an excellent base— and an array seashells offer plenty of options for decoration. Team up or face-off individually to see which of your kin can craft the best castle. It’s classic, simple beach fun.
4. Book a family tee time
Have a budding pro on your hands? Osprey, Cougar, Turtle, and Oak Points all offer family tee times in the summer and around the Christmas and Easter holidays. No hole is longer than 250 yards, and tee times are spaced out for a low-pressure environment. Book with ease by calling (843) 266-4050.
5. Hit the bike paths
Part method-of-travel, part fun, riding the bike paths is among the top things to do on Kiawah Island. Get in a workout and let the little ones burn off some energy by riding all around the island. Pedal past lagoons, scenic marshes, the beach, Freshfields Village, and Bohicket Marina—where you can window shop as the boats pass by or dine at a mouthwatering Mexican restaurant. When you’re not sure how to spend your day, just start pedaling: you’re bound to find something to keep the troops entertained.
6. Spend the day at Kamp Kiawah
Sign the kids up for a morning, afternoon, or full day at Kamp Kiawah, a favorite among young guests on the island. They can choose between classic camp fun—like arts and crafts and swimming—and faster-paced theme camps with activities like kayaking, motorboat trips, and Ninja Warrior courses. Plus, while they’re having a blast at camp, you can treat yourself to an afternoon at the spa or on the green. Book a day at camp by calling (843) 768-6001.
7. See what’s happening at Mingo Point
Mingo Point’s Oyster Roast and BBQ is a longstanding favorite thing to do on Kiawah Island. But this scenic spot is home to more than the famous cookout. Visit during the day to catch dolphin encounters tours, family kayaking groups, and more. For a rundown of the day’s activities and to make reservation in advance, call (843) 768-6001.
8. Go on a wildlife scavenger hunt
From egrets and pelicans to bobcats and alligators to the beloved loggerhead turtle, Kiawah’s lagoons, marshes, and forests are home to a vast variety of wildlife. Set out on a day-long scavenger hunt to see who can spot more of the island’s native creatures. For a little bit of help, catch a daytime or nighttime naturalist tour out of Night Heron Park.
9. Find the best ice cream on Kiawah
No day on the island is complete without a sweet treat. Try a new spot every night to find your favorite cone—you’re on vacation, after all. Taste seasonal scoops at The Sanctuary’s Beaches and Cream, order the famous vacation sundae at old-timey Vincent’s Drug Store, or save room for dessert at any one of Kiawah’s mouthwatering restaurants.
10. Make a splash at the movies
Every Thursday night in the summer, The Sanctuary opens up its pool for a very special Kiawah Island tradition: dive-in movies. Grab a poolside lounger or cool off with a dip while family-friendly flicks play on the big screen by the pool. Where else can you watch a movie under the stars, with the waves rolling in in the distance?
Find family-friendly accommodations near the top things to do on Kiawah Island
Choose accommodations with room for the whole family to rest, relax, and enjoy vacation to its fullest. Our Kiawah Island villas offer spacious bedrooms—many configured to accommodate small families—and indoor and outdoor living areas, ideal for spending time together. Learn more and book here..