We recently had the chance to visit Charleston, SC and had an amazing time during our brief visit. One of the first things we did before packing up and heading out was to see if there was a Charleston children’s museum. The answer is a definite yes! Ready to learn about our trip to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML)? Read along.
Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Located at 25 Ann Street, the museum is in the heart of the city near the Charleston Visitor Center building. We were warmly greeted by the staff as we entered the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML).
The staff member checking us in inquired if when had visited before, gathered some geographical information from us, and looked for other ways to offer up some discounts. She then went over the basic layout of the building. As well as the fact that we could go and come as we pleased throughout the day with our visitor stickers.
Pricing for CML is free for those under 12-months, $10 for SC residents, and $12 for non-residents. Discounts are available for educators, military members, and those that receive state and/or federal assistance programs. Your admission gets you access for the full-day, so feel free to leave for lunch, snacks, or naps!
The CML is situated on one-level with the interactive areas to the left and right of the lobby. Off the lobby is a door to the exterior play area, as well.
Right side of lobby
Heading to the right, you’ll find the area they call the Medieval Creativity Castle. However, we kept calling it fairy tale land since it was filled with knights, princesses, and dragons. There were capes and dress-up clothing, a small puppet stage, and numerous nooks and crannies to inspire the imagination. Personally, it was my favorite section.
Adjoining the castle was the Art Room, which was quite fun but after the amazing one in Phoenix, it was a bit of a disappointment. However, my travel companion enjoyed herself in that area.
Left side of lobby
The first area you come to is filled with Legos and other manipulative toys, allowing budding engineers to build fast cars, tall buildings, and whatever they could imagine. Additionally, there were two hill race tracks for testing out the speed and aerodynamics of their creations.
Next up, the Waterwise. Or as W calls it, the water table room. This was by far her favorite! There was a 3D depiction of Charleston and all of its water systems. The fan-favorite activity was filling up the reservoir for the dam and then flooding the Lowcountry. This was enjoyed by the caregivers and children.
Then off to the high seas! Ahoy, matey! It is a pirate’s life for me. Mina enjoyed the pirate ship and running amok with some other children. Thankfully, nobody had to walk the plank.
Last but not least for us, the Publix Market. The grocery store is always a hit with my daughter, and for the many others I have observed over time. This market featured some local fare with an abundance of seafood!
We’ve outgrown the space, but that didn’t diminish its appeal, but an infant and toddler section is at the far end for that crowd. Also, a garden area is off the outdoor play space.
Best part of the visit
The four-year-old loved the Waterwise area. I honestly think she could have hung out there for a couple of hours, easily. My favorite area was the fairy tale land (medieval castle). We had the most fun interacting in that space. Additionally, I observed a lot of other adults and children getting into it as well!
Area for improvement to the museum
I’m genuinely starting to wonder if the Children’s Museum of Phoenix spoiled all the other ones for me, none have compared!
Much like EdVenture in Columbia, this facility is in need of a deep clean and some revitalization. Unfortunately, I would imagine a lot of the annual budget goes to overhead costs because of its prime location in Charleston. Many of the interactive areas had items that were well-worn and a few things were even broken. This is certainly not noticed by most children but I couldn’t help but notice.
Food and parking information
In the CML lobby, there is a small gift shop corner that has trinkets for sale along with some snacks. There is an overabundance of dining options nearby, almost overwhelming at times with a small child in tow. The eating on-site policies for snacks seemed to be pretty liberal since I saw a few children snacking throughout.
Street parking can be found, but a word of caution about it. Note when you park! The parking enforcement in Charleston is very vigilant and you will get a ticket if you over-stay your parking spot. In addition to street parking, a parking garage is nearby with a copious amount of spaces.
Would we visit again?
I’ll pass on a return visit to a Charleston children’s museum but I’ll be sure to visit the city itself again! Before visiting we had already found two awesome playgrounds and another the next day. Next time we’ll be checking out the main library branch, we heard some amazing things about it.
Clean up time!
We hope we have helped you decide whether or not to add the Charleston children’s museum, Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, to your things to do list for Charleston. Be sure to follow along to check out our upcoming visits to more children’s museums!
Want to learn more about our trip? Head over to The Busy Llama on Facebook to find out about the rest of it. Not to mention, we have many more trips and adventures planned for our #summeradventures so be sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram!
Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.Mr. Rogers