Top Family Activities in Folly Beach, SC

Folly Beach, SC is a small town, 20 minutes from downtown Charleston.  The area is known for its vibrant summer life and beautiful beach, but it’s not only for adults to enjoy! Folly Beach offers a variety of kid-friendly things to do for any family visiting.

Charleston beach vacation photography

The town has an eclectic atmosphere, making it fun and funky for families to take advantage of. I love sharing about my new home and am always excited to share interesting and beautiful places with the families I work with! So, here is my top list of kid-friendly things to do in Folly Beach, SC!

And to add, I’ve shared a few of my favorite activities in downtown Charleston, as well!

Family-Friendly Activities
in Folly Beach for Kids

If your family can enjoy and appreciate the outdoors, architecture, rich history, and beautiful scenery – Charleston and Folly Beach are absolute perfect places to visit with your little ones. The town of Folly Beach offers the best of both city-life and exploring while also providing the beach for playing in the sand and waves!

There are plenty of things to do with kids in Folly Beach, SC, and I’ve rounded up my top favorite activities to share with you for your next family vacation!

Some of the activities are free, while others may require you to purchase tickets.

Charleston Family Beach Vacation Photos
Visiting Folly Beach offers family friendly activities and also the beach for playing in the sand and waves!

This is such a fun activity for kids of any age! I’ve done tours with two different companies that I can definitely recommend! The dolphin boat tours will take you through the Folly River and marshes, in search of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that live in the area year-round.

The captain of your tour will take you through the waters, explain about the ecosystem, and share their knowledge about the local history surrounding Folly Beach.

My two company recommendations are:

Flipper Finders
Absolute Reel Screamer Charters

Fun facts about both companies:

When you book with Flipper Finders, their team is full of enthusiasm! This local company has a new boat to accommodate larger groups, and glowing reviews from past clients.

If you decide to book with Absolute Reel Screamer Charters, the knowledgeable Captain Gresh may even show the family how to catch shrimp if it’s that time of year!

Dolphin boat tours will take you through the Folly River and is a favorite activity for families visiting Folly Beach
Photo Caption: Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in front of Morris Island Lighthouse and off the side of Captain Gresh’s boat. Dolphin images courtesy of Absolute Reel Screamer Charters.


Another fun family activity is looking for shark teeth on Folly Beach! At low-tide, make sure to look down and see if you can find shark teeth, you might get lucky!

A few pointers on how to find them:

  • The BEST time to search for shark teeth is during mid-tide, as it’s on its way to low-tide. The common misconception is to look just at low-tide.
  • Shark teeth are heavier than shells so they don’t move as much when the wave rolls away.
  • Make sure the kids don’t get discouraged! Some days there are more shark teeth than others!

I like to say, roll with the waves and make a fun game out of it!

And here’s a fun fact, shark teeth are actually shark fossils! Neat, right?

Searching for shark teeth fossils is a unique family friendly activity on Folly Beach, SC

Adventure, water sports, and getting active… I definitely recommend surf lessons for the kids while you’re in Folly Beach! The beach at Folly boasts great waves for beginner surfers to enjoy. If the kids aren’t into surfing, boogie boarding is another great option to choose from, which can be less intimidating.

Kids can learn from professional surf teachers who’ve trained all over the world and took part in surf competitions. There are a variety of options, and two places I can recommend for surf lessons…

Isla Surf
Shaka Surf School

Both surf schools offer individual and group lessons, with the option to choose a more beginner approach or advanced coaching.

Surf lessons as an idea for families on vacation in Folly Beach.

One of my favorite activities is staying in and ordering pizza to go from Woody’s Pizza.

There are plenty of pizza places, but Woody’s is one of the top local favorites in Folly Beach! They’re known for their large pizzas and breadsticks, so I highly encourage getting both.

This is a fun activity to do when everyone’s tired, possibly sunburnt, and want a casual night in. Woody’s Pizza delivers around Folly Beach, but if your family is willing to venture out, they also have a casual patio area to dine in that is children-friendly.

My favorite pizza from Woody’s is the Speciality Veggie Pizza. I’m also a fan of build-your-own, and including ham & pineapple!

Woody's Pizza on Folly Beach, a great idea is get to go pizza for families on vacation after a busy day of activities or beach time
Folly Beach Family Friendly Activities
Photo caption: Woody’s Pizza, at the corner of Hudson & Center Street, Folly Beach, South Carolina. The phone number is 843-588-0088.

Family-Friendly Activities in
downtown Charleston for Kids

Of course, if you’re in the Folly Beach area, a 20-minute drive to downtown Charleston is completely necessary! Charleston is known for its pastel-colored homes, southern hospitality, and rich history. To add to my list of top family activities in Folly Beach, SC I had to include some activities in downtown Charleston, which is only a short car ride away!


If the kids are tired of the beach or you’re caught in rainy weather, the South Carolina Aquarium is a great alternative to spend the day learning and being active! The aquarium has a touch tank, exhibits highlighting Charleston’s marine habitats, and kid-friendly displays.

The building is two-stories and has a 385,000-gallon tank, with sea turtles, sharks, and daily dive shows! There is also a touch tank for sting rays on the first floor outdoor area – be sure not to miss this highlight of the aquarium.

Address: 100 Aquarium Wharf
Ticket prices: $22.95 (children), $29.95 (adult)
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Timed entries must be reserved in advance. (Required due to safety precautions limiting number of guests).

Charleston and Folly Beach family vacation ideas
Photo Caption: (Above) Outside of the South Carolina Aquarium. (Below) My friends and I at a shark encounter or… aquarium photo magic? 😉
Charleston and Folly Beach Family Vacation Activities


I can’t recommend enough to walk the Battery and White Point Gardens in Charleston, SC. This is a FREE activity that the whole family can enjoy!

The two areas are not only beautiful, they also are important areas to Charleston’s history. White Point Gardens is a small park/plaza at the tip of Charleston overlooking the Charleston Harbor. It’s primarily a residential area a few blocks away from the rest of the commercial district, so if you do plan to go with kids, make sure to plan ahead for bathroom breaks!

After walking through both of these scenic areas, finish off the walk with ice cream or gelato at one of the many delicious spots downtown. Two places I can definitely recommend are Belgian Gelato or Off-Track Ice Cream.

My go-to flavors are chocolate or pistachio. Off-Track Ice Cream also makes seasonal flavors and menu updates based on ingredients!

A enjoyable family activity is waling through White Point Gardens, Charleston
The Battery, Things to Do in Charleston
Photo caption: Sights from the area, including oak trees and historic cannons near White Point Gardens/The Battery.

Charleston family vacation and activities to do
Photo Caption: (Above left) The famous Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park.
(Above right) The scenic gazebo in White Point Gardens.

The Charleston Waterfront Park is an ideal place to visit with children of any and all ages! The park has a paved pathway, stroller and bicycle friendly, where you can take a walk with the kids and enjoy the view, with ice cream, of course!

The Waterfront Park has picnic areas, people-watching, and a large cooling fountain young children can run and play in. If you continue along the pathway, you’ll find the famous Pineapple Fountain, where you can take family photos and selfies, and if you continue further, you’ll end up on Rainbow Row with the iconic pastel homes of Charleston, SC!

Bonus: Family photos with your kids!

As an extra bonus, another activity with your family is to take family photos in Folly Beach or downtown Charleston! Charleston or Folly Beach are amazing locations with different scenic areas for photos.

Taking the time to capture a special family vacation is like the icing on top of a very delicious scoop of ice cream and an excellent way to capture memories that are experiences.

Charleston South Carolina Photographer Oriana
Final Thoughts

Folly Beach, SC and downtown Charleston aren’t only for adults to indulge and enjoy, the area is diverse in activities and offers plenty of family-friendly experiences for kids of all ages!

To recap, my top family activities in Folly Beach are…

  1. Dolphin boat tours on Folly River and the marsh
  2. Searching for shark teeth (and making it a game!)
  3. Surf lessons at Isla Surf or Shaka Surf School
  4. Getting Woody’s Pizza to go

And in Charleston, some of my recommendations for family activities are…

  1. Visiting the South Carolina Aquarium
  2. Walking the Battery and White Point Gardens
  3. Strolling through Waterfront Park

But the biggest one is having a family photoshoot at any of these locations!

[ READ: 4 Family Photo Spots in Charleston, SC ]

Folly Beach’s charm certainly won’t be lost on your kids and the southern hospitality means you will always feel at home here! Interested in learning more about family photoshoots with your little ones? Send me an email to talk about different options.

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