Charleston family festival encourages children to play outside

Emory Stallings, 5, of Mount Pleasant checks out a bubble machine at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry's Fam Jam in Marion Square Saturday.

You'd think the directors of the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry would stick to getting kids to poke around stuff indoors, but that's not the case.

Saturday was the third year the museum organized a Fam Jam in Marion Square to encourage kids to play outside and be more physically active.

"It's our job to teach children and families about the power of play and the importance of play, and one of the best ways to play is to go outside and have fun," Executive Director Denis Chirles said.

Everybody who attended got a pink sticker for free admission to the children's museum the rest of the day.

Hundreds showed up to check out the festival. The half of Marion Square toward King Street was busy as usual with the Farmers Market, and the family festival filled the side toward Meeting Street. The Climbing Wall from James Island County Park was the most popular attraction all day long, with dozens standing in line for the chance to scale it.

There were plenty of other choices - a slack line to test balance, obstacle courses, jump castles, trampoline, miniature golf, basketball, martial arts and dance. About 40 organizations set up activities to get kids moving, Chirles said.

It was good news for Bryan Stallings of Mount Pleasant, who brought his 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.

"Hopefully it will burn off some energy and we can have some peace tonight," he said.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.