It’s the first few weeks of summer break with your kids, and so far, the living is easy. You’re going to the beach, catching afternoon movies and even taking the family out for ice cream.

But once you hit that one-month mark, you’ll start to realize why the school-year routine works so well for everyone. It’s not easy entertaining your kids every day, especially when you’re on a tight budget.

Brace yourselves for some good news, because you’re about to become the new super parents in the neighborhood.

There are dozens of discounted and even free activities to do around town that will help you fill your kids’ summer days without forking over too much cash.

During the Summer Movie Express program with Regal Movie Theaters, family-friendly movies are screened Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 1.

Admission is $1. Movies are shown at 10 a.m. at Regal Azalea Square Stadium 16, Regal Charlestowne Square Stadium 18 and Regal Palmetto Grand Stadium 16.

Visit to see which films will be shown.

It’s important to keep your kids engaged with education while they’re on summer break, but it doesn’t have to feel like punishment.

At Charles Towne Landing, kids can stay active and entertained as they learn about the birthplace of South Carolina.

The historic site features a 22-acre animal zoo with a black bear, otters, elk and other wildlife to the area, plus a reproduction of a trading ship docked at the Old Town Creek.

Admission is $7.50 for adults, $3.50 for kids ages 6 through 15 and free for younger kids. I’d recommend going in the morning when it’s not too hot, and load up on bug spray beforehand.

Visit for more information.

The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center is another fun, education activity that’s ideal for rainy days and those extra-hot July afternoons.

The museum features historic and hands-on exhibits that teach kids about the importance of fire safety. They also offer kids tours which include a craft project. Adult admission is $6 and kids younger than 13 get in for free.

Visit for more.

Bowling is a fun indoor activity, too, but it can get expensive if you have a big family.

Take advantage of the deals at The Alley downtown on the weekdays to save some money. Bowling is half-price 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

At 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays, there will be special kids’ crafts, movies and kids eat free when their parents buy entrees.


There are plenty of activities available to parents in the Lowcountry who want to keep their kids happy and active this summer, and some of them come without a price tag. Check out your local library for free events such as storytelling and interactive toddler classes.

And don’t forget about the multitude of public parks around town. The playground at the new Mount Pleasant Pier is right on the water and is shaded underneath the Ravenel Bridge, so you won’t have to worry about overheating.

With so much to do this summer, your kids won’t even ask for extra television time.

Reach Abigail Darlington at charlestonsavvyshopper@postand