Beautiful South Carolina is a tourist paradise. With good weather all year round, sunny beaches, historic cities and plenty of activities for the whole family, this state is an excellent option for a vacation. So whether you want to relax on a beach located on a gorgeous coastal island like Dewees Island or soak up historic Charleston’s charm, South Carolina should be on your destination list.
The tourism motto of South Carolina is “Made for Vacation.” One of the most popular vacation activities is visiting one of the state’s many amusement parks. The warm climate makes these parks a year-round attraction, and there is a park for thrill-seekers of all ages.
While vacationers flock to the Palmetto State for the pristine beaches and history, these seven kid-friendly amusement parks provide fun-filled adventures for the entire family.
A South Carolina institution since 1948, Pavilion Park offers classic rides and family-friendly thrills. The park is home to the Broadway 360 Ferris wheel, the Super Happy Swing, and Mini Tea-cups, or go for a gravity-defying ride on the Moonraker 20.
For a taste of nostalgia, join the thousands that have gone around on the vintage Herschell-Spillman Carousel. The attraction was built in 1912 and has called this park home since the 1950s.
Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark
If you need to cool off on a hot summer day, the Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark will make a splash with your family. Get splashed in the Big Kahuna wave pool or go for a wild ride on the Washout, where two slides will send you spiraling and spinning up to 65 feet in the air. You can also race your family and friends over the bumps and drops of the Rip Tide Run water slide. These rides are only available for patrons over 48 inches tall.
For a more relaxing adventure, try floating down the 870 feet of the lazy Rollin’ River. Lily Pad Lagoon and Otter Bay are special areas for kids to enjoy the water in a safe environment with adventures geared toward their age.
The city operates the waterpark, and it only costs $23.99 for an adult general admission day pass, with a $9 discount for entry after 3 p.m. Additional discounts are available for patrons under 48 inches and senior citizens.
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Family Kingdom Amusement Park
For the adrenaline junkies of the world, Family Kingdom Amusement Park offers several heart-pumping wild rides. The Twist ‘n’ Shout steel roller coaster takes you on a ride in vintage-themed cars, and the Swamp Rat wooden roller coaster gives you a rattling old-school rush.
Classic amusement park favorites like the Tilt-o-Whirl, a slingshot and bumper cars are also available for more fun. Rides are paid per ride with cash or tickets, allowing you to save money and only pay for what you want to ride.
Carowinds is located on the North Carolina-South Carolina state line and is an excellent vacation spot for thrill-seekers. The park features the Intimidator, a 232-foot-tall steel roller coaster designed in honor of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, which sends passengers flying up to 75 miles per hour. The park’s newest coaster is the Copperhead Strike, the first double-launch roller coaster in the Carolinas.
The park has Camp Snoopy for the kids, with Peanuts-themed rides like the junior-sized roller coaster the Woodstock Express and the miniature swing ride Charlie Brown’s Windup.
Daily tickets start from $45, with discounts for active and retired military, seniors and kids.
Charleston Fun Park
If you’re in the Charleston area visiting the relaxing Isle of Palms and Wild Dunes, drive the 4.7 miles to Charleston Fun Park for an exciting adventure. This local attraction has everything from mini-golf, arcade games, axe throwing, go-karts, mini bowling and a virtual reality roller coaster for you to enjoy.
Try your hand at 18 holes of mini-golf with your family or battle each other in the new OMNI virtual reality battle area. Race on our go-kart track or try out your bullseye skills in Charleston Fun Park’s outdoor axe-throwing arena. You can also grab a bite to eat while enjoying the attractions, as the park offers pretzels, hot dogs, chips and ice cream.
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Based on the attraction, prices range from around $5 to $20.
Discovery Island Waterpark
Discovery Island Waterpark provides people in Simpsonville, South Carolina with several water-based attractions to enjoy while out and about in the warm southern sun. The park features two large 25-foot water slides. You can ride down one slide in a tube and go down the other like a standard slide. It also has a 270-foot lazy river where you can relax and glide along with other parkgoers.
Children can enjoy a four-tier Splash ‘n’ Play area, while the daring can try to surf and boogie board on the FlowRider Perpetual Wave generator.
The park does have strict ride guidelines regarding height and life jackets, so come prepared. Children under 42″ have to wear a U.S. Coast-Guard-approved life jacket while in the park, and only those taller than 42″ can ride the FlowRider. Entry is $13 online and for those 48″ or taller. Entry lowers to $9 for those 47″ or under and seniors. The park is free for children under two years.
LuLu’s Beach Arcade and Ropes Course
LuLu’s Beach Arcade is a family-friendly attraction located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They offer a fully equipped arcade for those who enjoy gaming and a massive outdoor rope-climbing course for guests who prefer real-life action.
The arcade is open all week long, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday. LuLu’s uses play cards for its games, which you can buy for $20, $50 or $100.
The ropes course is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so come during the weekend if you prefer this attraction. To climb, you must be over 48″ and under 285 lbs. for the Quick Jump. For the Mountain of Youth attraction, you must be under 300 lbs. Ropes courses cost between $15 and $25, with a 10% offered to those who buy tickets ahead of time online.
Enjoy South Carolina’s Amusement Park Attractions
If you’re looking for a family-friendly attraction where you can spend time with your loved ones on vacation, choose one of the state’s water parks, amusement parks or arcades. South Carolina’s attractions offer excitement and fun for all ages. You and your family can catch a thrill on a rollercoaster, cool off in a lazy river and enjoy each other’s company as you battle it out in virtual reality. Visit South Carolina to discover all its amusement parks have to offer.