Family Friendly Activities In Charleston

Things to Do in Charleston Wv With Kids

Charleston, WV, is a fantastic destination for families, offering a variety of kid-friendly activities that are both fun and educational. Take a trip to the West Virginia State Museum to explore interactive exhibits that bring the state's history to life. This is a great way for kids to learn about the past in an engaging way.

Another must-visit is the Clay Center, where children can engage in hands-on learning about science and the arts. Check out their schedule for special kid-friendly performances that can be a great cultural experience for the whole family.

Additionally, the Children's Theatre of Charleston offers performances that are tailored for young audiences, making it an excellent opportunity for kids to enjoy live theater.

For those who love the outdoors, the Kanawha State Forest is perfect. It has extensive trails that are ideal for hiking and observing wildlife, providing children with a firsthand experience of nature.

Similarly, Coonskin Park offers a variety of outdoor activities. From paddle boating to playing miniature golf, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

These attractions in Charleston not only keep the kids entertained but also stimulate their curiosity and love for learning. Whether it's through exploring a museum, watching a performance, or enjoying nature, each experience is an opportunity for fun and education.

So why not plan your visit today?

Visit the Clay Center

Explore Art And Science

Explore the Clay Center in Charleston, WV

Located at One Clay Square, the Clay Center is a vibrant hub for both creativity and science, making it an ideal destination for families in Charleston, WV. Spanning 240,000 square feet, this facility offers a wealth of educational and fun activities for visitors of all ages.

Inside the Avampato Discovery Museum, kids can dive into interactive exhibits that are both fun and educational. They can experiment with making stop-motion films or discover how water energy works. The hands-on approach at the Clay Center ensures that every visit is engaging and enriching.

Art lovers will appreciate the Juliet Museum of Expression, also located within the center. This museum showcases artistic works from different cultures and historical periods, providing visitors with a broad perspective on creative expression.

The Maier Foundation Performance Hall, another key feature of the Clay Center, hosts a variety of musical performances and cultural events. This venue is a cornerstone for cultural activities in Charleston, offering audiences diverse programming that enriches the community.

A trip to the Clay Center is a chance to spark curiosity and foster a lifelong appreciation for learning and creativity. From building model rocket ships to exploring art exhibitions, the center offers numerous opportunities to learn and have fun. Make sure to include it in your Charleston itinerary for a memorable family experience.

Explore Capitol Market

Discover the Charm of Capitol Market

Visit the vibrant Capitol Market to experience a wealth of local produce, including fruits, vegetables, and meats, directly from West Virginia's farmers. This bustling spot is more than just a food market; it's a celebration of local culture, featuring crafts such as hand-blown glassware and artisanal salts that showcase the area's heritage.

A Hub of Local Flavor and Craftsmanship

As you stroll through the market, you'll find a variety of food vendors and craftspeople, each proudly presenting a slice of West Virginia's agricultural history. Make sure to try the sushi or explore the variety of fine cheeses offered at the specialty shops. Capitol Market isn't only a place for food enthusiasts; it also includes family-friendly activities like a Lego station to keep the children entertained.

A Community Experience

Capitol Market is a perfect example of community and craftsmanship coming together. It's an ideal spot for families to soak in the lively atmosphere and engage with local vendors. Whether you're shopping for ingredients for your next meal or looking for a special gift, the market offers a rich, educational experience for both kids and adults.

Why Visit Capitol Market?

This market isn't just a place to shop; it's a place to learn about and participate in the local culture. From the food on offer to the crafts available, every product has a story tied to West Virginia. Visiting Capitol Market means supporting local farmers and artisans, and contributing to the local economy.

Plan Your Visit

When planning your visit, consider spending a few hours exploring all that Capitol Market has to offer. It's a wonderful way to spend a day, filled with opportunities to taste, shop, and learn.

Discover Kanawha State Forest

Explore Kanawha State Forest

Explore Kanawha State Forest

When you visit Kanawha State Forest, you'll discover a range of hiking trails that are ideal for families eager to explore the outdoors. As you walk these paths, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, such as butterflies and local birds, which are a testament to the forest's vibrant ecosystem. This interaction with wildlife not only entertains but also educates, offering insights into the importance of biodiversity.

Make sure to bring a picnic as the forest is dotted with beautiful spots perfect for a break. Enjoy your meal in the peace of nature, where the only soundtrack is the rustling of leaves and bird calls. These areas offer a perfect pause to appreciate the beauty around you and recharge.

Kanawha State Forest isn't just a place for physical activity but also a venue for relaxation and learning about nature. Whether you're hiking, bird watching, or enjoying a picnic, the forest provides a beautiful backdrop for a memorable day out with family or friends. Engage with the environment and leave feeling refreshed and informed.

Explore Hiking Trails

Take your family on a refreshing outing to Kanawha State Forest. It's a perfect place for everyone, from beginners to experienced hikers, with trails that cater to all skill levels. This forest isn't just a path to trek; it's an opportunity to truly connect with nature.

The forest trails wind through vibrant ecosystems, offering you a firsthand look at towering trees and expansive green areas that are ideal for young explorers. The sounds of crunching leaves and flowing creeks create a peaceful background as you hike.

Make sure to bring a picnic for the family. A favorite spot is by the creek, where you can relax, and the kids might even spot some minnows swimming by. These moments of simple pleasure enhance the hiking experience in Kanawha State Forest.

Wildlife Viewing Opportunities

At Kanawha State Forest, located near Charleston, WV, your family can discover a wide range of wildlife such as native birds and lively frogs. This area is a great escape from city life, offering a unique chance to see wildlife up close. As you walk along the forest trails, look out for the bright colors of butterflies and the shiny spider webs in the sunlight.

Further into the forest, you'll find streams where kids can watch small fish darting through the water and frogs jumping away as they get closer. This isn't just a simple walk; it's a chance to explore nature's complexities, where every step unveils something new about the ecosystem. The forest is filled with the sounds of various birds, creating a natural soundtrack that enhances the beauty of the surroundings.

This environment allows your family to engage directly with nature and learn about the importance of maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Observing a bird's nest or spotting a well-hidden frog can teach valuable lessons about the natural world, increasing your appreciation for the diversity at Kanawha State Forest.

Picnic Areas Available

After discovering the diverse wildlife in Kanawha State Forest, take a moment to unwind at one of the specially designated picnic spots. These areas blend seamlessly into the natural landscape, providing you and your family with ideal settings for a leisurely picnic. Each spot is equipped with benches and garbage bins, ensuring your comfort and helping keep the environment clean.

Bringing your own snacks and drinks can make your visit even more enjoyable. Picnicking here offers a unique opportunity to step away from daily digital distractions and engage in meaningful conversations with your loved ones. Surrounded by the calming sounds of rustling leaves and bird calls, it's the perfect place to share stories, laugh, and maybe even plan your next outing.

Picnicking in Kanawha State Forest is more than just eating outside; it's about strengthening relationships. The tranquil environment helps slow down time, allowing you to savor every moment with those you care about.

Don't miss the chance to make lasting memories in one of the most scenic spots in Charleston, WV.

Enjoy Ellens Homemade Ice Cream

Discover Delicious Diversity at Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream

Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream in Charleston is renowned for its unique and diverse flavors, including the regional favorite, pawpaw. This family-friendly venue is more than just an ice cream shop; it's a place where each scoop reflects a commitment to high-quality ingredients and exceptional craftsmanship.

A Vibrant Spot in Capitol Market

Located in the bustling Capitol Market, Ellen's is a popular spot for both locals and visitors. The lively atmosphere is perfect for everyone, from kids to adults, eager to taste new and exciting ice cream flavors. Ellen's combines creamy textures with inventive flavor combinations, ensuring a fresh experience with every visit.

A Must-Visit During Your Charleston Trip

Ellen's not only offers a tasty treat but also provides a delightful break from your day in Charleston. The shop's history includes a mix of cherished traditional recipes and innovative new flavors that capture the essence of creativity and local culture.

When planning your activities, include a stop at Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream. It's an integral part of the Charleston scene, offering a unique taste of the city, one scoop at a time.

Tour the West Virginia State Museum

Explore West Virginia S History

Visiting the West Virginia State Museum is like embarking on a fascinating journey through time. As you explore the exhibits, you'll discover stories that highlight the key people and events that have shaped West States' history. This is a great opportunity for both adults and children to learn about the state's heritage through interactive educational programs and to admire artifacts that illustrate West Virginia's rich history.

The museum not only showcases historical pieces but also integrates modern technology to give visitors a deeper understanding of the context behind each display. For example, interactive screens allow you to dive deeper into the Civil War era or the state's coal mining impact. This hands-on approach helps make the history of West Virginia accessible and engaging for everyone.

Whether you're a history buff or looking for an educational outing with the family, the West Virginia State Museum offers a comprehensive and enlightening experience. It's a place where history comes alive and provides insights into the events that have influenced today's society in West Virginia.

Explore Historical Exhibits

Visiting the West Virginia State Museum is a unique way to experience the rich tapestry of the state's history, stretching from the era of John Brown's Raid to the present day. Located within the Capitol Complex's striking setting, this museum is a treasure trove of engaging exhibits and historical insights.

Interactive Exhibits: Get hands-on with displays that not only showcase but explain the pivotal moments and growth of West Virginia. These interactive features make learning about the state's past both fun and informative.

Artifacts: Check out genuine artifacts that offer a window into the daily lives of West Virginians throughout history. From household items to tools of trade, each piece tells a story of its own.

Architectural Beauty: The museum itself is a work of art, housed in the Capitol Complex renowned for its stunning marble. The architecture adds an extra layer of awe to your visit.

Iconic Statues: Don't miss the 'Lincoln Walks at Midnight' statue. It's not just a sculpture; it's a powerful representation of West Virginia's deep and complex history.

The museum's design aims to educate and inspire visitors of all ages. It's an ideal spot for families who want to explore West Virginia's historical journey in a captivating and educational environment.

Each section of the museum is thoughtfully curated to provide a comprehensive understanding of the state's development through the years.

Participate in Educational Programs

Visiting the West Virginia State Museum offers a unique opportunity to delve into the state's rich history through its educational programs. These programs cover key historical events like John Brown's Raid and track the state's cultural changes over time. They're designed to be interactive and accessible to visitors of all ages, making them perfect for family outings.

Here's what you can expect during your visit:

Age Group Program Focus Duration
All ages State History 1-2 hrs
Teens Civil War Era 1.5 hrs
Children Pioneer Life 1 hr
Families Coal Mining 1 hr

By participating in these programs, you'll gain a deeper understanding of West Virginia's pivotal moments and achievements. This isn't just about walking through an exhibit; it's an interactive way to experience the narratives that have shaped the state. You'll leave not just with facts, but with stories that stick with you.

For example, the "Coal Mining" program for families offers a hands-on experience where you can learn about the coal industry's impact on the state's development. It's a chance to understand the challenges and triumphs of coal miners through the years.

Incorporating these educational sessions into your museum visit will undoubtedly enhance your understanding of West Virginia. It's a perfect blend of learning and entertainment, ensuring that every family member walks away with new knowledge and appreciation for this unique state. Don't miss out on this enriching experience!

Discover Regional Artifacts

Exploring West Virginia's Rich History

If you're keen to delve into West Virginia's history, a visit to the State Museum in Charleston's Capitol Complex is a must. This museum showcases our state's journey from its early days to the present. Each gallery is meticulously organized, guiding you through different periods that have defined West Virginia.

Highlights of the Museum:

  • Architectural Beauty: Discover the variety of marbles used in the construction of the West Virginia State Capitol. Each type showcases the architectural elegance of the complex.
  • Interactive History: Learn about key historical moments such as John Brown's Raid through engaging, interactive displays. These exhibits explain the impact of such events on our state's development.
  • Memorial to Lincoln: The Lincoln Walks at Midnight Statue isn't just a sculpture; it symbolizes West Virginia's crucial role during significant historical periods.
  • Chronological Exploration: The museum offers a timeline of exhibits that trace the social, political, and cultural changes in West Virginia.

Visiting the West Virginia State Museum offers more than just a day trip—it's a comprehensive journey into the essence of West Virginia.

Whether you're a history buff or just curious about our state, the museum provides a detailed and engaging experience.

Play at Magic Island Park

Explore Magic Island Park in Charleston, WV for a refreshing and engaging day out with your family. Located by the picturesque Kanawha River, this park is a gem for children and adults alike, offering a variety of outdoor activities. It's an ideal place to spend an active afternoon or a peaceful evening enjoying nature and fun.

Central to the park is the splash pad, a popular spot especially during the summer, where kids can play in the water and cool down. Parents can watch comfortably from nearby benches. The playgrounds at Magic Island are modern and secure, featuring equipment that kids love, including high-flying swings and exciting slides.

For those who enjoy walks or bike rides, the park's walking trails are perfect. These trails are mostly flat and wind along the river, providing stunning views and a serene environment to reconnect with nature.

Here's a detailed look at what Magic Island Park has to offer:

Feature Description Accessibility
Splash Pad A place for children to cool off Easily accessible
Playgrounds Safe equipment for active play Fully accessible
Walking Trails Paths for walking and biking by the river Mostly flat paths
Picnic Areas Spots for family picnics Numerous spots
Event Spaces Venues for community gatherings Open access

Magic Island Park is more than just a playground; it's a community hub where memories are made. Whether you're looking to cool off at the splash pad, let your kids expend some energy on the playground, or simply enjoy a quiet walk, this park catifies all needs. It's a place that combines fun with relaxation and scenic beauty, ensuring every visit is enjoyable.

Attend a Show at the Alban Arts Center

Enjoy Live Theater Performances

Visit the Alban Arts Center for a delightful family outing, where a variety of performances are tailored to entertain both children and adults. From captivating plays to vibrant musicals, the center offers a straightforward ticketing process online or directly at the box office, making your visit hassle-free.

By engaging with live theater, children gain exposure to the arts, fostering creativity and appreciation from a young age. This makes the Alban Arts Center an essential stop in Charleston for families seeking cultural enrichment through entertainment.

The center is renowned for its commitment to accessibility and community involvement, ensuring that every performance is an opportunity for learning and enjoyment.

Whether it's the thrill of a new play or the charm of a classic musical, there's something at the Alban Arts Center to spark everyone's imagination.

Family-Friendly Performances

Bring your family to experience the magic of live performances at the Alban Arts Center, located in the vibrant city of Charleston, WV. This arts center is a hub for a wide range of events including live music, plays, musicals, and storytelling that captivate both children and adults alike. By attending, you can support local artists and immerse your family in Charleston's rich cultural scene.

Here's why the Alban Arts Center is the perfect place for family outings:

  • Varied Events: From exciting plays and musicals to captivating storytelling sessions, there's something to catch the interest of every family member.
  • Family-Friendly: Each performance is carefully chosen to ensure it's appropriate for children, providing peace of mind for parents.
  • Cultural Exposure: These events are an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about and appreciate the arts, fostering a lifelong connection with creativity.
  • Cost-Effective Fun: The tickets are priced affordably, so enjoying a cultural outing doesn't have to strain your budget.

Dive into the arts at the Alban Arts Center and make unforgettable memories with your family, enjoying well-crafted entertainment that's designed with all ages in mind.

Ticket Purchase Process

Purchasing tickets for a show at the Alban Arts Center is straightforward and user-friendly. You can buy tickets online or directly at the venue's box office. This process ensures that securing seats for you and your loved ones is hassle-free.

If you're planning a visit, the center's website is a convenient tool. It allows you to explore upcoming events, verify seat availability, and buy tickets without leaving your home.

However, if you encounter any difficulties online or simply prefer human interaction, the box office at the Alban Arts Center is ready to help. The staff there are eager to assist you in finding the perfect performance that matches your family's interests and schedules. They can also offer insights into which shows are suitable for different age groups and inform you about discounts for children and seniors, making your visit both enjoyable and cost-effective.

This dual approach to ticket purchasing caters to both tech-savvy patrons and those who value personal service, ensuring everyone can enjoy the rich cultural offerings at the Alban Arts Center.

Walk Haddad Riverfront Park

Walking through Haddad Riverfront Park offers a refreshing escape right in the heart of Charleston, WV. With its expansive views of the Kanawha River, it's an ideal place for family gatherings. The park's lush surroundings and the soothing sounds of the river create a peaceful environment perfect for unwinding.

During the summer, the park transforms into a vibrant venue for the Live on the Levee concert series. These free outdoor concerts are a fantastic way for families to enjoy live music and spend quality time together under the night sky.

Activities to Enjoy at Haddad Riverfront Park:

  • Attend Live on the Levee: Join the community for exciting live performances that are perfect for music lovers of all ages.
  • Picnic Spots: Settle down for a picnic beside the river. It's a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Playground Fun: The park's playground is a hit with kids, offering various equipment like slides and swings for endless fun.
  • Scenic Walks: Explore the scenery with a walk along the riverfront. It's a great opportunity to take in views of the city skyline and enjoy the natural beauty.

This park not only provides a serene walking path but also acts as a cultural hub in Charleston, enhancing the community's connection through music and leisure activities. Whether you're looking for a place to relax, play, or enjoy music, Haddad Riverfront Park is a top choice.

Experience the Children's Theatre of Charleston

Engaging Children S Theater Experience

Visit the Children's Theatre of Charleston for a family-friendly performance that will captivate both you and your children. Located in the vibrant city of Charleston, WV, this theater is renowned for its engaging live shows that appeal to both young audiences and their parents. The lineup includes everything from beloved classic stories to exciting new works created especially for young viewers.

At the Children's Theatre of Charleston, the experience goes beyond just watching a play. The productions are interactive, allowing children to become active elements in the unfolding story. This approach not only entertains but also stimulates creativity and fosters a lifelong appreciation for the arts.

The tickets are reasonably priced, making it accessible for families to enjoy a professional theater experience without straining their budget. This makes it a smart choice for a fun and educational outing. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor, make sure to experience the magic of a live performance at the Children's Theatre of Charleston. It offers more than entertainment; it opens up a world of imagination for children.

Each show is thoughtfully produced to connect with its audience, ensuring that children feel a part of the magical world on stage. This interactive component is key in making the experience memorable and engaging.

Have Fun at Coonskin Park

Coonskin Park in Charleston, WV is a fantastic destination for families looking for outdoor activities. Located close to the State Capitol and the bustling downtown area, this park isn't just a place to relax but also a center for engaging activities suitable for all ages.

From swimming in the park's large pool, complete with slides and diving boards, to exploring the various hiking trails, there's something here for everyone.

Here's what you can do at Coonskin Park:

  • Swimming and Slides: Dive into the refreshing outdoor pool that features exciting slides and diving boards, perfect for beating the heat.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the trails that wind through the park. They're well-maintained and suitable for walkers of different experience levels.
  • Paddle Boating: Enjoy the serene lake by renting a paddle boat, a peaceful way to spend the afternoon.
  • Miniature Golf: Have a friendly competition with a game of miniature golf at the park's well-designed course.

Coonskin Park isn't only a gateway to nature but also a venue for seasonal festivals and outdoor movie nights, providing cultural and recreational activities that enhance your visit.

This park is an excellent choice for a family day out, offering both fun and relaxation in a beautiful setting.


Charleston, WV, is a vibrant city that offers a blend of art, history, and nature. This makes it an ideal place for a family outing.

At the Clay Center, you and your kids can enjoy hands-on exhibits that make learning fun. The center also hosts interactive shows that are both entertaining and educational.

Just a short drive from the city center, the Kanawha State Forest awaits with its beautiful trails and abundant wildlife. It's a great spot for families to hike and explore the outdoors together. This forest is a perfect example of West Virginia's stunning natural landscapes.

While in Charleston, take the opportunity to taste some local flavors. The city offers a variety of dining options that cater to all ages, making it easy to find something everyone will enjoy.

Whether you're watching a live demonstration at the Clay Center, hiking through the Kanawha State Forest, or enjoying a meal downtown, Charleston provides a wealth of experiences that educate and delight.

Exploring this city isn't just about seeing new places; it's about creating lasting memories with your family.

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