Things To Do In Hilton Head With Kids: Top Family-Friendly Activities

Things to Do in Hilton Head with Kids

Hilton Head, South Carolina is the perfect vacation destination for families looking to create unforgettable memories with their kids. With its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and a plethora of family-friendly activities, there is never a dull moment on this beautiful island.

When planning a trip with kids to Hilton Head, we can always look forward to engaging experiences from interactive pirate adventures to unforgettable encounters with marine life. Whether it’s exploring the nature trails, taking a scenic cruise, or simply enjoying the island’s many parks and attractions, every day brings new opportunities for family fun.

Our suggestions for things to do in Hilton Head with kids cater to a range of ages, ensuring that everyone in the family is entertained and immersed in the island’s unique charm. So pack your bags, gather your little ones, and get ready to embark on a vacation to remember in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Beaches and Outdoor Activities

Coligny Beach Park

Things to Do in Hilton Head with Kids

At Coligny Beach Park, families can enjoy a day filled with sun, sand, and sea. The beach is known for its clean and pristine shoreline, perfect for building sandcastles or simply relaxing with the family. We often see dolphins swimming just off the coast, as well as sea turtles nesting on the sand during the summer months. For added convenience, there are showers, restrooms, and changing rooms available at the park. Don’t forget to bring a bike or rent one nearby, as there are plenty of bike trails that connect Coligny Beach Park to other attractions on Hilton Head Island.

Sea Pines Resort

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Sea Pines Resort is a family-friendly destination that offers not only beautiful beaches but also access to nature reserves and parks. The resort is situated close to the 4,000-acre Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge where families can explore the diverse wildlife, including alligators and various bird species. Bike trails are abundant in Sea Pines, connecting the resort to nearby attractions and providing an enjoyable ride through the scenic lowcountry landscape.

Some popular activities within Sea Pines Resort include:

  • Dolphin watching tours
  • Nature trails and wildlife exploration
  • Beachcombing at low tide for shells and shark teeth
  • Participating in guided walks and educational programs

Lowcountry Celebration Park

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For a day of family fun away from the beach, visit Lowcountry Celebration Park. This park offers various attractions suited for kids of all ages such as:

  • A pirate-themed playground with slides and climbing structures
  • An open green space perfect for picnics and lawn games
  • A walking path around a lake where families can observe the local flora and fauna

The park often hosts events and programming for families, creating an engaging and entertaining experience for everyone.

Water Adventures

Dolphin Watching

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One of the most popular activities to enjoy with kids in Hilton Head is embarking on a dolphin cruise. Our dolphin-watching tours are perfect for families and offer an opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close. Some popular options include the Vanishing Island Dolphin Tour and the Sunset Cruise. These cruises provide a great chance to not only spot dolphins but also encounter other local wildlife like manatees. Be sure to bring your camera to capture unforgettable memories!

Kayaking and Boating

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For families that enjoy outdoor adventure, Hilton Head offers a wide range of kayak and boating excursions. Hilton Head Outfitters offers kayak rentals to explore the waters surrounding the island at your own pace. Alternatively, you can join one of the guided tours available at Sea Pines Resort for a more immersive experience.

Activity Age Range Difficulty Level
Family Kayak Outing All ages Beginner
Pirate Ship Adventure Sail 6-9 years Easy
Mermaid Encounter Tour All ages Moderate

Fishing Trips

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Fishing is a fun and educational activity that the whole family can enjoy together, and Hilton Head offers numerous options for casting a line. The Harbour Town Lighthouse area is an accessible and popular spot to start your fishing adventure. For a more structured experience, consider joining a guided fishing tour with knowledgeable locals who can help you try your luck at catching local fish species.

Here are some family-friendly fishing spots we recommend:

  • Harbour Town Lighthouse Pier
  • Sea Pines Resort Fishing Docks
  • Boat Fishing Excursions

As we explore the various water adventures available on Hilton Head with kids, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of fun and exciting activities to enjoy. From spotting dolphins and manatees on a sunset cruise to embarking on a kayak or fishing adventure, there are plenty of options to keep everyone entertained and make lasting memories during your stay.

Wildlife Encounters and Nature Exploration

Coastal Discovery Museum

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At the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island, families can explore the natural wonders of the region and participate in exciting activities. The museum offers exhibits and programs focused on the area’s wildlife, such as dolphins, alligators, and sea turtles. We can even embark on guided nature walks and cruises to get up close with the local inhabitants. The museum also has interactive exhibits, making it an enjoyable learning experience for all ages.

Highlights of our visit include:

  • Dolphin and Nature Cruise: Observe dolphins swimming in their natural habitat along with a variety of other wildlife.
  • Family Fun Programs: Interactive and educational activities designed for children and families.
  • Marsh Tacky Horse Exhibit: Learn about the endangered Marsh Tacky horse, native to the Lowcountry region.

Lawton Stables

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If our family is looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience, we should definitely head to Lawton Stables. Not only do they offer trail rides through the scenic Sea Pines Forest Preserve, but they also have an animal farm that’s home to horses, goats, alpacas, and more. This unique attraction allows us to get up close and personal with these friendly animals.

Some of the activities that we can enjoy at Lawton Stables are:

  • Trail Rides: Guided horseback riding tours through the beautiful 605-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
  • Pony Rides: Available for children aged 7 years and younger, allowing them to experience the thrill of riding a gentle pony.
  • Animal Farm: Visit the well-behaved inhabitants of the farm, including goats and alpacas, making it the perfect spot for animal lovers.

Overall, our trip to Hilton Head Island will be filled with unforgettable memories as we explore the incredible wildlife encounters and nature experiences that this beautiful region has to offer.

Cultural and Historical Experiences

Harbour Town Lighthouse

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A visit to Hilton Head Island would be incomplete without exploring the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. This beautiful red and white striped lighthouse stands tall as a beacon for the island and offers a unique experience for the entire family. Inside the lighthouse, you’ll find a fascinating museum that shares the rich history of the area and chronicles the story of the lighthouse’s construction.

As you climb the 114 steps to the top, take time to explore the informative exhibits on each level. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Harbor Town and the surrounding area. The lighthouse is both a perfect educational experience and a fantastic photo opportunity for the family.

Age Compatibility Educational Value Fun Factor Accessibility Affordability
All Ages 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5

Heritage Tours

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For families looking to dive deeper into the island’s past, we recommend taking a Heritage Tour. One option is the 4.5-hour Daufuskie Island Guided History Tour, which is particularly well-suited for teenagers. This tour offers both educational value and entertainment, as it explores the tales of the island’s past, from its Native American history to the more recent Gullah culture.

Another option for a fun, family-friendly historical adventure is the Pirates of Hilton Head experience. This interactive adventure allows children to become pirates for a day, learn about the island’s pirate history, and embark on a thrilling treasure hunt through Harbor Town.

  • Age Compatibility: Teenagers (13-17 years)
  • Educational Value: 4.5/5
  • Fun Factor: 5/5
  • Accessibility: 4.5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5

By engaging in these cultural and historical experiences, your family will leave Hilton Head with a deeper understanding of the island’s rich past and lasting memories.

Entertainment and Amusement

Adventure Cove

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Adventure Cove is a family-friendly entertainment spot. It offers a variety of activities for kids of all ages, ensuring a fun-filled day out. One of the highlights is the miniature golf course, which is designed with a pirate theme. Attentively maintained, the course features imaginative landscapes and challenging holes suitable for both beginners and experts.

In addition to mini-golf, Adventure Cove provides a sizable indoor playground area, perfect for children to let off steam. The playground consists of soft play equipment, slides, and climbing structures, ensuring a safe space for kids to play while parents can sit back and relax.

Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf

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If your family is looking for even more pirate-themed fun, Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf is another excellent choice. This venue features two 18-hole mini golf courses with distinct layouts, both of which are inspired by pirate lore. As you navigate waterfalls, caves, and pirate ships, you’ll feel immersed in a swashbuckling adventure.

Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf is not only entertaining, but also educational. As you play, learn about famous pirates like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and Calico Jack, adding depth to your experience. This attraction is suitable for all ages, making it a great pick for a family outing.

The Sandbox

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Lastly, for those seeking an enjoyable and educational experience, The Sandbox is a must-visit. This interactive children’s museum features a variety of hands-on exhibits that cater to kids up to 12 years old. The exhibits focus on various themes such as art, science, technology, and the environment.

Among the crowd favorites are the Flight Deck, where kids can explore the cockpit of an airplane, and the Loggerhead Sandbox, where children can dig for fossils. There’s also an outdoor playground if your little ones need a change of scenery.

Overall, the Sandbox provides an engaging environment that promotes children’s curiosity and imagination, making it an excellent choice for family entertainment in Hilton Head.

Dining and Culinary Delights

Whether your family has an adventurous palate or leans toward more traditional tastes, Hilton Head has plenty to offer when it comes to dining. In this section, we’ll cover some of the best family-friendly restaurants and ice cream shops on the island.

Family-Friendly Restaurants

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One of the stand-out family dining options in Hilton Head is the Salty Dog Cafe. With a menu that offers something for everyone, you can’t go wrong with their mouth-watering burgers, fresh oysters, and an extensive selection of other dishes. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, making it perfect for a meal with the entire family.

Another gem catering to families is Lulu Kitchen. Led by chef Scott Hastings, this cozy cottage-style eatery specializes in fusion cuisine, combining elements from various culinary traditions such as Asian, European, and New England flavors. Your family is sure to find something delightful to enjoy here.

A few other family-friendly dining options in Hilton Head include:

  • Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe: A brunch favorite offering gluten-free and vegan options.
  • Pirates of Hilton Head: Offers an interactive pirate-themed experience for kids, along with various dining choices.

Ice Cream Shops

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No family vacation is complete without a stop for some delicious ice cream. Hilton Head has some fantastic ice cream shops that are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth after a day of exploring the island.

Hilton Head Ice Cream is a must-visit due to its delicious, house-made flavors in a charming atmosphere. They have a wide array of flavors, making it a great place to sample unique tastes alongside classic favorites.

Other popular ice cream shops in the area include:

  • Frozen Moo: A self-serve frozen yogurt shop with a plethora of toppings.
  • The Ice Cream Cone: A classic ice cream parlor offering a nostalgic atmosphere and a variety of familiar flavors.

Now that we’ve shared our top picks for dining and ice cream in Hilton Head, your family’s culinary adventures await. Just remember to savor the local flavors and enjoy your time together on this beautiful island.

Accommodations and Convenience

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Family Resorts

While planning a vacation to Hilton Head with kids, it’s essential to find family-friendly accommodations. We recommend considering Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort and Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa as they cater to families and offer various amenities. These resorts provide easy access to Hilton Head’s attractions while ensuring a comfortable, memorable stay.

Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort:

  • Address: 23 Ocean Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
  • Phone: (843) 842-8000

Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa:

  • Address: One Hotel Circle, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
  • Phone: (843) 686-8400

Access to Amenities

Our selected resorts boast an array of family-oriented amenities that are sure to make your stay enjoyable:

  1. Pools: Both resorts offer multiple pools, including kid-friendly ones, ensuring endless fun for the whole family.
  2. On-site dining: There are various dining options available, serving a range of cuisines to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
  3. Kid’s clubs and activities: The resorts provide kid’s club activities, ensuring the little ones remain entertained while the adults enjoy some downtime.
  4. Beach access: The resorts offer convenient beach access, making it easy to explore Hilton Head’s beautiful beaches and partake in water-based activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, or boating.
  5. Proximity to attractions: Both resorts are close to popular family attractions such as Palmetto Dunes, where you can find more recreational options like golf courses, tennis centers, and bike trails.

In addition to resort amenities, it’s important to consider the availability of restrooms during your outings. Restrooms are generally available in public places, such as parks, shopping centers, and restaurants, to ensure a pleasant and convenient experience while exploring all that Hilton Head has to offer.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Holiday Celebrations

During the holiday season, Hilton Head Island transforms into a festive and family-friendly destination. Between December 1, 2021, and December 18, 2024, various events take place around the island. One major event is the Holiday Skilled Nursing Respite Care which runs from December 1, 2023, to March 1, 2024. It aims to provide a fun and warm atmosphere for families.

In addition to the holiday events, there are many artistic displays such as Missy Gentile’s Action Painting taking place from January 2, 2024, to January 28, 2024, and the Art League of Hilton Head’s Anything Goes! exhibition happening between January 3, 2024, and January 26, 2024.

Music and Performance Events

Hilton Head Island offers an array of music and performance events throughout the year, perfect for families seeking entertainment:

  • Daufuskie Island Guided History Tour: This 4.5-hour immersive tour (Rated: 5/5) is enjoyable for teenagers (13-17 years) and offers educational value as they learn about the island’s history.
  • Pirate Ship Adventure Sail: Located in Harbour Town, this adventure sail is suitable for all ages and features dress-up, treasure hunts, and a unique pirate-themed experience.
  • Pirates of Hilton Head: At 149 Lighthouse Rd, this interactive pirate adventure includes water cannons and treasure hunts, providing fun for the whole family with admission starting at $39.

We hope that these seasonal events and festivals in Hilton Head will give you and your family a memorable vacation experience.

Getting Around Hilton Head

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Hilton Head Island offers a variety of ways to explore its natural beauty and family-friendly attractions. One of the most popular and environmentally friendly modes of transportation is biking.

Bicycle Rentals

We highly recommend renting bicycles during your visit to Hilton Head Island. With over 60 miles of public bike trails, it’s an excellent way to explore the picturesque island, its beaches, and parks. Besides, biking is an activity enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. You’ll find several bike rental shops throughout the island, offering different types of bikes, including tandem bicycles, child seats, and even kayaks for water-based adventures. We advise booking your bikes in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability.

Transportation Tips

  • Biking: When biking around Hilton Head, remember to follow the designated bike trails for a safe and enjoyable experience. Pay attention to signage and yield to pedestrians. Wearing helmets, especially for children, is highly recommended for safety reasons.
  • Ferry: If you’re planning to visit attractions like Daufuskie Island, considering taking a ferry. This guided history tour is a top-rated activity in Hilton Head and provides an educational experience for the whole family. Be sure to check ferry schedules and book ahead to ensure a spot.
  • General Tips: Hilton Head Island is known for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful scenery. It’s essential to respect the environment and wildlife while enjoying the various outdoor activities available. This includes properly disposing of trash, staying on designated trails, and maintaining a safe distance from any wildlife you may encounter.

By considering these transportation options and tips, your family is sure to have a memorable and enjoyable vacation on Hilton Head Island, exploring its beauty at your own pace and preference.

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