Go See Explore: Middleton Place


After you and your kids have visited the beaches, playgrounds, and kid-friendly restaurants in the Lowcountry, what’s next? For parents who have seemingly exhausted all options to keep their kids engaged and happy, look no further than some of the historic sites around Charleston.

Magnolia Plantation has a fun wildlife center and informative nature tram ride your kids will enjoy, but did you know that visiting Middleton Place with kids is equally engaging? Here are a few reasons why Middleton Place should be on your radar when looking for something different to do with the kids!

Brief History of Middleton Place

Arthur Middleton – a signer of the Declaration of Independence – was one of the most notable owners of the historic plantation, Middleton Place. It was built and sustained by the enslaved people who provided labor for its rice and indigo cultivation. Their expertise was crucial to the plantation’s success.

Large brick home with sheep eating grass in the foreground at Middleton PlaceOf course, history buffs will appreciate diving deep into the history of this historic site; there’s a lot to learn, see, and explore. But for families looking for something to do with kids, Middleton Place is a great way to introduce them to South Carolina’s multi-faceted history.

Visiting Middleton Place With Kids

If you’ve always wanted to visit Middleton but found it to be cost-prohibitive, know that discounts are available. Kids 10 and under pay just $10 for admission, and there’s no charge for those under the age of five. Middleton Place also occasionally offers Kids Free Fridays at the end of the summer months, so be sure to check the website often for discounts.

Middleton PlaceGeneral admission allows you to wander through all 65 acres of the gardens, engage in exhibits, chat with artisans, and visit the stableyards. Middleton Place offers a few daily tours that are also included in the admission price.

green acreage with two ponds

Explore the Middleton Place Gardens

Your kids will love strolling through the camellias along the walking trails, capturing glimpses of the vibrant wildlife – always be smart around alligators – and exploring the butterfly lakes and demonstration rice fields.

Middleton Place gardensWhat’s also great about the gardens at Middleton Place is that while the onsite Middleton Place Restaurant is amazing, visitors are allowed to bring in their own food. Picnic tables indicate locations where it’s okay to set up your lunch; no food is allowed in the gardens or stableyards.

Step Back in Time in the Stableyards

The stableyards provide an opportunity to interact with heritage animals, chat with blacksmiths, and coopers, and learn about candlemaking, pottery, and textiles. Be on the lookout for cattle, water buffalo, Belgian horses, hogs, Gulf Coast sheep, and cashmere goats as you stroll through the stableyards.

Things to Know Ahead of Time

The gardens are paved or include hard-packed soil. However, one thing I always remind families of is if you plan on visiting the stableyards (or the area just outside the stableyards), closed-toe shoes are recommended. I’ve seen so many visitors strolling through in cute sandals, but the ground is dusty and your feet will get dirty. So sneakers or closed shoes are always my recommendation.

Of course, don’t forget your sunscreen, hats, and water. As mentioned before, be mindful of wildlife. Alligators live here; fresh water is their habitat and they love sunning themselves on the edge of the lakes, so just be smart around them.

Don’t forget to check out more from our Go, See, Explore series!

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Marie Bentley
Marie is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of four – three adult kids and an 11-year-old  – who, for the last 16 years has made the Lowcountry her home. While her family spends a large portion of the year traveling throughout the country, she's actually quite the homebody. When she's not writing – something she's been doing for almost 30 years– Marie loves getting out and about in Charleston, weaving local history into her youngest' homeschool lessons, and exploring the many resources, sites, museums, and landscapes SC has to offer. One of Marie's bucket list items is to visit/hike each of the 47 state parks. Will this be the year she completes the goal? Marie chronicles all of it on her homeschool blog and YouTube channel.