No matter what the season, Folly Beach offers lots of outdoor adventures to keep kids busy. So, have them ditch the electronics, at least for a while, and spend some time reveling in the salt air and sunshine. Our town home at Water’s Edge is family friendly and in a perfect location to enjoy the 10 favorite activities that our three boys enjoy (and still enjoy) when we’re visiting.
Look for shark teeth: Best time to find them is after high tide or early in the morning. Teach your kids to look for shiny black sharp triangles, which are the most common shark teeth. Many shells fit this description, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll develop an eye for shark teeth.
Go crabbing: Purchase some chicken necks and a round net with string from Walmart, Bert’s, or Crosby’s. Tie the chicken neck to the bottom of the net and lower it into the water. Best places to crab are on our dock or the dock at the public park, which is on the left as you cross the bridge on to Folly. It requires a bit of patience - wait at least 10 minutes - and then pull up the net. Hopefully one or two crabs have crawled in. Be careful! Don’t let your kids try to pick them up - those claws are razor sharp! Just remember that you cannot cook them if they are less than five inches from spike tip to spike tip across their back.
Visit one of 3 playgrounds: Two nautical-themed ones, Wavewatch and Pirate’s Cove, are ½ mile to a mile away; Water’s Edge has a playground on site behind the church. See post: Playgrounds on Folly Beach.
Surf lessons: Folly Beach is all about surfing, and your kids might want to learn how to ride the waves. They can sign up for individual lessons or do a surfing camp during the summer. Isla Surf School offers camps for ages 5 and up. With a 3 student to 1 instructor ratio, the four-hour morning lessons provide lots of one-on-one instruction. You might need to sign up early for these as there is room for only 12 students each week. See post: Folly Beach Surfing Guide.
Take a walk at either end of the island: The west end is Folly Beach State Park. You can park for $10-$15, depending on the season, or ride a bike or walk in for free. The beach has showers and bathrooms. Lifeguards, snacks, chair and umbrella rental are seasonal. Lots of beach to roam around, including the tip of the island that faces Kiawah. If you or your kids have lots of energy, take them to the east end. You can park at the gate and then walk the ¼ mile road to the beach where you’ll get a great view of the Morris Island Lighthouse. The walkway is full of colorful chalk “artwork.”
Take a dolphin tour: The Charleston area has about 350 resident dolphins that frolic in its waters, and it’s pretty likely you’ll see at least one if you take a tour. Plus, it’s always nice to be out on the water! See Flipper Finders boat and sea kayak tours on Folly Beach.
Go for a bike ride: Folly is six miles long and flat. Explore the hidden and quiet streets with your kids. We have six bikes, including a couple smaller ones (good for ages 8 and above). There are bike rental places on the island if you need a baby trailer or baby seats for young kids. See Cool Breeze Bikes rentals on Folly Beach.
Go fishing: If you have the money, splurging on a four-hour fishing trip is well worthwhile. Local captains will take you to their favorite fishing areas. They’ll clean the fish you and the kids catch so you can take them home for dinner! You can also rent fishing rods, bait, and get a license to fish at the shop on the pier. See Reel Time Charters. Tell Captain Ben the Spaid's sent you.
Play in the Sand: We provide plenty of sand toys, but if you hauled everything to the beach and forgot to bring them, you can borrow some on the walkway just west of the Charleston Oceanfront Condos near Third Street. You’ll see the colorful toys hanging on hooks along the beach walkway - it’s kind of a sand toy lending program. When you’re done, just hang them back up on the hooks.
Walk the pier: It’s a fun place to people watch. Many people fish from the pier, and there’s a good chance your kids might see someone haul in a small shark. If they want a treat, head to the gift shop at the front of the pier for ice cream or candy.
Festivals: Folly has several festivals (Follygras, Follypalooza, Sea and Sand, Easter, Christmas Parade, Flip Flop Drop) during the year, and if you’re here for one of them, they usually always offer fun activities just for kids. See post: Folly Festivals and Events.