Local Memberships: Are They Worth It?

While there are many things to do in Charleston, they can be quite expensive. This is where you consider having a membership for your family. However, is it worth it?



Living in a city like Charleston, we are all fortunate to be able to have a plethora of activities to choose from.


After your kids reach a certain age, there comes the age-old question of how to entertain them.


Since summer is quickly approaching, so is the onslaught of e-mails about camps for kids. Some of them can be quite expensive! It would be difficult to afford enough of them to cover most of the summer.


My children are on the younger end of the spectrum, 6 and 3, and have different desires when it comes to fun things to do. This is where memberships can fill in the blanks. But, which memberships are worth it?


If you have looked for something to do at any time of the year, the price for a family can give you a bit of sticker shock. I started my journey into memberships for local activities about a year ago when I was homeschooling my eldest.


From there, it’s been an evaluation on what we thought would work. Over the next month or so I will delve into different types of memberships and if it is worth it.


Up first are the most popular places.


Children’s Museum

This is one of the most popular activities for children here in the Lowcountry. It’s not hard to see why: the entire building is the perfect place to play. A day here for a family of 4 will cost you $40, or $10 per person over the age of 1.


A year membership is $95 and includes 4 extra one-day passes for friends. I personally think that to go here multiple times would be easy, however, I think it would be the most beneficial for younger kids aged 1-4.


This I would recommend subscribing to their e-mail list as they have amazing children’s events as well as events only for adults. Also, if you are looking for a fun place to have your kid play during the school holidays, they have camps too.




Another top destination for children and tourists. A day for a family of 4 is $85.80 (kids younger than 3 get in free). While the exhibits don’t rotate out very frequently, this has been a wonderful place for my family.


We don’t focus on the exhibits as much and just enjoy the extras like the dive show and animal interactions. They also have after-hours events for adults and playdates for pre-school children too.


A membership here would be best for families with at least one older child. It runs for $169 and gives you unlimited access to the aquarium as well as discounts on tours, gifts, and more. There are other membership types to consider that differ in price as well.



In the end, the only factor that matters for a membership is your family and if you are going to use it. My family debated on whether or not to switch out our membership from the Aquarium to the Children’s Museum for the next year. We ended up staying at the Aquarium because we thought our kids would get more out of it there. Stay tuned for the next installment of memberships at our local plantations!