Naylor family holding hands and swinging daughter while on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

The BEST Hilton Head Island Family Friendly Activities

Rated the #1 island in the U.S. year after year, Hilton Head Island offers white-sand beaches, tidal creeks, towering live oaks, and winding pathways. A place where classic small-town charm meets refined coastal elegance. Whether you’re craving laid-back beach days, exhilarating outdoor excursions, or delightful cultural discoveries, Hilton Head Island offers an array of family friendly activities to delight visitors of all ages.

A digital art map of Hilton Head Island featuring popular landmarks

Best Place to Stay in Hilton Head Island?

The BEST place for families to stay in Hilton Head Island is hands down Sea Pines Resort. The Sea Pines Community covers over 500 acres and features vacation homes, condos, and hotel. Sea Pines also offers amenities to their guests like access to tennis courts, pickle ball, golf, pool, beach club, and so much more.

Family Friendly Activities in Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is quite possibly one of the best family friendly beach towns on the east coast. Below you’ll find my top 10 family friendly activities in Hilton Head:

1. Bike Riding

The great thing about Hilton Head Island is that it’s very bike friendly. I highly recommend renting bikes, especially if you’re staying in Sea Pines. We were able to bike ride to the beach, Harbour Town, and other areas throughout Sea Pines.

If you don’t have little ones that can bike well, there are options to rent a trailer or back seat. We found the trailer to be very convenient and not too difficult to bike with.

2. Lawton Stables

Lawton Stables in located inside Sea Pines Resort is perfect for animal lovers. Families can enjoy interacting with the horses and other farm animals at no charge.

Families with children 3-7 can opt to pay for a pony ride. The day we went the pony was being very stubborn so they got to ride a horse. For older children, families can opt to pay to go on a horse back ride through the area.

In addition, there is food available for purchase to feed the animals in the petting farm. The farm includes pigs, donkeys, goats, chickens, and alpacas.

Alpaca sticking his face in between fence posts at Lawton Stables

3. Crabbing

A crabbing excursion is a great way for families to have a unique hands on experience in Hilton Head. As you sail out on the Lowcountry’s famous salt marshes, the knowledgeable guides will share a plethora of information about the rich local ecosystem and the wildlife that calls it home.

A crew will teach guests the inner workings behind a commercial crabbing pot and teach guests how to properly bait a pot. You can then deploy baited pots from the boat. After the baited pots have been deployed guests will make their way to crab pot locations that have already been dropped on previous days. The crew will then teach guests how the vessel will pull these pots up and will dump the catch out on the sorting table. Most tours will also allow guests to take home crabs to prepare themselves.

4. Dolphin Boat Cruise

A dolphin boat cruise is a great family activity during your stay in Hilton Head Island. The coast of Hilton Head Island provides a prime location for dolphin cruises. Families will have the chance to spot dolphins in their natural habitat, while learning about their behaviors, feeding habits, and more from a tour guide.

In addition to dolphins, you may also view other marine life, such as manatees, egrets, herons, sea turtles, roseate spoonbills, and osprey, as you cruise around Hilton Head Island. Plus, the area’s waterways offer the chance to check out beachfront properties, operating fishing boats, and luxury yachts along the coastline.

5. The Sandbox Children’s Museum

For rainy days, the Sandbox Children’s Museum is the perfect spot for kids to explore and keep busy when the weather isn’t great for outdoor activities.

The museum is designed for children up to age 12 and features over 15 exhibits. Children can enjoy imaginative play as various exhibits like the post office, grocery store, flight deck, or vet clinic. There is also a STEM lab, indoor playground, and more. Be sure to also check out the events calendar for special events that may occur during your trip.

Whether you need to take a break from the heat or find something fun during a rainy day, the Sandbox Children’s Museum is sure to be a hit!

6. Visit Harbour Town

Harbour Town is located in Sea Pines and features shopping, a playground, and the Harbour Town Lighthouse and Museum. During peak season, families can also enjoy live entertainment and activities. If you’re not staying in Sea Pines, families can purchase a day pass to access Harbour Town and more.

We loved biking to Harbour Town numerous times throughout our trip, whether that was for coffee, shopping, or letting the kids play on the playground.

Brittney Naylor wearing tropical pants and white blouse walking through Harbour Town in Hilton Head Island. Harbour Town Lighthouse is in the background and boats are to the side in the water.

7. Pirate Ship Adventure Cruise

A pirate ship adventure cruise is another great family friendly activity in Hilton Head Island for families looking for a little adventure.

Families can embark on their pirate adventure from the Harbour Town pier and cruises typically last 90 minutes. Before boarding the pirate ship, a crew provides children with costume gear, face paint, and temporary tattoos for an authentic pirate look, along with a pirate name, and a lesson on walking and talking like a pirate. When ready, everyone will board the ship and sail the seas in search of a treasure chest.

In order to find the treasure, children read a map and help defeat a rival pirate, unleashing the water cannons in the process. All of the pirates get a share of the loot to take home after beating the rival pirate and finding the treasure. 

8. Mini Golf

It’s not a family beach vacation without a family game of mini golf! There are several mini golf locations throughout Hilton Head Island.

A game of mini golf can be a great addition to the end of the day when the weather cools down or even a fun morning activity before grabbing lunch.

9. Coastal Discovery Museum

The Coastal Discovery Museum allows families to explore Lowcountry wildlife and nature, as well as, the history and culture. Browse the museum or roam on the 70 acre grounds and gardens. The museum also offers activities like story time, garden tours, and more which are great for families.

10. Lowcountry Celebration Park

Another great playground and park for families to enjoy in Hilton Head Island is the Lowcountry Celebration Park. This is Hilton Head Island’s newest park and minutes from Coligny Beach Park.

The Adventure Playground, named after the ship Captain William Hilton was on when he discovered Hilton Head Island, features a reimagined design of the ship, playground, wading pool, and more. The park also features restrooms, walking trail, fitness stations, wifi, and more!

Conclusion: Family Friendly Activities in Hilton Head Island

As you can see, there are a ton of family-friendly activities on Hilton Head Island that are just waiting to be discovered! From leisurely bike rides along winding pathways to exciting pirate ship adventures and everything in between, there’s something fun for every member of the family. So, whether you’re planning your next vacation or dreaming of sandy shores, consider Hilton Head Island for an unforgettable family getaway!

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The Comments

  • Melanie
    April 6, 2024

    What a great list of things to do! I’ve always wanted to go there and this helps with planning!

  • Sonia
    April 6, 2024

    This sounds like a great list. Biking around the island, stopping to see these other activities sounds like fun.

  • Lucia
    April 7, 2024

    There are lots of awesome things to do with the family. Great post

  • Lenore
    April 7, 2024

    I’d love to visit Hilton Head! So many fun and unique things to do. Going for a horse ride, crabbing and exploring Harbour Town sounds fantastic.