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The Best Family-Friendly Activities to Do in Charleston, WV

Picture of Kristina Gaddy
Updated: 12 February 2018
West Virginia is known for great places to get out into the wilderness, but Charleston offers plenty of family-friendly things to do, both indoors and out. Check out these eight activities for fun for the whole family.
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Play and learn at the Avampato Discovery Museum

Inside the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia, you’ll find the Avampato Discovery Museum. The museum is two floors packed with hands-on activities and fun, and kids can learn about bodies, water, music, or pretend to be a firefighter and drive a car. The planetarium and theater offer movies and shows that help us understand the world we live in.

Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia, Clay Square, Charleston, WV, USA +1 304-561-3570

Explore Magic Island

Where the Elk River flows into the Kanawha, Magic Island used to be island, but was redeveloped into a park connected to the mainland starting in the late 1980s. Today, the riverfront park has a playground, lots of grassy areas to toss a frisbee or play pick-up soccer, and beach volleyball courts. Most recently, a splash pad was installed with fountains, water sculptures, and all the water-based fun a kid needs on a hot summer day.

Magic Island Park, 101 Kanawha Boulevard West, Charleston, WV, USA +1 304-348-6860

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See the West Virginia Power play ball

The Appalachian Power Park located close to downtown is home to the West Virginia Power, the city’s minor league baseball team. The season runs from April to September, and the stadium provides an intimate atmosphere to watch an affiliate team of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Appalachian Power Park, 601 Morris St, Charleston, WV, USA +1 304-344-2287

RiverDogs host Military Appreciation Night

Military Appreciation Night | © Airman 1st Class Megan Munoz / Joint Base Charleston

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Check out the Haddad Riverfront Park

At the heart of downtown along the Kanawha River, the Haddad Riverfront Park has a 25,000 seat amphitheater with musical performances, festivals, and special events scheduled throughout the year. The park is the ending point for races including the Drumstick Dash, hosts festivals such as the cultural diversity event Multifest, and is home of the Live on the Levee free concert series.

Haddad Riverfront Park, 600 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston WV, USA +1 304-348-6860

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Jump into fun at Cato Park

On Charleston’s west side, Cato Park has fun for everyone. The park has a nine-hole golf course, archery range, hiking trails, soccer fields, and the city’s largest public pool. It’s easy to spend a whole day in the warm summer months hanging out at the Cato Pool.

Cato Park, 200 Baker Ln, Charleston, WV, USA +1 304-348-6860

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Explore the woods in the Kanawha State Forest

On the south side of Charleston, the Kanawha State Forest is the perfect place to get outside and explore the natural beauty of the area with the whole family. The Spotted Salamander trail is paved and perfect for a walk with a stroller, or you can go on longer walks with a guided naturalist tour. The park also has multiple playgrounds and picnic areas with grills.

Kanawha State Forest, 7500 Kanawha State Forest Dr, Charleston, WV , USA +1 304-558-3500

#kanawhastateforest #nature #getoutside

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Surround yourself in history at the West Virginia State Museum

The free West Virginia State Museum at the Capitol Center Complex on the east side of Charleston provides an overview of the state’s history for visitors of all ages. The free museum has interactive exhibits and artifacts from across the state.

West Virginia State Museum, 1900 Kanawha Blvd E # 435, Charleston, WV, USA +1 304-558-0220

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Catch a show at the Children’s Theater

The Children’s Theater of Charleston has been putting on performances for families and kids since the 1930s. They put on a few shows a year, with talent coming from the local community.

Children’s Theater of Charleston, Charleston, WV, USA