Things to do in Charleston in April (2020)

This post covers the best things to do in Charleston in April and has been updated for 2020. It includes a top 10 list, nighttime activities, free and family-friendly things to do.

 

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TOP 10 THINGS TO DO AND EVENTS IN APRIL

This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout April. Whenever possible, we will make note of attractions and events that are free, family-friendly or great after dark.

For tips on the most popular activities in Charleston, check out our other popular posts: 

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.


1. Catch a Riverdogs Baseball Game! 

Enjoy an evening with America’s favorite pastime–baseball! The Charleston Riverdogs, the city’s minor league team, kicks off their season in April with plenty of home games throughout the month.

 

 

There’s more than just baseball in April.

Soccer fans can catch the US Open Cup second-round game on April 8, 2020.

Find all the games you can attend in Charleston here.


2. Enjoy a Concert

A great way to spend an April evening in Charleston is by going to a concert! There are several artists stopping in the city this month. 

 

 

If you’re looking for a special evening in an interesting venue, check out who is playing at Charleston Music Hall.

Located in the heart of historic Charleston and what was once a passenger station of the South Carolina Railroad this venue delivers engaging and intimate evenings between artists and audience members.

Find all the concerts available in Charleston here.


3. Stroll Through the Charleston Farmers Market

In April, shop for seasonal produce like asparagus, leafy greens, and beets. What better way to obtain it than buying it directly from the hand that farmed it?

 

 

In addition to produce, visitors can look forward to packaged food, artisans, craft vendors, and live performers.

The Charleston Farmers Market takes place on Saturdays from 8 am-2 pm in Marion Square in the heart of historic Charleston.


4. Cooper River Bridge Run

Since 1978, the Cooper River Bridge Run has provided a world-class 10K foot race to participants in an effort to continue the education of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

In 2020, the Run will take place on April 4th. After the event, runners can enjoy live entertainment and bands.

 

 

Additionally, a number of food, refreshment, and souvenir vendors will be on hand. To register and for more information, click here.


5. Save Money with a Tourist Discount Pass

Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.   

Read our post comparing the different Charleston tourist discount passes

 

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 Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals. 

TIP: Our guide to free things to do in Charleston lists a number of activities and events that won’t cost you a dime!

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on things to do in Charleston. 


6. Go on a Sightseeing Tour

A great way to see more of Charleston is to take a sightseeing tour. Consider joining us for one of our pay-what-you-wish walking tour of the city.

We also have self-guided tours and GPS-enabled audio tours of neighborhoods that you will likely visit as a tourist in the city.

Check out our homepage or look at our schedule to see what we have available when you are here.

 

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Other types of tours to consider:

There are also plenty of plantation tours to take that will bring you to the popular Magnolia, Boone, and Middleton Plantations. 


7. Sip Your Way Through Middleton Place

Every Wednesday in the month of April you can enjoy strolling through a unique garden at Middleton Place while sipping a variety of wine. Each week the wine comes from a different region of the world.

 

 

The event lasts from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

Online tickets cost $25 or you can be purchase tickets at the door for $30.

Be sure to check out our post comparing all of the plantation tours Charleston has to offer!


8. See A Bronx Tale

The North Charleston Playhouse is running a production of A Bronx Tale from April 24 – 26, 2020.

 

 

Based on a play and a book by the same name, written by Chazz Palminteri, it is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of a New Yorker feeling torn between a life of organized crime and the path his hardworking father wants him to take.

Find all the theatre available in Charleston here.


9. Festival of Houses and Gardens

From March 11 – April 18, 2020, get an inside peek at some of America’s most historic gardens and homes (some dating back to the 18th Century!) at the Festival of Houses and Gardens.

One of the most popular events to take place in Charleston every year, the Festival of Houses and Gardens invites the public to tour more than 150 private houses and gardens in the historic district of the city, including the Aiken-Rhett House.

 

 

Each property dates back to anywhere from the Georgian and Antebellum periods into the early 20th century, and “showcases Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, gardens, and culture.”

Tickets are available from November and tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to get yours as soon as possible. All proceeds benefit the Historic Charleston Foundation. 

Learn more about the Festival of Houses and Gardens here


10. Lowcountry Cajun Festival

Become your own “ragin’ Cajun” with a full day of fun for the whole family on April 5, 2020, at the Lowcountry Cajun Festival in James Island County Park.

 

 

The festival will feature live Zydeco music, a kids’ carnival, and loads of Cajun and Creole food like jambalaya, gumbo, etouffee, crawfish, hot dogs, and sno-cones.

The festival from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm; admission is $15 per person.

Get information and tickets here.

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT 

Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in April.  

 

 

Between sipping wine on Wednesdays at Middleton Place or seeing a show at Charleston Music Hall, you can always find something to do at night in Charleston.

For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post, Things to do at Night in Charleston.


See an Improv Show at Theatre 99

Laugh the night away at Charleston’s home for improv comedy, Theatre 99. Voted best theatre company by Charleston City Paper, the improv groups at Theatre 99 feature shows Wednesday-Saturday each week.

Some shows are available for as little as $5 for admission. Check their calendar as news shows are being added for the month of April!


Shaggin’ on the Cooper

On select dates between April 25 – September 12, 2020, you can dance the night away at Shaggin’ on the Cooper.

Every date has a different band so you can experience all sorts of musical styles.  The 2020 dates and line-up is:

April 25: The Hot Pepper Band
May 30: Shem Creek Boogie Band
June 20: The Coppertones
July 4: Uncle Sam Jam: Dave Landeo & The Sol Beats
July 25: The SugarBees
August 22: Vinyl Daze
September 12: Recollections

Gates open at 7 pm and music begins at 7:30 pm. Advance admission is $8, $10 at the gate; kids under 3 are free. 

Get more information or buy tickets on their website.


A Murder Mystery – with Manners

Enjoy an evening full of mystery at The Black Fedora Theatre with a viewing of the Church Street Daughters of the Unpleasantness Garden, Gun, and Gin Club.

Audience members can look forward to a lot of interaction, men in dresses, and slight innuendo. An evening filled with a lot of laughter!

Check their website for a complete schedule and tickets.


Dine at Husk

Indulge your palate with an ever-changing menu of classic and locally sourced Southern dishes at Husk Restaurant.

Located in a Victorian-era home and serving Lowcountry creations from James Beard award-winning chef, Sean Brock, an evening at Husk will be one to remember. Check the website for hours, sample menus, and reservations.

For more evening activities, be sure to take a look at our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO 

Here are just a few of the many free things you can do in Charleston in April. 

 

 

Be sure to check out the other sections of this post, as many of these other ideas are free, such as visiting the Charleston Farmers Market or the Karpeles Manuscript Library.

For even more free activities, see our guide to free things to do in Charleston.


The Hat Ladies Easter Promenade 

The Hat Ladies is an exclusive society for the ladies of Charleston who love wearing hats and are committed to charity work.

Every Easter weekend, the Hat Ladies get together to show off their best headwear and stroll down Broad to East Bay for all to see.

In 2020 it takes place on April 11th. It’s completely free to attend and always a fun time if only to admire the intricate hats that the women adorn. 

Learn more about the Hat Ladies and their annual promenade here


The Citadel 

Children will love a visit to South Carolina’s military college, The Citadel, as they will think they are visiting a castle!

Established in 1842, the Citadel is now home to nearly 3,500 men and women who take undergraduate and graduate courses.

Stroll around the campus or attend an impressive Friday parade. Check their website for more information.


Magnolia Cemetery 

Dedicated in 1850, Charleston’s historic Magnolia Cemetery is the final resting place for numerous Confederate Civil War veterans, South Carolina politicians, authors, and poets among others.

Wander through unique crypts, mausoleums, and headstones. Be sure not to miss the striking pyramid-shaped crypt to WM B Smith, one of the most unusual in the cemetery. The cemetery is open daily from 8 am-6 pm.


Visit the Pink House

Located at 17 Chalmers Street in the city’s French Quarter sits Charleston’s oldest house. The Pink House was built between 1694 and 1712 and is still privately owned.

In fact, it was on the market in 2017 and sold for roughly one million dollars. While visitors are not allowed inside, it’s definitely worth walking by if you’re in the area! We see this house on our Historic Charleston walking tour!

Our Guide to Free Things to do in Charleston lists a number of activities perfect for any budget.

 


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FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

Charleston is rich with activities and sights that the whole family can enjoy.

 

 

We’ve listed some kid-friendly activities for the month of April like enjoying the Lowcountry Cajun Festival, visiting The Citadel, and watching a Riverdogs baseball game. Here are a few more family-friendly activities to enjoy!


Charleston in AprilSpot the Hat Man!

As you walk around Charleston, keep your eyes peeled for the Charleston Hat Man located at the corner of Broad and Church Streets.

First painted in 1892 to advertise a haberdashery, the Hat Man today can be spotted sporting 16 different hats and 12 different styles. Look closely!


Visit the South Carolina Aquarium

Focused on connecting people with water and wildlife, this aquarium with entertain people of all ages.

There are a number of exhibits that feature animals like sea turtles, alligators, a large variety of fish, and more!

Children especially like the hands-on touch tank!


Cooper River Bridge Run Kids Run and Wonderfest

From 11 am-6 pm in Hampton Park on April 4th bring the whole family to enjoy the Kids Run and Wonderfest.

Three-foot races at multiple skill level”s are available in addition to face painting, a petting zoo, jump castles, live music, pony rides, a climbing wall and more!

Food will also be available for free (while supplies last) and for purchase. Check the website for registration and more information.


Relax with an Evening Carriage Tour

Take in the beauty and history of Charleston with an evening horse (or mule!) drawn carriage ride by the oldest carriage company in town, Palmetto Carriage Works.

On their evening Commercial District tour, listen to fascinating stories about the city’s history, architecture, and historical figures. This tour takes off at 5:45 pm and 6:00 pm and is often sold out–booking in advance is recommended. Tickets cost $16 for adults and $12 for children.

TIP: For more ideas of things to do with kids in Charleston, see our post Things to do in Charleston with Kids.

 


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About the author

Guide & Manager | Charleston, SC

Scott has led over 2,000 tours of Charleston and has more than 1000 5 star reviews. He started working in museums at the age of 16 (Unsinkable Molly Brown House) and hasn't looked back. He was the Executive Director of Heurich House and on the historic interpretation/ education staff at Mount Vernon, both in Washington DC, for over 6 years. Scott moved to Charleston in 2012 for a job with the Historic Charleston Foundation and began leading tours for Free Tours by Foot.