Playing in the Sandbox

When my youngest son was born last summer, my in-laws swept into town to meet our new arrival…and to graciously entertain our oldest son (then 2) while I was in the hospital. They came ready with gifts, activities and itineraries to keep him busy. But the biggest hit of their visit was the afternoon they spent with my son at The Sandbox on Hilton Head Island.

Kids playing on a pirate themed playset

The Sandbox was named a 2009 Top 20 Summer Destinations for Learning by

The Sandbox Interactive Children’s Museum is a great place to take your kids (or grandkids) for a day of imagination, creativity and interactive fun! Sit back and let your child take the lead through the museum finding the spaces that peak their interest most. The museum is not only designed for fun—the activities and spaces are intended to build and improve your children’s motor skills, mathematical skills, reasoning skills, word recognition,  eye-hand coordination, group play and interaction with other children and decision making skills.

You could spend hours upon hours at the Sandbox, so here’s a quick overview of the different exhibit areas in the museum:

No Fishing Allowed Aquarium: When you first enter the museum you will find a large aquarium where your child can observe fish, snails, crabs and starfish!

Loggerhead Sandcastle: The highlight of this space is the large table filled with ‘magical’ sand that your children can build sandcastles and mold other creations with.

Charlie’s Perfect Playplace: This area of the museum is gated off for infants and toddlers. There are age appropriate toys, books, mounted toy panels and play gyms. This is great place to let your little one crawl and explore.

Passport to the World: If your children love airplanes like my little guy, then they will love the museum’s airport terminal complete with a real jet plane cockpit with pilot, co-pilot and passenger seats, throttle and captain headphones. Bring the camera for this one folks!

Kids playing in the realistic flight cockpit

Your kids can experience what it's like to fly the friendly skies in a real jet plane cockpit.

Track the T-Rex: This fun space transports your children back to prehistoric dinosaur times with a climbing wall featuring three dimensional rock formations with embedded fossils.

The Adventure: All hands on deck! Modeled after a 16th century Spanish galleon, this play ship is complete with two levels or ‘decks’, periscopes, telescopes and binoculars, fishing nets, marine knots, costumes and props, plus aquatic sounds made by pushing buttons which create thunder, seagulls, fog horns, ocean waves, and wind.

Builders of Tomorrow: Bob the Builder comes to life in this play construction zone! Hard hats and construction worker vest are available for dress up while children move Giant Lego Dacto Blocks by wheelbarrow. Using the Lego blocks they construct walls in the already framed house.

Rhythm & Hues: This space is filled with art supplies and musical instruments for your kids to express themselves through art! They can create masterpieces using paints, translucent mosaic tiles, glitter glue, iridescent fabric shapes, and more. And there are organized art packets with supplies and instructions if you want to do an organized art project.  (This is perfect for grandparents who live on Hilton Head Island that want to entertain their grandkids but don’t want to buy all the art supplies—or have the mess at their house.)

Artist Alley: It is perfectly ok (and encouraged) for your children to write on the walls! This Plexiglas wall is a fun way for children to leave their mark. Markers and erasers are available.

Learner’s Loft: This upstairs loft features a puppet theatre, a Lego table, a light table, a Thomas the Train set, a library, puzzles and more.

Young girl climbing the Dinosaur Rock Climbing Wall at The Sandbox

Dinosaur Rock Climbing Wall at The Sandbox.

The Sandbox is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, September through March & May. And Monday-Saturday 10am -5 pm April, June, July & August. No reservations required.

The admission is $6 for adults and children two years and older. Children under two years are free. The target age group is 8 and under, however, older children are welcome to play with younger siblings.

The Sandbox is located at 18A Pope Avenue on the south end of Hilton Head Island. For more information visit or call 843.842.7645.