Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, with its historical significance and diverse natural habitats, is an ideal location to host educational programs for children of all ages. Students can re-live history at the plantation, which was established in 1676 and has experienced events such as early colonization, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and Reconstruction. The history and contributions of the slaves who operated the rice cultivation here are interpreted inside restored cabins in which they lived. Wildlife is in abundance here, with the swamps, marshes and woodlands on the plantation. The Audubon Swamp Garden is home to one of the region's most diverse nesting grounds of many species of herons and egrets. Alligators can also be safely observed at many locations throughout the swamp.
Boy Scout Merit Badge Programs at
Magnolia's primitive campgrounds are available to organized youth groups. To make a reservation, contact Tori Luke, Magnolia's youth program coordinator. Tori can be reached at 843-571-1266, ext. 220.
Magnolia Plantation offers discounted rates for school field trips.
Classes can choose from our guided tours.
The Nature Train and Nature Boat tours take visitors
through the wilderness while looking and talking
about the native plants and animals.
The Slavery to Freedom Tour interprets the history
of the lives and contributions of the slaves that worked
on the plantation. For younger students, an alternate
slave history tour is available.
The Plantation House tour focuses on the history
of the Drayton family and the antiques and artifacts
All of our tours have been audited by teachers in the district
and do conform to the state's education standards.
Attractions included with the basic admission include the
Zoo & Nature Center, which features a collection of
domestic and wild animals, the Orientation Theatre, a
twenty-minute film on the history of Magnolia Plantation
and the Horticultural Maze.
Group rate (12 or more)
is $10 per student. This
includes admission to the
gardens and a guided
tour. Additional tours are
$5 each. One chaperone per
six children is required.
required. (return to top of page)
Animal programs are available
for outreach programs.
Live animals, including spiders,
snakes and alligators and natural
history artifacts can come to the
schools to give students an
up-close and personal experience
they will not soon forget, as they
learn about animal adaptations,
behaviors and environments.
It is not every day that a child
can have a tarantula walk across
his or her hands, feel the smooth scaly
skin of a snake or meet and touch
an alligator in person!
The outreach programs are best suited to
single classrooms (up to 30 students) to
allow for a better learning experience.
Programs can be tailored to specific
Our programs are also available for
school science fairs and events.
The outreach programs are available
at no cost to public schools in the
Charleston area. Contributions are
accepted to help fund the programs. (return to top of page)
If you are looking for an unusual way to celebrate a birthday, we can help! Birthday celebrations with a host of animals in attendance make for a memorable time. Children can visit the Zoo & Nature Center, explore the Horticultural Maze and stroll through the garden paths. Children can also search for shark teeth in our fossil pit and keep what they find!
The birthday area has picnic tables and is conveniently located next to the Zoo & Nature Center.
Use of the Carriage House, Conservatory, Pavilion or Veranda are not included.
The fee for a birthday party is $100 for the first 20 guests (2 and under are free) and $5 for each
extra person. Advance payment required.
Tours can be reserved for only $5 per person!
Other guided nature, history, or animal programs are available upon request and can be customized with advanced notice. (return to top of page)
Zoo & Nature Center
Magnolia Plantation's Zoo & Nature Center is home to a variety of domestic livestock and animals native to the region. Visitors have a unique opportunity to interact with white-tailed deer as they roam freely through the zoo. Goats, turkeys, chickens and other farm animals that likely would have been found on a working plantation also roam the zoo.
Exhibits feature a collection of native wildlife, including grey foxes, bobcat, birds of prey and a reptile house.
Many of the animals that reside here are from
wildlife rehabilitation centers, where they were
rescued as orphans or treated for injuries and
were not suitable to be released. Magnolia
Plantation has a long-time working relationship
with local wildlife rehabilitators and also helps
support them financially.
The Zoo & Nature Center is
included with basic admission.
It is one of the featured
attractions for school groups
and education programs. An
outdoor classroom is adjacent
to the zoo. (return to top of page)