The annual Teddy Bear Picnic has become a must-do activity for families across the Charleston area. It’s a way for parents and children to unplug, have fun and connect in one of Charleston’s iconic parks.
This year, the Charleston Parks Conservancy will host the 11th Teddy Bear Picnic presented by Dominion Energy from 1:30-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. Children and their teddy bears will converge on Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Drive, for musical entertainment, face painting, seed planting, crafts and more. Admission and all activities are free.
Stop by the new Panera Bread tent for free cooking decorating. Bring your sick and injured bears to get patched up with help from MUSC Children’s Health, the official partner of the popular Teddy Bear ER. Coastal Kids Dentistry will be on hand to perform dental checkups on teddy bear teeth.
Families can spread out on a blanket for a picnic lunch while listening to musical entertainment by John Cusatis along with a performance by the Watoto Ensemble from Meeting Street Academy. Additional activities include Beary CrossFit with CrossFit Charleston, a scavenger hunt, storytime with Parker Bear hosted by Begin With Books, Kidding Around Yoga, and a tea party under the oaks. The Lady Bug Lady and her car Ms. Lulu will have ladybugs, and the City of Charleston Recreation Environmental Education will bring reptiles.
“The Teddy Bear Picnic really has become one of our signature events,” said Megan Mills, community engagement manager for the Conservancy. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to unplug and truly enjoy spending an afternoon in Hampton Park. For so many people, this has become a true family tradition.”
The idea for the Teddy Bear Picnic came from the Conservancy’s volunteer Park Angels who wanted to create a free event that encouraged families to spend time in the park. In 2017, volunteer Park Angels wrote a children’s book based on the Teddy Bear Picnic, “Here, There and Everywhere with Parker Bear.” Photographed by Charleston photographer Libby Williams, the book chronicles the adventures of Parker Bear as he visits 10 city parks before meeting his friends at Hampton Park for the annual Teddy Bear Picnic. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.
Families are invited to bring a picnic lunch, blankets and chairs to enjoy an afternoon in the park. Kickin’ Chicken and King of Pops will have food available for purchase.
Dozens of volunteers are needed for this event. To volunteer or learn more about the event, visit https://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/event/teddy-bear-picnic. The rain date for the event is Sunday, March 8.