10 Things To Do With Kids in Myrtle Beach

We love Myrtle Beach, and not just because of the warm ocean water and gorgeous beaches. But because there is a ton of great things to do in the area. If the weather’s good we spend most of our time at the beach. And while I always have a back up plan of things to do with kids in Myrtle Beach, I’m always a bit hesitant to make attractions the focus of our trip. Because kids catch on to that whole “Let’s do stuff” and “This is boring” thing way too quick for my liking.

We mostly avoid theme parks and attractions because I feel like the purpose of travel, even a family vacation mecca like Myrtle Beach, is to spend time together, be outside, and learn new things. It’s hard to do that when you’re hanging around the mini-golf sites or in a water park. You can do that at home, am I right? Plus I always have this worry that my kids will become jaded or spoiled and come to expect that our travels are geared to keeping them amused rather than learning about the world. Sorry, kids. That’s not happening. #sorrynotsorry

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Having said all that, sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate and/or you need a break from the sun and sand. On our last trip to Myrtle Beach this past spring, we had the opportunity to explore a few attractions and learn some new things. In no particular order are our top 10 favorite places in the Myrtle Beach area for kids and parents.

Waccamaw River Tour

My kids are easily led into anything involving a boat ride. I’m not sure, at 3 and 4, that they were terribly interested in the educational and historical aspect of the river systems and wildlife of South Carolina (that’s more my kind of thing) but they had a great time on the pontoon boat. Narrated by Kim, who knows her stuff and loves the waterways as much as I do, there’s a lot to be seen for kids who have an interest in nature and history. On our trip we saw alligators, turtles, snakes, ospreys and their nests along with gorgeous scenery. The boys must have paid some attention because they can remember what a yellow bellied slider is! Captain Rick’s additions to the narrative are hilarious and we loved when he invited the boys back to “drive” the boat for a few minutes. Kim is also a very talented photography. You can see her gorgeous photos on their Facebook page.

river tour

 

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Tickets are limited and you’ll want to purchase them in advance.  I initially thought this was a pricey outing and hesitated a few times before committing to the tour. Clearly, I’m a ding dong. I’m so glad we went on this trip. It was the highlight of our visit and a great way to see the rivers and creeks through the eyes of a local person. We learned tons, had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the scenery and stories.

ADMISSION PRICES:

Adults-  $22.95

Children 12 and under-   $14.95

Waccatee Zoo

We almost skipped this zoo based on some very negative reviews on TripAdivsor but I’m so happy we didn’t. This is a great, privately run zoo off the beaten path. You actually go through the zoo to get to the river tour so we stuck around after the boat trip to visit the animals. This zoo was lovely, reasonably priced and the enclosures were mostly open and natural with some exceptions. The boys had a great time. To get to the Waccama River Tour, you actually drive through part of the zoo which is pretty handy. Take the river trip and spend a few hours at the zoo. It was a great way to spend what turned out to be a chilly spring day.

Top 10 Attractions for Kids in the Myrtle Beach area.

ADMISSION RATES:

Ages 13 and older-  $12.00

12 Months to 12 years- $5.00

Infants under 1- free

Alligator Adventure

I have a weird fondness for alligators. Maybe they remind me of the south, maybe it’s their prehistoricness (if that’s a word) or the way they like the sun as much as I do. I wish I could look half as cool laying on a rock. Regardless, I find them fascinating so any chance to see these creatures close up (and safely) and I’m on it. Alligator Adventure is one of the largest outdoor facilities for reptile life in the entire world. Not just alligators, although they’re everywhere and you can see them being fed at 3 pm daily, but all sorts of reptiles, birds, and mammals. Recently they inherited some lovely flamingos (my other favorite animal!) and we had an all round terrific time exploring this park. Not once, but twice. Because if  you show your ID on the way out and save your ticket, you can visit a second time within 7 days for free. Challenge accepted.

Top 10 Attractions in Myrtle Beach for Kids

ADMISSION PRICES:

Adults (Ages 13 – 61)                    $22.99

Senior Citizens (Ages 62 & up)    $20.99

Military                                           $19.99

Children (Ages 4 – 12)                   $16.99

Children (Ages 3 – Under)              FREE

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

You’re on the Atlantic Ocean so why not learn about what actually lives in the water right outside your window? Can you ever really go wrong with Ripley’s? Sharks, sting rays, sea turtles and so much more. We love Ripley’s! Families can sleep with the sharks (in a good way) every Thursday night in the summer and kids ages 6-14 can sleep over without parents on Friday nights. A fun break for everyone.

Top 10 Things to do With Kids in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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ADMISSION PRICES:

Adults:                                 $24.99

Children  6 to 11                 $16.99

Children 2 to 5 years         $7.99


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Broadway At The Beach

Broadway at the Beach, including the shopping at Barefoot Landing, really has something for everyone. Shopping, zip lining, attractions, boat rides, theaters and nightlife. Spend some time browsing the shops, take a boat ride, feed the fish, and stay for dinner. There are fireworks on Friday nights and tons to do for families and kids of all ages all day long. We had a great time just strolling the paths and watching for fish and turtles.

Top 10 Things To Do With Kids in Myrtle Beach that Don't Include Water Parks or Amusement Parks
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Admission is free if you’re just planning to wander. Expect the kids to want you to spend some money, though.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Ride the SkyWheel (it’s enclosed for the faint of heart…like me) and see the entire area from the air. Walk the boardwalk, visit the tourist shops, and see the shows. With a candy shop, rides, and music there’s something to see and do for all ages. It was so hot the day we visited, that we took a dip in the ocean and wandered back for ice cream. That’s my idea of a good attraction right there.

sky wheel
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ADMISSION- Free to wander around.

SkyWheel Prices

Adults –                  $14.00

Children 3 to 11  –  $9.00

Wonderworks

Located at Broadway on the Beach, this upside down building will catch your kids’ eyes for sure. After entering the “inversion tunnel” (because the building is upside down and all) you’ll have six fun areas to explore including a natural disasters learning center, space discovery, an imagination lab and a whole lot more. Older kids will love the laser tag area, the rope course and zip line over the open waters.

Top 10 Things To Do With Kids in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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ALL ACCESS PASS:

Adults-                              $27.99

Children 4 to 12 years  – $17.99

The cost is lower if you’re just looking for the outdoor adventures.

The Market Common

The Market Common is a shopping and lifestyle center in Myrtle Beach and, aside from the terrific stores, is host to a lot of free events during the summer. Kids movies are shown every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until mid-August at Grand 14 Cinemas in the Market Common area. Admission is free and the movie starts at the very kid friendly hour of 10 am. Drinks and popcorn are $1 each. On Fridays during summer months  you can enjoy the live music in the gazebos on Howard and Reed Avenues and take a complimentary carriage ride through the streets. Valor Park hosts free movies for the older crowd on Wednesdays starting at 9 p.m.

Top 10 attractions for kids in Myrtle Beach. No waterparks or amusement parks in the bunch.
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Admission is free.

Helicopter Adventures

Ranging from a 3 minute trip to 30 minutes or longer, there’s a tour for every age and stage if you’re up for seeing Myrtle Beach from the air. Prices start at just $20 for the quickie tour which is perfect if you’re not sure how the kids will handle the heights and motion. Helicopters hold a maximum of three passengers however, several choppers can run at the same time so you’re not waiting around while the rest of the family takes a trip if you’ve got a crowd with you.

Top 10 attractions for kids in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And not one water park or amusement park in the bunch.
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Prices start at $20 and go up to $180 for a 40 mile round trip.

Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens offers different eco-tours, programs, and adventures for families with kids of all ages. Tickets are good for an entire week so you can return as often as you like. Visit the enchanted forest, a collection of story book houses, for special programs, classes, and activities that occur throughout the season and include storytelling under the trees, book sharing, arts and crafts and lessons on nature. There’s a children’s nature and sensory trail for kids over 6 and younger children will enjoy the discovery room which has seven interactive stations. Grab a detective’s booklet at the welcome center and let the kids follow clues, investigate and explore on the trip. When they’re finished they can turn the booklet in and receive a sticker and prize. There are daily animal programs where kids can watch the animals being fed and meet snakes, turtles, and more.  Adults can enjoy the live oaks and gorgeous sculpture gardens along the way.

10 Myrtle Beach Activities for Families that Don't Involve Water or Amusement Parks.- travelingsinglemom.com
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ADMISSION PRICES-  (Tickets are good for 7 days and you can return as often as you like) –

Adults-                  $15.00

Children (4-12)   $8.00

There you go! 10 fun activities to do in Myrtle Beach and not an amusement park in the bunch! Happy travels!

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10 Things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that don't involve water parks or amusement parks. - travelingsinglemom.com

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Top 10 Vacation Destinations for 2016

I’m a pretty big fan of TripAdvisor, in case you hadn’t figured that out already. So when I got their latest email sharing their list of top 10 summer vacation destinations for US (and Canadian) travelers based on popular destinations and the average one-week vacation costs for hotels, airfare, tours, and meals, I felt compelled to share it with all of you.

What’s so great about this list? Aside from including some amazing destinations in the Caribbean and Europe, along with favorite American hot spots, this list gives you the best times to visit based on when costs are lowest. Traveling is the best. Traveling cheaply (or at least more inexpensively) is even better. Check out the top 10 summer destinations and attractions as compiled by TripAdvisor for 2016. After you’ve browsed all 10, pick your favorite spot and get packing.

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations-Las Vegas, Nevada travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 15 – 21: $2,050 (13% below summer peak)

  • Value Hotel: The Carriage House – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average nightly summer rate of $127
  • Top Attraction: Blue Man Group – Tickets start at $90 per person

 

  1. Cancun, Mexico

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- Cancun, Mexico. - travelingsinglemom.com

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 22 – 28: $2,222 (16% below summer peak)

  • Value Hotel: Hotel & Suites Nader – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average nightly summer rate of $39. Seriously. That’s not a typo!
  • Top Attraction: Mayan Ruins of Tulum – Tours start at $50 per person

 

  1. Orlando, Florida

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- Orlando, Florida.- travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 22 – 28: $1,733 (13% below summer peak)

 

  1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic- travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 22 – 28: $2,848 (10% below summer peak)

 

  1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina- travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 22 – 28: $1,812 (26% below summer peak)

Having just come back from Surfside Beach, just south of Myrtle Beach, I can highly recommend this as a budget and family friendly destination. Check back in for lots of details on where to go and what to do in the Myrtle Beach area with kids in the next few weeks! We stayed at Myrtle Beach Resort and loved it! 5 pools, some indoor, some outdoor, one giant kids pool and a lazy river and right on the beach. How can you go wrong?

 

  1. New York City, New York

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- New York- travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: June 27 – July 3: $3,092 (10% below summer peak)

 

  1. London, England

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations-London, England travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: July 23-Aug 3: $3,788 (10% below summer peak)

  • Value Hotel: Luna & Simone Hotel – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average nightly summer rate of $206
  • Top Attraction: The London Eye – Skip-the-line tickets start at $45 per person

 

  1. Destin, Florida

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- Destin, Florida- travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 22 – 28: $2,320 (25% below summer peak)

 

  1. Paris, France

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- Paris, France. travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 8 – 14: $3,111 (25% below summer peak)

 

  1. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Travelingsinglemom.com-

Least Expensive Summer Week to Visit: August 22 – 28: $2,212 (10% below summer peak)

 

Pin it so you don’t forget it!

Top 10 Summer Vacation Destinations- travelingsinglemom.com. From the US, to the Caribbean, to Europe. Everything you need to know to plan the perfect summer vacation.

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