Staycation - It’s a Family Affair

June 2019
Written By: 
Paul Grimshaw

Who says you can’t take the kids along on your Grand Strand staycation? It would be plainly obvious to even a casual observer that the area is extraordinarily kid-friendly. Your little ones will never forgive you if you don’t find room (and time) for them on your neighborhood getaway. Aquatic parks, aquariums, interactive high-tech activities and much more await your familial unit. Here are just a few of our family friendly favorites.

Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum is “a museum of fully playable” machines ready to spark a bit of nostalgia

Shark Wake Park
150 Citizens Circle, Little River

Located in the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex on a large freshwater lake, this aquatic wonderland comes complete with cable tower kneeboarding and wakeboarding for beginners and advanced riders of all abilities and ages. It may be best to visit first, watch, and ask questions of the staff to determine your comfort level and participation; this is a high-speed, adrenaline-producing watersport. No boat required! For seven years old and up, the Aqua Park features tamer aquatic fun on interconnected inflatables. sharkwakepark.com

Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum
607 27th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach

Ah yes, countless hours (and quarters) have been dedicated to the iconic pinball machine, and now there’s “a museum of fully playable” machines ready to spark a bit of nostalgia for your own misspent youth or introduce younger players to the games of yesteryear. Pay by the hour ($12 per hour) and never again worry about how many quarters you’ve blown on machines dating from the 1970s through to today. Big fun for all. Days of operation vary by season. Call ahead or check website. myrtlebeachpinballmuseum.org; (843) 282-9018

Ripley’s Aquarium Broadway at the Beach
29th Avenue North at Robert Grissom Parkway

Open 365 days per year since 1997, Ripley’s Aquarium is among the most popular destinations for locals and visitors alike. Featuring two levels with 10 exhibits, you can now dive with the sharks, go on glass bottom boat adventures and watch live shows on the hour. The centerpiece attraction remains the Dangerous Reef and its automatic 350-foot glidepath that takes you under the sea for up close, crystal clear views of the thousands of fish and sharks just inches above you. ripleysaquariums.com



EdVenture Myrtle Beach The Market Common
3061 Howard Ave., Myrtle Beach

The newest of three in South Carolina, EdVenture Myrtle Beach is charged with introducing children to aviation, astronomy, science, technology and engineering: all fields in which the state excels and seeks to nurture in the next generation to fill important jobs. Though small, just 3,000 square feet, EdVenture Myrtle Beach delivers big fun. edventure.org

WonderWorks Broadway at the Beach
1313 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach

This spectacularly odd upside-down structure is one of six in a chain of virtual reality arcades/science museums. At a reported cost of around $15 million, this Disneyesque attraction is clearly geared toward kids, but has enough wow-factor to keep teens and adults entertained as well (the full bar on its outdoor deck overlooking Lake Broadway doesn’t hurt, either). Its concept is that of a top-secret research laboratory sucked up by the Bermuda Triangle and tossed to Myrtle Beach, with all of its experiments intact and functional. Laser tag, ropes course and nearby zip line tickets can be purchased separately. wonderworksonline.com

Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Ticketreturn.com Field
1251 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach

It’s as American as apple pie, and for many, baseball remains a favorite pastime and the number one quintessential summertime activity. From the hot dogs, cold beer and peanuts to the seventh inning stretch, staycationers—up to nearly 7,000 of them—can enjoy a game at one of the nation’s finest minor league ballparks, as ranked by Stadium Journey. In the famed Carolina League, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the Class A Advanced farm team of World Champion Chicago Cubs. Sa-wing batter, batter! myrtlebeachpelicans.com; (843) 918-6000

Resources: 

PHOTOS BY ROMAN KOROTKOV, JODY MACKENZIE AND COURTESY OF MYRTLE BEACH PINBALL MUSEUM AND RIPLEY'S AQUARIUM