Find Fun for the Little Ones in Myrtle Beach

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Myrtle Beach has championship golf course, first-class restaurants and award-winning theaters for adults, and roller coasters, thrill rides and water slides for the teens and tweens.

But what about the little ones, who aren’t quite tall enough to board the rides and are still too young to old enough to enjoy dinner and a show? Never fear; Myrtle Beach has lots of fun things to see and do for young children beyond the beach and hotel kiddie pool. Here are five fun and safe attractions to keep the little ones entertained:

* Amusement Parks: Myrtle Beach’s amusement parks offer more than high-sped roller-coasters and spine-tingling drops. Family Kingdom in downtown Myrtle Beach also offers several fun rides for kids, ones that prompt laughter instead of screams. The Frog Hopper takes tots on a bouncy ride up and down, and the miniature boat rides and car races are just the right pace for little ones. Because they are limited by height requirements for many larger rides, small children can get away with buying individual tickets and riding only the ones they feel comfortable boarding. Also, Broadway at the Beach’s Pavilion Nostalgia Park also features mini-sized rides and a carousel.

* Children’s Museum of South Carolina: This educational attraction is also fun, the ideal place to take active and developing minds on a rainy. Located across Oak Street from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, this 7,500-square-foot facility is filled with interactive exhibits designed to exercise the bodies and minds of ages 3 through 9. CMSC has undergone recent renovations and added new attractions and exhibits, including several involving nature and environmental issues. CMSC also offers weekly activities, such as Tales for Tots story time on Tuesdays, and Fun Fridays. CMSC is open Monday through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* Putt-putt golf: Kids and adults of all ages enjoy this pastime, but the younger set can soak up the bizarre atmosphere of giant dinosaurs, model pirate ships and creepy caves. Of course, they also like hitting the ball around a lot but the additional strokes simply allows them to burn more time and energy. Courses that may be particularly pleasing for tots are Captain Hook’s (Peter Pan theme), Jurassic Golf (lots of dinosaurs) and Jungle Safari.

* Waterparks: Although only the bigger, scarier rides are visible from outside, Myrtle Waves Water Park in Myrtle Beach, Wildwater and Wheels in Surfside Beach and the Family Kingdom Waterpark in the downtown district have plenty of water attractions designed specifically for the younger set. All three waterparks boast aquatic playgrounds filled with water features, such as small slides, spraying hoses and pouring buckets. There is a significant decrease in attendance from early- to mid-August, when many children return to school, so it's a good time to avoid the long lines and have a splashing good time.

* Myrtle Beach Pelicans: Class A minor-league baseball might as well be the majors to small kids, and the affiliate of the Texas Rangers goes all out to make it a fun experience for kids. Young ones can play catch on the field before the game, run the bases after the game and a plethora of between-innings activities kids can participate in, like dancing to the “Y-M-C-A” or running the dizzy bat race. Mascots Splash the Pelican, The Rally Shark and Deuce the Home Run Dog roam the stadium for photo ops with brave children. Special promotions and giveaways are often designed with little ones in mind and, of course, there’s always the concession stand for some cotton candy, ice cream, and popcorn.

(posted 8/4/14)
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