So Myrtle Beach isn’t exactly a winter wonderland. It only takes a few flakes of snow to send locals scurrying to the grocery store for non-perishable goods. But the Grand Strand does have one thing going for it during the Christmas season – a steady number of visits from Santa Claus himself.
It seems even the Jolly Ol’ Elf himself loves to vacation in Myrtle Beach, and here’s your chance to snap a few elf selfies with Santa. Here’s a list of places where you can take the kids (and in some cases, your four-legged loved ones) to get a souvenir snapshot with Santa and to whisper a few gift ideas in his ear:
* Barefoot Landing's Christmas display is set up at Lakeview Courtyard, where Santa photos and other Christmas festivities will be held throughout the holiday season. Children get one free photo with Santa, a treat and a free ride on the carousel on Saturdays (Dec. 6, 13 and 20) from noon to 3 p.m. Teach your kids the true meaning of Christmas by dropping off a present at the Toys for Tots display.
* Bass Pro Shops: Adjoining Myrtle Beach Mall, this outdoors store goes all out for Christmas with its Winter Wonderland display, which allows kids to get a free picture with Santa as well as take part in various arts and crafts, games and other holiday-related activities. The Winter Wonderland is available from open to close (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays) leading up to Christmas Eve. Santa photos and arts and crafts will be held during select hours.
* Broadway at the Beach: Check out the 52-foot tree adorned with more than 140,000 lights at Pavilion Park Central, where kids can get photos with Santa and take a ride in the decorated amusement area. Hard Rock Cafe is also offering breakfast with Santa on Saturday mornings (Dec. 6, 13 and 20).
* Coastal Grand Mall: The Grand Strand's largest shopping mall also boasts its biggest indoor Christmas display, with Santa's comfy chair and lap serving as the centerpiece. Santa is available for photos and Christmas wishes from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Photo packages are available for sale and pet photos are scheduled for Mondays between 6 and 9 p.m. (Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 and 16).
* Horry County Recreation Centers: Enjoy breakfast with Santa at a handful of parks and recreation centers on the Grand Strand. Games, arts and crafts and decorating are among the many activities planned for these events, which run from 9 to 11 a.m. Locations include the North Strand Recreation Center on Dec. 6, the J. Bryan Floyd Recreation Center on Dec. 13, and the CB Berry Recreation Center on Dec. 14.
* Inlet Square Mall: Santa also makes a visit to the south side of the Strand at this Murrells Inlet Mall. Santa photos are available from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays) and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays, and then daily from Dec. 11 to Christmas Eve. Pet pictures are set from 5 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Dec. 8 and 15.
* Myrtle Beach State Park: Guests can drop in on Santa during his down time at Myrtle Beach State Park's “Santa on Vacation” display. Take your own pictures with Santa and take part in fun games and activities to celebrate the season. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29.
(Photo Courtesy: myrtlebeach.com)