Taking the little ones trick-or-treating while vacationing in an unfamiliar city can be the scariest thing about Halloween, but not if you know where to go. The Grand Strand is filled with established neighborhoods where you will feel safe and welcome, and there are also various events held around the Myrtle Beach area where you and your children can have a happy Halloween.
Most of the major shopping centers offer trick-or-treating, as well as special events for a unique Halloween experience. But for those who prefer to show their children a good, old-fashioned Halloween, find a neighborhood that has year-round residents rather than seasonal housing developments to avoid ringing a lot of unanswered doorbells.
Finding the right place to take your kids trick-or-treating can make or break their Halloween. Here's a list of five family-friendly activities and neighborhoods to celebrate the holiday Myrtle Beach style:
* Barefoot Landing welcomes kids to come trick-or-treating at its many shops and restaurants on Halloween night, but the holiday celebration begins at noon Saturday, Oct. 25, for the annual Kids and Pets Costume Contest. Yes, children and their four-legged friends dress to impress the judges in various categories, including individual and tandem categories. Even if you don't plan to dress up, come out and see the colorful and creative costumes, and there will be free carousel rides, a kids' karaoke contest and more. For more information, visit http://www.barefootlanding.com
* Boardwalk Fright Nights are held every Friday and Saturday night in October, ending Nov. 1 but climaxing with a huge party Halloween night. Businesses along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk will hand out treats to kids in costume and the downtown district will be crawling with creepy creatures and special effects, such as fog machines and spooky music. Ripley's Haunted Adventure and other attractions are offering special discounts. For more information, visit http://www.myrtlebeachdowntown.com
* Broadway at the Beach's annual Trick-or-Treat festival has become a Myrtle Beach tradition. All the shops, restaurants and attractions dish out free candy and goodies to children, and fun and games are held throughout the complex to get everyone in the Halloween spirit. Roaming characters, from scary monsters to stilt-walkers, will be on hand for this family-friendly event, and fun and games will be open in the kids’ zone. If you are up for some people-watching, the adult costume contest party starts at 7:30 in Celebrity Square and some interesting characters appear.
* Pine Lakes Neighborhood: If you are vacationing on the north end of Myrtle Beach or the Grand Strand, there’s one neighborhood that will make you show your kids what trick-or-treating was like when you were a kid. This closely knit community borders the historic Pine Lakes International Country Club, the first golf course among the 100-plus on the Grand Strand, so it’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in town. Parents ride their golf carts while their kids run from house to house loading up on sweets, and some residents go all out in decorating and staging spooky scenes on their lawns.
* The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk allows the kids to rack up on candy while the adults feast on seafood – not a bad compromise for dinner. Beginning at 5 p.m., each restaurant along the wooden waterfront walkway will cater to trick-or-treaters, and a costume contest will award winners with a wide range of prizes, including gift certificates to restaurants on the Marshwalk. Stick around for some grown-up fun beginning at 7 p.m., when the adult costume contest and other Halloween activities will take place. Look out for ghosts and pirates roaming the Marshwalk.
(Photo Courtesy: springmaidbeach.com)