Give a child a gift, watch him play with the empty box. But showing a kid a good time and letting them spend their own holiday cash is something special, and something memorable. Here are five places where you can take the kids for a little holiday fun:
* Build-A-Bear Workshop: Why buy some random teddy bear when you can make your very own. Located at Broadway at the Beach, Build-A-Bear lets kids pick out and put together their new best friend. Build-A-Bear could easily be called Build-A-Critter, because there is a wide selection of animals to choose from, and kids can personalize their toy with clothing and accessories, from tennis shoes to floppy hats. Wardrobe items also includes sports teams and other themes that allow children to build a “mini-me” character that reflects their unique personality.
* Fun Warehouse: Teens and tweens love this game room, skating rink and laser-tag course all under one roof. Located in Surfside Beach, Fun Zone is the perfect place for children to spend a cold or rainy day. Unlimited skating and laser tag packages are available, and the snack bar and arcade give kids lots of ways to spend some down time between skating and shooting. High-tech video games and carnival-style games allow kids to win tickets and select prizes from the souvenir shop. There's also indoor playground equipment for the smaller kids and private rooms for birthday parties.
* RideMakerz: This Broadway at the Beach shop is part attraction and part garage where children can select, design and build their own 1:18 scale model cars. The high-tech workshop allows kids to pick the make and model of their choice and select every piece and part, from the wheels, body and chassis down to the paint job and decals. A computerized catalog helps patrons find the scale model vehicle of their dreams, whether it's a classic hot rod or a monster truck. It's a great time and opportunity for kids to design and build their own keepsake.
* Shopping Spree: Parents are always on their kids about learning the value of a dollar, micro-managing their money and preaching against wasteful purchases. But it’s as important to teach them how to spend money as much as it is to save money. One such opportunity that’s popular with the kids is the shopping spree – a certain amount of cash or a gift card where they can decide how to spend. Let them know that this is fun money to be used as they please, and bite your tongue if they pick out something you might not like. Girls might enjoy a day at Sparkles for a makeup, hair and nail makeover and the chance to create their own bracelet, while boys might be more interested in taking a few spins around the race track at Myrtle Beach Grand Prix. It’s their present, so let them spend as they please.
* UCP Game Zone: Video games never tasted so good and dinner never saw this much fun at the Ultimate California Pizza game Zone. Located on Restaurant Row, this high-tech arcade adjoins the locally famous pizza parlor for a fun night out for the whole family. Take the kids out for a break from the holiday blahs with a wide range of games, from old-school Skee-Ball to new-age virtual reality games. Give the kids a combo card for pizza, a drink and a limited number of games for a discounted price. The award-winning pizza place comes with a side sports bar for the adults.