Taking the little ones out to experience all the attractions, restaurants, shops and shows in Myrtle Beach can get pretty pricy, but it doesn't have to. In fact, some of the best things to do on the Grand Strand are free of charge, or require only a minimal fee. Here are a few of the best ways to show kids a good time in Myrtle Beach on the cheap:
Beach: It might seem obvious, but you would be surprised by the number of visitors who come to Myrtle Beach with such a long laundry list of things to do that they overlook something as big as the Atlantic Ocean. Long Bay guests are only steps away from the white sand and cool surf, or enjoy the view from the oceanfront pool deck. Not only is the beach a great place to catch some rays and waves by day, but it also allows visitors to enjoy a moonlit stroll down the beach at night while the kids try to catch sand crabs. And if you wake up early enough, watching sunrise on the beach is an one of a kind experience.
Broadway at the Beach: Sure, the attractions, shops and restaurants can be expensive, but there are plenty of fun and cheap things to do to show the kids a good time at this popular Myrtle Beach complex. During the summer months, Broadway hosts free fireworks shows on Tuesday and Friday nights over Lake Broadway, and the Nostalgia Pavilion Amusement Park offers free admission and charges only for ride tickets and arm bands so the whole family can participate in the fun while the kids take in the thrills. An arcade and carnival games are also available.
Museums: Just because an attraction is educational doesn't mean it can't be fun. That's the theme of the Children’s Museum of South Carolina. Located across from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, this 3,000 square foot facility is filled with interactive displays designed for fun and learning. Admission is $8 but curious kids with big imaginations can easily spend an entire rainy day playing with the exhibits. Free museums include the new Horry County Museum in Conway, which has a fish tank inside a spiral staircase that was built by the popular Discovery Channel show “Tanked,” and the South Carolina Hall of Fame on the ground floor of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk: This 1.2-mile wooden walkway along Myrtle Beach's downtown district is a haven for folks looking to do something to do for free or cheap. In addition to offering easy access to the beach, shops and stores, the Boardwalk is the site of several free festivities for families. On Monday nights, the Kids Carnival features an inflatable playground, games, face-painting and kid-themed music at Plyler Park, and free fireworks shows are launched over the ocean on Wednesday nights. Free concerts are held on the main stage every other night of the week during the summer months.
Parks: Explore the Grand Strand's natural side at some of the local parks. The new North Myrtle Beach Recreation and Sports Complex has hiking and biking trails, a dog park and playground equipment, and Valor Park at Market Common offers lots of room to play and picnic. If you don't mind a small admission fee ($4 per person), Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park provide a natural coastal environment perfect for swimming, fishing, hiking and more. Visit the maritime forests and Lowcountry wetlands that are some of South Carolina's scenic treasures, and let the kids take part in the many interactive, educational programs that are free with park admission.