Happy Kids, Happy Moms — Family Activities in Myrtle Beach

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Ever hear the expression, “If mama isn’t happy, nobody’s happy”? Well, nothing could be more true. And if the kids are bored or whiny – or both – mom is certainly not going to be thrilled about that.

Lucky for moms (and families), Myrtle Beach is as effortless a family vacation destination as they come. Ideas abound for outings and events that the whole crew will genuinely enjoy, and here are six of our favorites.

1) The Beach: The eponymous stretch of coast for which this fair city is named is the No. 1 crowd-pleaser down here. The kids love the sand and surf, and mom and dad love that they can sit back and not have to do all the entertaining for a change. It’s simple, it’s free, and it’s as good as it gets.

2) Mini Golf, or Putt-Putt: Golf might be the big sport in Myrtle Beach, but it’s not always a great option for the small kiddos. Shrink the proportions while maximizing hilarity on one of the city’s many miniature golf courses. Pit parents versus kids for some wholesome competition — winner gets to pick the ice cream flavor.

3) Brookgreen Gardens: The 15-square mile expanse of manicured garden and Lowcountry history in nearby Pawley’s Island is a gorgeous way to mix up the sights. Kids love the meandering trails and statues, and parents love the exquisitely cultivated flora … and tuckering those little ones out. Don’t miss the aviary, butterfly garden and zoo; the otters are always great for a giggle.

4) Huntington Beach State Park: Get down to basics with the family by spending a day at the pristine Huntington Beach in Murrells Inlet. Break out the fishing rods, do some birdwatching, take a dip in the ocean, or hit the trails for a scenic hike on the two-mile Sandpiper Pond Trail for some simple, sun-drenched fun.

5) SkyWheel: Get the bird’s eye view of the Grand Strand on the majestic, state-of-the-art Ferris wheel on North Ocean Boulevard. It’s pretty cool at ground level, but stunning up top. Each of the 42 enclosed gondolas is climate controlled and secured (good for those squeamish about heights). One look at the Atlantic from 200 feet above and you’ll feel like a seagull. Adults $13 apiece; discounted for kids 13 and under; 2 and under free.

6) Hot Summer Nights: Kids getting antsy after dinner? Just step outside your hotel. Every night, June through August, the Boardwalk is abuzz with free and fun activities. One night you might stumble upon a kids carnival, another a concert. Wednesday nights you’ll enjoy the magnificent fireworks show — but the joy on those kids’ faces is the real spectacle, eh moms?

What about you guys? Any ideas for keeping the kids busy and happy while also entertaining the adults? We’d love to hear ‘em.

(posted 4/16/14)