Experience the magic of the holidays at the beach. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a favorite beach destination year-round, but something special happens each year in November and December along The Grand Strand. Enjoy all the season’s favorite activities with a beachy holiday vibe.
During the holiday season, Myrtle Beach is filled with holiday cheer. From traditional events like tree lightings, parades, and photos with Santa to new festivals, live music, a boat parade, and even a few surprises. There is nothing like the holidays at Myrtle Beach. Here are nine reasons why.
1. Winter Wonderland At The Beach
‘Tis the season and Myrtle Beach is an amazing holiday destination. There is something for everyone at Winter Wonderland at The Beach. The fun starts at the SkyWheel and runs south along the Beach Boardwalk and Promenade for nearly a mile, ending at 2nd Street Pier.
Take a waterfront walking tour of Toyland and the North Pole, plus many other delightful holiday scenes. Listen to holiday music as you stroll along looking at all the lighted displays — more than 100,000 dazzling lights. For even more fun there will be live, strolling carolers. Watch holiday movies with the whole family on Friday nights in Nance Plaza.
Winter Family Fun Zone
The whole family will enjoy the Winter Family Fun Zone at Plyler Park (home of the SkyWheel). The area will feature holiday-themed attractions including inflatables (great photo ops), s’mores-making, snow-angel areas, and other fun-filled surprises.
There will be entertainment each night on the stage in Plyler Park. These performances will include live music, dancing, and more. A holiday pop-up market with unique vendors will be in the park from Thursday through Sunday nights.
Beachfront Photos With Santa
Yes, Santa will be visiting Myrtle Beach. Santa and his sleigh are available for photos every Saturday night at the Ninth Avenue Beach Access from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The sleigh will be available for photo ops every night with or without Santa.
These events begin November 17 and run until December 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. See all featured activities at Winter Wonderland at The Beach.
2. The Festival Of Trees
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach holds an annual holiday event — the Festival of Trees. Here, the diversity and culture of the United States are celebrated with over 55 decorated Christmas trees, one for each of the country’s states and territories. The South Carolina tree is a favorite (of course), standing more than 18 feet tall. It features seashells, magnolias, golf balls, and all sorts of Grand Strand symbolism.
Visitors can test their knowledge of each state with their customized scavenger hunt or simply enjoy the beauty of many Christmas-lit trees throughout the aquarium. This special holiday display is visible from November 5 to January 2 and is included with regular aquarium admission.
3. Horse Carriage Rides
Bundle up and enjoy a complimentary, horse-drawn carriage ride at the beautiful Market Common shopping plaza, decked out for the holidays.
The Horse Carriage Rides run from November 22 through December 27 on Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Pick-up and drop-off are in front of Dolce Lusso Salon & Day Spa. No reservations are required.
4. Nights Of A Thousand Candles
This year’s holiday event is bigger and brighter than ever at Nights of a Thousand Candles held at historic Brookgreen Gardens. During November and December, you’ll be able to experience a light show like no other when Brookgreen Gardens comes alive with millions of twinkling lights and nearly 3,000 hand-lit candles. Celebrate the season as you walk along the paths with a warm cup of cider or hot chocolate and listen to the sounds of holiday music.
Nightly entertainment under the tent and dining choices make it a great date night spot as well as a family event. Open from 4 to 9 p.m., tickets must be purchased in advance for this popular winter event.
5. The Celebration Of Lights
The city of Conway is one of the most charming places to visit during the Christmas season for several reasons. Their downtown holiday displays, quaint Main Street shopping, and scenic Riverwalk are worth a visit on their own — the Celebration of Lights is the icing on the cake.
The drive-through Celebration of Lights is held on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout December, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. The nearly one-mile-long drive features thousands of Christmas lights and holiday scenes. Families can enjoy marshmallow roasting, a s’mores station, and hot chocolate nightly, and visit with Santa on Fridays and Saturdays.
6. Intracoastal Christmas Regatta
Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, locals flock to the waterfront to view this spectacular maritime (boat) parade, the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta. The lighted flotilla starts at the Little River Inlet at 5 p.m. and travels south, several miles to Dock Holidays Marina, ending around 7 p.m. Gather your family and watch the parade of festive, holiday-decorated vessels of every size as it passes various viewing areas along the waterway.
7. Holiday Stage Shows
Myrtle Beach theaters love the holidays. They go all out with their many holiday-themed productions. The magic begins the minute you walk through the front doors. The grand foyers are completely decked out in their holiday finest. Red and green decorations, dozens of twinkling lights, and very tall, fully-decorated Christmas trees are at the center of it all.
You’ll be delighted to see everything from ice shows and light shows to traditional Christmas variety shows. Every single one excels at igniting the Christmas spirit inside its audience members. If you’re in Myrtle Beach for the holidays, you won’t want to miss one of these fantastic holiday extravaganzas.
8. The Great Christmas Light Show
The Great Christmas Light Show is an enormous lighted celebration that is sure to capture the true spirit of the season. The North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex hosts the two-mile-long “drive-through” light show which features millions of lights in over 500 festive displays. Visitors will delight in seeing enchanting animated holiday scenes where the lights come to life. Park at Santa’s Village where families can get out and enjoy hot chocolate, train rides, and photos with Santa.
Admission to The Great Christmas Light Show is per vehicle, November 21 through December 30.
9. Holiday Shopping At Myrtle Beach
Just in case you need to do some last-minute shopping for your loved ones, we’ve included some great holiday shopping venues on our “perfect getaway” list. Christmas shopping at the beach couldn’t be more fun. You’ll find everything you need to put under your Myrtle Beach holiday tree at places like Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, Market Common, Gay Dolphin Gift Shop, and more. See a complete list of Grand Strand shopping centers and malls at the link above.
If you’re looking for a great beach holiday getaway, look no further than Myrtle Beach and The Grand Strand. Not only are there great holiday happenings, but staying on The Strand is affordable, family and pet-friendly, and with over 2,000 restaurants, you’ll be sure to find something for everyone. Check the Myrtle Beach Holiday Guide for detailed information.
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