The Broadway Speedboat – Go for it, you don’t actually get wet.

Update, 6/11/13 – I had the opportunity to stop by the Speedboat landing this weekend at Broadway at the Beach and there’s been a price increase. Adults are now $17.99 and children are $13.99.

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Original post date, 10/6/11 - It’s hard to miss one of Broadway at the Beach’s newest attractions – the Speedboat.  It tears across Lake Broadway, spinning out and tossing its riders from side to side.  It looks a little scary, but it might be a thrill ride right up my alley.

I talked with the gal working at the admission counter for the ride and she shared some information that I’ll pass on to you.

All riders are required to wear a life vest.  While there’s almost zero chance you’ll fall out, even if you did, you’ll be fine.  That is if the giant fish don’t get you.  Just kidding.  They don’t eat people.  I think…

I was assured that the ride is 100% dry.  And as I watched folks go, I would agree.  The price is $14.99 for adults and $11.99 for children.  The ride lasts about seven minutes.  The boat holds eleven people and if you come with a group and fill it, they will give you a discount.  Also, the earlier in the day you come, the more likely you are to get a discount.  We were there at about noon in September on a Saturday and there was no line.  I have, however, seen a crowd over there on an evening in the summer.

I have a video of the speedboat in action on my Facebook page.  You can view it here.  Looks pretty fun!

Ready to send your baby off to kindergarten, Mom? It’s registration time!

Flickr user scrapbit

Update: A new class of pre-K, kindergarten and (new) first grade students is getting ready for their first day in the big school! Registration in Horry County is next week, March 18 – 22, 2013. See my tips below for making this process as painless as possible.

 

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Original post, March 7, 2012:   I remember the days well.  With my older child, it was an event.  My mom came and watched the little sister.  I had a file folder filled with documents.  I was nervous.  My daughter was worked up – about what, she had no idea.  I had tissues in my pocket.  With the second child, we waited until the next-to-last day of the week, decided on a whim to go when we did, and forgot two of the necessary documents.  With the first I walked out teary.  With the second, I skipped a little.  What am I talking about?  Kindergarten registration! Just this week, Horry County Schools announced the dates for children development, kindergarten, and first grade registration.  It will run from Monday, March 26, 2012 through Friday, March 30, 2012.  Parents can register their children during normal school hours and must bring a birth certificate, certificate of immunization, proof of residency, and a proof of a physical address. To enter kindergarten, your child has to celebrate his or her fifth birthday on or before September 1, 2012.  They are super strict about this deadline and I’ve heard from many teachers that only rare exceptions are made and are typically for children who celebrate a birthday within a day or two of the cut-off. If this is your year, I have a few tips. 1.  The registration process involves the completion of many, many, MANY forms that ask for detailed information.  While I can’t speak for all schools, ours allows you to pick up that paperwork and return it later in the week.  Do yourself a favor and roll up for it on Tuesday (see tip 2) and return it on Wednesday or Thursday. 2.  Resist the urge to go on Monday, Friday, or lunchtime on any day during registration week.  It’s crowded during these times and that makes it difficult to focus. 3.  If you really want to bring your little one, bring entertainment for him or her. In previous years there has been a second shot at registration late in the summer for those who have recently moved into the area.  If there’s something uncertain about your situation (perhaps you’re considering a move to another district or weighing the options of private v. online v. public school) you may want to hold out. For everything you need to know about registration for children development (pre-K), kindergarten, and first grade, have a look at this article on the Horry County Schools site.  In the meantime, I’ll be busy counting the days until summer break.  :-)

This family’s review of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

December 20, 2012: Just a quick update. We paid another visit to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland tonight and, again, it was great. My only word of advice is to skip the Winter Wonderland Experience in the stadium. It comes with a $4 per person separate admission fee. There was so fake snow for the kids to play with and a Grinch maze that was kind of scary. There was also a knock-off Mickey Mouse, Rudolph, and Cookie Monster character opportunity. We spent ten minutes in it, at the very most. Normally I’d try to find the high points in something like this for a fair review, but this add-on was so small that it just should have been included.

On upside, the $2 train ride around the field was totally fun. We got views that we’ll probably never get again and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately it started to rain, so we didn’t get to do the pony or camel ride, for $5 and $7.

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November 27, 2011:  I’ve been looking forward to going to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland ever since writing about it back in mid-October.  It seemed similar to the Osborne Family Lights in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, something our family always enjoys during trips to Florida during the holiday season.  Before even getting details about Shadrack’s, I couldn’t wait to go!

Admission is a little steep.  I was a little surprised to hear it would cost $25.50 per carload, but when I broke it down into a per person rate, our family of four got in for just over $6 each.  If we would have stuffed more riders in, the per person rate would have, obviously, been even less.  If you’re a Costco member, they sell tickets for $18.  And, I’ve just learned via Facebook that if you ask for the discount, locals can get in for $20.  While I’m not certain they require photo ID to prove your residency, I would be prepared to show it.

You enter through the main BB&T Coastal Field gates on Robert Grissom Parkway.  There is an admission booth that you access from your car’s window.  Upon reaching it, you’re told to tune your radio to 101.1 FM, turn on your parking lights only, and to stay on the guided path.  The ride takes 25, or so, minutes, spanning seven songs.  Lucky for us, the weather was very mild so we turned on the heat and opened the windows.

So what is it?  Simply put, it’s a very large holiday lights display, with many components, all synchronized with holiday music.  You remain in your car the entire time.  You’re encouraged to take your time and in various spots throughout the display, there is enough room for you to pull to the side and let others pass if you’d like to stop and enjoy for a bit.

The path snakes through the parking lot at Pelicans’ stadium, running through it and along the perimeter.  As the music plays, the lights dim, jump, twinkle, and every other word I can use to describe them.  As the music speeds up, the lights do too.  When there’s a dramatic pause, they go out completely.  My favorite is when the lights simulated quiet thunder and lightning.

The songs are all, naturally, family-friendly, though it’s worth mentioning that one is heavily Christian in nature.  It’s called “Christmas with a Capital C” by Go Fish.  It talks about how “Merry Christmas” has turned into “Happy Holidays” in an effort to not offend those who don’t believe in Christ.  The song doesn’t have any questionable lyrics (read them here) and seriously, you’re more entranced by the beat and how the lights react to really listen.  Still, I thought it was a small stretch to put such a Jesus-y song in there when there are no less than a million other Christmas songs to choose from.  While it didn’t upset me a bit, it may rub those who aren’t really into the religious aspect of the holiday the wrong way.

Another noteworthy mention is the presence of security patrolling the apartment complex just on the 21st Avenue side of Pelican stadium.  You can see the full display through their fence, though I’m very certain Shadrack’s is doing their very best to disallow anyone trying to get a free peek.  My advice would be not to try.

On the final stretch of the display, the lane is very wide and we, like many others, chose to stop for a bit and just enjoy.  We were there for about 10 minutes and while stopped, I had a look at the cars passing by me. One was a pick-up truck with people in the back on lawn chairs.  Another was a Yukon with children literally on the roof.  Not kind of standing up through a sun roof or anything.  They were sitting, unrestrained, on the roof.  I tried to get a picture but it was too dark.  Folks, while it’s tempting to squish as many people as you can in your vehicle, remember that situation makes it a little difficult for everyone to see well.  Please, please, PLEASE resist the urge to be foolish.  It’s dark in there and while the rate of speed is very slow, drivers are distracted by the lights.  If by some horrible chance one of those kids slid off, I would hate to see the consequences.  Everyone should remain in their seats with seatbelts fastened.  The display, in most parts, is on both sides of the vehicle and when you turn, you will see whatever you missed on the other side.  No matter where you’re seated in your car, you have a fantastic view.

Upon exiting the light display, the road leads you to the Christmas village.  Parking is in the grass lot and the village is mostly housed in an event tend.  On the outside is an opportunity to ride a real camel for $7 per person, a magic show, carnival balloon game, and a video game trailer.  On the other side of the tent are a bungee jumper, inflatable bounce house, and a few vendors.  Inside is a petting zoo where you can purchase food for the goats and sheep for $0.25.  There is a pony ride for $5, plus an additional $5 if you’d like a picture.  Pictures with Santa are available starting at $10 with photo packages going up in price from there.  Despite the, in my opinion, high price, the setting is very nice and Santa looked great.  They even have a Christmas card package, 24 cards for $20.

Also inside are more vendors, a face painter, balloon animal maker, snacks, gem mining, and my favorite, snow.  While the radio ad promotes snowballs, I wouldn’t go that far.  There is a snow machine on top of the inflated decoration, just across from Santa’s area.  It flurries down upon you and it quite fun, though the amount is no where near snowball caliber.  There is, however, a “snow pit” outside near the camels where children can play for $1, though the snow isn’t real.

We went into the Christmas village with a $20 limit.  We opted against the photo with Santa because Bass Pro Shop does them for free and their Christmas village is something we look forward to each year.  One daughter wanted to ride a pony, so there was $5.  Another one wanted to feed the goats, so that was another $0.25.  We bought two pairs of fuzzy gloves for a total of $2.  Before going, we ate dinner, so no one was hungry for snacks or treats.  We tried to talk them into balloon animals for $2, but they weren’t into it.  So that’s it.  We spent a whopping total of $7.25.

I won’t lie – I had a feeling the Christmas village would be very nickel and dimey and that intuition was mostly right, but I still left there feeling more in the Christmas spirit than I have yet this year.  One daughter was wishing there was more for her to do and I kind of agree.  The amount of things to do in the Christmas village was a little disappointing, through I’m not sure what else I would add.

All in all, we had a good time.  I feel quite certain I wouldn’t pay another $18 (Costco discount) to go through again this year, but I may be talked into it again next year.  The lights, alone, were worth it.

When I teased this topic on my Facebook page, someone asked if it was better than the Festival of Lights at James Island County Park in Charleston.  My answer, “It’s not nearly as good, but much closer.”  Hope that helps!

For a great video we shot from our car, have a look here.

Photo credit: Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland on Facebook

Sparkles at Broadway to host their 2nd Annual Pinkalicious Read Along

Flickr member Zen Cupcake

Do you have a little Pinkalicious fan in your house?  This one is for you!

Sparkles at Broadway at the Beach is hosting their 2nd Annual Sparkles Read-Along starring Pinkalicius on Sunday, September 16, 2012 from 2 to 4 p.m.  This celebration of all things pink will include games, giveaways, crafts, and snacks!

The event is free and open to the public.  You can even get a Pinkalicious-inspired makeover before and after the event for $15.

To attend, you must RVSP by calling  (843) 445-7827 or indicate you are going on the Facebook event invite here.  While you’re at it, like them on Facebook to keep up with the latest information and deals.

After the party, don’t forget to stop at Froyoz next door and tell them you’re a fan of MyrtleBeachforFamilies.com.  You’ll get a free waffle cup to put your frozen yogurt and toppings in!

Auditions this Sunday for the Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre’s holiday performance of the Nutcracker

Attention all prima ballerinas!  This Sunday, September 9, 2012 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre is holding auditions for their annual holiday performance of The Nutcracker.  I’ve written about it several times.  That show is a time-honored tradition in our family.  It’s beautiful!

They are looking for girls ages 4 to 10, boys ages 6 to 10, and adults for the party scenes.  I’ve secretly always wanted one of those party roles.  :-)

For more details, check out their site.  You can also call (843) 651-2006 for more information.  Want to stay up-to-date with all Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre happenings? Like them on Facebook!

Disney on Ice is coming again to the Florence Civic Center again!

Photo by Flickr member hubertk

Disney on Ice – Worlds of Fantasyis coming to the Florence Civic Center from November 1-4, 2012!  The shows features characters from Toy Story, Cars, The Little Mermaid, and the Disney Fairies.

There will be shows on:

Thursday, November 1 at 7 p.m.
Friday, November 2 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 4 at 3 p.m.

Tickets range from $10 to $40 and can be purchased by stopping by the Civic Center Box office, online on Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

We’ve been to a few Disney on Ice shows at the Florence Civic Center and there isn’t a bad seat in the house!

Pamper yourself and help a new pregnant teens shelter at the same time – very limited time offer!

Flickr member: Estevam Romera

I had the opportunity recently to chat with Teresa McKinney, owner of Rejuvenation Day Spa & Salon in the shopping center at the intersection of Carolina Forest Blvd and River Oaks Drive, and she told me about a new shelter for pregnant teens and newborns opening in Horry County and that she wanted to help.

Located at 785 University Forest Circle in Conway, Love’s the Only House shelter is the only one of its type in Horry County.  In fact, the next closest shelter that will accept pregnant teenagers and their infants is more than 100 miles away.  So what is a young expectant mom with no where to go to do?  Until now, there weren’t many options.  Loretta Keeling is working to change that.

Motivated by her passion to find a better way, she saw a problem and is attempting to fix it.  You can read more about her and the project in this article from WPDE.

Now here is how you can help.  Teresa is offering a portion of the proceeds from of all service  at Rejuvenation Day Spa & Salon today, tomorrow, and Thursday, September 4th through 6th.  Pamper yourself and help a worthy cause – sounds like the perfect combination to me!  On a personal note, I went to the salon a few weeks ago and had the best manicure and pedicure I’ve ever had.  I can’t wait to go back for a facial.

To connect with Love’s the Only House, like them on Facebook.  If you’d prefer to help in other ways, there is a list of needs on that page.  Here are a few items for it.

  • Day beds
  • Dressers
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Paper
  • Books
  • Craft Supplies
  • Vacuum
  • Kitchenware and utensils
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Hair dryers
  • Infant and newborn diapers
  • Groceries
  • Gift cards
  • Cribs
  • Crib bedding and crib mattresses
  • Boppy pillows
  • Walkers
  • Bouncy seats
  • High chairs
  • Crib mobiles
  • Bottles
  • Infant swings
  • Baby towels
  • Baby shampoo and body wash
  • Baby clothing up to 12 months
To make your appointment at the Rejuvenation Day Spa & Salon, give them a call at (843) 236-6934.

Beach, Boogie, and BBQ Festival this weekend!

photo by Flickr member srett

Happy Labor Day weekend!  It’s the final weekend of summer and the 7th annual Beach, Boogie, and BBQ Festival is a great farewell.

The festival is Friday through Sunday at Grand Park in the Market Common.  Each day will feature fantastic food from teams vying for top honors in the “Anything Goes”, barbecue, and wing competitions.  On Friday, samples will be sold for $1 each.  On Saturday, you can get an unlimited sample wristband for $10, while supplies last.  Kids six and under are free!

There will be wakeboarding demonstrations, free boat rides, almost constant live entertainment, and other activities for the whole family. You can see the full schedule here.

Carolina Forest Library set to open Tuesday, September 4th

It’s been a long time coming, but the Carolina Forest branch of the Horry County Library system is set to open on Tuesday, September 4, 2012!  Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

They’ll have computer stations, as well as a children’s area.  You can check out the Carolina Forest Library site for an updated list of family friendly events.

The first one scheduled is a matinée showing of The Lorax on Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Hint: Click “more details” on any event to see the full movie title.

Kohls Cares Car Seat Safety Check coming to Myrtle Beach

On Tuesday, August 28, 2012, another quarter car seat safety check will be held, also in the Kohl’s parking lot off 544.  This article I wrote for TheDigitel Myrtle Beach has more details, both about the event and child safety seat laws in South Carolina.  __________________________________

On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Kohls off 544 in Myrtle Beach, will host a Kohls Cares Car Seat Safety check from 3 to 6 p.m.

At the event Safe Kids certified child safety seat technicians will inspect the installation of car seats, correct those installed incorrectly, and offer a new seat to those who have one that is damaged or otherwise unusable.  There is one seat available per car while supplies last.  You can find out more about the event and those organizing it on the Responsible Safety blog here.

The statistics are staggering.  Research from other states reveals that nearly three out of every four car seats are installed improperly, putting your child at risk for unintentional injury.  Couple that with our sub-par car seat laws in South Carolina and our children could be in real, UNNECESSARY, danger.

If you’re able to get your car seat checked on Tuesday, please do so.  It’s free.  It’s quick.  It could mean all the difference in a car accident.  Many of us take tons of time to educate ourselves on car seats and purchase the very best one our budgets will allow.  Sadly, none of that matters if the seat is installed correctly.

If you plan to attend, it’s best to have the seat in the car you typically use and your child.  In addition to an installation inspection, technicians will also assess how the straps fit with your little one in the seat.  If you’re an expectant parent, bring the seat in the car it will be used.

If you have questions, contact the Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal Chapter at (843) 777 – 5021.  For more information about the location, including a map and phone number, click here.

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