For generations of vacationers, some of their fondest childhood memories were formed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In fact, many of our repeat guests at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort who recall visiting Myrtle Beach for the first time – or at least seeing old family photos of themselves on the Grand Strand as youngsters – now bring their children and grandchildren to Compass Cove.
It's a family tradition that can't start soon enough for parents of toddlers making their first trip to the beach. Sharing the experience with the little ones is rewarding for parents, who get to rediscover the magic of the beach through the eyes of a child. Here are five great activities for parents and toddlers alike during your Myrtle Beach vacation:
* Beach: Not surprisingly, the same white sands and cool Atlantic waters that attract millions of adult visitors to Myrtle Beach is also the biggest hit among children. For toddlers, it's like the world's biggest sandbox and kiddie pool combo – perfect for walking, crawling, falling or just sitting in the surf with the folks. Be sure to protect the little ones' sensitive skin with plenty of high-SPF sunscreen, a hat, high-coverage clothing and a shading device, and don't let them put any sand, salt water or seashells in their mouths while they splash and play.
* Children's Museum of South Carolina: Rainy and cloudy days can make it tough to entertain youngsters, but Myrtle Beach is filled with indoor alternatives that are also educational. Located across from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the Children's Museum of South Carolina provides a fun, safe destination for toddlers and their parents to spend an enjoyable day. Featuring interactive displays for children 10 and under, CMSC has lots of play stations for the little ones. For more information, visit www.cmsckids.org.
* Ripley's Aquarium: All ages are amazed by this Broadway at the Beach attraction, but youngsters seem to get the biggest thrills out of coming face to face with some of the most bizarre-looking critters under the sea. Kids can see brightly colored fish from places like the Amazon River and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as stingrays, sharks, sea turtles and horseshoe crabs, not to mention pretend creatures like mermaids and the Ripley's Aquarium mascot, Sharky. As part of our Sun & Fun Rewards program, Compass Cove offers guests discounted admission to the aquarium for $19.95.
* Waccatee Zoo: After you've taken your toddler to see all the aquatic wildlife at Ripley's, head out to Socastee to see a wide range of land creatures. Located on the banks of the Waccamaw River, the Waccatee Zoo is a family farm tuned wildlife refuge, featuring elephants, monkeys, kangaroos, camels and more. Guests can get some great photo opportunities with their little ones and the many critters at this zoo. Parents with kids can also check out the Native Wildlife Zoo at Brookgreen Gardens.
* Water Attractions: Toddlers love to play in the water, and Compass Cove has them covered – literally. The resort offers indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities featuring a series of splash pads and kiddie pools, so the youngsters can play in the water rain or shine. Parents can take them for a spin down the lazy river or a ride down the waterslides. Of course, nature's best water attraction, the Atlantic Ocean, is just a few steps past the beach. Be sure to keep the little ones close at all times and use a Coast Guard-approved life preserver that is age- and weight-appropriate.
Those are just five of the hundreds of activities and attractions Myrtle Beach has to offer parents of toddlers. Stay and play at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort, and get ready to create a lifetime of beach-vacation memories for you and your kids.