Brookgreen Gardens Offers Fun, Educational Programs for Kids

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At first glance, a visit to Brookgreen Gardens might seem more like a getaway for grownups. After all, the picturesque statues and Lowcountry landscape aren't necessarily “trending” with tots, teens, and tweens. But this expansive 9,100-acre property has much more to offer its guests than beautiful works of art and nature – especially for kids with curious minds.

Guests at Bay View on the Boardwalk can rest assured that the youngsters in the party will get their fill of fun on the downtown oceanfront. From playing on the beach and our indoor and outdoor waterpark, to enjoying the attractions along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, they’ll have a tough time choosing what to do next. But if you’re looking to add a truly memorable and more natural experience during your Grand Strand vacation, take the whole family to Brookgreen Gardens in nearby Murrells Inlet. Here's a look at some of the programs designed specifically for kids:

* Lowcountry Zoo & Farm: Kids of all ages can take a walk on the wild side as they observe some rare species in their natural habitat, including alligators, otters and various birds of prey in a spacious aviary. In addition to the wild animals on display in an open and humane environment, Brookgreen also boasts a working farm filled with domesticated creatures, such as horses, goats and chickens. Daily feedings at Mother Nature's Cafe allow kids to get up close and personal with the farm animals. The monthly “Zookeeper for a Day” program provides children 12 and up a real hands-on experience working with all the critters.

* Children's Nature & Sensory Trail: Here's a chance for the little ones to connect to nature using four of their five senses (sorry, no tasting). This unique activity allows kids to feel, see, hear and smell their way around the various stations to get in touch with nature. They can also go for a stroll in the Enchanted Storybook Forest, a pathway that winds through the pages of a life-sized children's book. Afterwards, be sure and visit the Children's Discovery Room to take part in interactive displays. The trip isn’t complete until you’ve stopped by the Children's Garden with a variety of kid-themed plants, paintings and more. The Butterfly House is open from April through August and features hundreds of species of butterflies.

* Boat Rides: Even the grownups will enjoy this 45-minute tour of the surrounding Lowcountry waterways. Departing throughout the day, the 48-foot pontoon boat meanders through the tidal creeks and slow-flowing rivers to give passengers an up-close view of things you can’t see from dry land, including the abandoned rice fields and historical plantation structures. It's not uncommon to spot alligators sunning on small islands and shore birds diving for dinner. Entertaining and knowledgeable tour guides narrate the entire experience, serving as great sources of information about the natural and human history of the South Carolina coast.

* Huntington Beach State Park: Although not a part of Brookgreen Gardens, this state park is located directly across Highway 17 and offers a wealth of recreational and educational outlets for kids. Play on the pristine beaches, watch birds and other animals in their natural environments, hike through maritime forests and visit a replica of an authentic Spanish castle at Atalaya. Park rangers offer numerous programs to help introduce children to the unique Lowcountry landscape.

After a fun-filled day at Brookgreen Gardens, compliment your experience with nature by taking in all the manmade sites in downtown Myrtle Beach and the creature comforts of Bay View on the Boardwalk. Guests can relax in our luxurious accommodations and enjoy full access to our on-site amenities, and take a short stroll down the Boardwalk directly from the resort to all the great attractions Myrtle Beach has to offer.