It's a little known secret that Santa Claus likes to visit Myrtle Beach in the offseason. The jolly ol’ man needs a break after the busy and blustery winter at the North Pole, so some rest and relaxation at Ocean Reef Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront are just what he and the reindeer require before making their whirlwind trip around the world.
Naturally, having Santa as a VIP guest, the Ocean Reef and the Grand Strand go all out to make him feel right at home for the holidays. There are countless Christmas-themed parades, shows, festivals and special events that put him and all of our guests in the holiday spirit. Here are some of the highlight events for you and the whole crew this Christmas in Myrtle Beach:
Nov. 2-Dec. 31, Christmas Shows: Get your entire family in the Christmas spirit by visiting one of our local theaters for their annual Christmas shows. The Alabama Theatre's “The South's Grandest Christmas” opens Nov. 2, and Elvis tribute artist Eddie Miles makes a few appearances in December. Other shows include the Carolina Opry's “Christmas Show of the South,” the Palace Theatre's “Christmas Wonderland,” and Legends in Concert's holiday-themed shows featuring popular Christmas music by tribute artists like Nat King Cole.
Nov. 12-14, Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals: An Olde English Christmas comes to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center with a 19th century village market complete with costumed vendors selling period wares. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel “A Christmas Story,” this event features antique and handmade gifts, arts and crafts, holiday decorations and more. Exhibits highlight the history of Christmas pasts and other holiday novelties, and several off-site events are at local theaters, restaurants and attractions throughout the season.
Nov. 26-28, 46th Annual South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival: The bluegrass music world revolves around Myrtle Beach on Thanksgiving weekend for an event that has become a family tradition on the Grand Strand. Featuring some of the biggest names in bluegrass, acoustic and gospel music performing for three days at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, this festival attracts large crowds to see such artists as Daly & Vincent, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and many others.
Nov. 26-Dec 31: Christmas Wonderland: The new North Myrtle Beach Sports and Recreation Center is magically transformed into a Christmas Wonderland during the holidays. Held from Nov. 26 through Dec. 31, this festival features a wide range of Christmas activities for the whole family, but the highlight is the Hayride Lights Extravaganza. Guests can snuggle up in a wagon and ride through the high-tech light display while holiday music plays in concert with the dazzling light show. Held from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., the Christmas Wonderland also features a 3D Walk to the North Pole, a Christmas Under the Sea Puppet Show, Rudolph's Buddies Petting Zoo, the Great Christmas Paintball Challenge, and the Cirqu-Du-Elf circus act, as well as live music, Santa photos and fireworks. Admission is free but some activities require a small fee.
Nov. 28, Intracoastal Christmas Regatta: Santa trades in his sleigh for a boat to serve as the grand captain of this Christmas parade. Vessels ranging from small Jon boats to luxury yachts decorate their ships and line up to light up the Intracoastal Waterway with Christmas cheer. The parade sails out at 5 p.m. and slowly flows downstream from Little River Inlet to Dock Holiday's, arriving at approximately 7 p.m. for a dockside party.
Dec. 3-19, Nights of a Thousand Candles: Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet hosts the holiday event of the year on the Grand Strand. Christmas decorations, lights and spirit overtake this botanical sculpture garden at night. For nine evenings only, guests can stroll through the scenic sculptures and plant life and enjoy the 5,500 lights, holiday decorations, Christmas caroling and other performances.
Dec. 4-6, 29th Annual Springmaid Beach Winter Arts & Crafts Show: If you are trying to shop for that hard-to-find item or something unique for those hard-to-shop-for folks on your list, this is the place to find it. Arts and crafts vendors from all over the East Coast come to this traditional event to sell their wares and provide special gift ideas for patrons.
Dec. 5, Broadway at the Beach Tree Lighting: The most popular place in Myrtle Beach for entertainment, dining and shopping also becomes the hot spot for Christmas celebrations Sunday at sunset. Live musical performances and an appearance from the jolly ol' elf himself highlight this holiday event.
Dec. 5-23, Breakfast with Santa: The most important meal of the day is especially critical to Santa, who has to fuel up before traveling around the world with only cookies and milk to snack on. Santa is carbo-loading in Myrtle Beach before he flies the friendly skies, and you can join him at any of these “Breakfast With Santa” events: Hard Rock Cafe in Myrtle Beach, the North Myrtle Beach Community Center on Dec. 12 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Market Common on Dec. 5, 12 and 19 (9 a.m. to 10 a.m.), Surfside Beach at the Golden Egg on Dec. 19 (9 to 10:30 a.m.), and the Childrens Museum of South Carolina on Dec. 23.
Dec. 26-31, Beach Ball Classic: For the 35th consecutive year, the biggest high school basketball tournament in the nation comes to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for six days of fantastic hoops action. The Beach Ball Classic attracts some of the top teams and talent to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for a showcase so basketball fans can see the future stars of college basketball and the NBA.
After a fun day at the holiday festivities, head back to Ocean Reef Resort for some relaxation in our clean, comfortable rooms, oceanfront balconies, indoor pools and aquatic playground. You might even run into Santa, although he prefers the lazy river and hot tubs. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the holiday season in Myrtle Beach.