Just as the beach serves as a sandy transition from the ocean to dry land, Myrtle Beach provides the perfect place to bridge the generation gap between grandparents and kids. While the baby boom generation may have little in common with millennials in the real world, the timelessness of the beach gives grandparents the chance to make some memories that will last their kids' kids a lifetime. Here are five places to cut through the age difference and connect with some fun for the young, and the young at heart:
Children's Museum of South Carolina: This 3,000-square foot indoor facility is a place of discovery for smaller children (ideally ages 3-10), and nothing can light up a grandparent's face like watching the little ones learn something new. Featuring interactive exhibits that highlight themes like science, nature and art, CMSC also offers special daily programs that provide fun activities, such as arts and crafts projects, story time and holiday parties. Displays include live animal exhibits, art studios, gem mining, puppet playhouse and more. This is a great place for grandparents and kids to spend a rainy day.
Live Theater: Grandparents can take their grandchildren to see a movie anywhere, but the Grand Strand offers the rare opportunity to enjoy a professional theatrical performance that's as close as you can get to an off-Broadway experience. Unlike the Big Apple, most Myrtle Beach shows are designed for all ages. Several transgenerational musicals, such as The Carolina Opry's “Good Vibrations” shows and Legends In Concert's changing lineup, provide the perfect platform for learning about one another's musical tastes. The Palace Theatre also hosts some thrilling magic shows and circus performances to entertain both young and old.
Miniature Golf: With more than 80 championship golf courses on the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach may be best known for “real” golf. But the local golf scene also has more than its share of miniature golf courses where the only real skill required is the desire to have a good time. Putt your way through bizarre hazards like dinosaurs, pirates, sharks and volcanoes while enjoying some friendly competition. Every round concludes with a happy ending over ice cream in the clubhouse. Too chilly for a round of minigolf? Cancun Lagoon, located just a few blocks from Compass Cove, offers indoor and outdoor play (and a DQ next door).
Ripley's Aquarium: This Broadway at the Beach attraction is entertaining and educational, regardless of age. Featuring underwater sea life from all over the planet, Ripley's Aquarium offers interactive exhibits and amazing displays that allow guests to get up close and personal with these rarely seen creatures. More than 1 million gallons of water are home to various species of sharks, stingrays and sea turtles. Take a ride down the 330-foot moving walkway through Danger Reef and come face to face with menacing sharks, pet the stingrays in Ray Bay, and watch the mermaid shows for a fun day of transgenerational interaction.
Thompson Farm: The 15-mile drive to Conway is like a half-century trip back in time to a period when life on the farm was commonplace in the South. This working farm offers a glimpse into what life was like before cell phones and the Internet, a lifestyle that may seem foreign to today's generation. Show them a slice of your childhood with a day of milking cows, feeding chickens and tending to crops. Thompson Farm also puts on an excellent fall harvest display, including a corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin picking and decorating, and other Halloween activities that give grandparents and kids the chance to bridge the generational gap.
One more place where the young and old can find common ground is Compass Cove Resort. Featuring clean, comfortable accommodations where you can relax as a family and excellent amenities designed for all ages, Compass Cove Myrtle Beach is a great place for grandparents and grandchildren to make lasting vacation memories.