Fun kids rides at Broadway at the Beach, affordable family entertainment outdoors

Up in the air!

Giant boat swing Myrtle beach fun

Wild ride on the giant Pirate Ship


The Pavilion Nostalgia Amusement Park at Broadway at the Beach offers fun rides for the entire family.

This post features the year around rides, located behind Ripley’s Aquarium.

There is another group of rides geared for younger kids, on the other side of the walkway, next to WonderWorks’ “Soar and Explore” zipline and ropes challenge course.

Every ride is $3 + tax. You’re better off buying in bulk (i.e. 9 rides for $20 + tax).

All rides open at 12PM and run till dusk.

Here are the photos and few videos with the most exciting rides:

Broadway at the Beach just for kids fun rides
It would make your head spin…dangling high up in the air at breaking-neck speed, what’s not to like?! Here’s the video…

Out of control giant carousel Broadway at the Beach

I am getting dizzy mom! Riding the old Wave Swinger in Myrtle Beach

My daughter’s favorite ride! She did 3 times in a row (keep in mind it travels super fast forward and backwards)…I’m surprised she didn’t get sick!

What kids love to do Broadway at the Beach

Now is going backwards!

What little kids would love to ride

The 1912 Herschell Spillman carousels one of the world’s few originals still operating. It’s elaborate design features hand-painted lions, zebras, ostriches, frogs and horses.

Old carousel ride Nostalgic Pavilion Amusement Park

1912 Herschell Spillman carousel, one of the oldest in the country and few remaining in the world.

Probably the most easy going ride at Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach just for kids entertainment

Free Willy!

If you can’t handle the giant one, hop on the kiddie version…hey, not everyone is Jack Sparrow!

Rides for little kids at Broadway at the Beach

Arrrgh! Ahoy mates, welcome aboard!

Perfect ride for toddlers and very young kids

Fun rides for little children Broadway at the Beach

Captain Nemo at your service...

Here are more fun and affordable kids activities in the area as well as printable coupons to the best Myrtle Beach attractions.

The fun is devine in Myrtle Beach!

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Fun and affordable weekend activities with kids in and around Charleston

Here is a 2010 updated list with some of the most interesting things to do with children while visiting Charleston. At least that’s what I found to work best with my 5 years old daughter for the past three years.

Free activities

1. The Waterfront Park is the most popular place for kids to splash around. Here you can enjoy fantastic views of the Charleston Harbor, have a nice picnic, read a book or just relax after touring the city.

Waterfront Park splashing fun

The best free family entertainment downtown Charleston

2. Folly Beach is Charleston’s most romantic getaway located close to James Island State Park.

The main attraction is the breathtaking, 158 feet tall Morris Island Lighthouse. Built in 1872-1876 the lighthouse now stands hundreds of feet into the water and is undergoing erosion control and stabilization efforts.

Isle of Palms Conch Prints
Isle of Palms is a family oriented beach near Mount Pleasant.

Nearby are the Isle of Palms County Park with its awesome zip-line equipped playground, the historic Fort Moultrie and the magnificent World War II USS Yorktown aircraft carrier.

3. Fort Moultrie – heroic Revolutionary War battles, ingenious Palmetto trees defense system, intriguing WWII radio communication and incredible vistas of the Ravenel bridge.

2009 update there is now a $3 admission fee for adults, still free for kids.

4. The South Carolina Artisans Center in Walterboro –
See traditional and indigenous folk art and contemporary crafts from over 240 of the finest South Carolina artists. The center features educational exhibits, craft demonstrations and live performances by artists. This is a great opportunity to introduce children to art and to shop for standout gifts.

5. Self guided tour of Charleston’s most outrageous murder scenes, famous ghost sightings and unsolved mysteries (you may want to this at daylight only!)

$10 and under activities

1. Charles Towne Landing – birthplace of Charleston and South Carolina. Clothing in the late 1600s - Charles Towne LandingHere you can play archeologist for a day, tour the Historic trail featuring The Adventure, a 17th century trading ship, the Legare House and the Horry Plantation ruins. Watch buffalo, puma and black bears at the Animal Forest natural habitat zoo and keep an eye on alligators roaming freely throughout the many ponds in the park.

2009 update – Here are all the fun activities the kids can enjoy inside the park, including a tour of The Adventure and a wild stop by Pillory and Stocks!

2. The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) – Let your imagination run wild at this everyday party land for kids and parents who like to act like kids! The museum is close to the Visitors Center and Charleston Museum.

3. Edisto Island State Park: take the night beach walks to spot Carolina’s most famous reptile the loggerhead turtles nesting and hatching along the shores. Discover the thousands years old Spanish Mound and visit the Interpretive Center for a live show on native marine wildlife.

While in the area stop by the Edisto Island Serpentarium ($12.95 adults, $9.95 children 6-12, free for those 3 and under) to see enormous alligators, giant turtles, venomous snakes and feisty lizards in their natural habitats

4. My 2009 favorite, the American LaFrance Fire Museum in North Charleston.

Fire simulator at LaFrance Fire Museum in North Charleston

Fire rescue simulator at North Charleston Fire Museum


Drive a real fire truck, slide down a fire pole, learn how to prevent fire in your house and check out the country’s largest collection of LaFrance fire trucks.

5. The Cypress Gardens and Swamp – The “No Mesquitoe swamp” home to many famous films like “The Patriot”, “North and South”, “The Notebook”, and “The Yearling”.

Just for kids: Butterfly House, Aquarium, Reptile Center, Crocodile Isle and Aviary, and even a small replica of an inland rice field.

6. The Charleston Museum – Play pirate, dress-up in colonial clothes and see the incredible skeletons of a right whale, an extinct Carolina crocodile, a giant leatherback sea turtle and the 2nd largest bird to ever fly.

Adults will love browsing through an extensive Civil War collection of pictures, artifacts, letters and original documents. It’s not the America’s First Museum for nothing!

7. The Audubon Swamp Garden at the Magnolia Plantation – Enjoy

Spring love at the Audubon Swamp

Spring love at the Audubon Swamp

one of the most diverse ecosystem in America, a mysterious black water cypress and tupelo swamp garden.

There are boardwalks, dikes and bridges that allow you to observe a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles in their natural habitat:

Bald eagles and red-shouldered hawk, blue herons and white egrets, rabbits, otters, turtles, snakes and alligators.

Touring the swamp takes about 1 hour, more for the nature enthusiast. Best time to observe wildlife is late afternoon.

$15 and under activities

1. Fort Sumter – Witness the start of the Civil War. For nearly four years, seven millions pounds of metal were furiously shot at it without success. Watch out for Daniel Hough’s ghost, an unfortunate Union soldier.

2. USS Yorktown – World’s most imposing military aircraft carrier during WWII. USS Yorktown
With the admission ticket you can also visit the Clamagore submarine, the award-winning Congressional Medal of Honor Museum and the Laffey destroyer.

Most popular Yorktown attraction is the Fighter Jet Simulator.

3. Hunley Submarine – the Confederate submarine built to help break the Civil War blockade and the world’s first submarine to successfully sink an enemy ship.

4. Magnolia Plantation – Enjoy thousands of beautiful blooming flowers and plants

Walk and bike path under old oak trees

Walk and bike path under old oak trees

in the oldest and most famous public gardens in America!

Kids love digging for dinosaurs bones, petting donkeys and horses, winding through the maze and spotting alligators, turtles, egrets and snakes.

Here is a customized Google Map with great family attractions in and around the Holy City that are either free or cost less than $10.

Adrenaline ATV and Dirt Biking Fun at the Carolina Adventure World (Columbia off-road weekend fun things to do)

Are you ready for some 4 wheels ride fun under the sun? Well come on down to Carolina Adventure World “Where to Ride” park. This is an ATV and motocross Mecca few miles from Winnsboro and Interstate 77. It is approximately 30 minutes north of Columbia and 50 minutes south of Charlotte.

At the Carolina Adventure World you can enjoy 100 miles of ATV and dirt biking trails, adrenaling motocross and mud bog racing. The surroundings are just breath-taking. Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout the day.

NEW! More than 5 uber-fun extra challenging exclusive dirt bike trails are now OPEN! Get a map at the Welcome Center.

You can rent equipment at the park (is much cheaper during the week $90 a day compared to $140 in the weekend); primitive tent and RV camping is available and there is a bath house with showers and restrooms on the premises. Adult daily pass is $25 and for kids under 17 is $15; multi day and annual passes are available as well. The park is open daily from 8 AM to 6 PM (5PM during DST). All prices subject to change.

WhereCarolina Adventure World at 1713 Arrow Head Road, Winnsboro, SC, 29180. Here is the Google Map. For prices, ATV rental, camping info and reservations call (803) 482-3534

Driving Directions:
From Charlotte: Take I-77 exit 48, then Hwy 200 East towards Great Falls; drive about 2 miles till stop sign and turn right (at the Pure Gas Station) until you reach next intersection and stop sign. Turn right onto Camp Welfare Road. The park entrance will be on your left.

From Columbia: Take I-77 exit 46, keep right onto Camp Welfare Road. The park entrance will be on your right ~2 miles after you pass the Zion Baptist Church.

See photos and videos on the Carolina Adventure World official website.

Hungry for some more outdoor action in Columbia without breaking the bank? Check out these awesome mountain bike trails:

  • Harbison Forest State Park
  • Sesqui State Park
  • Fort Sumter: Family Day Trip in South Carolina History

    Located in the middle of the Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter marks the start of “The War Between the States” (as it is called here since was nothing “civil” about it), when Confederate artillery opened fire April 12, 1861. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

    Fort Sumter entrance signSeven millions of pounds of metal were furiously shot at it without success. Amazingly, the Confederate losses only counted 52 killed and 267 wounded. The fort suffered major destruction with the right flank wall and the gorge wall all but vanished. For the next 100 years it remains a garrison but with limited military significance.

    In 1948 Fort Sumter was transferred to the National Park Service and became a national monument and a popular family attraction.

    Things to know before you go
    1. Fort Sumter is open year round except for New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. The fort is open 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM from April 1st to Labor Day, at other times call (843)-883-3123. Entrance to Fort Sumter is free, however you must pay for the ferry ride to get there. For more info see: Fort Sumter accessibility and visit hours.

    Bridge to Fort Sumter Charleston2. You can access Fort Sumter by ferry or privately operated boats. The concessioned ferry leaves from two locations: Liberty Square (340 Concord Street in Charleston), and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (40 Patriots Point Road in Mount Pleasant). Tours usually depart every 2 hours and the ride takes about 30 minutes. The ferry has a snack bar and restrooms. For ticket info call 1-800-789-3678.

    3. If you depart from Liberty Square make sure to visit the Charleston Aquarium; if you depart from Patriots Point, reserve 2 hours to explore the wonderful USS Yorktown aircraft carrier with its dozens of war planes, the submarine and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.

    4. You can’t get to Fort Sumter from Fort Moultrie. Pets are not permitted at Fort Sumter or on the ferry. Pets accompanying private boaters must remain on the boat, and must not be left unattended.

    Big Canons at Fort Sumter Charleston5. During the ferry ride you can capture amazing photos of the Charleston’s Harbor and Ravenel bridge, so make sure you bring your camera and plenty of batteries along.

    6. Kids have fun checking out the big canons spread throughout the fort and chasing each other through the maze of tunnels.

    Fort Sumter little beach

    7. If traveling by ferry you will have about 1 hour to wonder around. Save yourself some hustle and bustle and conveniently get loose from the “family group” by sunbathing on the grass near the flags; you will enjoy breathtaking ocean views and can quietly soak in all the history around you.

    See more family day of fun at Fort Sumter on this slideshow

    Enjoy your vacation in South Carolina!

    Alligator Adventure: “The Reptile Capital of the World” photos, videos and travel tips at your fingertips

    The Alligator Adventure zoological park is a must see family attraction when you visit North Myrtle Beach. Housed in the beautiful Barefoot Landing shopping center right in front of famous live music hangout The House of Blues the self-proclaimed “Reptile Capital of the World” is a guaranteed couple hours of wild, educational and fun times for the entire family.

    Alligator Group Prints

    Tips to know before you go

    1. Avoid “the alligator fatigue” (there are hundreds of them spread mostly at the front of the zoo) and start your tour at the other end where you see some of the park’s unique specimens.

    Meet BoB the alligator without a TailHere you’ll meet the park’s most beloved guest, Bob, the alligator without a tail. Born right here at the zoo he is well taken care off.

    Check out “The Swamp White Ghost” albino alligator. Legend says it will bring you good luck if you see one in the wild.
    The Swamp Ghost Albino Alligator

    Other notables: the fake Gharial and the real funny looking chinese Alligators.

    You can also catch a glimpse of live medical action at the animal hospital.


    2. Plan your visit after Spring Break if possible. This is when the live feedings start (alligators don’t eat anything during the winter!) Feeding Time at Alligator Adventure, gator leaping for food
    As you can imagine the first feeding days are quite animated.

    Best time of the day is between 11:00 AM (first feeding) and 1:00 PM (when Utan, the King of Crocs eats).
    Feeding shows are every 2 hours.

    Kid petting the baby alligator at the Reptile show

    3. Young kids have a blast at the Reptile Show when they can pet snakes, turtles and a baby alligator. Nearby is a snack food stand. If you promise them ice cream they will wait quietly for the show to start.


    4. The giant Galapagos turtles are also very popular with children of all ages. The “big puppies with shells”, love attention and are always on the move.
    Giant Galapagos Turtles Charlie the male turtle is about 450 pounds. At 40 years old he is considered a teenager, just barely ready to mate.

    Just for fun check the two Galapagos turtles “racing” on the premises video

    5. You can get your second day at the park for free. Make sure to check your ticket at the gate before you leave. You can also save a buck or two if you buy your ticket online ahead of time.

    Utan, The King of CrocsUtan, The King of Crocs is by far the park’s main attraction. At 20 feet long and weighing in at more than a ton, he is the largest crocodile to ever be exhibited in the United States. In case you’re wondering his jaws bite pressure is a mind boggling 5 tons PSI! If you want to see more photos with Utan check out this post.

    Green Anaconda, the world's largest snake
    The fully air-conditioned reptile amphitheater, considered one of the best reptile houses in any zoological park, houses an impressive assortment of exotic snakes, like the giant Green Anaconda. The world’s largest snake it can reach an estimated maximum length of over 37 feet. Other cold-blooded cuties are the Retriculated Python (which rivals the Anaconda in size and occasionally preys on deer), the beautiful Green Mamba and the magnificent albino Phyton.

    The colorful blue and gold macaw may chat with you if they are in a good mood.

    Gold and Blue Macaw may chat with you

    Where

    Alligator Adventure, Hwy 17 at Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach SC. Phone: (843)-361-0789. Admission Tickets: Adults $16.95, Seniors $14.95, Children ages 4-12 are $10.95. Discounts are available, and children 3 and under get in Free.

    Check out some funny videos I took during my 2008 Easter visit: Alligator Leaping to Get Food and Coming off the water gators find a sunbathing place”.

    If you’re looking for something to do with your family that’s affordable, educational, memorable and fulfilling then visit Brookgreen Gardens a National Historic Landmark with the world’s most significant collection of outdoor American sculptures and the only accredited zoo on the South Carolina coast.

    UPDATE!
    Just came back from another Myrtle Beach vacation. Guess what else I’ve discovered? “The Beast Place in Myrtle Beach” aka Waccatee Zoo – the weekend fun thing to do! It’s just 15 minutes drive from the Grand Strand, and admission is only $12 ($4 for kids). Here are all the juicy details (like a video with a long horn hooking a poor emu!).

    Enjoy!