Parties crank up across Myrtle Beach area to ring in 2014

spalisin@thesunnews.comDecember 26, 2013 

American Aquarium, a country rock group from Raleigh, will open for Corey Smith for a sixth New Year’s Eve concert in a row at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach. From left: Kevin McClain, Whit Wright, BJ Barham, Ryan Johnson and Bill Corbin.


Party time reigns on New Year’s Eve, and a multitude of places across the Grand Strand will have celebrations, concerts and countdowns.

Being younger also brings perks, at least to celebrate the new year 12 hours early.

The Children’s Museum of South Carolina, in Myrtle Beach, again will whip up its annual “Noon Year’s Eve,” for children ages 2-10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 31.

Rhonda Perry, assistant manager, said this party has been a tradition for at least 10 years, especially letting youngsters who can’t or don’t stay up late a chance to celebrate.

“They get to be included in all the festivities,” she said, explaining how Noon Year’s Eve serves “the whole family.”

Besides a nonalcoholic, sparkling beverage, and crafts and activities for children, Perry said, their favorite element remains “the balloon drop,” in place of the ball drop made famous from Times Square in New York.

“They love it when the balloons come down,” she said.

Speaking on Monday, Perry said, “We already have started preparing for it. It takes help from the whole staff to blow up that many balloons.”

She said the party attracts 300 to 500 people every year, including 454 people for the 2012 early send-off.

“We like to have fun around here,” Perry said.

‘Like a family reunion’

BJ Barham, leader for a Raleigh-based country-rock quintet American Aquarium (, said the group has opened for Corey Smith for five New Year’s Eve concerts in a row at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, and 2013 will make six. The band, which released its first record in 2006, continues promoting its latest CD “Burn.Flicker.Die,” and work will begin on the next album in later spring, he said.

This New Year’s tradition remains “one of those shows we look forward to every year,” Barham said, remembering how their tours years ago with Smith led to this annual gig as well.

“It’s really kind of a family reunion,” he said, “one of those things where we get to see those guys and how the year’s treated them.”

Barham, who appreciates the momentum “to start the year with such a great show,” said these New Year’s Eve shows have increased the band’s exposure because of these “destination shows” on the Grand Strand, with fans also traveling from a radius including “Charleston, Columbia, Wilmington and Raleigh,” and taking home with Myrtle Beach memories from the concert.

Known for its hardworking concert schedule coast to coast, American Aquarium already has booked its return to North Myrtle Beach for a show Feb. 8 at 9:30 p.m. at Pirate’s Cove Bar & Grill, 205 Main St., North Myrtle Beach (249-8942 or

Barham’s work day will continue Jan. 1 right after the concert, he said, because he will then drive to Charlotte to pick up a flight to Oklahoma City for a solo performance, before meeting up with the rest of his American Aquarium colleagues after their drive to Kansas City, Mo. That’s on Jan. 2.

If you go – some indoor events


By | Carolina Improv Company

Where | Uptown Theater in Myrtle Beach mall, at U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, near Briarcliffe Acres

When | For adults: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Monday

Also | This weekend, at 7:30 p.m.:

• “biPolar Express” (for adults) Thursday

• “Whose Holiday Is It Anyway?” family show, Friday

How much | Each $14, or $11 advance online

Information | 272-4242 or


When | noon-5 p.m. Saturday

Where | La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, just west of North Myrtle Beach Middle School

How much | $3 ages 18-79 or bring two canned/dry food items for relay to area food banks for admission, otherwise free.

Includes | Music 12:30-4:30 p.m. by Stringwood Band

Information | 399-9463 or


When | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 31

Where | Children’s Museum of South Carolina, 2501 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, also accessible from Oak Street

How much | $5

Includes | Countdown, a sparkly toast and balloon drop at noon

Also |

• Regular hours remain 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays (but not Dec. 31) and noon-5 p.m. Sundays, with admission of $8 ages 2 and older, otherwise free

• Snow Day, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 20, for $5

Information | 946-9469 or


• Frank Theatres’ CineBowl & Grille, at Inlet Square, at U.S. 17 Business and U.S. 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet. “Family and Friends” bowling 6-8 p.m. for $20 per person, with a minimum five per party; and adult bash 9 p.m.-1 a.m. for $40 per person, both including shoe rental and soft drinks. 651-9400 or

• Little River Lanes, 300 Bowling Lane, Little River, off River Hills Drive, north of U.S. 17. Cosmic bowling 9 p.m.-midnight, $10 a person and $3 shoes, also lane rentals available. 249-0055.

• North Myrtle Beach Bowling Center, 1105 U.S. 17 S., North Myrtle Beach. Cosmic bowling $15 per person, including shoe rental. 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. 249-2695 or

• Surfside Bowl Entertainment Center, 510 U.S. 17 Business N., Surfside Beach. Cosmic bowling Dec. 31: 6:30-9:30 p.m., for $40 per lane for as many as six people, and 10 p.m.-2 a.m. for, for $85 per lane, both including shoe rental and snacks, and the latter with ball drop on big screens. 238-2695 or

• Waccamaw Bowling Center, 101 Gray Drive, west of Myrtle Beach, off U.S. 501, just west of River Oaks Drive and the Intracoastal Waterway. Regular specials applicable to Dec. 31 include 25-cent games noon-5 p.m., plus shoe rental; and lane rental 6:30-9 p.m. for $40 for as many as six people, and unlimited bowling 9 p.m.-midnight for $7 per person, both including shoe rental. 236-1020 or


What, when and where | Dec. 31:

• 6 p.m. at Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach (361-7949 or

• 8 p.m. at Broadway at the Beach, in Myrtle Beach (444-3200, 800-386-4662 or

• midnight, near Pier 14, 1306 N. Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach (Oceanfront Merchants Association –


Who | S.C. Carolina Stingrays, affiliate of the Boston Bruins, vs. Elmira (N.Y.) Jackals (Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils), in Double-A East Coast Hockey League play

When | 6:05 p.m. Dec. 31

Where | North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive, between International Boulevard and Montague Avenue, off Interstate 526, one exit west of I-26.

How much | $8-$21 in advance, $1 more on game day

Also | 2-for-1 ticket deal for this date only, at box office only, and $2 beers all game long

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or

Information | 843-744-2248 or, and 843-529-5000 or


When | 7 p.m. Dec. 31-7 a.m. Jan. 1

Where | Fun Warehouse Family Fun Center, 2349 Dick Pond Road (S.C. 544), between Socastee and Surfside Beach, a half-mile east of U.S. 17 Bypass.

How much | $30

Includes | Basic skate rental, one game of laser tag, pizza slice and beverage, and breakfast.

Information | 748-0302 or


For | Children of all ages

When | 7 p.m.-7 a.m. Dec. 31

Where | Surf’s Up Family Fun Center, 4112 Carolina Commercial Drive, Carolina Forest

How much | $29.99 per individual

Includes | Unlimited laser tag, rock wall, non-redemption arcade games, a dance floor, and a midnight pizza buffet and soda, with televised stream of the ball drop

Information | 236-3444 or


When | Dec. 31-Jan. 1

Where | Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort at Kingston Shores, 10000 Beach Club Drive, just north of Myrtle Beach

How much (plus tax) | Packages start at $199 per couple, including oceanview accommodations

Includes | Cash bar and registration 7 p.m., dinner 7-9 p.m., comedy show by Scotty K. at 9:15, and after-party 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. with music by DJ Mark McKinney, balloon drop and champagne toast; and breakfast buffet in Café Amalfi 6:30-11 a.m.

Information | Reservations at 800-876-0010 or


For | Ages 6-12

When | 8 p.m. Dec. 31-8 a.m. Jan. 1

Where | Ripley’s Aquarium, at Broadway at the Beach, off 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach

How much | $69.99

Includes | Karaoke, crafts, pizza, movies, music, dancing, ball drop and live telecast from Times Square, and nonalcoholic toast at midnight

Information | Reservations required at 916-0888 or 800-734-8888, ext. 3226

Also | Annual “Festival of Trees” continues through Dec. 31: open 9 a.m. daily, until 7 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, free with admission – Prices until 11 a.m.: $22.99 ages 12 and older, $12.99 ages 6-11, and $4.99 ages 2-5; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: $23.99, $14.99, and $5.99, respectively; and 5 p.m. until closing: $21.99, $11.99 and $4.99 and younger. Free at all times for ages 2 and younger.

More details |


Where | complex in Myrtle Beach, bordered by U.S. 17 Bypass, 21st and 29th avenues North, and Grissom Parkway

What and when | Dec. 31:

• Celebrations Nitelife’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, opens 7 p.m., with four-club party for $25, with live music by Diversity in Froggy Bottomz, DJ BZ inside Malibu’s Surf Bar, DJ Joey in Club Boca, and Broadway Jake hosting karaoke in Broadway Louie’s. 444-3500 or stop in Broadway Louie’s

• “New Year’s Party in the Square,” 8-11 p.m. with disc jockey in Celebrity Square, for free, then four-club party for $25 in Crocodile Rocks, Revolutions, Rodeo Bar & Grill and Senor Frogs, where each will have a midnight celebration – 444-8032 or 315-0120.

• Hard Rock Cafe New Year’s Eve Concert and Party, with concert by Black Glass, 9:30 p.m. for $25 plus tax advance, $30 on Dec. 31, or VIP – advance only – including dinner at 8:30 p.m. and reserved table, for $75 plus tax – 946-0007 or

Information | 444-3200, 800-386-4662 or


By | Grand Strand Beach Social Dancers

When | 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31

Where | Grand Strand Senior Center, 1268 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach

How much | $25 per person, by advance only, by Dec. 27, and table reservations for eight available

Includes | Music by Ed Brown, as well as decorations, party hats, assorted beverages, a champagne toast, and hors d’oeuvres

Information | 903-3765


What | Soul jazz revue with Calvin Edwards Trio, and Shirra Ward, vocalist

Benefiting | Gold Key Jazz Society, based in Myrtle Beach

When | 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31

Where | Clarion Hotel & Conference Center (formerly Holiday Inn West), 101 Fantasy Harbour Blvd., just west of Myrtle Beach and along the Intracoastal Waterway, off U.S. 501 and George Bishop Parkway.

How much | Donation of $80 individual, or $155 couple

Information | 742-5064, 465-8002 or, and hotel at 236-1000


Where | House of Blues, in Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach

When | 9 p.m. Dec. 31:

• Corey Smith, with American Aquarium, for $22 general advance or $27.50 day of show, and loge $42.50 advance or $52.50 day of show

• Dinner and dance with Tru Sol, 9 p.m., for $84.95, including a gift certificate for a 2014 concert ticket

Also in next week |

• Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday (and Jan. 11, 18 and 25), for $42 ages 13 and older. More details at

• Meek Mill, for adults, 10 p.m. Friday, for $67.50 general, $102.50 loge

• Gregg Allman, with JJ Grey and Mofro, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, for $35 general advance or $37 day of show, and loge $67.50-$82.50

• “Blues-A-Palooza,” 9 p.m. Saturdays, next with Cornbread on Dec. 28

• “Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch,” 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays, for $29 ages 13 and older, for $14.50 ages 7-12, and free ages 6 and younger. Reservations at 913-3746.

• Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi tribute, 8:30 p.m. Monday, for $10 advance, $13 day of show

Information | 272-3000 or

Get outside for some fun


When | 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 27 and 30-31, and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 27

Where | Hobcaw Barony’s Hobcaw House, on U.S. 17 just north of Georgetown

How much | $20 – by reservation only

Also |

• “Birding on the Barony” tours, with Jerry Walls, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on third Saturday monthly, including Jan. 18, for $30, with reservation.

• “Out of Hobcaw” watercolors exhibit by Maura Kenny, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through SaturdayDec. 28 and Dec. 30-31, in Discovery (welcome) center, for free

Information | 546-4623, or


Benefiting | American Cancer Society (Local office: 950 48th Ave. N., Suite 101, Myrtle Beach; 213-0333 or

When | 2 p.m. Dec. 31

Where | Oceanside at Wyndham SeaWatch Plantation, 151 SeaWatch Drive, off Kings Road, just north of Myrtle Beach.

How much | Three levels of donations for “Plunge Packets” with free incentives (while supplies last) and tickets to “After Plunge” Party

• $20 “Ultimate Plunger” – T-shirt, and two tickets

• $10 “Little Dippers” – beanie cap, and one ticket

• $5 “Tippy Toe” – plush polar bear ornament, and one ticket

Also |

• Pre-registration encouraged

• Enjoy complimentary pre-plunge refreshments at the Tiki Bar, near North Tower Pool, before the event, and an After Plunge Party right at the conclusion of the plunge.

Information | 692-2011 or


When | 6-9 p.m. Dec. 31

Where | Brookgreen Gardens, on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Huntington Beach State Park

How much | $20, or $15 for members

Includes | Strolling musicians, hand-lit candles, and holiday lights, in sculpture garden

Gardens open | 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily – regular admission, which lasts seven days: $14 ages 13-64, $12 ages 65 and older, and $7 ages 4-12.

Also in January |

• Exhibits “Batteries Not Included: Christmas Trees, Trains, and Toys” and “Signs of the Season in Flora and Fauna,” through Jan. 1 – free with admission.

• “Silent Cities” Trekker rides, noon and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 2-March 6, through historic graveyards, for $15 fee, besides gardens admission

• The Oaks Plantation History and Nature Trail,” access by minibus only, hourly noon-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 1-March 7, to archaeological sites, for $3 extra.

• “Dirt ’N Details,” noon-1 p.m. Jan. 14, horticulture program, free with admission

• Cooking demos, 3 p.m. Jan. 8 and 22, for $25, or $20 members. Reservations at 235-6016.

• Children’s Discovery Room, for ages 4-12, noon-4:30 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, Jan. 11-March 1, free with admission.

• “Equine Spirit: The Horse in American Art” sculpture exhibit, Jan. 25-April 20, free with admission

Information | 235-6000, 800-849-1931 or


When | Opens 7 p.m. Dec. 31

Where | Outside Grand 14 Cinema and on proximate streets, at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach

How much | Free admission

Includes | Plans for large inflatable movie screen in front of theater to show ball drop in New York, with The Market Common’s own ball drop from towers nearby, along with fire-eaters, stilt-walkers, magicians and a band

• 7-7:30 p.m. – Golf-cart parade

• 7-10 – Face painter, in front of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and carriage rides (from north end of Valor Memorial Gardens area

• 8-11 p.m. – Magician, flame dancers (at Howard and Reed streets), a photo booth (by Bijuju’s), and stilt walkers

• 8-11:45 p.m. – Concert by The SugarBees, from Summerville, at Reed and DeVille streets –

• 11:45 p.m.-midnight – video feed from Times Square, with Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes leading the countdown locally for viewers

Information | 839-3500 or


Theme | “Remembering the Past While Planning Our Future”

What and when | Jan. 1:

• 10 a.m. – farm tour

• 11:30 a.m. – Fireside Chat in farmhouse with Annie S. Plowden, lifelong resident of Freewoods and a retired school teacher and community historian.

Where | Freewoods Farm, 9515 Freewoods Road, off Bay Road from S.C. 707 in Burgess community

Also | Black History Month Program, 10 a.m. Feb. 15, including a fish fry, and demonstrations of how farmers made lime

Information | 650-9139 or


What | Guided walks with a S.C. State Parks ranger

When | Jan. 1

What and where |

• Myrtle Beach State Park, on South Kings Highway, one mile south of Myrtle Beach International Airport, across from Seagate Village. Two hikes from nature center: 1.5 miles, for adults, 10 a.m.-noon; and “Advice from a Park Dweller,” for families with children, 1:30-3 p.m., to learn about park plants and animals. Also, wear closed-toed shoes for beach and the woods. Details at 238-0874 or

• Huntington Beach State Park, on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Brookgreen Gardens: 2-mile hike, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. from North Beach parking lot – covering a maritime forest, sand dunes, wetlands and the beach. Also in January: “Bike with a Ranger” program – bring your own bike – 10 a.m. Jan. 10, 17 and 24, and Feb. 7, 14 and 21, from outside gift shop; and “Winter Waterfowl” program, 10 a.m. Jan. 29 from causeway parking lot. Call 235-8755.

How much | All free with park admission – no registration necessary. Each park: $5 ages 16 and older, $3.25 S.C. seniors, $3 ages 6-15.

Also at Huntington Beach State Park | “Feeding Frenzy,” 11-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays-Sundays in nature center, where its various animals – such as a stingray, horseshoe crab and turtles – will be fed.

Daily park hours for winter | 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Myrtle Beach, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Huntington Beach

Information | From park offices: 238-5325 for Myrtle Beach, 237-4440 Huntington Beach

More details |; and Friends of Huntington Beach State Park: 650-6666 or

Myrtle Beach Sun News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service