Celebrating the new year doesn’t wait until Dec. 31 on the Grand Strand, and the grand welcome for 2017 carries strolls right into the holiday as well.
Look around the corner: Many taverns and restaurants have parties and bands to send off 2016 on Saturday night. Consider checking your local bowling alley for specials on renting a lane and striking up your own way to get on a roll for New Year’s.
Fireworks will fly Saturday at four spots: 6 p.m. at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, 8 p.m. at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, and midnight along the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, and as part of the fourth annual “A Southern Times Square” evening, a street fair and concert at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach.
Various traditions gain mileage across this area, way before and after the final seconds of the year tick off, such as the Children’s Museum of South Carolina having its annual “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration on Saturday, and Tru Sol and Corey Smith each spending another New Year’s Eve night at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach. “First Day Hikes” also will step off on Sunday at Myrtle Beach and Huntington Beach state parks, and the Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, a short drive south from Georgetown.
So, step it up, and step out, this long weekend through Monday. Think of the chorus from the “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” TV special, which premiered in 1976 – “Have a happy. Have a hap-hap-happy new year” – with poignant words uttered by Father Time, voiced by the late Red Skelton, about this being a happy, but solemn, occasion, “ for the passing of time is awe-inspiring. It’s the one certain thing in all the universe.”
Special celebrations outside
▪ New Year’s Eve Bonfire,” noon-5 p.m. Saturday – with music by Fat Jack Trio till 4 p.m. – at La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, just west of North Myrtle Beach Middle School. $5; also, bring two canned/dry-good items for area food banks and receive $3 off admission. 843-399-9463 or labelleamie.com.
▪ New Year’s Eve “Garden by Candlelight” Pre-Party, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, for $20 ($15 members) advance only, at Brookgreen Gardens, on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Huntington Beach State Park. Also, gardens open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, and special exhibits, through Jan. 2: “Holiday Memories of Yesteryear: Nostalgia, Beauty, and Fun,” with electric model trains, and “A Forest Sanctuary,” in horticulture theme, free with admission, which lasts seven consecutive regular days: $16 ages 13-64, $14 ages 65 and older, $8 ages 4-12, and free ages 3 and younger. 843-235-6000, 800-849-1931 or www.brookgreen.org.
▪ Fourth annual “A Southern Times Square,” 7 p.m. Saturday at The Market Common, in Myrtle Beach, including music by Painted Man and PaperWork, and fireworks at midnight. Free; bags, large purses and backpacks prohibited. 843-839-3500 or www.marketcommonmb.com.
Christmas light drive-throughs
▪ “The Greatest Christmas Light Show,” 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday at North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, at S.C. 90 and Robert Edge Parkway. $15 per vehicle with 1-15 passengers, $30 with 16-30 guests, and $60 with 31 or more (call 843-280-5570 to schedule buses). parks.nmb.us/festivalsevents/special-events/the-great-christmas-light-show/
▪ “Conway Celebration of Lights,” 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, at Marina Drive and Ash Pond Road in downtown Conway, along Elm Street – use Third Avenue exit from U.S. 501 Bypass. $5 per vehicle with 1-7 passengers, $10 with 8-14 guests, $15 with 15-24, and $25 with 25 or more. 843-488-1950 or www.cityofconway.com/celebration_of_lights/index.php.
▪ “Not Home for the Holidays,” for all ages, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Carolina Improv Company, at Uptown Theater, by Bass Pro Shops in Myrtle Beach Mall, at U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, near Briarcliffe Acres. $15 ages 13 and older ($13.75 advance at www.carolinaimprov.com) and $13 ages 4-11. 843-272-4242.
▪ “New Year’s Eve with Tyrone Davis,” Saturday at Carolina Comedy Club, at Broadway at the Beach’s Celebrity Square, off 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach –7:45 p.m. for $20 single or $35 pair, and 10:15 p.m., for $22.50/$35. Also, 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, each $15..843-839-2565 or www.carolinacomedyclub.com.
▪ “New Year’s Eve Extravaganza,” Saturday with Tim Young, and Jesse Jones and Cooter Douglas opening, at Comedy Cabana, 9588 N. Kings Highway, just north of Myrtle Beach – 7:30 p.m. for $30 or $35, and 10 p.m. for $45 or $50. Also, 8 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, each $15 or $17.50. 843-449-4242 or comedycabana.com.
House of Blues
In Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach (843-272-3000 or www.hob.com/myrtlebeach), and ticketing fees might apply:
▪ “New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance,” 7 p.m. Saturday, with Tru Sol. Call box office for ticket details.
▪ Corey Smith, with Jacob Powell, 9 p.m. Saturday. $22.
Also this weekend at House of Blues:
▪ “Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre,” 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, each $42 (www.murdermysteryproductions.com).
▪ “Rumours – A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac,” 8:30 p.m. Friday. $11.
▪ “Gospel Brunch,” 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. $31 ages 11 and older, $15.50 ages 4-10, and free ages 3 and younger, and reservations at 843-913-3746.
Prices vary for each:
▪ Dolly Parton’s “Christmas at Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show,” at Pirates Voyage, on U.S. 17, near northern junction of U.S. 17 Business in Myrtle Beach – 6 p.m. -Thursday-Saturday. 843-497-9700, 800-433-4401 or piratesvoyage.com.
▪ “The Carolina Opry Christmas Special – The Christmas Show of the South,” at Calvin Gilmore Theater, 8901 N. Kings Highway (U.S. 17 Business), at junction of U.S. 17, on northern tip of Myrtle Beach – 7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. 843-913-4000, 800-843-6779 or www.thecarolinaopry.com.
▪ “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show,” at Alabama Theatre, on north end of Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach – 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 3 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday. 843-272-1111, 800-342-2262 or www.alabama-theatre.com.
▪ Legends in Concert, 2925 Hollywood Drive, Myrtle Beach, at U.S. 17 and 29th Avenue North, at Broadway at the Beach, through Dec. 31, with tributes to Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, and the Blues Brothers – 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday. 843-238-7827, 800-960-7469 or www.legendsinconcert.com/myrtle-beach.
▪ At GTS Theatre, 1220 Port Drive, Myrtle Beach, off southbound U.S. 17 Bypass, near Jamin Leather – and also accessed from S.C. 707 via Macklen Road, near Super 8 motel – “A Redneck Christmas Show,” 7 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. Saturday; and “Motor City Musical – A Tribute to Motown,” 7 p.m,. Friday and 8:30 p.m. Saturday. 843-756-4386 (4FUN) or www.gtstheatre.com.
▪ Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, at 2904 Fantasy Way – close to U.S. 501 and George Bishop Parkway, just west of Myrtle Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway – shows at 6 p.m. Thursday-Friday and Sunday; and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Price details at 843-236-4635, 800-436-4386, 888-935-6878 (WE-JOUST), or www.medievaltimes.com/myrtlebeach.aspx.
Polar bear plunging
▪ Seventh annual “Ultimate Polar Bear Plunge for a Cure,” benefiting American Cancer Society (Local office: 950 48th Ave. N., Suite 101, Myrtle Beach; 843-213-0333 or www.cancer.org), 2 p.m. Saturday outside Wyndham SeaWatch Plantation, 151 SeaWatch Drive, off Kings Road, just north of Myrtle Beach. $20, including T-shirt (while supplies last), and two tickets to “After Plunge” Party; and $10, including plush polar bear (while supplies last) and one party ticket. Registration noon-1:30 p.m. at North Tower pool deck, near tiki bar. 843-692-2011, or email email@example.com.
Note: The annual “Myrtle Beach Polar Plunge – Freezin’ for a Reason” – benefiting Special Olympics South Carolina, based in Irmo (so-sc.org) – is Feb. 4 at Sands Ocean Club, 9550 Shore Drive, Myrtle Beach. Details at 843-446-5820, polarplungesc.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ At Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach, on Saturday: Fireworks over lake, 6 p.m. Dinner options include “New Year’s Eve Spectacular” at Greg Norman's Australian Grille,open 4:30 p.m., with party favors and a champagne toast at midnight, and Surfside (formerly Groove Deluxe) performing 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Reservations at 843-361-0000). 843-272-8349 or www.bflanding.com.
▪ At Broadway at the Beach, in Myrtle Beach, on Saturday: Fireworks over lake, 8 p.m. Nightclub outings include “Rock-in the New Year,” for ages 21 and older, 10 p.m. -2 a.m. at Hard Rock Cafe, with concert by Black Glass. Plus tax, $30 general admission advance, or $35 day of event (doors open 9:45 p.m. – 843-946-0007, ext. 214, or www.hardrock.com/myrtlebeach); and Celebrations Nitelife’s New Year's Eve Celebration, 7 p.m. for $35 (at 843-444-3500), covering access to Malibu’s Surf Bar, Broadway Louie’s and OZ The Experience. Reach Broadway at 843-444-3200, 800-386-4662 or www.broadwayatthebeach.com.
▪ “New Year’s Eve on the MarshWalk,” Saturday at MarshWalk’s eight eateries, on U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet, with dinner and beverage specials, and live music; and fireworks at midnight. 843-497-3450 or www.marshwalk.com,
Other outings for museums, science, culture
▪ Annual “Noon Year’s Eve,” 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Children’s Museum of South Carolina, 2204 N. Oak St., Myrtle Beach, including crafts and games, a sparkly juice toast and balloon drop at noon. Free with admission: $8 ages 2 and older, otherwise free. 843-946-9469 or cmsckids.org.
▪ New Year’s Eve sleepover, for ages 6-12, 8 p.m. Saturday-8 a.m. Sunday at Ripley’s Aquarium, at Broadway at the Beach, on 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, nonalcoholic midnight toast, and continental breakfast. $49.99 plus tax, with reservations required as soon as possible, at 843-916-0888 or 800-734-8888, ext. 3226. www.ripleysaquarium.com.
▪ At Ingram Planetarium, 7625 High Market St., Sunset Beach, N.C., Thursday-Saturday: “Season of Light” at noon and 6 p.m., “Earth, Moon & Sun” 1 p.m., “Undiscovered Worlds” 2 p.m., “Seven Wonders” 3 p.m. (half-price admission for this show only), “The Sky Tonight” 4 p.m., and “Laser Holidays” 7 p.m. Per show: $9.50 ages 13-61, $8.50 ages 62 and older, $7.50 ages 3-12, and free ages 2 and younger. 910-575-0033 or www.museumplanetarium.org.
▪ “Ocean Reef Explorer and Gyotaku Fish Printing,” geared to children, 11 a.m. Saturday at Museum of Coastal Carolina, 21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. Free with admission: $9.50 ages 13-61, $8.50 ages 62 and older, $7.50 ages 3-12, and free ages 2 and younger. Museum open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 910-579-1016 or www.museumplanetarium.org.
Skating – on ice and wheels
▪ “New Year’s All Night Skate,” Saturday, 7 p.m.-7 a.m. at 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. $30, including unlimited skating, skate rental, one game of laser tag, a go-cart race, pizza slice and beverage, and doughnuts in morning. Buy in advance and receive one free game of mini-bowling. 843-748-0302 or funwarehousemb.com.
▪ Public ice skating, in two-hour sessions on a full-size rink, at Florence Civic Center, 3300 W. Radio Drive, at Interstates 95 and 20 – from Myrtle Beach, take U.S. 501 north, onto S.C 576 west, then U.S. 76 west, then right (west) on David McLeod Boulevard – the I-20 spur – for about a mile, then left on West Radio Drive – noon, and 3, 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3, 6 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday; and noon, and 3 and 6 p.m. Monday. $8 ages 13 and older, $6 ages 12 and younger – and skate rental $3. Group specials and private sessions are available. A portion of proceeds benefits SNAC (Shelter and Nutrition for All Children, in Florence Public School District 1 – www.snacsc.com) and Help 4 Kids of Florence (www.help4kidsflorence.org). 843-679-9417 and www.florenceciviccenter.com/assets/doc/2016-Flyer-983f481ea4.pdf.
▪ Synthetic ice rink, noon-10 p.m. daily through Monday at Broadway at the Beach, on Robert Grissom Parkway, between 21st and 29th avenues North in Myrtle Beach, between both Carmike Cinemas buildings, and across from Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf. $10 admission includes skate rental. 843-750-0580.
Escape for pro ice hockey
▪ S.C. Carolina Stingrays, affiliate of Washington Capitals, vs. Florida Everblades (Carolina Hurricanes) from Fort Myers area, in Double-A ECHL (formerly known as East Coast Hockey League) play, 6:05 p.m. Saturday at North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive, between International Boulevard and Montague Avenue, off Interstate 526, one exit west of I-26 (843-529-5000 or www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com). $11-$29 advance at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com, and $5 parking. Team details: 843-744-2248 or stingrayshockey.com.
▪ Fayetteville FireAntz, vs. Macon (Ga.) Mayhem, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, in Southern Professional Hockey League play, at Crown Center Coliseum, 1960 Coliseum Drive, Fayetteville, N.C. (910-438-4100 or www.crowncomplexnc.com) $9-$21 at 888-257-6208 or www.capefeartix.com. Team details: 910-321-0123 or www.fireantzhockey.com.
State park ‘First-Day Hikes’ with ranger guides
Each on Jan. 1, most free with park admission ($5 ages 16 and older, $3.25 S.C. seniors, $3 ages 6-15, and free ages 5 and younger), and no registration necessary:
▪ Myrtle Beach State Park, on South Kings Highway, at south city limits, across from Seagate Village. Two hikes from nature center: 1.5 miles, for adults, 10 a.m.-noon from on Sculptured Oak Nature Trail and beach; and for families with children ages 5 and older, 0.5 miles 1:30-3 p.m. in woods and on beach. 843-238-0874 or www.myrtlebeachsp.com.
▪ Huntington Beach State Park, on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Brookgreen Gardens: 2-4 p.m., 2.5 miles from North Beach parking lot, on Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail and beach. 843-237-4440 or www.huntingtonbeachsp.com.
▪ Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, 1950 Rutledge Road, near McClellanville (On U.S. 17, head 16 miles south from Georgetown, and after crossing the South Santee River, into Charleston County, take the first right, or west, on Rutledge Road, and find the park entrance on the right in three miles). Walk 1.25 miles on nature trail, 10-11 a.m. Free. 843-546-9361, www.southcarolinaparks.com/hampton, or email email@example.com.
Contact Steve Palisin at 843-444-1764.