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Things to do after dark in Myrtle Beach area

After a long day in the sun, you may think it's time to turn in and relax. But once you read these great things to do after the sun sets, you may need to reconsider and get out to experience the beach's vibrant nightlife:

Party it up.

The Grand Strand knows how get its groove on in ways too numerous for this space. Yet, here's some highlights of a few clubs that provide funky rhythms for your dancing shoes.

If you want to literally get it cracking, Club Isis in Pawleys Island may be up your alley. It's dominated by the young on most nights, but the grown and sexy people can have fun here, too. On Wednesdays there is a crab crack, where folks can eat up blue crabs cooked several ways, including boiled and prepared as crab cakes. Motown jams and even beach music is played for the mature crowd.

You have to be at least 18 to enter and at least 25 for the Grown and Sexy club nights.

Jonathan "DJ Roc" Blye is the headliner disc jockey that spins the hits to get bottoms boogieing at Club Exception. The South Beach Party takes place on Saturday, while foam parties get popping during the week. You have to be at least 18 to enters.

Club Myst is a favorite in Myrtle Beach, and it is one popular place with teens. Every Sunday, Blye has his DJ Rock Entertainment Teen Night Party. It's become a summer favorite of teenyboppers.

Only teenagers are allowed to attend and the hours for the party are from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Beloved party spot 2001 Entertainment Complex (2001 Nightclub), has been allowing Grand Strand generations to get their groove on since 1980. Seemingly everyone - from the young and hip in their early 20s to the seasoned but sassy seniors come to hear Elliott "DJ E-Flow" Serral at Club Touch, and experience the beach music and live music from The No Limit Band in the Next Level Club. DJ E-Flow rocks the party on Thursday, Friday and Saturday by playing Top 40 and other club hits while Thursday is like a disco party with the action getting started at 9:30 p.m. On those nights until at least 2 a.m. You have to be at least 21 to enter.

And if that's not enough nightclub action, places such as Tequila Empire, Tunnel Ultralounge, and Kryptonite @ The Afterdeck also service the night crowd.

Where | Isis: 9529 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island; Exception: 8th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach; Myst: 708 N. Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach; 2001: 920 Lake Arrowhead Road on Restaurant Row, Myrtle Beach

Pricing | Isis: Ladies get in free until midnight, while the gents are charged $5 before midnight; Exception: It costs $10, but ladies get in free before 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; Myst: The cost is $10. On Teen Night, the first 25 get in for $5; 2001: $10 ($5 for locals).

Hours | Isis: Club hours are 7 p.m. until close Wednesday and 8 p.m. until close Friday and Saturday; Exception: 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. for the Friday Night Main Event, and from 9 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. for the South Beach Party; Myst: On Friday and Saturday, those 18 and up can party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.; 2001: On Wednesday through Saturday in Next Level, good times start at 8 p.m. The No Limit Band performs at 9:30 p.m. Ladies get in free until 9:30 p.m.

Contact info | Isis: 318-1256; Exception: 267-4787; Myst: 267-4787; 2001: 449-9435

Fun factor | The beach's nightclubs host some of the hottest parties in the area and among a certain crowd, they are THE place to be seen. Folks looking for a similar nightlife experience with a more mainstream feel may also want to check out the many bars and clubs in Broadway at the Beach's Celebrity Square.

Dinner & A Show ... at the same time.

There are plenty of great places to eat along the beach - hence the area of town known as Restaurant Row - but only a few where you can watch elaborate entertainment while you nosh.

Light-hearted, patriotic fun is the essence of the well-produced Dixie Stampede show. Beautiful cowgirls and horse riding finesse are among the highlights of this perennial Myrtle Beach favorite, owned by Country music legend Dolly Parton. The interactive dinner show, which features country, gospel and even rock, is a fun event for families. The feast includes a whole rotisserie chicken, a hickory smoked barbecued pork loin and hot-buttered corn.

Medieval Times, an action-filled tournament and dinner show, showcases various exciting elements including feats by well-trained equestrians in a high-energy show. During this interactive experience, you are served oven-roasted chicken, tomato bisque soup and herb-roasted potato.

At the Murder Mystery Theatre show the audience becomes a part of a whodunit where murder takes place during the dinner. Between chews of delicious grub, which includes rosemary chicken breast, mashed potatoes and a delicious bread pudding with bourbon sauce, you try to figure out who is the killer. Of course, all of the fun takes place in the middle of the eclectic interior of the House of Blues restaurant. It is a family treat, but only recommended for children at least 14 years old.

Where | Dixie: 8901-B Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach; Medieval: 2904 Fantasy Way, Myrtle Beach; Murder Mystery: Inside the House of Blues, 4640 U.S. 17 S., North Myrtle Beach

Pricing | Dixie: The cost is $41.99 for adults and $21.99 for children 3 to 12. Preferred seating is $5; Medieval: The cost $50.95 for adults and $30.95 for children 12 and under; Murder Mystery: The cost is $42, with family style seating.

Hours | Show dates and times vary for each show. All Murder Mystery Theatre shows begin at 7 p.m.

Contact info | Dixie: 497-4900 or dixiestampede.com; Medieval: 866-543-9637 or medivaltimes.com; Murder Mystery: 272-3000 or hob.com

Fun factor | Along with all the elaborate entertainment, comes a fairly lofty ticket/meal price - especially if you are taking the whole family. But in a town full of discount books and deals, you can surely find a way to knock a few bucks off and go enjoy the spectacle of it all.

Catch a flick on the BIG screen.

There are plenty of place where you can see a movie in Myrtle Beach (see page 13 for theater info), but only one where you can see a movie in 3D and on a 60-foot-tall and 83-foot-wide screen. The IMAX 3D Theatre Myrtle Beach is a six-story building, that accommodates a 400-seat, steeply tiered theater with a curved screen that wraps into viewers' peripheral vision to provide the area's most lifelike viewing experience.

The theater offers a variety of films which immerse you in exotics locales such as the depths of the sea and beyond the earth's atmosphere. The film "Hubble 3D", which follows the exploits of the famous telescope and is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, is accompanied by a trio of seafaring flicks including "Sea Rex 3D: A Journey to the Prehistoric World," "Wild Ocean 3D" and "Under the Sea 3D." Each of these engaging education experiences runs about 45 minutes long.

And for those looking for Hollywood hits, the theater has also added showings of "Avatar" and recently "Toy Story 3" to its schedule.

Where | 1325 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach

Pricing | Tickets are $12.25 for adults, $10.25 for children for the 45-minute IMAX films and $14.50 for full feature Hollywood films.

Hours | Visit imax3dmyrtle beach.com for showtimes.

Contact info | Call 448-IMAX

Fun factor | The experience of watching a movie in such a lifelike manner is absolutely awe-inspiring. But with prices that are higher than your average movie ticket and a limited number of top-tier films, this is more of a try-it-once sort of thing than a place to visit for all the big releases.

Light up the night

There are plenty of ways to light up the night, but two of the coolest are the laser light shows put on by Carolina Opry and Ingram Planetarium.

The Opry's show "Light" features multi-colored, rhythmic moving lasers choreographed to a variety of musical genres in a themed production. Visitors can choose from a variety of shows including classic rock, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2, family fun -- and its newest show, called Praise.

"We have music for the kids and for those interested in rock or pop music," said Jordan Gilmore Watkins, marketing director for Gilmore Entertainment. "The shows are very affordable and are only 45 minutes long, so they fit well into a day."

For those willing to cross the N.C. state line for their lighted excitement, Brunswick County's Ingram Planetarium also offers its own rock 'n' roll laser shows in its SciDome HD Digital Sky Theater.

Where | Ingram: 7625 High Market St., Sunset Beach, N.C.; Opry: 8901-A U.S. 17 North

Pricing | Ingram: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (older than 60) and children (ages 3-16); kids 2 and younger are free; Opry: $15 for adults, $12 for kids (16 and under)

Hours | Ingram: Summer hours are Tuesday through Saturday through September 4 and the doors open at noon. Laser music shows run Tues-Thurs at 5 & 6 p.m. through Aug. 19.; Opry: For schedule and showtimes visit myrtlebeachlasershows.com

Contact info | Ingram: 910-575-0033 or ingramplanetarium.org; Opry: 913-4000.

Fun factor | Who doesn't love a good laser beam? It seems no matter how many times you see them, a bright, shiny light can still catch your eye. Add in some tunes and cool shapes and we're sold.

See some live music

The area is known as the home to beach music and country music legends Alabama, but in putting an ear to the local music scene, it quickly becomes apparent there's much more than that to be heard here.

Concert venues such as the House of Blues, Alabama Theater and Palace Theatre have all hosted their fair share of national acts and big names. Those looking for a more intimate listening experience may want to check out one of the bars offering a truly local music experience. In Downtown Myrtle Beach, bars like Oceanfront Bar & Grill, Drink and The Basement at Crazy J's host a variety of up-and-coming local acts. Down south SBB Original and the Beaver Bar host plenty of bands catering to the biker crowd while Murrells Inlet's Hot Fish Club and Dead Dog Saloon offer a great selection of laid-back tunes and party music by the water. The north end offers a variety of acts at places like Pat & Mike's Irish Pub, Deckerz and the various shag clubs.

Pricing and hours | There are plenty of places that offer free shows and no cover, but prices and showtimes vary by location.

Contact info | Visit TheSunNews.com for a full list of upcoming shows and events.

Fun factor | With nearly every restaurant, bar and club offering some form of live band, DJ, karaoke, etc., it can be a task to find the right place to suit your musical tastes.

But there's plenty of talent to go around.

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