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REOPENS TODAY | 04.01

Butterflies are back at Brookgreen

Brookgreen Gardens celebrates its 80th anniversary with the reopening of the "Whispering Wings" butterfly house for its second year, as well as extended gardens hours for April, and an array of activities.

The butterfly house is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through April, then until 4 p.m. daily through October, and tickets are $3 for ages 13 and older, $2 ages 4-12, for a 30-minute visit inside, in addition to garden admission. A kickoff brunch will be available 10-11:30 a.m. today in Brookgreen's Pavilion Restaurant.

In April, Brookgreen stays open until 8 p.m. daily; the Lowcountry Zoo and Offner Sculpture Learning and Research Center until 7 p.m.

Gardens admission lasts for seven days: $12 ages 13-64, $10 ages 65 and older, and $6 ages 4-12.

Activities free with admission include:

Lectures on butterfly conservation, at 1 p.m. today, and by Greg Wyatt, one of Brookgreen's 2011 Master Sculptors, at 1 p.m. Saturday, both in the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium.

A new walking program with a menu of four walks on maps available in the welcome center, ranging from a quick 15-minute "Zoo Strut" to a 2.7-mile "Beyond the Garden Stroll."

"Gullah/Geechee Rhythms," 1 p.m. Wednesdays, with singing and storytelling led by Ron Daise, Brookgreen's vice president for education.

Other events are:

A Plantacular Sale, through April 30, of plants from Brookgreen's greenhouses, and tips from horticulture staff and volunteers.

Cooking demonstrations at 5 p m. Sunday and April 10. Learn how to incorporate fresh garden vegetables and herbs into dishes to sample, as well as "plating" food artistically. Each session is $10 ages 13 and older, $5 ages 4-12. Call 235-6016 for reservations.

Also, try a Lowcountry Excursion, for extra fees, respectively:

Oaks Plantation History and Nature Trail | Noon-3 p.m. daily, with minibus access hourly to the 1-mile trail history walk. $3.

Creek Cruises on the Springfield pontoon boat | 11.a.m., and 1, 2 and 3 p.m. daily (also at noon, 4 and 5:30 p.m. through April) $7 ages 13 and older, $4 ages 4-12.

"Southern Trek: The Oaks and the Alstons" | 2 p.m. daily, on back roads to the former home site of the Alston family. $7 ages 13 and older, $4 ages 6-12.

"Northern Trek: Laurel Hill Families and Fortunes" | 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily. See a plantation cemetery, a Civil War earthen fort site, and a historic rice mill chimney. $7 ages 13 and older, $4 ages 6-12.

The gardens are on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Huntington Beach State Park.

Details at 235-6000 or 800-849-1931, or www.brookgreen.org.

OPENS TONIGHT | 04.01

Award-winning play opens

Brunswick Little Theatre presents John Patrick Shanley's "2005 Doubt: A Parable," a Broadway show that won four Tonys.

Shows are at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and April 8-9, and 3 p.m. Sunday and April 10, at Playhouse 211, 4320-100 Southport-Supply Road (N.C. 211), between Southport and Supply, N.C., across from the Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation.

Tickets are $15 or $17 for adults, and $10 for high schoolers and college students with ID. Details at 910-200-7785 or www.playhouse211.com, and at www.brunswicklittletheatre.com.

SATURDAY | 04.02

Lots of learning at 'Park Palooza!'

Myrtle Beach State Park will have its fourth annual "Park Palooza!" 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday with outdoor activities geared to all ages.

Scheduled events include:

10- 10:45 a.m. | "Outdoor Cooking For Dummies" "Cast Away!" and "TSI - Turtle Scene Investigation"

11 a.m.-1:40 p.m. | Critter Crafts and Orvis Fly Fishing

11-11:45 a.m. | "Plant a Tree," "Spineless Wonders" and "Butterflies - Winged Gems"

Noon-12:30 p.m. and 1-1:30 p.m. | "Family Camping Made Easy"

Noon-12:45 p.m. | "Finding Your Way - Introductory Orienteering" and Spineless Wonders"

1-1:40 p.m. | "Leaf your Mark!" and "Pre-School Wonders - A House for the Birds!"

2-2:45 p.m. | "Campfires Made Easy," "Owlology," "Plant your own Seed" (while supplies last)

Shelter B2, the second picnic building north of the pier, is the information center for Park Palooza, with program schedules, park maps and an exhibit by the Grand Strand Shell Club.

Proceeds from various raffles will help support the park's educational programming.

Park Palooza! is free with park admission: $5 ages 16 and older, $3.25 S.C. seniors and $3 ages 6-15.

The park is on U.S. 17 Business, about a mile south of South Ocean Boulevard and Farrow Parkway, across from Seagate Village. Details at 238-5325, 238-0874 (nature center) or southcarolinaparks.com.

WEEKENDS | Through April

Comedy group launches shows

The Carolina Improv Company begins a busy month, with performances of "Whose Beach Is It Anyway?" at 7:30 p.m. today and April 8-9, 15, 22 and 29. With suggestions from the audience about funny things in Myrtle Beach, the cast builds an evening of laughter and fun. Tickets are $10 for ages 12 and older, and $8 ages 4-11.

Other shows on tap this month are:

"Improv Rumble: Ladies vs. Men," at 7:30 p.m. April 16, when each team will face off in games as the audience, led by audience team captains, will score the players throughout the event. $10 for ages 12 and older, and $8 ages 4-11.

"Dirty Laundry Improv," at 7:30 p.m. April 30, in long-form improv, with the players creating their own soap opera or scandalous story based on audience ideas. For ages 18 and older; $10.

Weekly classes such as Improv 101 and Stand-Up Comedy also start Tuesday and Saturday, respectively.

Carolina Improv is based in Uptown, near Bass Pro Shops in Myrtle Square Mall, at U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, near Briarcliffe Acres. Details at 272-4242, www.uptownmb.com or www.carolinaimprov.com.

SATURDAY | 04.02

Get some 'Gospel at the Beach'

Everyone's invited to "Gospel at the Beach," a free concert at 3 p.m. Saturday on Ocean Boulevard in Atlantic Beach.

Scheduled performers include Regina McCrary and the McCrary Sisters of Nashville, Tenn., Cinseer of Myrtle Beach, "Mr. Miracle" Lonnie Riggins of Longs, Unity of Dillon, and the Chadburn Gospel Singers from Chadburn, N.C.

Bring chairs and blankets for comfort. Details at 663-2285 or 450-3021.

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