There are so many wonderful ways to make the holidays memorable in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. From festive parades to light shows to theater performances and more, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to celebrate 12 Days of Christmas at The Beach: 

Day 1: The Great Christmas Light Show in North Myrtle Beach

This fun Christmas event always kicks off the holiday season for our family. It features well over 2 million lights creatively displayed along a 2-mile drive through the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex at 150 Citizens Circle in Little River. Over 500 light displays, some up to 70 feet tall, have been custom-made for the show, including over 30 animated figures and holiday scenes. 'Santa’s Village' is also open as part of the light show on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Cost is generally $15-$20 depending on the day and number in your group. Visit their website for more information. 

Day 2: Celebrate the Season at a Christmas Parade

One of the things I love about a parade is that it gets my family outdoors together, which is still fun in South Carolina’s mild December weather! So we generally pack our Santa hats, grab a bag for parade goodies and head to at least one Christmas parade each holiday season. Some of our favorites are: the Surfside Beach Christmas Parade (Saturday, December 11, 2021, from 2 to 5 p.m.), North Myrtle Beach’s Main Street Christmas Parade (Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 5:30 p.m.), and the Conway Christmas Parade (Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 10 a.m.).

Day 3: Experience the Rivertown Christmas Celebration in Downtown Conway

Downtown Conway’s Annual Rivertown Christmas Celebration occurs each Thursday night from 6 to 8  p.m. through December 16. The festive activities are all free and include candlelight shopping, visits with Santa, carriage rides, living window displays downtown, and more. The popular celebration kicks off Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 6 p.m. with the city of Conway’s tree lighting ceremony at 200 Laurel Street.

Day 4: Visit one of the Waccamaw Market Cooperative’s Holiday Markets

Buy local this holiday season with select Holiday Market locations and times in December. Offerings will vary per market but may include: fresh produce, baked goods, wood crafts, artisan soaps, gourmet popcorn, holiday fudge, eggs, pottery, hand blown glass, ceramic art, handmade jewelry, honey, and more. The markets can be found Saturdays through December 18 at Valor Park in The Market Common from 12 to 4 p.m. For more information, check out the Waccamaw Market website

Day 5: Take a Horse-Drawn ‘Sleigh' Ride through scenic Market Common

Enjoy The Market Common’s holiday decorations from a free horse-drawn carriage ride with the family. Pick up and drop off is in front of Dolce Lusso Salon on the corner of Howard Avenue and Nevers Street in The Market Common. Rides are offered from 3 to 6 p.m. From a decorated sleigh to other holiday light displays, there are many great spots for an annual family Christmas picture at The Market Common this season, so be sure to spend some time exploring the area while you’re there!

Day 6: Enjoy Winter Wonderland at The Beach

Winter Wonderland at The Beach will transform the Burroughs & Chapin Pavilion Place (812 North Ocean Boulevard) in downtown Myrtle Beach into a sparkling holiday dreamland, filled with holiday magic and twinkling lights. This new festival will feature a path throughout the park will take you on a walking tour of the light displays, as well as an real ice rink, where you can rent skates or bring your own. Each area is themed with different types of lights, some beach themed and others more classically themed. And throughout the festival, there will be spots for families to take memorable holiday photos. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for kids ages 5-12. Kids under age 4 get in free! Tickets can only be purchased at the event. Ice Skating is $20, including skate rental, or $15, if you bring your own skates. Hours are as follows: Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Day 7: Brookgreen Garden’s Nights of a Thousand Candles

Discover a true holiday spectacle at Brookgreen Gardens during Nights of a Thousand Candles, Thursday through Sundays, November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022. The historic sculpture gardens put on a show of more than 2,800 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights that dazzle guests annually. Tickets must be purchased in advance for this popular winter event and cost $25 for non-member adults and $15 for non-member children. Families can enjoy a warm cup of cider or hot chocolate, while adult beverages are also available for purchase. Nightly entertainment under the tent and dining choices make it a great date night spot as well. Gates open at 4 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. during Nights of a Thousand Candles.

Day 8: Have Your Photo Taken With Santa

We’re so lucky that Santa Claus makes several stops along the Grand Strand during the month of December! Santa is available most days for visits and photos at Coastal Grand Mall near the Food Court, then also at Bass Pro Shop in North Myrtle Beach. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. near Grand 14 Movie Theater at The Market Common, visitors can meet Santa and pose for a photo in a sleigh. And Tanger Outlets also offers special times for visiting with the big guy, as well.

Day 9: Find the Perfect Souvenir Christmas Ornament

Visiting the Grand Strand during the holidays is a great opportunity to pick up the perfect Christmas ornament as a souvenir to gift or keep for yourself! The Christmas Mouse, Callahan’s of Calabash, and Christmas at the Beach are just a few of the many wonderful Christmas gift stores that call the Myrtle Beach area home. And if you feel like venturing into Conway, South Carolina, River City Christmas and Encore offer great holiday shopping, as well. 

Day 10: Visit Ripley’s Festival of Trees

Each Christmas season, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach celebrates the heritage and diversity of the United States of America by decorating over 50 trees, featuring each of the country’s 55 states and territories. The South Carolina tree is a favorite, at more than 18-feet-tall and featuring seashells, magnolias, golfballs and more, but my 4-year-old loves what he calls "the upside down sea turtle tree” the most. Visitors can test their knowledge of each state with their customized scavenger hunt or simply enjoy the beauty of so many Christmas-lit trees throughout the aquarium. This special holiday display lasts through the month of December and is included with regular aquarium admission.

Day 11: See a Live Christmas Show at a Myrtle Beach Theatre

It’s not Christmas at the beach without a night out to a live performance at one of our award-winning theaters! Catch The Christmas Show of the South and enjoy the beautiful lobby of The Carolina Opry, settle into The South’s Grandest Christmas Show at the Alabama Theatre or experience the excitement of the Christmas show at Pirates Voyage in Myrtle Beach. Read more about each show in our blog!

Day 12: Purchase Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Ensure you're on the ‘nice’ list by checking off any last-minute gift purchases at some of our favorite places to shop this holiday season! Broadway at the BeachBarefoot Landing, Tanger Outlets, Coastal Grand Mall, or one of our local specialty boutiques should more than have you covered for anyone on your gift list this year.

The holiday season is magical in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and there is something to do most days in December! For more events and activities, be sure to check out our complete events calendar.

Plan your holiday vacation at The Beach with our Holiday Vacation Guide. Season's Beachings!