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 some of our favorite ways to celebrate the Christmas season at the beach. In our special ’12 Days of Christmas’ series, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy right up to Christmas Day! 

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 1.5-mile drive through the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. Over 500 light displays, some up to 70 feet tall, have been custom-made for the show, including over 20 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. View the 1st Day of Christmas.

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 more of a perk this year than ever before. So we’ll pack our Santa hats, Christmas-themed face coverings and plan on social distancing during the Surfside Beach Christmas Parade (Saturday, December 12, 2020, from 2 to 5 p.m.) and Barefoot Landing’s 2nd Annual Holiday Golf Cart Parade (Sunday, December 13, 2020, at 3 p.m.) View the 2nd Day of Christmas.

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 17. The festive activities are all free and include candlelight shopping, visits with Santa, carriage rides, living window displays downtown, and more. View the 3rd Day of Christmas.

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 Tuesdays through December 15 in Surfside Beach at the corner of Surfside and Willow Avenue from 12 to 4 p.m., Thursdays through December 17 at Magnolia Row at 44th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays through December 19 at Valor Park in The Market Common from 12 to 4 p.m. View the 4th Day of Christmas.

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. Due to Covid-19 safety precautions, only members of the same family/party may ride together. 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. View the 5th Day of Christmas

Day 6: Enjoy Holidays on the Boardwalk in Downtown Myrtle Beach

Celebrate the season at Plyler Park along the boardwalk, happening every Saturday in December. Children will be able to visit and take pictures with Santa, enjoy Christmas crafts, face painting, letters to Santa, and more. A live holiday music production will take place at 2 p.m. on stage, and a holiday train ride will be available for $3. There is also a secret shopping area for children where they can purchase two gifts for $5 to gift to someone special this Christmas. Holidays on the Boardwalk will also take place on December 29, 30, and 31, but the last visit from Santa will be the Saturday before Christmas. View the 6th Day of Christmas.

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

See Brookgreen Gardens come to life amid the soft glow of more than 2,700 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights from 4 to 9 p.m.  Attendees can walk the garden pathways with a warm cup of cider, cocoa, or wine, and hear the sounds of holiday music, carolers singing with family and friends! Brookgreen has added 12 additional nights to the annual event for safety, social distancing, and crown control, and only half the amount of tickets available each night when compared to previous years. All tickets must be purchased in advance. View the 7th Day of Christmas.

Day 8: Have Your Photo Taken With Santa

While photos with Santa are bound to look fairly different this year, local businesses have gotten creative to make it happen. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. at Grand 14 Movie Theater visitors will have the chance to meet and have their photo taken with Santa in a sleigh. Masks are required but may be removed temporarily for a photo. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be seated on the back seat of a sleigh and visitors may sit in the front of the sleigh for pictures. View the 8th Day of Christmas.

Day 9: Find the Perfect Souvenir Christmas Ornament

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. While you’re here, be sure to visit one to pick up the perfect Christmas ornament as a souvenir to gift or keep for yourself. View the 9th Day of Christmas.

Day 10: Visit Ripley’s Festival of Trees

Included with regular admission to Ripley’s Aquarium, visitors in December have the chance to enjoy the beauty of over 55 decorated to represent every state in the United States and more! The entire aquarium has been transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, bows, and, of course, trees all set against the backdrop of colorful and mesmerizing aquatic galleries. View the 10th Day of Christmas.

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 Pirate’s Voyage in Myrtle Beach. View the 11th Day of Christmas.

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 Beach, Barefoot 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.  View the 12th Day of Christmas.

While we’re happy that many of our area's holiday events are able to continue uninterrupted this year, please keep in mind that you should stay home if you aren’t feeling well, wash your hands frequently and wear a face covering when indoors or when unable to socially distance from others. Thank you for helping us keep everyone healthy this holiday season!