It’s no secret October is my favorite month here along the Grand Strand. The high summer temps have started to drop—making long days outdoors with small children more enjoyable—and the month is packed full of fun fall activities, including many Halloween events! Costumed little ones and trick-or-treating make Halloween oh-so-fun, but it can sometimes be tricky for those with children who scare easily. We have celebrated many Halloweens here in Myrtle Beach and rounded up a list of our favorite 'fright-free’ events for kiddos who want to skip the scary. From costume contests to farm celebrations, here are our picks for a family-friendly Halloween in the Myrtle Beach area:

1. Ripley’s Aquarium Spook-Quarium Splash 

Saturday, October 30

This kid-friendly Halloween soiree is packed with fun for children of all ages. Not only do attendees gain aquarium admission with the purchase of an event ticket, they’ll also be able to enjoy a live monster-mash DJ bash and dancing, Halloween arts and crafts, a costume contest and plenty of treats! It’s also a plus that this event falls conveniently after nap time and pre-bedtime, lasting from 3 to 5 p.m., a perfect schedule for small children. Ticket cost for adults is $36.99, children ages 6 to 11 is $24.99, and children ages 3 to 5 is $12.99. Children 2 and under are free. More information on Ripley's Aquarium or purchase tickets

2. Halloween Helicopter Treat Drop at Thompson Farm and Nursery at Brickyard Plantation

Saturday, October 30

In addition to the regular ‘Fall into Farm Fun’ Saturdays taking place this month at Thompson Farms, they are celebrating Halloween weekend with a special Halloween Helicopter Treat Drop. As an addition to all their fun fall activities—a 6-acre play area, 6.5-acre corn maze, hay rides and petting zoo—a helicopter will begin dropping bags of treats and goodies in the form of over 10,000 ‘pumpkin seeds’ at 4 p.m. for kids of all ages to enjoy. To ensure little ones get a fair shot at collecting treats, there will be designated age groups, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own trick-or-treat bag. Admission is only $10 per person, and children ages 2 and under are free. I can confidently say my children love visiting Thompson Farms this time of year, and we make it a point to go each October. Purchase tickets or find more information on the Halloween Helicopter Treat Drop and other fall activities at Thompson Farms.

3. Children’s Imagination Walk at Brookgreen Gardens 

Saturday, October 30

Any chance to visit Brookgreen Gardens with my children is a treat, but the Children’s Imagination Walk is doubly so! This Halloween-themed event is catered towards children ages 3 to 12 and entails an exciting ‘imagination walk’ through the gardens anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Kids (and adults) are encouraged to wear costumes. Along the way, children will enjoy both tricks and treats, the latter in the form of individually packaged sweets offered at several stations along the walk. Participation in the Imagination Walk is free with general admission to Brookgreen Gardens, and a scavenger hunt map may be picked up next to the museum shop, Keepsakes, where the walk begins. More information on the Children’s Imagination Walk or to purchase tickets to Brookgreen Gardens.

4. BooFest! at Barefoot Landing 

Saturday, October 30

The month of October brings all sorts of fun to Barefoot Landing, and their annual BooFest! is a perfect place to celebrate Halloween with little ones. From noon to 4 p.m. families will find all sorts of games and entertainment, from stilt walkers to balloon artists and more, all free of charge! BooFest! is also hosting a kids costume contest and a pet costume contest, with first, second and third place prizes for winning children in different age groups. Registration for the costume contest begins at 11 a.m. And to round out a fun family day, Barefoot Landing is offering a free showing of the Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus, on the lawn in front of Dockside Village at 7 p.m. Overall BooFest! is more treat than trick, and while we’ve never participated in the contest, we’ve enjoyed seeing the creativity of attendees in years past. The close proximity to a number of family-friendly dinner spots is a plus, as well! More information on BooFest! at Barefoot Landing.

5. Howl-O-Scream at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex

Saturday, October 30

Despite its name, the Howl-O-Scream event in North Myrtle Beach has a lot to offer families with young children looking for less fright. Every year, the city of North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation Department, in collaboration with Coastal Carolina’s Recreation and Sports Management class, transforms the NMB Park and Sports Complex into a spooky site for Halloween fun. Activities like marshmallow roasting, games, inflatables, trick-or-treating and more will go over well with scare-mindful children. They even offer a scare-free hayride in addition to a haunted hayride so all attendees can enjoy, with or without fear. The Howl-O-Scream event is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Entry for ages 15 and up is $2, ages 5 to 14 is $1 and children 4 and under are free. Concessions are also available for purchase on-site. More information on Howl-O-Scream

For more Halloween and fall-themed events, please visit our Events Calendar. And if you are looking for other things to do around the Grand Strand, our TO DO page is the best place to start!