Not everyday can be sunny, even at the beach. Luckily, many tourist towns have Ripley’s to keep the kids entertained when the rain falls. Myrtle Beach, SC is no exception! On a recent trip there with my son, the weather was gloomy and cold, so we hit up all the Ripley’s attractions to see what each had to offer! We started out by visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium, before checking out the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, the Ripley’s Moving Theater and the Ripley’s Mirror Maze! And the best part about Ripley’s is there is multiple locations, so you’re never far from family-fun!
We have been before, and there’s a reason we return…it’s fantastic! It is great for the kids especially, and that, in turn, makes it great for the parents. There’s a fun learning and interactive area to play right in the center, with a cool and creepy tongue shaped slide, a pirates play area, and lots of things to peek in, make racket with, and pull and push on – in other words – FUN.
Of course, the main draw is the actual aquarium…namely the sharks! In fact, there is a new Shark experience at Ripley’s. It’s also pretty brilliant the way Ripley’s designed the viewing area of the main attractions. You wind your way through and around the fish on a moving sidewalk in the “Dangerous Reef” – so you can be super lazy! Fish and turtles swim around and above you, as if you are under the sea. I could tell you all of the varieties, the numbers, the gallons – but why bother? You are there to enjoy it, not measure it! If you have a kid like mine, he will be enthralled with the sharks, namely the one with that bizarro nose that looks like a chainsaw. Creepy things.
More creepy? The eels. They have one area packed full of those snake looking creatures. Something about the color of the morays draws me in every time, despite their eeriness. Oh, and one great feature of the Aquarium is the petting area – you can reach right in and touch the rays at Touch A Ray Bay. How cool is that?
So, if you have the time, I highly recommend spending a few hours immersed in learning about the ocean at Ripley’s Aquarium. Seven is still talking about it – it’s a fantastic experience!
Just a little info for you –
Price – $19.99 ages 12 & up, $9.99 ages 6-11, $3.99 ages 2-5
And here is their website, where you can learn more, plan your trip, and find discount combo tickets. (You’ll want those!) Have fun!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
Another Ripley’s Attraction we had a great time at was the Believe It or Not Museum. Seven loved being able to push buttons and hear the info at many of the displays, see himself in silly mirrors, and basically check out all of the crazy exhibits. The Foodie in me was drawn to the unusual food related displays – such as a flag. It was made by a woman who collected thousands of winning ribbons at Bake Offs, then took about to sewing the ribbons into a quilt. 30 years worth of ribbons. Thousands and thousands. Where did she find the time to sew, with all of those fairs to enter?
I was also pretty impressed with the replica of Cleopatra’s Barge, made entirely out of decorating sugars. Good grief. The portrait of Van Gogh made from jellybeans was pretty impressive as well!
Ripley’s Moving Theater
The Museum is in a great location, right on Ocean Boulevard. If you’ve been to Myrtle Beach, you know exactly where it is! You may, however, not know that the Ripley’s Moving Theater is just a few steps away. We had a great time in there! The seats move along with the movie, giving a full on 4D experience – there’s even mist and snow to add to the effects in the movie. Just be sure your child is at least 43 inches tall, or they will have to sit in the non-moving seats. It’s still fun for them, though!
Ripley’s Mirror Maze
Also right next door is a sensory experience like no other – the Ripley’s Mirror Maze.
Buy the optional 3D glasses, but Moms – you may want to pocket your pair. Don’t be put off by the plastic gloves you are required to wear – trust me, you’ll feel better knowing you have them on, as much as you end up touching the mirrors.
I had this idea that the Mirror Maze was going to be like a Funhouse, with wavy mirrors, mirrors to make you fat, tall, upside down, etc. Nope. It’s a maze, just like it says. But it’s in the pitch dark, save for tiny little red lights on the floor, that get multiplied by the walls and walls of mirrors. Add the 3D glasses and your head is spinning this way and that – wow. It was something else! The ticket allows you to stay in and play pretty much as long as you’d like, and it appeared that the young teens were pretty big fans of staying and playing a good portion of the day. Something to think about, parents! (you could drop the teens off, and finally get to walk on the new Boardwalk!)
All of the above Ripley’s Attractions are available in a combo ticket, which saves you money, so I recommend buying the combo ticket. Even if the weather is great everyday, there are still the evening hours to fill and Ripley’s is a great family friendly option.