Reeling in visitors throughout the year with exciting and educational activities such as hands-on stingray experiences, up-close shark encounters, live dive and mermaid shows, and other aquatic adventures showcasing the creatures of the deep, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has long been a hot destination for family-friendly, ocean-oriented fun on the Grand Strand. And each year during the holiday season, the Ripley’s Aquarium Festival of Trees ensures that the attraction’s appeal will grow even more.
In addition to the usual lineup of wet and wild attractions found at the aquarium — located at popular Grand Strand shopping/dining/entertainment complex Broadway at the Beach — the 2018 installment of the Festival of Trees will see 100-plus uniquely decorated and themed trees displayed throughout the sprawling Ripley’s Aquarium facility. And further adding to the draw, admission to the daily event is included in the regular Ripley’s Aquarium ticket price!
The Nov. 9-Dec. 31 Festival of Trees, which debuted on the Grand Strand in 2001 with just 10 trees, has gradually expanded this number over the following 15-plus years to reach the triple-digit figure it boasts today. Many of the trees are decked out with Christmas lights and decorations as the aquarium takes on a distinctly holiday vibe — one that even sees the aquarium’s mascot shark Sharky don Santa’s signature red-and-white suit.
Meant to represent the United States’ diversity, another 50 of the trees are adorned with decorations celebrating each state’s personality and traditions. For example, the Kentucky tree features red roses inspired by the Kentucky Derby, the Louisiana tree is adorned with Mardi Gras masks, beads and colors, and the Nevada tree is crowned by a Las Vegas-style feather headdress. Representing the Grand Strand’s home state, the 18-foot-tall South Carolina tree is covered in shells, golf balls, magnolia blossoms, and USC Gamecock and Clemson Tiger trimmings. Adding to the fun, a free scavenger hunt activity tests guests’ knowledge of the 50 states and their representative trees.
To learn more about this festive event and to purchase your Ripley’s Aquarium tickets, visit the attraction’s website at ripleyaquariums.com. And, after planting the seeds of holiday cheer at the Ripley’s Aquarium Festival of Trees, return to The Strand Resort to enjoy your comfortable oceanfront accommodations and indulge yourself with our wide-ranging amenities — including a free hot breakfast! Book your holiday getaway at The Strand Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront today — and get ready to soak up some Christmas spirit in Grand Strand style!