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Water Parks, Amusement Parks and Zoos

Myrtle says bye-bye to Hard Rock Park, hello to Freestyle

Hard Rock Park lasted a year, but a new park has taken its place — Freestyle Music Park. The newly opened Freestyle is more or less the same park as Hard Rock — but with new names for the rides and some new features here and there. Like its predecessor, music is the theme at Freestyle.

For roller coaster fans, there are plenty of rides to be excited about — the kid-friendly Hang Ten, the twisty Round-About, the loop-de-looping Time Machine, and the stampeding Iron Horse.

Of course, not everything is about roller coasters and other amusement park rides. It's also about live shows, including Ice Cold Country, a C&W-themed ice skating show, and the park's "CSI: Live!" show. No, Laurence Fishburne won't be there, but you can still catch all the action three times a day as the CSI crew brings what happens in Vegas right to South Carolina. Nighttime ends with "Kiss the Sky," a rockin', sockin' fireworks spectacular.

Through June 26, any student who brings in a report card with an "A" on it can get in free, as long as someone else purchases an adult ticket. —Moira Phillips

Freestyle Music Park • Myrtle Beach, $42.95, $32.20/children, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., (843) 236-7625,


While you may not want to be swimmin' with the fishes, it sure is cool to watch them do their thing. That's why we love the South Carolina Aquarium. For a little more variety with a little longer of a drive, check out the entire animal kingdom at these nearby zoos and aquariums. —Moira Phillips

View Local Zoos and Aquariums in a larger map

Ripley's Aquarium
Myrtle Beach

$18.99, $9.99/children 6-10, $3.99/children 2-5
9 a.m.-10 p.m.
(800) 734-8888

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

$9.75, $7.25/children 3-12
9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.), 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (Sat.-Sun.)
(803) 779-8717

South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf, Downtown

$17, $12/children 2 and up
9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Mon.-Sat.), 12-5 p.m. (Sun.)
(843) 720-1990

The Greenville Zoo

$6, $3/children 3-15
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(864) 467-4300

Parks o' Plenty

We love roller coasters. Between feeling the wind in your hair and the butterflies in your stomach, it's an experience that just can't be beat. There's a lot more to these parks than just rides, though. So stop by for the spectacle, the glamour, and maybe a corn dog or two — yummy! —Moira Phillips

View Amusement Parks in a larger map

Charlotte, N.C.

$46.99/at the gate, $36.99/advance, $21.99/children 3 and up
10 a.m.-8 p.m. (Sun.-Thurs.); 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (Fri.-Sat., until Aug. 16)
(800) 888-4386

Family Kingdom
Myrtle Beach

$23.50/all-day wrist band, prices vary for individual rides
4 p.m.-12 a.m. (Sun.-Fri.); 1 p.m.-12 a.m. (Sat.)
(843) 626-3447

Pavilion Nostalgia Park: Broadway at the Beach
Myrtle Beach

Prices vary for individual rides
11 a.m.-11 p.m.
(843) 913-9400

South of the Border
Dillon, S.C.

Prices vary for individual rides
(800) 845-6011

Slippery When Wet

Anybody who's spent, oh, about 10 seconds in the Charleston summer knows that the heat and humidity are forces to reckoned with. If you're in the mood to take a dip without bringing home 20 pounds of sand in your car, you may want to check out one of these waterparks. —Moira Phillips

View Waterparks in a larger map

Splash Island Waterpark
Palmetto Islands County Park

$7.99, $6.99/Charleston County resident, $5.99/under 48"
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
444 Needlerush Pkwy.
Mt. Pleasant
(843) 884-0832

Splash Zone
James Island County Park

$11.99; $9.99/Charleston County resident, $8.99/under 48"
10 a.m-6 p.m.
871 Riverland Drive
James Island
(843) 795-7275

Whirlin' Waters Adventure Park
Wannamaker County Park

$19.99, $14.99/under 48"
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
8888 University Blvd.
North Charleston
(843) 572-7275


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