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How To Find That Really Unique Gift This Year (Part 1)

It's the most wonderful time of the year! And one of the most challenging.

At no other time of the year do we have to find so many gifts at one time for so many people. Family, friends, children, adults. What's a shopper to do?

All the usual gifts come to mind — perfume, ties, jewelry — and any is likely to please. But this year, why not also add something unexpected, a little something that's unique, that shows you've been thinking out of the box.

You may just start a whole new tradition as family and friends marvel at the thought and creativity you've devoted to your gift-purchasing pursuits. Remember it's the big thought that counts!

Take the tumbler as an example. It may seem like an ordinary piece of drink ware, but it can deliver years of simple pleasures. On cold mornings, the person you've gifted will think of you when sipping a cup of hot joe on the way to work. When summer comes, your unique gift will be keeping iced tea cold while other gifts are stashed away in a closet.

If a tumbler seems like a good choice, here's the big thing to remember: Don't skimp on quality. Invest in a tumbler that comes with a lifetime guarantee. For example, Tervis tumblers sold at Broadway at the Beach's Tervis store, are safe for the microwave and keep beverages colder and hotter longer with minimal condensation. A Tervis Tumbler can be customized to your specifications: decorate it with a sentimental photo, express a heartfelt sentiment, or add a whimsical saying that brings the extra gift of humor.

Do you have folks on your list who love the frivolous, appreciate the over-indulgent, and are not afraid of conspicuous consumption? Oversized tootsie rolls, giant boxes of dots, or enormous peanut butter cups may be the perfect gift for them. Such delights can be found at It'Sugar at Broadway at the Beach where just stepping in the door brings out the kid in you.

Know a little girl or little boy looking for that first cuddly companion? At Build-A-Bear Workshop at Broadway, they specialize in delivering happiness. How unexpected would a customized stuffed animal be under the Christmas tree? From teddy bears, to ninja turtles, to reindeer, you can dress them up and then all you need to do is follow your heart to create the perfect companion for that special someone in your life.

There's nothing like a gift that gets the recipient out of the house and into an exotic world of fun. This Christmas, you can deliver all that with an annual pass to someone's favorite venue.

For example, Ripley's Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach delivers a year full of fun to those who have an annual pass. This is a gift that literally keeps on giving new experiences for 12 full months. An annual pass holder can visit the sharks, and stingrays, and experience new exhibits as many times as desired. Additional pass benefits include discounts at other Ripley's attractions in Myrtle Beach and Gatlinburg (Tenn.), as well as discounts in the aquarium's restaurant and the gift shop.

This year, add a little of the unexpected to the holiday season. Think outside the box and wrap up something unique.

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One Meal Your Kids Won’t Want To Skip: Breakfast With Santa

Is getting your kid to actually eat a meal one of your greatest challenges? There's a solution — and a meal that your children will be clamoring to go to.

It's Breakfast with Santa — one of the highlights of the entire year of KIDdom.

This year, the man in the red suit plans to chow down with the little ones at two locations at BATB.

Mark your calendar.

Santa arrives at Ripley's Aquarium on Saturday, December 6 for breakfast seatings at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. In the outside plaza, he'll pass by a 20 foot tree decorated entirely in red, white and blue. Inside the aquarium, kids will be able to help themselves to a sumptuous buffet among the sharks, stingrays, mermaids and other marine life. There's something for everyone: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, Belgian waffles, buttermilk biscuits, fruit salad, orange and apple juices, and coffee. Annual aquarium pass holders and kids 2 to 5 get admission to the aquarium and breakfast for just $4.99 plus tax, while those 6 to 11 pay $9.99 plus tax, and adults are $14.99 plus tax. Reservations are required, so call 916-0888.

After breakfast, check out Ripley's annual Festival of Trees, a display of more than 50 decorated trees placed throughout the aquarium. Each tree represents a different state and is decorated with unique ornaments. The dazzling line-up of state trees includes our own South Carolina tree, which is 18 feet tall and features magnolias, golf balls, sea shell wreaths and stars, as well as ornaments representing the SC Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers.

At 11 a.m. that day, there's a Ripley's-sponsored holiday parade, so plan on being there for that as well!

Rock Around the Christmas Tree with Santa when Hard Rock Cafe hosts its annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 6, Saturday, December 13 and Saturday December 20. This event is a hot ticket every year. There is one seating at 9 a.m. on December 6, and two seatings on the 13th and 20th. If you're an early riser, make reservations for the 8 a.m. event, or sleep in and come at 10 a.m.

For $9.95, kids of all ages can graze their way through a full breakfast buffet that includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast sticks, grits, biscuits with gravy, hash brown potatoes, danish, juice and coffee. Once tummies are full, each child can get one photo with Santa, and then enjoy a free activities room on December 13 and 20 with cup cake decorating (compliments of Coccadotts) or race cars (compliments of RIDEMAKERZ, Sparkles and Wonderworks). To make reservations, call 946-0007.

On December 6, 13 and 20, Santa Claus is coming to town!

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Things To Do In Myrtle Beach On Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the best times of the year to enjoy Myrtle Beach. With our warm sun and uncrowded beaches, you can stroll along the sand undisturbed or stake out your own special fishing spot.

It's especially easy to get in the holiday spirit at Broadway at the Beach. Take in a Christmas show at Legends In Concert or The Palace Theatre, or stop and see our 52- foot-tall Christmas tree decorated with 141,000 lights.

On Turkey Day, why slave over a hot stove? There are plenty of great places in Myrtle Beach to find a delicious meal on Thanksgiving Day. For example, several Broadway at the Beach restaurants will be serving up everything from traditional Thanksgiving fare to great steaks, awesome burgers and scrumptious seafood. After you feast at restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe, Landry's Seafood or Good Time Charley's, there's no clean up. So, you'll have plenty of time to stroll among the shops, play at attractions, and even enjoy some nightlife.

When the sun comes up on Black Friday, you can just roll over and catch a few more hours sleep. Skip the craziness at the mall and enjoy holiday bargain shopping that's a breeze. After a leisurely mid-morning breakfast, head over to Broadway at the Beach and enjoy a stroll around the lake. There's sunshine, fresh air and unique gifts at bargain prices. Shops including Tervis, A Silver Shack and Fresh Produce are offering 25% off. Bijuju, MA Fashion and Sports Fanatics are among those offering 40 to 50% off. And a few shops — like Sunglass Hut and Rack Room Shoes — are taking off as much as 60%.

This Thanksgiving weekend you don't have to resign yourself to joining frenzied shoppers on an exhausting pilgrimage for holiday bargains. Come enjoy the beach, a show, and the Christmas lights.

If you know where to look you can find gifts that are unique, beautiful and unexpected at prices worth celebrating.

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Myrtle Beach Holiday Season Launches November 22 With Christmas Tree Lighting, Entertainment And Fireworks

A Christmas tree that's 52 feet tall, decorated with 141,000 lights. Singing, dancing, fireworks and holiday spirit that fills the air!

It's an event anticipated all year long — Broadway at the Beach's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and Christmas Special. Now in its 20th year, it's known throughout the Grand Strand as Myrtle Beach's biggest and best Christmas extravaganza.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 22. The festivities will take place in Broadway Commons, near Guest Services, in front of Pavilion Park Central, beginning at 6 p.m.

Popular WPDE meteorologist Ed Piotrowski will serve as host for an evening of free entertainment sponsored by the Palace Theatre. Professional performers from the Palace Theatre and Legends In Concert will headline, while students from the Carolina Forest Performing Arts Academy and Socastee High School bring their own special kind of magic to the stage. You won't want to miss the amazing Carolina Freestyle Cloggers, and there will even be an appearance by a special visitor from the North Pole.

After the entertainment, the amazing Broadway Christmas tree will be lit, then the skies will sparkle with fireworks over Lake Broadway at 8 p.m.

Join us at our 20th annual Christmas Special and get your holiday season off to an exciting and fun-filled start!

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Make Your Holidays Special. Celebrate With The Jersey Nights And The Rat Pack

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Our thoughts are turning to mistletoe, holly, baking cookies and buying gifts. Why not get in the holiday spirit this year with a live Christmas show. Myrtle Beach theaters are known for putting on wonderful Christmas variety shows and this year is no exception.

Two theaters at Broadway at the Beach have developed tribute shows that will transport you to simpler times when holidays weren't filled with online shopping and party invitations weren't conveyed through texts.

Wouldn't it be fun to step back in time to the early 1960s when Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. led a band of rowdy, charming and talented rogues known as "The Rat Pack?" They seemed to be everywhere — on stage, TV and in movies. And most Americans couldn't get enough of them.

Legends In Concert has assembled a stellar group of tribute artists to present the first musical Christmas tribute to The Rat Pack ever to appear on stage. Christmas With the Rat Pack (with special guest Marilyn Monroe) takes the audience back to those "ring-a-ding-ding" times when the actors and singers in the pack were the coolest, man. Get in the spirit of the season with holiday classics such as The Christmas Song and Boogie Woogie Santa Claus. Rat Pack standards are also on the playlist, and audiences can get in on the act with sing-a-longs, ad libs, cut ups, and quips. And, you won't want to miss a special appearance by a Rat Pack mascot, Marilyn Monroe.

The show runs through December 20, takes a break from December 22 through December 25, then runs from December 26 through December 31 with a special New Year's Eve version of the show on the 31.

While audiences are swooning to smooth and classy classics at Legends In Concert, The Palace Theatre will be rocking out with the Jersey Nights Christmas Special. Jersey Nights features the hit songs of the Four Seasons, taking everyone on a nostalgic tour of rock'n'roll during a decade of big changes in popular music.

This Christmas spectacular melds rock classics like "Sherry" and "Walk Like A Man" together with holiday classics like "Jingle Bells" and "White Christmas." Sensational dance numbers, first class musical arrangements, perfect harmonies, and authentic costumes combine with decorations and falling snow to put you in a holiday mood.

The Jersey Nights Christmas Special runs through December 20.

There's no better way to launch your holiday season that by taking in a musical show

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