Thursday, March 23, 2017

Staying at Ocean Lakes for Easter Weekend? Here's what you need to know

Guests headed this way for Easter weekend will have lots of activities at Ocean Lakes to celebrate the holiday, from the traditional Easter sunrise service to a new twist on the kids’ egg hunt.

The campground will be full for Easter weekend, and our facilities will be in full swing – including our water park and outdoor pool.

The water park will be open April 14 through April 16, then shut down until May. The outdoor pool will open for the season the week before Easter. Brush up on our water park rules and check out the water park's full 2017 schedule

Not quite ready for a swim this early in the year? No problem. We have a jam-packed lineup of free, family-focused events during Easter weekend for guests staying with us.

“Everything is just show up – nothing you have to sign up for in advance – and everything is free,” said Salle Horner, Sandy Harbor and Recreational Activities Coordinator.

One of the highlights: an Easter Obstacle Course, which is a twist on the traditional Easter egg hunt. Kids will go through a course featuring five fun stations – collecting toy- and prize-filled eggs along the way to end with a half-dozen eggs at the finish line. Don’t freak out about the “obstacles,” they are fun such as hopping like a bunny or jumping in hula hoops.

“All things they can hold their basket and do,” Horner said.

To make it fair and control crowds, kids will do the course in groups based on their age: ages 1-3 will start at 2 p.m., ages 4-7 will begin at 2:30 p.m. and ages 8-11 will start at 3 p.m.

The Easter obstacle course will be set up in the grassy area at the new Nature Center, behind Sandy Mart.

The Easter Obstacle Course will take place Sunday, April 16 in the grassy area behind the new Nature Center, which is behind Sandy Mart.

The Easter Egg Hunt is one of the most popular activities during Easter weekend, attracting between 300 and 400 kids. The new format will ensure that every kid gets eggs and make it more entertaining; the Easter Bunny will be waiting at the finish line to high-five all the finishers.

“It’s more interactive,” Horner said. “It doesn’t just last a few seconds and it’s over. Previously, we would say, ‘go’ and in 10 seconds it would be over.

“This also makes it more fair. Everybody ends up with the same number of eggs.”

About 2,400 prize-filled eggs will be up for grabs during the obstacle course, including a dozen eggs holding a certificate for a bigger prize - an Easter basket filled with lots of goodies.

A glimpse at the Easter baskets (minus the finishing touches) for the kids who score a "special" egg during the Easter Obstacle Course.

We had an impromptu, mini-version of the obstacle course last year when rain forced us to move the traditional egg hunt indoors.

“We had a lot of positive feedback from that,” Horner said. “People said it was fun and different. We took that and ran with it this year.”

Here’s your handy guide for the best bets during Easter weekend, check out our calendar for a FULL list of activities and events: 

Thursday, April 13:

7 p.m. | Maundy Service
Where | Recreation Building
The Thursday before Easter is the day when Jesus celebrated his final Passover with his disciples. Mark this day with our Maundy Service.
Bring a dessert to share on our dessert buffet after the service; we’ll provide the coffee.

Friday, April 14:

3 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Easter Bonnet Contest
Where | Recreation Building

Every Easter outfit just looks better topped with a traditional Easter bonnet. Create your own bonnet for a chance to win a prize (and bragging rights) as the best Easter bonnet in the campground.

TIP: Aim to be different. “People like uniqueness,” Horner said. “They like to say, ‘aaahhh, that’s a great idea.”

Need inspiration? Check out our “All Things Easter” board on Pinterest for some festive ideas. 

This bonnet nabbed First Place in the 2016 Easter Bonnet Contest.

Drop off your finished bonnet in the Recreation Building between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday for judging. Ocean Lakes guests will vote for their favorite Saturday during the Easter Bunny Lunch. Winners will be announced at the beginning of the Magic Show on Saturday in the Recreation Center.

7 p.m. | Karaoke
Where | Center Stage
Belt out your favorite ballad, rock song, classic tune or rap! Come ready to perform or just sit back and enjoy your fellow campers performing.

Saturday, April 15:

11 a.m. | Lunch with the Easter Bunny
Where | Recreation Center
The Easter Bunny is throwing a lunch party complete with corn dogs, face painting, crafts and a photo booth. Kids ages 11 and under will get lunch (corn dog, chips, drink) on us. (Please parents, the meal is for the kids only!) 

Ha-Ha the Clown will be on hand for face painting (and this clown can paint all your Easter favorites or any character a child might want). We’ll also have a free craft for the youngsters.

Be sure to capture a souvenir photo of the fun! Our holiday-themed photo booth will give you the perfect backdrop.

2 p.m. | Easter Family Field Day
Where | Grassy area at the new Nature Center, behind Sandy Mart

Bring your family for a fun field day! Get a little exercise tackling a series of obstacles and enjoy games such as the Egg Spoon Balance. Winning families will get prizes! TIP: Wear sneakers and clothes you can easily move around in.

4 p.m. | Corn toss tournament
Where | Grassy area at new Nature Center, behind Sandy Mart

7 p.m. | Magic Show
Where | Recreation Center
Enjoy a night of illusions by the Grand Strand Magic Club

Sunday, April 16 (Happy Easter!):

6:45 a.m. | Sunrise Worship Service
Where | Three crosses at the beachfront, just south of the Observation Deck (If it rains, service will move to the Recreation Building)

How often do you get to attend a sunrise service right beside the beach? Bring your beach chair or roll up on your golf car for a traditional sunrise Easter worship service led by the Rev. Kirk Lawton. 

TIP: Arrive early, especially if you want a prime spot. Shoot to be there by 6:30 a.m.

9 a.m. | Regular Sunday Worship Service
Where | Recreation Center

10:15 a.m. | Bible Study
Where | Recreation Center

Easter Egg Obstacle Course
When | 2 p.m. for ages 1-3, 2:30 p.m. for ages 4-7, 3 p.m. for ages 8-11
Where | Grassy area at the new Nature Center, behind Sandy Mart

A new twist on the traditional Easter Egg Hunt!

Happy Easter! Thanks for choosing to spend the holiday with us. Enjoy your stay!