Thursday, March 15, 2018

Easter at Ocean Lakes | What you need to know about holiday activities, water park schedule

Guests celebrating Easter at Ocean Lakes will have a jam-packed lineup of free activities and events to keep them hopping, from the traditional sunrise service by the beach to our twist on the classic Easter egg hunt.

The campground will be full for Easter weekend. Our South Gate will be open from 7 a.m. Saturday, March 31 through 11 p.m. Saturday, April 7 to help all the Easter and Spring Break guests get in and get going on the fun faster!

Our facilities will be in full swing for Easter weekend – including the water park and outdoor pool. 

Whether it feels like spring or not, Sandy Harbor Water Park will be open Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

After Easter weekend, the pools, lazy river and Splash Zone will stay open April 2 through April 8, but the slides will NOT be open those days. The water park then will shut down until May 1, when it will open under “hours as posted” on the weekends (check out the water park’s full 2018 schedule here).

The outdoor pool will open for the season the week leading up to Easter. Brush up on our water park rules here.

With Easter falling early this year, the water still might be a bit chilly for some. But don’t worry – we have a jam-packed lineup of free, family-focused activities during Easter weekend. 

Celebrate with traditional holiday events such as the Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. Easter Sunday by the three crosses, Maundy Service at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29 in the Recreation Center and our twist on the classic Easter Egg Hunt – an Easter Egg Obstacle Course the afternoon of Sunday, April 1.

Kids will go through a course featuring five fun stations – collecting 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 the cone weave, hula-hoop crawl-through, noodle jumps and ladder hop.

The Easter Egg Hunt is one of our most popular activities during Easter weekend, attracting between 300 and 400 kids.

“It’s a traditional thing. You grew up doing an Easter Egg Hunt – dressing up in your Easter outfit and hunting for eggs,” said Salle Horner, our Recreational Activities Coordinator.

To make it fair and control crowds, kids will do the course in groups: ages 1-3 will start at 2 p.m., ages 4-7 will start at 2:30 p.m. and ages 8-11 will start at 3 p.m. The course will be set up behind the Nature Center.

The Easter Egg Obstacle Course debuted last year, and guests had so much fun it’s back this year. It ensures that every kid gets eggs and makes the egg hunt more entertaining than the previous format. The Easter Bunny will be waiting at the finish line to high-five all the finishers and pose for photos.

“People really enjoyed the Easter Egg Obstacle Course last year,” Horner said. “It wasn’t so rushed. Before, it was two minutes and done. Some kids would have loads of eggs and others wouldn’t have any. Now, everybody gets some Easter eggs.”

About 2,400 prize-filled eggs will be given out during the Obstacle Course, including a dozen golden eggs holding a certificate for a bigger prize – an Easter basket overflowing with lots of goodies.

Also back this year: Ocean Lakes version of the popular game “Minute to Win It.” Sign up in advance in the Recreation Center for your group of four to play. It was such a hit last year we’ve added another round this year. Game times are 7 p.m. March 27 and 7 p.m. April 3.

Warning: You must not take yourself too seriously to play this game.

“People with a sense of humor love it,” Horner said.

Here’s your handy guide for the best bets during Easter weekend; check out the FULL list of activities and events here.

Thursday, March 29

7:30 p.m. | Maundy Service
Where | Recreation Center

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, March 30

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

Every Easter outfit 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. Bonnets with a unique flair tend to be crowd pleasers.
Need inspiration? Check out our “All Things Easter” board on Pinterest for some festive ideas.

Drop off your finished bonnet in the Recreation Building between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, March 30 for judging. Ocean Lakes guests will vote for their favorite Saturday, March 31 during the Easter Bunny Lunch.

Winners will be announced at the beginning of the Magic Show at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Recreation Center.

Saturday, March 31

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 to make.

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 | Grass area behind the Nature Center

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 | Grass area behind the Nature Center

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

Sunday, April 1 (Happy Easter!):

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

One of our most popular Easter events. Bring your beach chair or roll up on your golf car for a traditional sunrise worship service led by the Rev. Kirk Lawton.

Tip: Arrive early, especially if you want a prime spot. Aim to be there by 6:45 a.m.

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

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

Easter Egg Hunt 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 | Grass area behind the Nature Center

A twist on the traditional Easter Egg Hunt!

Tip: Make sure to be ready at the time slot set aside for your kids. The obstacles get a bit more difficult for the older age groups.

The fun doesn’t stop on Sunday. Check out the full list of activities, including those on Easter Monday, here.

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