Don't Be Afraid Of The End Of Summer, Just Head Up The Carolina Coast For A Great Halloween Getaway

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With An Abundance Of Family-Friendly Events, You're Sure To "Scare" Up Some Great Family Memories

The leaves are changing colors, football is filling up the television screen, and there is a chill in the air. This is the time of year when many people find themselves daydreaming about a summer trip to the beach. Well, why wait until Summer to enjoy some quality time away with the family? Grab the family, hop in the car, and head up the Carolina Coast this Halloween for a ton of affordable, family-friendly fun!

At Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, S.C. there is fun for the whole family all year long, and things really kick into gear with Halloween Weekends and The Annual South Carolina Fossil Fair. With off-season rates available and mild temperatures, Ocean Lakes Family Campground has plenty to keep the whole family having fun.

Halloween Weekends are October 23-25, 2009 and October 30-November 1, 2009 to accommodate a variety of family schedules. Those looking to celebrate a little early on Oct. 23-25 can enjoy seeing golf cars in their best costumes in the "cars in costume parade" and attend an evening Halloween party afterwards. Families celebrating Oct. 30-Nov. 1, can enjoy a Halloween Hayride, great pumpkin search, pumpkin carving contest, family movie and a campground carnival, including a pie eating contest, costume contest, pet costume contest, games, crafts and a mystery dinner.

For those looking to learn a little something while on vacation, the 26th Annual South Carolina Fossil Fair will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. October 31st. This event is free and open to the public. Presented by the South Carolina Fossil Association, the fossil fair features experts from the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History who will be on hand to identify fossils brought by participants.

Fossil collections will be on display including shark teeth, whale bones, sand dollars, horse teeth and other unique finds. Visitors will also have the opportunity to hunt for shark teeth, make necklaces, construct a dinosaur skeleton and even learn how to recover fossils with the Smithsonian experts at a mock dig site.

Awarded the title of 2008-2009 National "RV Park of the Year" by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, Ocean Lakes is the largest campground on the East Coast and one of the largest in the United States with over 310 acres of campsites and beach house rentals.
To make reservations call 1-800-722-1451 for campsites, and for rental sites call 1-800-845-2229. More information is also available at http://www.oceanlakes.com.

If you're looking to travel up the coast a little farther north, Kure Beach, North Carolina is the perfect place to celebrate fall. Located on the southern end of Pleasure Island, Kure Beach has built a reputation as one of the most family-friendly best beach towns on the East Coast, and that's no exception around Halloween.

At the Annual Trick Or Treat Under The Sea at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, families can take advantage of indoor trick-or-treating and family oriented fun. Local businesses and organizations hand out treats from decorated booths that line the exhibits and galleries in the aquarium and admission is only $6! Due to its overwhelming popularity, the event has been expanded this year, so come enjoy two nights of family-friendly fun, Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

But trick-or-treating isn't the only fun to be had at Kure Beach. Fall fishing is another great family activity. There are plenty of opportunities for surf fishing, bottom fishing, shell fishing and deep-sea fishing. Kure Beach's Fishing Pier is 712-foot-long, built in 1923, and is the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast.

With its mild seasons, Kure Beach is always a great place for some outdoor exploration. The Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is perfect for a day trip and features a six-mile beach that is home to many types of animals including endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Bring a picnic lunch to spend a day at the ocean and be sure to take a walk on the short trail through the marsh to catch a glimpse of all the fascinating sea creatures.

From camping, to hitting the beach, there's definitely something for everyone along the Carolina Coast this Halloween. Don't be "afraid" to let loose one more time with the family before the end of the year. You might just scare up memories that will last a lifetime.

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DIane Smith

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