It's big. It's bright. And it's upside down.
The roof juts into the ground at the Broadway at the Beach, giving the appearance this "amusement park for the mind" was ripped from its foundation, lifted up and dropped back to earth. Even the palm trees give the appearance they are hanging the wrong way.
The building is visible throughout the entertainment and shopping complex in Myrtle Beach -- and for anybody driving by on U.S. 17 Bypass. But it's what's inside that will get the kids talking, moving -- and learning.
WonderWorks opened in April. The 10-story-tall building, which offers 50,000 square feet of fun, is already one of the most photographed spots in Myrtle Beach. The upside down building offers the perfect backdrop for a family photo.
The WonderWorks folks suggest families allow three to five hours to take advantage of all the attraction has to offer, with a typical visit lasting about four hours. And there is plenty to see -- with more than 100 exhibits that will entertain the whole family, from the youngest kids to the coolest teens.
On a recent visit, the highlights included standing in a wind tunnel to see what a hurricane-force wind of more than 70 mph felt like, stretching out on a bed of nails (and feeling the pinch of 3,500 of them), and commanding a Space Shuttle.
And then there was the hour or so we spent on the three-story indoor ropes challenge course. Strapped into a harness, kids (and adults) make their way through 20 different obstacles and activities, trying to keep their balance as they walk along swinging steps, vertical stairs and tightropes. And it's all under black light. (This is definitely one of those things that kids have an easier time racing through than adults, who tend to be a bit more timid as they try to maneuver through the obstacles.) Not feeling that adventurous? Don't worry. Parents can keep an eye on the kids and get a great view of the action from below.
Tickets to WonderWorks are $14.99 for kids 4-12 and $22.99 for those older than 12. Combination tickets to WonderWorks and laser tag are $17.99 and $25.99.
If you don't get enough of the ropes course indoors, you can check out the Soar & Explore right next door. Opened last year by the same company that runs WonderWorks, it features Zipline Adventure and the Ropes Challenge Course. The zipline lets you soar over Lake Broadway, while the ropes course has a pirate theme and lets you climb over three levels. The admission is $11.99 for the ropes challenge and $19.99 for the zipline, with a combination ticket $26.99.
WonderWorks is the latest big draw at Broadway at the Beach, but it's not the only attraction pulling in the crowds.
The 350-acre, festival entertainment complex is a huge draw for both locals and tourists, offering restaurants, entertainment, nightclubs and more than 100 shops. It's set up with four types of architecture: a New England village, Caribbean village, Charleston boardwalk and Heroes' Harbor.
More than 14 million people a year visit Broadway, located just off U.S. 17 bypass at 21st Avenue North in Myrtle Beach.
Here's a list of some of the newest attractions opening this season:
Good Time Charley's restaurant and bar
Legends in Concert
Carlos 'n Charlie's restaurant
Yours and Mayan
Tenants expected to open by early June:
Flip Flop Shop
Crabby Jack's General Store
Reigning Cats and Dogs
Everyday is a Holiday
Devo Olive Oil Company
Capriz, a family-style Italian restaurant
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery
Froyoz frozen yogurt shop