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Free For All

Photographs (left) courtesy of Black Cat Tours, (middle) courtesy of Charleston Observatory, and (right) by Christopher Nelson

october 6, 2010

Free For All
Cash in on autumn adventures that won't cost you a penny

WRITTEN BY Lauren B. Johnson

With its welcome cooler temps, October may be one of the best times to venture outside in the Lowcountry. And we believe that stepping out shouldn't require hitting up the ATM, so we've rounded up 10 great ways to enjoy Charleston's charms without spending a cent.

1. Save Some Green
Lend a green thumb to the Stewards of Hampton Park program and assist with seeding, potting, planting, watering, and pruning in the greenhouse and park. Volunteers learn from professional staff horticulturists and even get to carry home some cuttings. (843) 958-6434

2. Parade About
March over to the bleachers at Summerall Field most Friday afternoons (times vary), when The Citadel dress parade presents the Corps of Cadets, rifle companies, and pipe and regimental bands. (843) 953-6779

3. Take a Hike
Lace up your tennies for the Confederate Charleston walking tour from Black Cat Tours, offered free on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1 p.m. Learn about 19th-century politics and the local atmosphere leading up to Secession 150 years ago. Ages 13+. (843) 571-6873

4. Wolf it Down
Trek to the red wolf viewing area at the Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center and satisfy your curiosity about these endangered creatures' eating habits. Feeders of the pack dish out the canids' meals each Friday at 4 p.m. (843) 928-3368

5. Drink it In
Tour Irvin~House Vineyards on Saturdays at 2 p.m. (843) 559-6867. Also on Wadmalaw, visit Charleston Tea Plantation, America's only working tea garden, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. (843) 559-0383

6. Meet Mother Nature
Make friends with the critters living near the Tiedemann Park Nature Center during environmental education programs geared towards eco-curious kids. On October 16, a City of Charleston naturalist spins cool facts about spiders, then on October 30, come out of your shell to learn more about turtles. RSVP required. (843) 965-4002

7. Observe Closely
The College of Charleston Observatory welcomes the public from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the third Friday of most months (in October, it'll be open on the fourth Friday). Gaze into the main telescope or hit the observation deck to peer through smaller scopes at night-sky notables. (843) 953-2031

8. Horse Around
Spectators are invited to Mullet Hall Equestrian Center to watch horse shows and competitions. October 22 through 24 brings the Lowcountry Horse Show Association and the Charleston Dog Training Club AKC Dog Agility Trial. (843) 795-4386

9. Canvas the Neighborhood
Stroll the sidewalks of Historic Broad Street for First Fridays on Broad to take in fine art, home décor, fashion, and refreshments. Giving new meaning to "insider art," the boutiques, galleries, and bodegas along Gallery Row draw patrons through their doors from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of each month (the next art walk takes place November 5). (843) 722-1944

10. Make a Date
Mark your calendar for these annual happenings and make the most of your weekend afternoons:

Looking to splurge? To read "Fall for Adventure" and learn about three cool autumn excursions in horseback riding, biking, and boating, click here.

To find more fun fall happenings on our searchable Calendar of Events, click here.




Wed, 10/06/2010