Growing up in the D.C. area and spending my college years in Phoenix, one of the natural phenomenons I hold much admiration and love for is the change of the seasons.

While many others are complaining that it's too hot or too cold, I revel in the changes, for how can we truly appreciate the first warm spring day or the first touch of a fall chill without the variations and extremes.

While living in Charleston still gives me a touch of the four seasons, one of the things I do miss on occasion is a snow day.

Granted, it's snowed once in the almost 10 years I've lived here, but I'm used to seeing snow every year.

As that's the case, it always delights me when I hear there's a chance of local snow, even if it's artificial.

Community Snow Day

This family-friendly event will please the kid and snow-lover in all of us as 50 tons of snow is being brought to the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Mount Pleasant on Saturday.

Complete with three different play areas, including sledding, rail jam and jump castles, the Community Snow Day will offer kids big and small the chance to play in the snow from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

In addition to snow-centered events, there will be live music from the likes of Victoria Station, The Jimmies, late for Dinner, Jamison Alley and Groove Train. Mount Pleasant Fire Department trucks will be on-site and the third annual CCC Corn Hole Tournament will take place (registration forms are available at www.carolinachildren.org). Also, Star Wars characters will be mingling throughout the crowd.

Admission is $10, with kids under 12 getting in for free. Mount Pleasant residents with a valid ID will get in for $5. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Carolina Children's Charity.

For more information, call 284-7022 or go to www.charlestonwinterfest.com.

Repticon

Another family-friendly event happening this weekend is the Charleston Reptile and Exotic Animal Show.

Also known as Repticon, the event returns to the Omar Shrine Temple and Convention Center in Mount Pleasant for another round of animal seminars, kids' activities, raffles and more. Vendors will be set up offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages and merchandise

Repticon will take place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 with kids ages 5-12 getting in for $5, those under age 5 get in for free.

For more info, call 268-4273 or go to www.repticon.com/charleston.html.

Charleston Home + Design Show

Yet another multi-day expo happening in the Lowcountry this weekend is the Charleston Home + Design Show.

Held at The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium and presented by Charleston Home + Design magazine, organizers are promising the best year yet with displays from local home professional specializing in granite, construction, decor and more, and special events for the whole family.

Show highlights will include seven $2,000 home-improvement prize packages, the White Room Challenge, free interior design consultations, a silent auction and thousands of custom home products all under one roof.

Friday will feature extended hours from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and free admission, with free wine and beer being served during The Home Show Happy Hour from 5-8 p.m. Additional weekend hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, go to www.charlestonhomeanddesignshow.com.

C of C Gives Back Concert

For the past few years, local singer-songwriter Tyler Boone has organized a benefit concert at The Music Farm.

Choosing a different nonprofit each year, this year's choice is Carolina Studios, an organization formed in 2001 with the goal of helping Charleston County School District youths express themselves through music and song creation, with a dual purpose of providing a safe environment for after-school programs and for full days during the summer months.

For the College of Charleston Gives Back Concert, a number of local groups and musicians will perform, including Shannon Vogt, The Dunder Chiefs, Sun-Dried Vibes, Tom Mackell, Donnie Dies and Boone.

Admission is $10 and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, doors open at 8 p.m.

For more, call 437-9166 or go to www.carolinastudios.net or www.musicfarm.com.

Palmetto Carriage Works free day

As I mentioned last week, what's more fun than playing a tourist in your own town.

While there are various ways to do just that, one of the most unique ways is by taking a carriage ride though the city, something Southern living magazine listed as one of the Top 10 things every visitor must do in Charleston.

On Sunday, Palmetto Carriage Works will be offering free carriage tours to residents of the tri-county area from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours will depart from the "Big Red Barn" at 8 Guignard St. and will wind riders through the streets, pointing out some of the most beautiful and historic places as the guide narrates the history and legends of Charleston.

For more, call 723-8145 or go to www.palmettocarriage.com.