Visiting Middleton Place, or any of the other historic plantations along the Ashley River, can feel like stepping back in time. Every element is aimed at preserving or recreating what the properties really looked like in Colonial-era Charleston, from the architecture and decorations to kitchen tools and other artifacts. But to get a deeper sense of what everyday plantation life was like, you have to get creative. That’s why Middleton Place is introducing a new event called Genteel Pursuits and Grand Entertains: Sport and Leisure at Middleton Place, a weekend-long program to demonstrate the different sports, games and other 18th century-era activities that the Middletons used to entertain themselves and their guests. Attendees will be invited to play cricket, croquet and other colonial games. There will also be performances by Signora Bella, a travelling slack line walker who entertains crowds in the vein of wandering circus acts from the 17th and 18th centuries, by juggling swords or torches while balancing on the rope.
When: 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: 4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston
Price: Included in admission, which is $28 for adults; $15 for students; $10 for children ages 6-13 and free for younger children.
More info: 556-6020, www.middletonplace.org
Unleash the hounds
Whirlin’ Waters at Wannamaker County Park will be transformed into a canine haven this weekend for the popular Dog Day Afternoon, the one day of the year when the water park allows attendees’ four-legged friends to frolic in the pools. Since the event is dog-focused, humans aren’t allowed to swim and most large attractions will be off-limits. The areas open to unleashed hounds will be the Lazy River, Otter Bay and the Wave Pool. The event is popular, so park officials recommend buying tickets ahead of time. Dogs are required to be up to date on all vaccines to attend.
When: Noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark at Wannamaker County Park, 8888 University Blvd., North Charleston
Price: $15 for dogs, $12 for Charleston Country residents, free for owners
More info: www.ccprc.com/1182/Dog-Day-Afternoon
One of the most popular Beatles tribute shows in the world is making its way to Charleston this week. 1964 — The Tribute is a recreation of a Beatles concert in the early ’60s, complete with instruments of the era, authentic clothing and hairstyles and even on-stage banter between the band members. The production was first started in the early ’80s and now performs more than 120 shows worldwide every year. Rolling Stone once called it the “Best Beatles Tribute on Earth.” Go ahead, let your inner fan girl scream.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., Charleston
More info: 853-2252, www.charlestonmusichall.com
Making it count
The YMCA of Greater Charleston is one of the oldest YMCA’s in the country, tracing its roots back to 1866 as the Charleston Negro YMCA when it was founded by Henry W. Thomas. Nearly 150 years later, the organization’s mission is the same: to serve everyone in the community, regardless of race or income. Help the organization deliver on its promise this weekend with its second annual Seersucker Soiree and silent auction, which will raise money for the scholarship programs at the Berkeley Family YMCA and the Cannon Street YMCA and the Y-Achievers program.
When: 6-10 p.m. Friday
Where: North Charleston Fire Museum, 4975 Centre Pointe Drive, North Chalreston
Price: $75 per person, $125 per couple
More info: www.ymcagc.org
Uke it out
Whether you play ukulele or you just enjoy its simple, beachy sound, the Blackwater Ukulele Festival has something for everyone. There will be three workshops: one for beginner ukulele players, another for advanced players, and one for novice dulcimer players — all offering ample time to meet, mingle and jam. The concert portion features Dave “Ukulele Dave” Brown, Nathan Miller, The Charleston Hot Shots, Sarah Summer and a finale by The V-Tones of Charleston, with special guest Big Jim Allen. Afterwards, there is an open mic portion for attendees to show off their chops.
When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Cypress Gardens, 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner
Price: Free with general admission ($10 for adults, $9 for seniors age 65 and older, $5 for kids ages 6-12, kids 5 and younger get in free)
More info: festival.charlestonhotshots.com
They say the first meal of the day is the most important. So, before the Charleston Wine + Food Festival heads into its 11th year, organizers are starting things off with a good, solid brunch. Join them Sunday for the festival’s ticket launch party, where details of the spring event will flow almost as freely as the bubbly beverages. The picnic-style brunch will feature creations by chefs from a dozen local restaurants such as Husk, the Sanctuary, the Fat Hen and others. There will also be a bloody Mary bar, a rose bar, and live music by The Joe Clarke Quartet.
When: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Lawn of the Quarters H&I, 1096 Navy Way, North Charleston
More info: www.charlestonwineandfood.com