Do as the Middletons did: plantation invites attendees to play 18th century-era sports

Middleton Place will show off games of the past this weekend.

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,