As we gear up for the holiday season — though some are way ahead of the curve and already have their tree up — now is a great time to spend some quality time with the family and maybe knock out some gift shopping while you’re at it.

There are a number of activities this weekend that offer the best of both worlds.

Fall Book Sale

Here Be Books and Games, a “service-oriented” used book and game store in Summerville, will be holding its Fall Book Sale from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, offering “thousands” of books on sale for $1 each.

What better way to stock up on inexpensive gifts for the reader in your family.

The shop is at 4650 Ladson Road. Call 695-1498 or go to for more info.

Third Thursday

Another event in Summerville on Thursday is Third Thursday, which takes place 5-8 p.m. in and around Hutchinson Square. And this month’s event offers something a little different: a “funeral” to “bury hunger.”

You read that right.

Summerville DREAM and Parks Funeral Home have teamed up to “bury hunger,” asking Third Thursday attendees to fill a funeral hearse with nonperishable food items for needy families. Food collected will benefit the Dorchester Senior Center and the Help of Summerville.

In addition to the collection, folks will be able to browse the local shops while listening to live musicians throughout the area. Lea Holz and the Windsor Hill Elementary students will perform on Short Central while the Charleston Hot Shots will be in front of People Places and Quilts and the girls from Kelly’s Dance will be in Hutchinson Square.

Go to for more.

Taste of the Market

A recent addition to the monthly event scene is Taste of the Market, which takes place the third Thursday of each month.

Put on by the City Market Hospitality Association and Charleston Culinary Tours, the third event will be 5:30-8 p.m. in the Palmetto Carriage Company lot on Anson Street.

Attendees will have the opportunity to check out the offerings from Market Street area restaurants and stores that will have tents set up offering food samples.

Participating restaurants include Lowcountry Bistro, Noisy Oyster, Mad River, AW Shucks, Wild Wing Cafe, Tabbuli, Charleston Crab House, Sweet CeCe’s Frozen Yogurt and Treats, Henry’s and Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill.

In addition, live music will be performed by The Bushels and beer vendors will be set up on-site for the first time.

Tickets are $10 and include food samples. Kids 10 and under get in free. To purchase tickets or find out more, go to

Fort Fall Festival

Fort Dorchester High School, 8500 Patriot Blvd. in North Charleston, is hosting its inaugural Fall Festival benefitting Make-A-Wish.

From 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, attendees will get to check out more than 40 vendor booths, sample food offerings from the “Taste of Fort Dorchester,” participate in kids crafts, play in jump castles and more.

The festival, which is free to attend, will have numerous booths set up for shopping, including Avon, Glamour Girls Boutique, Gold Canyon Candles, Scentsy and more. Food offerings will include Ladles, Raising Cane’s and more.

Gun show

The South Carolina Arms Collectors Association is returning to the area to present its gun show, which will feature gun, knife and militaria dealers and exhibitors from around the Southeast.

Held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, admission is $8 with kids 12 and under get in free.

The SCACA, which holds nine other shows annually, gives out six scholarships every year and delivers grants to organizations such as the Confederate Museum, The S.C. State Museum and the NRA.

For more, go to or call 803-463-9377.

Toys for Tots events

For those who would rather give than get, there are two events this weekend that benefit Toys for Tots, which collects and distributes toys to children who might not otherwise receive them.

The first is a Breakfast With Santa at Citadel Mall set for 9-10 a.m. Saturday.

With a donation of one unwrapped toy, each child will receive a special gift, breakfast, entertainment including face painting and a balloon artist, plus a visit from Santa.

Reservations for the breakfast are not required but are strongly recommended. Call 766-8321.

The other event is the 17th annual Toys for Tots Law Rider Motorcycle Ride, a police-escorted ride around the Lowcountry that is approximately 50 miles.

Starting at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds in Ladson, registration starts at 10 a.m. with the ride leaving at noon. The ride is open to the public and costs $20 for a biker and $10 for a passenger, or a new unwrapped toy per person.

For details, go to