As evident from this week’s issue of Charleston Scene, the holiday season is now in full swing.

While many events such as tree lightings and parades are free, I thought I’d pull out a few that are a bit more unusual. And for the “Bah, humbug” folks out there, I’ve thrown in two nonholiday events.

Toys of Tots cruise

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, SpiritLine Cruises is offering a free harbor cruise to any guest who brings an unwrapped toy for Toys of Tots; one toy donation per guest is recommended.

No reservations are necessary; just arrive at Aquarium Wharf, 360 Concord St., at 10:45 a.m. Saturday with a toy. Boarding time is 10:45 a.m. with the cruise departing at 11 a.m.

The 90-minute trip will feature festive holiday music provided by Y102.5, “the Lowcountry’s Christmas Music Station.”

For more info, call 722-2628.

Holiday Festival

Freshfields Village is getting into the holiday spirit with its annual Holiday Festival.

The family-friendly event sponsored by the town of Kiawah will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

A number of free children’s activities will be available, including face painting, an inflatable obstacle course and jump castle, and rides on the Mechanical Reindeer. There also will be various craft booths, including one featuring the North Pole Post Office to send your letters to Santa.

Food and beverage vendors will be on-site with treats available for purchase.

Santa will be at Freshfields Village over the weekend, taking photos and listening to Christmas lists. One free photo print will be provided per family, compliments of the Village Merchants. Santa will be available for photos 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

Freshfields Village is at the crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Islands. Go to for more.

Holiday Market

Middleton Place is kicking off the holiday season on Black Friday with its annual Holiday Market in the Museum Shop and Garden Market & Nursery.

The two-day event (Friday and Saturday) will feature an open-air market including local artisans and vendors offering holiday-themed products, live musicians performing festive carols, complimentary hot cider and treats, and more.

The Museum Shop and Garden Market & Nursery are just inside the gate at 4300 Ashley River Road and there is no admission required to access them.

Go to for more.

Holiday Workshop

The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St., will be holding a holiday-themed kids event on Wednesday.

The kid-friendly craft session will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. and will feature hot chocolate and cookies. Children will create ornaments to take home as well as to put on display in the Kidstory exhibit for the month of December.

The cost is $5 for nonmembers, free for members, and reservations are required. Call 722-2996 or go to

Sippin’ Saturdays

Irvin-House Vineyards, 6775 Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw Island, is again hosting its long-running series Sippin’ Saturdays.

From noon-4 p.m., enjoy the Cotton Blue Band and food from the Stono Cafe as you sip on tastings from the Firefly Vodka distillery and Irvin-House winery. Tastings are $6 for six samples of 24 flavors of Firefly Spirits and $5 for five wines. Call 559-6867 or go to

Gun and Knife Show

Swap, buy, sell or browse the hundreds of tables of shooting and hunting gear that will be on hand at the Charleston Gun and Knife Show this weekend.

Running 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, the show offers patrons a chance to peruse 350 tables of guns, knives, ammo, surplus, reloading supplies and shooting accessories from some of South Carolina’s biggest dealers.

Held at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds, 9850 U.S. Highway 78 in Ladson, admission is $8 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. For more, call Mike Kent at 770-630-7296.