Friday Five - Social Distancing Edition // July 31st, 2020

TGIF—it’s time for another social distancing edition of the Friday Five! Even though most events are postponed for the time being, there are still several fun things to do in the Charleston area this weekend. Be a part of releasing 144,000 ladybugs into a beautiful garden setting; go on a ghost hunt through downtown Charleston; enjoy a special sensory hour at South Carolina’s largest indoor trampoline park, and more! No matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a very safe and happy weekend! 

Take a walk on the spooky side Friday night with Stories in the Cemetery—An Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience by Charleston Cavalier Tours. Join local author Nicholas McGirr on this one-of-a-kind walking tour of haunted downtown Charleston. You’ll use real paranormal tools of the trade, including an EMF meter, spirit box, grid pens, thermal imaging camera, and more. This is a 90-minute walking tour on the cobblestone streets of Charleston, so make sure you’re dressed for comfort. Space is limited due to social distancing measures. For details of physical distancing, masks, and other COVID-19 guidelines, visit the Charleston Cavalier Tours website linked above. 

Enjoy an amazing culinary tour of Charleston on Friday or Saturday evening with the Historic Charleston Supper Club. Transport yourself via your taste buds in this unique tour through time—the only tour where you never even have to leave your seat! Delight in a four-course meal in an opulent French Quarter dining room in an old warehouse building dating back to 1805. Each course will cover a different period of Charleston’s history with food authentic to the times. The entire meal will be narrated by licensed Charleston City tour guides, who will give you not only a literal, but also a metaphorical taste of Charleston’s history. Learn about domestic life, the walled city of Charlestowne, the Revolution, slavery, and the Civil War. Dinners are currently limited to a maximum of eight guests. Visit the link above for more details and to book tickets! 

On Saturday morning at 10am, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission and the Charleston County Public Library present Gullah Geechee Storytime with Storyteller Anita Singleton-Prather. Known to schoolchildren across the Corridor as “Aunt Pearlie Sue,” a character based on her grandmother, Mrs. Prather regales audiences with Gullah-flavored folktales. During this streaming event, Aunt Pearlie Sue will share the tale of the “Three Lee’ Pigs.” An acclaimed master storyteller and singer, Mrs. Prather is the founder and artistic director of the musical performance group the Gullah Kinfolk. She has performed at many festivals, including the Beaufort Gullah Festival, Spoleto USA International Arts Festival, and San Francisco Festival of the Sea, just to name a few. You can join in this streaming storytime via the Charleston County Public Library’s Facebook page.

Join Magnolia Plantation & Gardens this Saturday from 9am until 1pm for the 7th Annual Ladybug Release. Due to physical distancing efforts, this year’s Ladybug Release will be a little more scaled down with new procedures. Just like in past years, the event will feature exhibitors, nature displays, environmental organizations, and the famous Volkswagen Beetle that resembles a giant ladybug. Attendees will choose their ladybugs at the ticket kiosk upon arrival, then scatter throughout the gardens to release their ladybugs in the perfect spot. Come dressed in your favorite ladybug costume and compete for a prize in the costume contest at 11:30am. Garden admission ($20 for adults, $10 for children ages 6 through 12) is required to participate. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

This Sunday is Sensory Jump at Flight Fit n’ Fun, formerly Velocity Air Sports, on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. Sensory Jump hour is reserved on the first and third Sunday of each month for jumpers who prefer a quieter, more private environment. With over 40,000 square feet of fun, Flight is the largest trampoline park and largest ninja obstacle course in South Carolina. One unpaid chaperon per paying jumper is permitted to gently interact with and assist the jumper in their care. Assisting chaperone must have a waiver on file and will be checked in upon arrival. Please visit the website linked above for more information on Flight’s COVID-19 guidelines. 

Friday Five - Social Distancing Edition // July 17th, 2020

Thanks to the current global pandemic, the Friday Five has been on hold for a while, but we’re glad to say that we’re back and better than ever with the Friday Five - Social Distancing Edition! Each week we’ll put together a list of five fun events you can attend in the Charleston area while social distancing. These events may be virtual, or they may be in-person activities that support masking up and keeping six feet or more between you and others. With no further ado, let’s get down to this week’s five activities.

If you haven’t experienced the new Holy City Drive-In yet, head to Patriots Point this weekend for some of the absolute best socially-distanced fun available. Enjoy sunset views and blockbuster movies, both newer and classic, at 40 Patriots Point Road. Grab your in-vehicle or lawn tickets ahead of time, because they tend to sell out. Ticket prices are $8 for kids ages 10 and under, $10 for seniors (ages 60 and up) and military, and $12 for all other adults. See Dirty Dancing on Friday evening, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on Saturday evening, and Monster’s Inc. on Sunday evening. Gates open at 7:30pm, and the movie begins after sunset.

Families will find a great excuse to get outdoors while enjoying interactive learning this Saturday at Drayton Hall. From 10am until noon, children ages five through twelve can participate in Drayton Hall  Kids—Discover Natural History. In the early years of South Carolina’s history, European explorers journeyed to the area to learn about the people who lived here as well as geography, plants, and animals of the Carolina colony. Visit Drayton Hall to discover the journeys of these explorers, how they traveled, who they met, and what they learned. This experience is included in your admission to Drayton Hall. 

For a virtual, at-home experience, try out Charleston Paint Party’s Virtual Paint Class on Saturday at 7pm. Join a professional artist for a step-by-step, online paint class on Zoom! No experience needed to enjoy this fun art class. BYOS (supplies), or combine your virtual class with a Pick-Up & Paint kit if you’re local. Expect the same lively fun as you would in an in-studio painting class from the comfort of your own home—maybe even in your pajamas! There are new events every week. This week’s theme is Rose Gold. Find the supply list for the class on the website. 

If you’ve been missing live music, you’re in luck. In partnership with Ear For Music and Charleston City Paper, Firefly Distillery is proud to present the summer concert series, Safe Sounds at Firefly powered by REV Federal Credit Union. The ticketed series takes place each Saturday from 7pm until 10pm at The Field at Firefly’s new Park Circle location. This week, you can enjoy music from The Reckoning. DJ NattyHeavy will spin games prior to and between The Reckoning’s sets. Doors open at 5pm, and there will be food trucks, a beer truck, and Firefly cocktails (until 7pm). To promote safe social distancing, concert tickets can only be purchased in groups of four. Each four-pack of tickets will secure a spot in a 10’x10’ square separated on all sides from other squares by a distance of eight feet. This event is for ages 21 and up only. Bring your own blankets and chairs, but leave children, dogs, and outside food and drinks at home, please. 

What better place to practice serenity and balance than on our beautiful beaches? Join Serenity Tree Yoga this Sunday at 9:30am for Beach Yoga. This class, naturally socially distanced and taught by the talented Melora, takes place at 6th block West Folly Beach. Bring a towel and/or yoga mat, plenty of water, and wear light clothing…or a bathing suit if you want to jump into the ocean afterwards! No need to register beforehand. Classes are open to all levels and are donation-based. Follow Serenity Tree Yoga on Facebook for schedules and any possible last-minute changes.


Friday Five // March 6th, 2020

It’s Friday once again, and you know what that means! It’s time for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events happening in the Charleston area this weekend. Enjoy the very best in food and wine, bring the family dog (and maybe even the rest of the family) to a fun music festival, learn about Lowcountry STEM efforts and participate in hands-on activities, and more. As always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very safe and happy weekend! 

The 15th installment of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival continues into this weekend after having begun this past Wednesday. You have three more delicious days to experience the gathering of top chefs, winemakers, authors, storytellers, artisans, and food enthusiasts from around the globe. This year’s festival features more than one hundred unique culinary experiences that will fill your belly and nourish your soul. Visit the heart of the festival, the Culinary Village in Marion Square, which opens Friday and continues through Sunday. An all-inclusive daily ticket gives you access to five hours of tasting, sipping, chef demos, live music, retail therapy, and more. Take part in Signature Events, which range in size, concept, and identity and allow guests to experience food and beverage in a non-traditional event atmosphere. Enjoy beverage workshops, excursions, brunches and lunches, signature dinner, and hands-on classes all weekend long. There’s so much to delight all the senses at the 2020 Charleston Wine + Food Festival!

Lowcountry Dog Magazine, Pet Supplies Plus, The Bridge 105.5, and 98 Rock come together this Saturday at Hanahan Amphitheater to bring you Woofstock 2020: A Lowcountry Dog Music Festival. Gates open at 11am for this family- and dog-friendly event, proceeds of which benefit eight shelters and rescues: Pet Helpers Adoption Shelter and Spay/Neuter Clinic, Dorchester PAWS, Berkeley Animal Center, Eunoia Rescue, Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue, Inc., Carolina Coonhound Rescue, Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary, and Valiant: Animal Rescue + Relief. The music lineup includes such well-known acts as Drivin n Cryin, Ken & Drew from Sister Hazel, Lauren Morrow, Greg West, Gaslight Street, Emily Curtis, and more. Be sure to check out the vendor village and food trucks too! Tickets are $28 in advance and $40 at the gate. Kids’ tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the gate. This is a rain or shine event. No coolers or outside food or drinks allowed. Chairs and blankets are welcomed and encouraged!

The City of Isle of Palms welcomes the spring season this Saturday afternoon with Isle of Palms Front Beach Fest, a free street festival featuring fun for the whole family. From noon until 4pm Saturday, kids of all ages will enjoy jump castles, a bungee trampoline, face painting, balloon artists, and other activities. The street will be lined with local arts and crafts vendors and local restaurants. Don’t miss these fun features along with live music, food trucks, a climbing wall, and street performers.

Head out to the Exchange Park in Ladson this Saturday for the 7th annual Charleston STEM Festival, an initiative of the Lowcountry STEM Collaborative, managed this year by the STEM Center at the Citadel. This exciting, free community event will take place from 10am until 3pm and will feature about 80 exhibitors providing hands-on activities, live performances, interactive demonstrations, and family-oriented STEM entertainment. The Charleston STEM Festival is a celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math in the Lowcountry. This year’s festival will be a highly visibile indoor/outdoor event that provides opportunities for engagement and exchange between children, teens, families, and local STEM professionals.

Take a walk (or a jog) on the wild side on Saturday morning during the Where the Wild Things Run 5K, sponsored by The Foot Store and ShineWater. Walkers, joggers, and runners are invited to explore their wild sides on the scenic nature trails at Caw Caw Interpretive Center. The center is managed for a variety of wildlife and a favorite habitat for rare wildlife, so there really is a good chance you’ll see a “wild thing” or two! This is a trail run, so the course will consist of occasional areas of uneven terrain and varies from hard-packed trails with roots to grass and boardwalks. Strollers are not recommended. Adults and kids alike are encouraged to take advantage of family-friendly yoga as well as readings from Maurice Sendak’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Be sure to stick around after the race for the awards ceremony. To help preserve and protect the natural resources and interpretive trails, dogs are not permitted. 

How Big of a Home Do You Really Need?

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to buying a home. Larger homes are more expensive than their smaller counterparts, obviously. For some, a big house can also be a burden when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. It can also be difficult to keep a bigger home tidy, despite the extra square footage for storage space. Then again, you don’t want to settle on a small home only to find that you feel cramped and claustrophobic. There are many factors that contribute to how big of a home you actually need. Read on to find out how to determine the amount of space you really need for your family and lifestyle. 

Think About How Long You’ll Be in The Home

Will the house you’re buying now be your “forever home” or your “for now” home? Of course there’s no way to know for sure what the future will bring, but think about the parts you can control for the time being. Do you plan on starting or growing your family in the next few years? Is there a possibility you could move to a different area? Could things change where your job or career is concerned? If the answer to any of these is yes, then it’s likely that you won’t be in this home for more than five years or so. It’s more than okay to buy a house that suits your current needs, knowing that you might only live there for a few years. Your “for now” home can serve your needs while also helping you to build equity. It might even help you by netting you a big enough profit to serve as a down payment on your next home. 

Determine Your Priorities

Watch any house-hunting show on television, and you’ll hear a lot about “entertaining space” and all the dinner parties the homeowners assume they’ll be throwing once they’re in their new home. In reality, how often do you really have guests over? Don’t spend more on a house for space that might only be used occasionally. Think about what you might be giving up for that extra space that could very well go unused. You can use the money you save when buying a smaller home for something like a travel fund or extra savings for a bigger home later on. And if location is your main priority, buying a smaller home can help you get into the perfect area for you on a smaller budget. 

Pay Attention to the Floor Plan

Even in the largest of homes, a choppy, poorly designed layout can make a space feel cramped and dark. A smaller house can feel much friendlier and more spacious with the right floor plan and enough natural light. “The total square footage of a house can be deceiving,” says Patrick Ryan, senior vice president and managing broker of a Chicago-based realty firm. “Features like a long hallway may increase the total, but they are spaces you pass through, not a true destination within the home.” If the majority of your square footage is used on things like hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms, what are you really gaining? Think about the rooms in which you’ll be spending the majority of your time, like a living room, den, or kitchen. If there’s plenty of space there, you’ll be perfectly happy. 

Consider Your Financial Situation

Maybe you’re in the beginning of your career and looking forward to a higher income in the next few years. Perhaps you’re nearing the end of your career and your income has plateaued; it may even decrease upon retirement. Either way, it’s best not to buy a home that costs the maximum amount you can afford. The last thing you want to do is feel burdened by a mortgage that’s at the very top of your budget, possibly leaving you “house poor” in the end. When you think about the cost of a home, you also need to factor in things like maintenance, insurance, taxes, and more. Going with the biggest house you can afford could actually make it unaffordable when you add these things in. The last things you want from homeownership are endless stress and empty pockets. 

Friday Five // January 24th, 2020

Hooray! It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events taking place in the Charleston area this weekend. Take your pirates and mermaids out for a day of fun, spend the night singing at the top of your lungs or gazing at the stars, and more. And as always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend! 

If you’re looking for some fun this Friday night, head downtown and get to Daps Breakfast & Imbibe for Karaoke at Daps. Daps is one of Charleston’s absolute best spots for breakfast, brunch, and amazing wines, beers, bubbles, and breakfast cocktails and punches. Karaoke starts at 7pm. Drink specials will be available all night. Belting out fun tunes encouraged. Talent not required. 

Do you have what it takes to be a top-notch detective and catch a criminal? Find out this Saturday by participating in Charleston Detective Day hosted by CluedUpp, the exciting outdoor detective game that’s like a giant version of the board game Clue! This weekend’s Detective Day will transport you back to the 1920s with a Peaky Blinders-inspired theme. More than 100 teams will compete to catch a “killer.” Can you and your team of detectives stalk the streets, solve the clues, and crack the case in time? Check the link above to sign up and for more details!

Shake off the winter doldrums and head to West Ashley with your kiddos this Saturday for Pirates and Mermaids at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens! Last year’s event was such a success that they’ve decided to do it again. Whether you’re a scalawag sailing the open sea or a beautiful mermaid swimming gracefully below, you can enjoy a pirate-led scavenger hunt, balloon twisting, face painting, treasure digging, hanging out with Ariel, playing on a pirate ship, and more! Don’t forget to come dressed up as your favorite pirate or mermaid and participate in the costume contest. The event is free with basic garden admission, which is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages six to twelve, and free for children five and under. All guests can receive buy-one-get-one admission with the donation of a canned food item for the Lowcountry Food Bank. 

January is the perfect month in Charleston for visiting Drayton Hall and admiring the breathtaking night sky from the beautiful landscape. Join Drayton Hall and Lowcountry Stargazers this Saturday evening for Stargazing on the Ashley at Drayton Hall. From 5pm until 7:30pm, The Palladian Circle, Drayton Hall’s group of emerging contributors, presents an evening of stargazing from the legendary Southern estate in the Ashley River Historic District. Hot Toddies will be served by The Toddy Shop of Charleston, and guests will be invited to gaze through telescopes set up on the clear, wide open and unlit Drayton Hall landscape. Space is limited! Register for this event at the link above. Admission is $20 for Members and $30 for Non-Members. 

It’s David Bowie’s birthday month, and the Bangkok Lounge wants to help you celebrate it the right way! The Bangkok Lounge is a seven-night-a-week karaoke lounge location at 353 King Street in Downtown Charleston. Head there this Sunday from 7pm on to celebrate David Bowie’s Birthday Party and get ready to sing all your favorite Bowie songs! They’ll have a makeup artist on hand to paint your face just like David Bowie’s iconic look on the cover of his album Aladdin Sane. You have a couple of days to practice singing your favorite Bowie songs at the top of your lungs. Will you belt out “Life on Mars?” Maybe you’re partial to “Rebel Rebel” or “Heroes.” Or will it be more of a “Space Oddity” or “Let’s Dance” kind of night? Any way you shape it, it’ll be an amazingly fun night! 


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