Lowcountry Rainy Day Plans

Sure, today may be sunny and nearing 85 degrees, but these past few weeks have also been peppered with thunderstorms and tropical storm warnings. Wondering what to do when you’re faced with rain as a local or visitor? Below are some default rainy day plans for all.

Get Active
Being indoors doesn't limit you to sitting down in the Lowcountry. Velocity Air Sports (N. Chs) and SkyZone Trampoline Park (Mt. P) are two great options for all ages.

@skyzonecharleston

Catch a Flick
If you're a local, it's likely you spend less time at the movies in Charleston that you have anywhere else you've ever lived. There's simply too much going on! But really, it's a shame because we have great theaters like Cinebarre (Mt. P), where you can dine and view, and the Terrace Theater (James Isl.) that hosts some less accessible films in a beautiful building.

Take a Drive
Yes, we prefer to view window boxes and The Battery on foot, but think of how much ground you can cover in your car. Make a game out of it for the whole family; How many different color homes do you see? What is the purpose of those cement boxes on all the streets? What year do you think the homes were built?

@dunesproperties

Exercise Your Brain
Being a city, we're fortunate to have attractions like the Gibbes Museum of Art (Downtown) and the Charleston Museum (Downtown). The South Carolina Aquarium (Downtown) is another hot spot for education on conservation and seeing some aquatic friends. The Yorktown at Patriots Point (Mt. P) is another viable option, if you don't melt from the run from car to the museum.

@thegibbesmuseum

@southcarolinaaquarium

Freshen Up as a Foodie
You'll spend a good part of your time in the Lowcountry indulging on delicious cuisine, so why not learn how to prepare your own at home? In the Kitchen With Chef Bob Waggoner (Downtown).

Entertain by Theatre
Our city is home to a plethora of theaters that feature many different genres of performance. Check out The Dock Street Theatre (Charleston Stage), Woolfe Street Playhouse, Pure Theatre and Black Fedora Mystery Theatre (All Downtown). Looking for a laugh? Theatre 99 (Downtown) absolutely never disappoints.

@theatre99

Become a Kid Again
When's the last time you flexed your pinball fingers? The Alley (Downtown) is not only popular for bowling; their arcade games are a strong draw with options like Ms. Pac-Man, Mortal Combat, and a personal favorite, Skee Ball.

@thealleychas

Photo by:  Ridiculously Photogenic Photography by Will B. King    @riphopho

Photo by: Ridiculously Photogenic Photography by Will B. King @riphopho

And since it is so gorgeous outside today, here's Charleston Magazine's Summer Guide for 24 hours of outdoor fun to entertain you for now.

Where do you like to spend your rainy days in the Lowcountry?

Being a Mentor

Emily:

In the late summer of 2012, a friend sent me a website she was working on. "Would you mind checking out the links and seeing if they work?". Taking a break from my regular day, I perused the site, clicked on links, and ended up on the 'Volunteering' page. In my years working full-time for a non-profit in the Lowcountry, I had yet to find my own personal volunteering niche outside of the paid days. Before my move to Charleston, from my hometown of Bristol, VA/TN, I had been active on the YWCA Junior Board and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Board (which is doing big things today!). Shortly after clicking on the 'Volunteering' page, I had filled out a mentor application, sent it in, and was contacted immediately about connecting with a student. That fall, I met Ashlyn. 

One of our first outings; seeing Annie at the Dock Street Theatre

One of our first outings; seeing Annie at the Dock Street Theatre

Mentoring for the first time is pretty much how you'd imagine it to be. It's like your first day of school, only you're an adult and nervous to meet a kindergartner. Will she think I'm cool? Will we connect? What will we talk about? And yes, even our connection, as strong as it is now, took time. We started off coloring a lunch bag that I still bring every week after four years together. Sometimes, I'd bring my Kindle and she'd play a game on it. After time, though, our time together was effortless. Catching up on what we'd done in the past week, what was coming up, and a few bouts on the playground. Today, we still have lunch together once a week, but a couple of years ago, we started running 5K's together and this year, she started playing lacrosse games that I attend. Her school, Meeting Street Academy, always has some great extra events to attend, as well. Week before last, we were sweating it out at a kickball game over lunch.

Born to play lacrosse

Born to play lacrosse

And run! Our first 5K together this year

And run! Our first 5K together this year

Mentoring in the Lowcountry is a popular volunteer option, as it fits well into schedules of most 9-to-5ers and weekend/evening warriors. The non-profit, Be A Mentor, oversees most of the mentoring programs and provides resources to volunteers throughout the year, as well as social hours and a mentor appreciation dinner every year. In my three years attending the Be A Mentor dinner, they've always featured a strong mentor/mentee team to speak at the dinner. This year, Ashlyn and I were picked to present. We prepared by having a BAM staff member come to our regularly scheduled lunch to throw some practice questions our way. Ashlyn, ever the performer, answered the questions with ease and was ready for our time in front of the crowd. We were so excited to present that evening. She had me beaming the entire time (photographic evidence) and even caught me off guard for a moment, when she mentioned to the entire dinner that her favorite memory from our time together was when I told her I was having a baby. Well, that's one way to break the news! 

Ashlyn and I with her supportive parents and sister, shortly after she announced to a room full of people that I was expecting

Ashlyn and I with her supportive parents and sister, shortly after she announced to a room full of people that I was expecting

As Ashlyn and I prepare for another summer apart, and letter writing ahead, I reflect on this past year of her growth- our growth as friends. Fourth grade is coming in fast, but like I told her under my breath at the dinner, we'll be friends for decades to come. My wish for her, as I'm sure is the same for many mentors, is that I impact her life in a strong, positive way. That the years ahead might not be so difficult as a teen because she has me to talk to about the trials. That her multiplication tables were a little easier because I sympathized with the fact that 3's were hard for me, too. That being a strong, smart woman is a positive attribute and not something she should shy away from.

My beautiful girl- inside and out

My beautiful girl- inside and out

Thirty minutes a week. That's the time commitment this volunteer opportunity required from me in the beginning. Which is why I encourage each of you to think about the impact you're making in your community and where you'd like to lend an extra hand. Maybe it's not mentoring, but gardening, coaching, or teaching a skill. Any way you look at it, giving makes you feel good. Check out these links below from our most recent weekly staff email:

What volunteer activities do you enjoy? We're looking for a community group project for the Studio team to take part in, so leave your ideas below!

Being silly... as we do

Being silly... as we do

A Love Letter from Dawn Visceglia

Dawn:

From my first visit in spring of 2003 and each and every day, I am amazed by my continuously growing love and excitement about the Lowcountry. For a new spin on Lowcountry Love Letters, I am not going to focus on what to see and do, but rather I’ll focus on moments that make me smile in the form of a top 10 list.

10. Referring to this place as “Vacation-land” and having others instantly understand why.

9. Walking by the ornamental concrete dogs and pigs flanking home entrances on the Battery, all decked out for the various holidays. 

The fanciest ornamental pig you'll ever see

The fanciest ornamental pig you'll ever see

8. Seeing the Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks in Hampton Park.

Taking a walk through the oaks in Hampton Park

Taking a walk through the oaks in Hampton Park

7. Directing lost tourists downtown and having them be surprised people are so “helpful and friendly.”

6. Attending a show or concert in the Dock Street Theatre and thinking about all the performances and audiences that have been there before me.

Waiting for a show to begin at the Dock Street Theatre

Waiting for a show to begin at the Dock Street Theatre

5. Watching fireworks from "The Joe" (Riverdogs stadium) whether you’re at the game or down the road.

Dawn and Emily before fireworks at ''The Joe'' with the Joe Riley

Dawn and Emily before fireworks at ''The Joe'' with the Joe Riley

4. Crossing the James Island Connector into town, seeing the city, and again realizing, “I live here.”

3. Sitting on a rooftop, any rooftop and taking in the view. Ok, really, it’s about sitting outside taking in the view, regardless of the altitude.

2. Finding a new “go-to” restaurant or bar or going to one already in your personal rotation.

1. Planning what activities to do as there’s always something going on in the Lowcountry including cultural, sporting, arts, music, and farmer’s markets.

Another colorful day at the downtown Farmer's Market

Another colorful day at the downtown Farmer's Market

The Lowcountry offers so much. What would you add to this top ten?

Bio (by Emily):
Dawn lives in Downtown Charleston with her husband Peter and their two dogs, Atlas and Monza (yes, she's named after the restaurant on King). Dawn enjoys her time in the Lowcountry, along with various travels throughout this country and others. Her next adventure is to Slovakia. Dawn is a Senior Technology Project Manager. She formerly served on the Charleston Friends of the Library Board of Directors as President and is active with the Center for Women. Emily first learned the term 'vacation-land' from Dawn approximately 6 years ago.