THE ISLAND PACKET
By Mindy Lucas
Online Article Here
Sooner or later, it had to happen. The entire family has decided to visit. Now you're thinking, 'What will we do when the food runs out and the gifts have been opened?'
Have no fear, we have you covered.
Here, among the wide range of things to see and do around the Lowcountry this season, are five simple suggestions.
What's more, many are relatively inexpensive or even free.
See some art.
There is no shortage of galleries or places to view art -- from realism to the abstract. Even public art can be found nearby.
Here's just a sampling of those offering exhibits this month:
The Society of Bluffton Artists' "Tis the Season" can be seen through Jan. 2 at the society's gallery, 6 Church St., in Old Town Bluffton.
While you're there, check out the society's Holiday Boutique, inside the Center for Creative Arts next door. It runs through Wednesday Dec. 30.
Both the gallery and the center are open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
For more information call 843-757-6586 or visit www.sobagallery.com.
"A Place Called Home" is at the Beaufort History Museum through Jan. 30.
Based on a book of the same name by St. Helena Island residents Sonny Bishop and his daughter, Elizabeth Bishop Later, the exhibit explores themes of growth, change and the meaning of home.
The museum is inside the Arsenal at 713 Craven St., Beaufort.
Tickets, available on the first floor, are $5 with discounts for seniors. Free for children and active members of the military.
For details call 843-379-3079 or visit www.beauforthistorymuseum.com.
If you have any beaders in the family, you won't want to miss "For the Love of Beads" at the Art League of Hilton Head Gallery.
From beaded sculpture to jewelry and embroidered works, this exhibit showcases the work of six league artists.
The show runs through Jan. 2 at the gallery inside the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island.
For details call 843-681-5060 or visit www.artleaguehhi.org.
And don't forget the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry's public art exhibition at the Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Dr, Hilton Head.
The exhibition, which runs through Thursday Dec. 31, features 19 large-scale outdoor sculptures by local and national artists.
For details visit www.hhipublicart.org.
Take in a show.
For something the entire family can enjoy, consider the regional premiere of "Mary Poppins" showing at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina through Thursday Dec. 31.
Based on the books by P.L. Travers, the Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's production features "high-flying" special effects and such familiar songs as "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
Tickets are $59. Discounts are available for children ages 5-15.
Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sundays.
The center is at 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head.
For more information call 843-842-2787 or visit www.artshhi.com.
Go for a drive.
Everyone have their seatbelts on? Why not take a short drive -- or a walk -- to check out a holiday light display.
The Dove Street Festival of Lights runs from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 2, at Shelter Cove Towne Centre, 40 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island.
The Harbour Town Lights runs through Jan. 1 in Harbour Town, Hilton Head.
And Light Up the Harbour featuring boats decked out with a myriad of lights runs through Jan. 1 at the Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina.
Better yet, go for a boat ride.
The Coastal Discovery Museum is offering a two-hour May River Expedition from 1-3 p.m. Saturday Dec. 26 and 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesday Dec. 29.
The cost is $40 adult, $30 for ages 12 and younger.
The trip will include an onboard marine biologist and will feature the nature and scenery of the river and salt marsh.
In addition, the museum is offering an adults-oriented Waterway Excursion from 10 a.m.-noon Jan. 2, 16 and 30 and Feb. 13 and 27.
This trip will include an onboard naturalist and will explore the waters around the Pinckney Island Forest Preserve.
This cruise is $35 per person.
The museum offers a range of other excursions as well.
For details or reservations, call 843-689-6767 ext. 223 or visit www.coastaldiscovery.org.
With a weather forecast in the high 70s for the next few days, it's hard to beat a walk, hike or bike ride.
One such popular destination for doing all three is the Spanish Moss Trail from Beaufort to Port Royal.
For details and a map of trail heads visit www.spanishmosstrail.com.
Other favorite places for walking include Beaufort's Waterfront Park, Hilton Head's Harbour Town and Bluffton's Old Town.
Or if you want to be the talk of the family long after they're gone, why not take them to the beach?
Follow reporter Mindy Lucas on Twitter at twitter.com/MindyatIPBG.