AFTERSCHOOL ENGINEERING CLUB: 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays through March 27 at the State Museum, 301 Gervais St. In the Junior Engineering Class, children in kindergarten through second grade will construct simple machines and use an assembly line process to produce a tasty treat. In the same time slot, students in grades 3-5 will get a handle on environmental engineering as they study real world environmental issues and explore the principles behind wind-powered machines. $65; museum members, $60. (803) 574-9198; http://www.engineeringforkids.net
MEET ME @ THE PLAZA ON MAIN: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. the first Thursday monthly through Nov. 7 at Main and Hampton streets. Outdoor dining and jazz (weather permitting) at the Columbia Museum of Art’s Boyd Plaza. Presented by City Center Partnership.
HOPES & DREAMS CONFERENCE: 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday at First Baptist Church of Columbia, 1306 Hampton St. Hosted by Family Connection of South Carolina, the conference is for parents of children with special needs and professionals who care for them. The event will feature 64 speakers and workshops on topics including behavior, care and treatment, family care, finances and more. Registration is required. (803) 252-0914; http://www.familyconnectionsc.net
FRIDAY NIGHT DANCE: 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday at the Capital Senior Center, 1650 Park Circle (Maxcy Gregg Park). Cost is $5. Open to ages 21 and older. Bring your own beverages and snacks; soda and coffee provided. (803) 779-1971
CAROLINA CLASSIC HOME & GARDEN SHOW: Friday through Sunday at the State Fairgrounds. The show will feature more than 270 construction, home improvement and outdoor products exhibits. Admission is $6; age 14 and younger, free; parking is $2. Friday is Seniors Day, free admission for age 62 and older. The Wine Walk at the Home & Garden Show is slated for 5-8 p.m. Friday; sample a variety of wines from eight tasting stations. Limited tickets available online for $25; $30 at the gate; includes admission to the show and a 2013 Wine Walk tasting glass; http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5498399862#. Saturday is Military Appreciation Day, present your military ID for one free admission. Show hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. http://www.columbiabuilders.com
CAROLINA CLASSIC HOME & GARDEN SHOW: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday at the State Fairgrounds. The show will feature more than 270 construction, home improvement and outdoor products exhibits. Admission is $6; age 14 and younger, free; parking is $2. Saturday is Military Appreciation Day, present your military ID for one free admission. http://www.columbiabuilders.com
OWENS FIELD PARK BIO-BLITZ: 10 a.m. Saturday at the corner of South Holly Street and Airport Boulevard, adjacent to Memorial Stadium. Sponsored by the A.C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina and the Rosewood Community Council, the event is a documentation of the plant species along the park’s trail system. A team of botanists affiliated with the herbarium will lead the study. Documenting the park’s botanical diversity will allow for a better understanding of the natural plant communities that once occurred through the Rosewood area and a greater appreciation for the community’s remaining natural areas. Participants may bring garden gloves, digital cameras and/or handheld GPS devices. Dress for the weather and outside work, bring a water bottle; data sheets and instructions will be provided. (803) 777-8175
BATTLE OF THE BADGES: Charity basketball game and dinner, 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Gilbert High School, 840 Main St., Gilbert. Teams taking it to the hoop are a group of Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies versus personnel from Lexington County public safety agencies. $8; includes dinner, a performance by magician John Tudor and the game. Proceeds will benefit the Make A Wish Foundation. Tickets are available at Lexington County Fire Station No. 8, 103 Main St., Gilbert; Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington; Price’s Country Store, 540 Peach Festival Road, Gilbert; Gilbert Middle School, 120 Rikard St. and Gilbert High School, 840 Main St. (803) 518-3073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CAROLINA CLASSIC HOME & GARDEN SHOW: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday at the State Fairgrounds. The show will feature more than 270 construction, home improvement and outdoor products exhibits. Admission is $6; age 14 and younger, free; parking is $2. http://www.columbiabuilders.com
HFC SECOND SUNDAY STROLL: Join the Historic Columbia Foundation for a guided walking tour of the Melrose Heights neighborhood at 2 p.m. Sunday. Melrose Heights is one of Columbia’s earliest suburbs, established 1900-1950 on land owned by members of the Powell family and is named after their former home. Since 2003 the neighborhood and Oak Lawn, which lies to the east, have been protected by the City of Columbia as an architectural conservation district. $6; $3 for age 17 and younger, HCF members, free. Meet at Melrose Park, 1500 Fairview Ave. (803) 252-1770, ext. 24 or email email@example.com
SUNDAYS AT LOWMAN CONCERT SERIES: 3 p.m. Sunday in the New Life Chapel, the Heritage at Lowman, 2101 Dutch Fork Road, Chapin. Guest will be pianist Avguste Antonov; a reception will follow. Free, call (803) 451-7414 for reservations.
AKSYONOVA/WALDO DUO: Pianist Alyona Aksyonova and cellist James Waldo in concert, 5 p.m. Sunday at Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, 170 St. Andrews Road. Works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Listz and North Carolina native Chandler Carter will be performed. Free. (803) 798-2776
HARLEM AMBASSADORS VS. RECREATION REBOUNDERS: Benefit basketball game, 5 p.m. Sunday at Westwood High School, 180 Turkey Farm Road, Blythewood. The Ambassadors all-star team will take on a team of Columbia’s local celebrities including retired NBA and NFL players, coaches, radio hosts, media personalities, law enforcement and local government officials, coached by former NBA great Xavier McDaniel and legendary coach George Glymph. Proceeds will benefit the Richland County Recreation Foundation to support and improve programming, services and facilities provided by the Richland County Recreation Commission. Advance tickets are $9; $11 at the door, age 5 and younger, free; available at http://www.richlandcountyrecreation.com
CARING FOR CREATION 2013: Midlands Green Congregation Initiative kickoff, 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at 701 Whaley St. Event brings together congregational green team members interested in toward reducing operating costs, reducing solid waste costs, being stewards of the earth, attracting new and younger members and developing new leaders. Free; register at http://www.caringforcreation2013.eventbrite.com
“FINDING HISTORY IN YOUR BACKYARD”: Spend an evening with South Carolina historian and author Dr. Walter Edgar, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Doko Manor in Blythewood (adjacent to town hall) at 171 Langford Road. Light refreshments will be served after the presentation and Dr. Edgar will be available to sign copies of his books (books will not be available for sale at the event). Tickets are $10; Blythewood Historical Society members, free; reservations requested. (803) 333-8133
AARP DRIVER SAFETY PROGRAM: 9 a.m.-noon March 13 and 14 at the Adult Activity Center, 7494 Parklane Road. Six-hour driver safety refresher course, call (803) 462-9995 to register.
LUNCH AND LEARN: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. March 14 at the Capital Senior Center, 1650 Park Circle (Maxcy Gregg Park). Josh Whitney, physical therapist and personal trainer at the Human Performance and Rehabilitation Center of Columbia will speak on maintaining your lower back health. He will also address back pain prevention and address back exercises for seniors. Bring a lunch, beverage and dessert will be provided. Free and open to the public; RSVP at (803) 779-1931, ext. 12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
GIRLS NIGHT OUT: 7 p.m. March 14 at 701 Whaley St. EdVenture Children’s Museum and Coplon’s presents a night of fashion, music, food and fun. There will be music from DJ Chris Wenner, a performance by Unbound Dance Company and a high-energy fashion show from Trina Turk’s 2013 collection. VIP runway seating includes 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception with Trina Turk, $125; reserved seats, $75; general admission, $50. Proceeds benefit EdVenture’s educational outreach and accessibility programs. (803) 400-1162; http://www.edventure.org
SUMTER LITTLE THEATRE: “The Trial of Goldilocks” and “Once Upon a Shoe,” March 14-17 and 21-24 at 14 Mood Ave., Sumter. Performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10; students, seniors and military, $8; age 5 and younger, $6. Box office hours are 3-6 p.m. weekdays. (803) 775-2150
“ YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN”: Premiere performance of the Westwood High School Actors’ Theatre, 7 p.m. March 15; 2 and 7 p.m. March 16 in the Westwood High School Auditorium, 180 Turkey Farm Road, Blythewood. Advance tickets are $5; students, $3; military and senior citizens with ID, groups of 10 or more, $2. Prices at the door will be $6/$4; available at the box office 30 minutes before the performance. (803) 691-4040, ext. 36703
“SIMPLY DIVIDED”: 8 p.m. March 15-17, 21-23 and 3 p.m. March 17, 24 at the Harbison Theatre, 7300 College St., Irmo. The Chapin Theatre production of the comedy by Georgia playwright Jeff Lovett is directed by Julie Parker. Tickets are $16; students 13 and older, seniors and active military $13; age 12 and younger, $10. (800) 838-3006; http://www.chapintheatre.org
HARLEM ROCKETS COMEDY BASKETBALL EXHIBITION: 2 p.m. March 16 in the Benjamin E. Mays Human Resources Center arena, Benedict College. Sponsored by the S.C. Baptist Brotherhood, a nonprofit organization supporting educational opportunities for Benedict and Morris college students. Tickets are $10; seniors and students with school ID, $6; special rates for groups of 20 or more. (803) 917-3241
“ALICE IN WONDERLAND”: Dance Theatre of Columbia performances at 2 and 7 p.m. March 16 in the Keenan High School Auditorium, 361 Pisgah Church Road. Call (803) 788-7517 for tickets.
AN EVENING OF CLASSICAL MUSIC TO BENEFIT FOOD FOR THE SOUL: Pianist Alyona Aksyonova and cellist James Waldo in concert, 7 p.m. March 18 at Grace Episcopal Church, 1315 Lyttleton St., Camden. Works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Listz and North Carolina native Chandler Carter will be performed. (803) 432-7621
AARP DRIVER SAFETY CLASSES: 12:30-3:30 p.m. March 21 and 22 at the Capital Senior Center, 1650 Park Circle (Maxcy Gregg Park). Two-day program helps you brush up on your driving skills. Participants who successfully complete the course may be eligible for an insurance discount. $14; AARP members, $12. Class is limited to 25 students, registration is required. (803) 779-1971; http://www.capitalseniorcenter.com
FRIDAY NIGHT DANCE: 7:30-10:30 p.m. March 22 at the Capital Senior Center, 1650 Park Circle (Maxcy Gregg Park). Cost is $5. Open to ages 21 and older. Bring your own beverages and snacks; soda and coffee provided. (803) 779-1971
ARTS AT SHANDON: “The American Trail,” 7:30 p.m. March 22 at Shandon Presbyterian Church, 607 Woodrow St. Soprano Serena Hill LaRoche will perform works by American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries; also featured will be pianist Catherine Garner and baritone Michael LaRoche. Free, donations accepted; a reception will follow. (803) 771-4408, ext. 27; http://www.shandonpres.org
RICE MUSIC HOUSE COMMUNITY CONCERT SERIES: 3 p.m. March 24 at 470-16 Town Center Place, the Village at Sandhill. Piano recital featuring Dr. Joseph Rackers of the University of South Carolina. Free, but seating is limited, call (803) 254-2777 or go to http://www.ricemusichouse.com to reserve a spot.
COOK-A-PIG: Fundraiser for the South Carolina Special Olympics conducted by Lexington County Sheriff’s Department code enforcement officers, resident deputies and school resource officers. The deputies will barbecue Boston butts for $40 each; deadline to purchase is March 22. The meat will be ready for pickup between 3-5:30 p.m. March 28 at the Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road. For more information or to order, call Dixiana Resident Deputy Shannon Dykes at (803) 518-3123 or email email@example.com