Kids are always told to eat more fruit, but the burning question is whether strawberry shortcake counts. It's strawberry season, and on Saturday the Vaile Mansion (1500 North Liberty in Independence) makes the most of it with the seventeenth annual Strawberry Festival. We're talking strawberry soda and shortcake galore. The Vaile grounds have music and entertainment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., along with antiques, crafts stalls, a collection of vintage cars, horse-drawn carriage rides and -- to complete that authentic, olden-days feel -- folks in period costume. The event is a fund-raiser for the Vaile Victorian Society; money raised goes toward the restoration and furnishing of the mansion. Entry to the grounds is free. Strawberry shortcake for all. For more information, call 816-325-7430.-- Liz Smith
An Olathe fiesta has good rides.
What does every kid want for birthdays, straight A's and all other gift-giving occasions? A pony! But ponies are expensive, and they're not going to poop in a box under the sink. Pony rides, however, come cheap and pack a powerful, memory-making punch. Plus, dads are not responsible for pony pooper-scooping. Everybody wins! As luck would have it, pony rides are an integral part of the Twentieth Annual Fiesta Bullwhacker at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop off I-35 in Olathe. The fiesta is a daylong educational bounty featuring Mexican and American foods, dances and historical reenactments. Don't tell your kids that, though. Focus on ponies. And with admission at $5 for a family of four, perhaps you can start saving for that pony after all. The fiesta runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 913-971-5111.-- Kelly Sue DeConnick
If a Lewis and Clark adventure sounds fun, there are two possible explanations: (1) You have never played four-square or Super Mario Brothers. (2) You've already heard that, for its Lewis and Clark theme, Powell Gardens (1609 U.S. Highway 50) is letting kids play in a prairie dog hole. Prairie dogs may be the scourge of the West, but prairie dog holes are the playgrounds of the Midwest. They're also worth keeping in mind as hiding places when your parents mention that a living-history event is about to start. (Parents: Soapy water is rumored to draw troublesome critters out of prairie dog holes.) For information, call 816-697-2600. Admission costs $2.50 to $7. For information, call 816-697-2600.-- Gina Kaufmann