If you're looking to teach your kids the meaning of the word irony, you have only about a week left to see the bug documentary presented by exterminators. Bugs! In 3-D, in its last two weeks at Union Station (30 West Pershing Road), follows Heirodula and Papilio -- a caterpillar and a praying mantis -- as they go about their insect lives from cradle to grave. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench, Bugs! lingers on insects as they gather food, build homes, transform, mate and meet their fates. Even Papilio, freshly emerged as a butterfly, meets a grisly end at the hands of her mantis costar. The film magnifies its insects up to 250,000 times, and the 3-D glasses ensure that plenty of legs and wings come swinging out of the monstrous screen.
Sponsored by Terminix, Bugs! teaches that bugs are necessary for life on this planet, as long as they don't hang out in your kitchen. Admission is $10 for kids, $14 for adults (Union Station and movie admittance). Call 816-460-2020 for times.-- Chris Sebela
OK, kids. Pay attention, because this holiday doesn't involve getting tons of presents, so it might not make sense. Kwanza is a cultural holiday that celebrates African-American and Pan-African family, community and culture from December 26 through January 1. The name of the celebration is derived from the phrase matunda ya kwanza, which means first fruits in Swahili, the most widely spoken African language. The holiday as we know it was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga in order to preserve, promote and revitalize African-American culture by advancing seven principles, the Nguzo Saba. What are those values? Find out at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library (8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Merriam) as the Northeast Johnson County Chapter of the NAACP explains what umoja, kujichagulia, ujima, ujamaa, nia, kuumba, and imani mean in today's Kwanza Celebration from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m. For details, call 913-261-2300.-- Michael Vennard
The Over the Top Under the Clock New Year's Eve Party at Union Station is repeating itself. A decoy balloon drops at 9 p.m., followed by the real deal at midnight. This means you can take the kids to Union Station (30 West Pershing Road), get them riled on sweets and let them dance it off in a barrage of falling balloons. By the time they're done freaking out, you'll still have time to come back and party after whisking the kids across the skywalk to your discounted room at the Westin. If they persist in staying awake, the price of admission includes access to Science City. Ticket prices vary; for details, call 877-724-2489. -- Vennard