Parents always get out of foolish endeavors like riding the tiny train or crawling through a jungle gym because their world and the kids' world never agree on size. Nascart Indoor Racing (325 North Mur-Len Road in Olathe) is the rare kid outing that parents can fit into -- and they do so giddily. Racing high-powered go-carts around turns and passing your parents in a blaze of squealing tires is a thrill every kid should have and every parent should provide. Each car is monitored for top speed and lap times; a printout assures bragging rights. Racing starts at nine bucks for five minutes, and Mondays are half-price. Nascart is right down the road from Laser Storm, so parents can make an exhausting, excuse-free day of it. Call 913-768-7700 for directions and details.-- Christopher Sebela
The last weekend of summer is here -- how will you spend it?
Labor Day is, for adults, a long-awaited day of relaxation. But for kids, it's the last hurrah of summer. They may have started school already, but this three-day weekend, with the weather as summery as ever, allows them to go into a bizarre kid form of denial sustained only by activities involving swimsuits, Popsicles and lots of running around. Clinton Lake, right outside Lawrence, is ideal for those things. The swimming beach is open until dark, and grills set up nearby make spending the whole day there easy.
For the brave parent, there's sailing. You can rent a boat, plop the kids down in it and head out on the water. Do this only if it's windy; your kids will hold it against you forever if you get them stuck on the water sans breeze.
To find out more, call 785-842-8562.-- Gina Kaufmann
To honor the fact that the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails all started in or near Independence (so inspired were the pioneers to go someplace else), the city celebrates SantaCaliGon Days over Labor Day weekend. The festival offers a carnival, which should keep kids entertained when there isn't an old-timey show or an ice-cream-eating contest to keep them busy. And because it's hot out, plenty of lemonade and limeade -- hand squeezed by Sierra Club members -- is for sale. Last year, about a hundred Thomas Hart Benton Sierrans showed up to volunteer, and the same results are expected this year. Now that's a lemonade stand.-- Kaufmann