With Día de los Muertos celebrations just a few weeks away, now is the perfect time to start hepping your kids to how much Mexico has contributed to our heritage. To aid you in that effort, Johnson County Community College's Carlsen Center (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park) presents the Ballet Gran Folklorico de Mexico. Friday at noon in Yardley Hall, 35 performers from Mexico City promise to simultaneously entertain and excite grades K-10 with dances of the Aztec, Quetzal and Oaxaca peoples; authentic costumes; vaqueros and rope tricks; and, yes, even the world-famous Mexican hat dance.
Do this, and in a few years your progeny may opt to spend their spring breaks hiking the Yucatan and exploring the exotic ruins of Chichén Itzá. Skip it, and they'll star in the 25th anniversary edition of Spring Break Gone Wild in Cancun!
Tickets are $4 and are available from the Carlsen Center box office, 913-469-4445.-- Kelly Sue DeConnick
Going back to school is a lousy way to cap off a summer. Kids everywhere are groaning over the return of homework and hours trapped inside while summer is still alive and kicking on the other side of math class windows. For those kids -- and parents -- who have trouble letting go, consider one last gasp on the banks of the Kaw River. The Full Moon Quick Strike Kids Kayaking program hosts a two-day trip this Saturday and Sunday, taking kids paddling 9 miles down the Kaw from St. George to Wamego, Kansas. Along the way, there will be overnight sandbar camping and commentary about the Kaw by river experts. Canoes rent for $10, and the trip itself costs nothing. Just be sure to bring a life jacket, camping equipment, food and drink, and at least one kid. Call Bill Cutler at 785-379-9756 for more details and directions.-- Christopher Sebela
Every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Leawood Barnes & Noble (4751 W. 117th Street), people of all ages listen as Preschool Storytime begins. Well, everybody is supposed to listen. About a month ago, the boys were more interested in playing with the train set than listening to stories about princesses ... YUCK! That's why this week, Jennifer Cosgrove has chosen the theme "Stories About Cars, Trains, Planes and Things That Go!" Starting at 10 a.m., Cosgrove will read from at least six stories (including "The Little Engine That Could") before making sure everyone there gets a stamp. For details, call 913-491-4399.-- Michael Vennard