Kids get tips on digging up dirt.

I Spy 

Kids get tips on digging up dirt.

8/16-8/17

With CSI all the rage on TV and America's love of furniture superstores only growing stronger, the arrival of Court TV's Mobile Investigation Unit this Saturday and Sunday has synergy written all over it. A traveling forensics lab designed to spark kids' interest in high-tech detective work, the MIU will set up shop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the grand opening of the Nebraska Furniture Mart (1601 Village West Parkway in Kansas City, Kansas). Tracking down footprints and stray hairs and investigating a "caper scene," kids move among the interactive kiosks in search of a hapless family's missing laptop containing dad's prize-winning chili recipe.

While parents argue over a sectional or a sofa bed, Court TV's Frank Lee Forensics -- a crime-fighting Mr. Wizard in lab coat and black plastic frames -- guides junior Quincys through all the steps to break a case, stopping to demonstrate forensics that kids can do at home. Leaving with a new TV and a kid full of this information, you can rest easy knowing that the next time you lose the remote, you'll have someone to turn to.-- Christopher Sebela

Oh No, Mr. Bill!

SAT 8/16

On Saturday Night Live, the Play-Doh Mr. Bill was a magnet for disaster, always getting his limbs pulled off. When it comes to the Mr. Bill (Bill Wei) in charge of Mad Science, we expect less disaster and more explosions. Mad Science is an organization that makes science fun for kids. And though Mr. Bill has some idea of what the kids who attend the Mad Science shows at Crown Center this Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. might see, he doesn't want to ruin the surprise. But we like his approach to teaching molecules, which involves letting kids build them out of marshmallows and toothpicks. Can the kids eat them later? "If they get hungry, absolutely," he assures us. For information, call 816-274-8444.-- Gina Kaufmann

Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee
Alice in Wonderland hits Liberty.

8/14- 8/17

It's the beginning of Alice in Wonderland, and Alice is getting tired of playing with her sister. Then a white rabbit with punctuality issues scampers by, and the curious girl can't help but follow him down his hole. In this adventure-spurring scene, Alice is supposed to fall for a long time. How will the Liberty Performing Arts Theatre (1600 South Withers Road in Liberty) send its young lead actress tumbling without giving her quite a collection of bruises? According to the stage notes, Alice slides into view at the end of her long fall down the rabbit hole. And luckily, the Cheshire Cat narrates the whole thing, so some of the less probable scenes (Alice growing straight through the roof, for example) can unfold in the audience's imagination. The play runs through Sunday. For information, call 816-792-6130.-- Kaufmann

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