These kids squeeze their own boxes.

Play Loud 

These kids squeeze their own boxes.

MON 10/27

The accordion is extremely loud and extremely easy to mess up -- it has a whole row of keys and a jillion buttons, and the slightest slip is noticeable to anyone in a one-square-block radius. So it speaks volumes about the confidence of the Cool Cats Accordion Orchestra that the twenty-kid ensemble plugs into a 2,000-watt sound system. They're sure to kick out the jams anywhere they play -- especially during their next gig at the West Wyandotte Public Library (1736 North 82nd Street in Kansas City, Kansas).Made up of kids ages nine to sixteen, the Cool Cats promise Bach but concentrate on pop music, covering the gamut from "Johnny B. Goode" to "Funky Town." Backed by a keyboard player and a nine-year-old drummer, the Cool Cats have played all over town, from Worlds of Fun to the Slavic Festival. They show off their 100 percent orchestra rating, trophy-winning skills and gleefully original sound for free at 6:30 p.m. Monday. For more information, call 913-596-5800, ext. 1029.-- Chris Sebela

cleared for takeoff

SAT 10/25

You and your little ones have a couple of opportunities this week to catch Wings of Wonder at Union Station's City Stage (30 West Pershing Road). Ry Kincaid penned this children's play for the Theatre for Young America as a centennial celebration of human flight through the eyes of two students in an aviation museum. Kincaid describes the play as having "catchy songs, funny dances, [and] things you didn't know about planes." Tickets are $6. If you were slow grabbing this edition, the play will be performed again on November 11. For tickets and showtimes, call 816-460-2020.-- Michael Vennard

Be Prepared

SAT 10/25

Don't let procrastination get the best of your trick-or-treating plans. Take care of those details by making this Saturday your Preparing for Halloween Day. Round up the kids and head to the Schlagle Library (4051 West Drive in Wyandotte County Lake Park) for a free pumpkin-carving contest that starts at 10 a.m. The first twenty parties to register by calling 913-299-2384 get free pumpkins. After carving your jack-o'-lanterns and munching on pumpkin seeds with the Schlagle staff, go to the Westport Roanoke Community Center (3601 Roanoke Road) for the annual Halloween Fun Festival. From noon to 3 p.m., local artists help make masks for tricking and bags for treating. The center also puts on a variety of traditional and not-so-traditional Halloween games, such as pumpkin bowling and a pumpkin ringtoss. Don't have too much fun -- there's still a lot of work to do. For details, call 816-753-6719. -- Vennard

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