Seriously, can a miniature museum get bigger? The Toy and Miniature Museum (5235 Oak Street) just did, and it unveils its new 12,200-square-foot addition this week. The result of more than a year of construction, the expanded space includes a new auditorium and some dramatically designed display areas that can finally show off long-stored treasures from the museum's collection. The new, steel-walled vault room exhibits masterpieces of miniature design in porcelain, enamel and inlay; a French room, with parquet floors and a chandelier, shows off petite things from France. Visitors with small-ball fetishes might lose their marbles in a customized room created to illuminate the marvels of the world's largest collection of marbles, including a floor-to-ceiling Rube Goldberg-style sculpture of chutes and curves designed for the glass orbs to race down. The 22-year-old museum now boasts 33,000 square feet of exhibition space, which is one hell of a toy box for all those dolls, dollhouses, race cars, trains, stuffed animals, toy soldiers and games. The museum is child-friendly, but it's the adult patrons who really appreciate the unique artistry and history of these incredible creations. Who said toys were for kids, anyway? For more information, call 816-333-2055.--Charles Ferruzza
Talent Not Required
The Art Institute offers a creativity workshop.
Many parents ask only that their children be happy and healthy. They don't care if their newborn is a boy or a girl. It doesn't matter if Johnny plays football or Janie is head cheerleader. But happy and healthy aren't sufficient for some. Parents terrified that their children will grow up to be vapid, uninspired adults should enroll in Fostering Creativity in Your Child and Yourself, a workshop aimed at "helping parents unleash their children's creativity." Instructor Terry Beckmeyer, an art educator for 28 years, wants people to understand that art and other forms of creative expression aren't just matters of talent -- they can be learned.
As a result, your children won't end up as accountants. The workshop is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Kansas City Art Institute (4415 Warwick, 816-802-3445). Cost is $49.--Annie Fischer
Art in Motion
Art Institute seniors celebrate a multimedia exhibit.
Even if First Fridays aren't usually on your to-do list, stop by the Beth Allison Gallery for Hover-Craft, a visual and theatrical installation. The show features new work by Kansas City Art Institute seniors Jordan Nickel and Peter Demos, who explore ideas about the effects of gravity and motion. Nickel's installations use cartoonish forms and scale distortion; Demos' paintings allow the paint to move along the canvas before drying, similar to effects found in digital-imaging programs. The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m., and the exhibit continues through April 24. The gallery is located inside the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center at 2016 Baltimore. For details, call 816-474-1919. --Sarah Steele
Aye, Aye, Skipper
Jeff McFadden loves the Missouri River, and not just because it's his bread and butter as the skipper of guided cruises for Big River Tours. "I think the river is absolutely beautiful," Cap'n Jeff says. But he worries that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spoil the river. McFadden brings a show-and-tell to Sunday's 10 a.m. forum at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (4501 Walnut, 816-363-7645).--Michael Vennard