6 Things To Do With Kids In Kansas City This Weekend

Jan 5, 2017

It might be cold outside, but that isn't a problem for some animals at the Kansas City Zoo. And there are still shows that are perfect for kids.
Credit Josh Grenier / Flickr — CC

Like to be a kid again? Ha! Who wouldn’t want to take another crack at their tender years, if only for a day or two?

The next best thing to finding the Fountain of Youth this weekend: Doing concentrated kid stuff with the little ones in your life and getting a residual whiff of bona fide childhood wonder.

If the kiddos you’re hanging with also happen to be successfully avoiding bath time, the whiff can be even stronger. Lucky you!

1. Jurassic Quest: Out of Extinction

A dinosaur-driven adventure focusing on family fun, this interactive touring exhibit delivers more than 50 life-size models of dinos, including those that kids can climb all over. All-ages attractions include a guided tour of 65-million-year-old Dino history, touchable dino puppet babies and facsimile walking dinos, dino crafts, dino face painting, a dino quiz (with answers), a dino fossil dig and dino-themed bounce houses. Test your prehistoric bravery by stepping inside the dino ball and rolling down Jurassic Hill. Darn, I’m too big for that.

Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Hale Arena, American Royal Center, 1701 American Royal Court; Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $25-$35.

2. Kansas City Symphony Family Series: Presto, Mambo!

Join young Max as he traverses Latin America with a little help from his friends in the Kansas City Symphony and Platypus Theatre. Fortunately, Mambo the Dog is also there to teach Max about the region’s rhythmic music and how to dance to it. Of course, there’s really no wrong way. Kids in the audience who get an itch to move may also be selected to participate on stage.

Sunday, 2 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $10-$45.

3. Jazz Storytelling

Kids get an introduction to the various ways that jazz can be performed by players and understood by listeners, when the American Jazz Museum hosts its regular First Friday live-music event hosted by skilled storyteller Brother John and the versatile combo of vocalist Lisa Henry, bassist Tyrone Clark and drummer Mike Warren. Kids on hand will be encouraged to express their own jazziness. I like to think of it as telling them to “scat” without being mean.

Friday, 10 a.m.; American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

4. Coterie Theatre: ‘Naked’

Actors from the Coterie Theatre at Crown Center travel to the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library to read aloud from the amusing children’s picture book, “Naked,” which tells the story of a free-spirited boy who won’t wear clothes. That’s right, not a stitch. Meanwhile, kids in attendance will be allowed to spontaneously become part of the narrative hijinks – preferably with their clothes on.

Sunday, 2 p.m.; Kansas City Public Library – Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free (RSVP requested).

5. Zoo Animal Shows

Animals at the Kansas City Zoo get to shine and be given extra treats during daily shows that specialize in leaving kids not only tickled but also educated. The Wings of Wonder show features some mighty big birds flying only inches away from audience members, while the Sea Lion Splash suggests that the stars of the show have more than a clue as to how talented and funny they are. Bring your nature questions to the Animal Adventure show, where “creepy crawlies” will be shared by storytelling zookeepers. And line up to watch the Penguin March. Just try not to be late – the tuxedo crew doesn’t like to waddle out unless people are watching. You know, the whole ego thing. Well, that and the treats.

Wings of Wonder: 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily; Sea Lion Splash, 10:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. daily; Animal Adventure, 12:30 p.m. weekdays, 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Penguin March, 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; show admission: free with zoo admission.

6. Ultraman: Double Feature

You might think that the theatrical double-feature – two movies shown back to back for the price of one – has gone the way of aluminum ice trays, hand-cranked car windows and telephone booths. Not quite! The once-upon-a-time staple of childhood screen entertainment is still alive at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, where ages 6 and up (accompanied by an adult) can soak up the non-stop action of “Ultraman X The Movie,” celebrating last year’s 50th anniversary of the Japanese superhero Ultraman, and “Ultraman Ginga S The Movie.” There will be goofy martial arts action, insane monsters and power rays aplenty. Ack! Rawr! Bzzt! See?

Sunday, 6 p.m.; Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1400 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $11.50.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com.