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Arts & Life

6 Spring Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

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Frank Thompson photos
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This is the first weekend in 2015 you can grab a ride on the ferris wheel at Worlds of Fun.

Spring has more than sprung – it’s sprouting with opportunities to get out and about this weekend.

From alfresco amusements to lively music and theater events, there’s stuff to put a spring in your step all around the town before the work week comes back around.

Dare I say, spring into action? I dare.

1. Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

The ukulele has been a serviceable source of on-the-go musical entertainment for ages. But in the skilled hands of the Ukulele Orchestra of Britain, the unassuming uke is a musical force worthy of the concert hall. The eight members of the UOB perform a daring range of material on their diminutive instruments and know how to get a laugh with them – sometimes at the same time. Tackling the Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer may seem funny at first, but it’s also a killer uke tune. True enthusiasts will want to catch the pre-show ukulele jam at 6 p.m., when anything could happen. Uke got to be kidding! Sunday, 7 p.m.; Yardley Hall at the Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $15-$40.

2. Screenland at the Symphony: Singin’ in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain is among the great Hollywood musicals. But the best gets even better when the Kansas City Symphony provides the live soundtrack to the classic 1952 film on the big screen. Be prepared for snappy songs sung by Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds – including Singin’ in the Rain, Make ‘Em Laugh and Good Morning – to lift you up as never before. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: sold out (call symphony box office at 816-471-0400 to get on waiting list).

3. Party for the Planet

To celebrate Earth Day, teen-age artists will be painting what they see for all to see when they set up their easels on the grounds of the Kansas City Zoo. Visitors can also rub environmental elbows with Sid the Science Kid from PBS, have their photo taken with him and go home with a complimentary activity book. And don’t leave before learning about conservation programs that kids and their families can do every day of the year. Let’s keep this party going, shall we? Saturday, 10 a.m.; Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; free with regular admission: $13.50 adults, $12.50 seniors, $10.50 children.

4. Opening Weekend at Worlds of Fun

A sure sign of spring in Kansas City is opening weekend at Worlds of Fun. That’s when the longtime local theme park gets its thrill rides back online, along with more docile family rides and attractions. Etiquette question: When riding the totally insane Mamba rollercoaster, should one’s hands stay up in the air? Up, I’d imagine, unless you want to be labeled a newbie. Or unless you’ve scarfed down way too much cotton candy and need to cover your mouth. Please. Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; 4545 Worlds of Fun Ave., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $44.99, $34.99 after 4 p.m.

5. Shakespeare in the Garden

Gadzooks! Seven actors portray 21 characters in a 50-minute performance of Romeo and Juliet to Go at Powell Gardens. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets are encouraged for this short but sweet outdoor production by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Tis a beauteous locale for a theatrical. Just keep thy fingers crossed that the star-crossed lovers not suffer from hay fever. Sunday, 2-3 p.m.; Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, Mo.; free with regular admission: $10 adults, $9 seniors, $4 ages 5-12 (RSVP at powellgardens.org/friendsevents).

6. Downtown Dog Day

Downtown Overland Park is already wagging its tail over the city’s upcoming second annual Downtown Dog Day, with proceeds benefitting the Great Plains SPCA. After the canine Fun Walk, don’t miss the Doggie Costume Contest. Mini dachshunds can come as they are and enter as hot dogs, right? The perfect breed! Saturday, 9 a.m. (walk-up registration at 8 a.m.); 7315 W. 79th St., downtown Overland Park, Kan.; participation fee: $10.

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