It won’t be long until summer is here and families take to the vacation trail.
But wait! There are still plenty of swings to take at spring, including this weekend’s batch of activities and entertainments with something to offer all ages.
There’s music, sports, animals – maybe even a thrill ride to trigger a technicolor yawn. Consider it your rite of spring!
Could the 12-year-old lolling on the couch use a little pick-me-up by digging for cool vinyl? Could you? Everybody loves records, even if they don’t know it yet. Beyond what’s in the grooves, there’s also the frame-worthy album art and artist-revealing liner notes. What are those? The 12-year-old getting off the couch should be able to tell you after an instructively entertaining visit to any of at least seven locally participating recorded music outlets on national Record Store Day. Special releases and other collectible happiness will be in the offing, and keep an ear out for in-store performances at some locations. Yes, if it’s spring, it’s time to keep the record collection going. Or birth it anew!
Saturday; for a participating record store near you, go to recordstoreday.com.
The Heartland Soccer Association’s 12th annual Midwest Soccer Tournament for girls and boys is a great opportunity to witness competitive youths doing their best on the field of play. There will be winners and losers, but the true victory is in the doing, is it not? Cheer the effort and feel cheered.
Friday-Sunday; locations: Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, 13700 Switzer Rd., Overland Park, Kan.; and Olathe Soccer Complex, 10550 S. Ridgeview Rd., Olathe, Kan.; admission: free.
It’s all but a cosmic lock that the Royals will not have what it takes to make the playoffs this season. So? They’re still our boys in blue. As the late, great Kansas City Monarch player/manager and Kansas City Royals scout Buck O’Neal used to say: “Keep swinging!” And that goes for the fans, too. This weekend’s series against the Cleveland Indians includes Autism Awareness Night on Friday, the opportunity to take home a Royals tote bag on Saturday and Sunday’s Game of Thrones Day at the K – hey, who doesn’t want a mini-dragon bobble head? You don’t? Then can I have yours?
Friday, 7:15 p.m. (Autism Awareness Night); Saturday, 6:15 p.m. (Royals Tote Bag); Sunday, 1:15 p.m. (Game of Thrones Day at the K); Kauffman Stadium, 1 Royal Way, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15-$283.
Every member of the family has their own take on rollercoasters and other amusement park thrill rides. Here’s mine: “Hey, let’s all get queasy! Or maybe how about just you? Yeah, I’ll sit here and have some cotton candy, instead.” Here’s another: “Wow, this is awesome!” Either way, you can be part of this year’s opening weekend at Worlds of Fun, where the Timberwolf and other (gurgle, rumble, ack) coasters rule.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Worlds of Fun, 4545 Worlds of Fun, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39.99.
“April showers bring May flowers,” which could probably be enjoyed by the Kansas City Zoo’s great apes. In the meantime, get the lowdown on the zoo’s gibbons, gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees in zookeeper chats that may or may not dwell on the apes’ dietary information. Just in case, bring a tasty spring bouquet for your favorite primate.
Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free with regular zoo admission of $13-$16 (ages 2 and younger free).
If you and the family can’t make it to Japan to delight in the spring cherry blossoms – there’s always next year, right? – you and yours can still enjoy a leisurely picnic this weekend under the cherry blossom trees at Loose Park. The annual affair sponsored by the Heart of America Japan-America Society includes beverages and samples of alfresco-friendly Japanese food. Bring your own picnic lunch and blanket, or simply lie on the grass and let the springtime environs seep into your psyche. Nod off and you might get to “visit” Japan this spring after all.
Saturday, 12:30-3 p.m.; Loose Park (southwest corner), 5200 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.
You can’t start music appreciation too early, so gather up the little ones and get them down to the Kansas City Symphony’s “Petite Performances” concerts, where the musicians’ big instruments are not only explained and played, but also explored by small hands in the symphony's instrument “petting zoo.” For ages 6 and younger.
Saturday, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $5.
8. Kevin James
Best known for his former long-running CBS-TV sitcom, “The King of Queens” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” movies, funny man Keven James works clean “in one.” So the whole family can enjoy James’ standup comedy act, which relies as much or more on James’ silly facial expressions and body language as it does on actual jokes. Remember, the family that laughs together laughs together – and isn’t that enough?
Sunday, 7 p.m.; Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $39-$75.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.