Call it fierce fascination, powerful preoccupation or utter obsession, but we do what we must to absorb ourselves.
To that engaging end, this weekend’s go-and-do roundup offers assorted activities for people whose passions have a way of winning out. More power to them.
But what if you’re not really into any of what’s shared below? Then I suggest you give it a try, anyway. Because that's what I must do!
Good food – we want it, we need it and a healthy discount is always appreciated. Make your reservations for Kansas City Restaurant Week (actually a 10-day culinary stretch) beginning Friday at 200 area restaurants serving multi-course meals at mouthwatering prices: $15 and $33 for lunch and dinner. What’ll you get, besides contented taste buds? The knowledge that a portion of your tab goes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City Regional Destination Development Foundation and the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Bon appétit.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday; 200 participating restaurants; for general inquiries call 816-691-3800.
How does it work? Kids who want to know – OK, must know – will be ideal participants at the Engineering Extravaganza hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Less obsessed kids and their families are also invited to attend – and become obsessed! Aimed at ages 5-13, the daylong extravaganza offers youngsters the guidance of grownup “technical mentors” and a host of play-oriented engineering challenges, including designing and building hand-size motorized robots, cork shooters and mini-parachutes for falling eggs. So in case of a crack up, might there be a frying pan handy?
Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Pierson Auditorium, UMKC’s Student Success Center, 5000 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo.; child admission: $10 in advance online, $15 at the door, free for ages 3 and younger; adult admission: $1.
Move over dogs and cats. Here come the cold-blooded pets that not everyone can relate to, but those who do can’t get enough of. The Kansas City Reptile Show offers for scrutiny and sale “reptiles, reptiles and more reptiles” That’s a lot of reptiles. Toss in live or frozen crickets, mice and rats to properly nourish your lizard, turtle or snake, and no one can say you’re not treating your scaly animal pal right. The show’s attendant offering of reptile-friendly products includes cages, tanks and “decorative items.” Whatever it takes to brighten a confined reptile’s day!
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Kansas City-Overland Park, 10100 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; admission: $8, $3 ages 5-10.
4. Monster Jam
Must … hear engines roar … feel chest vibrate … cheer motor mayhem. For monster truck fanatics, it’s not a question of whether to give in to the attraction of over-size vehicles in over-the-top competition, but rather how many “Monster Jam Triple Threat Series” blowouts to experience this weekend. In all, there will be four opportunities to take in wild races and stunts involving such anticipated monster trucks as Grave Digger, Zombie and El Toro Loco. Pre-show pit parties at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday will also give folks the chance to closely examine the mechanical behemoths and meet their dedicated drivers.
Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 1 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $18-$68.
Some people are merely biding their time until they can get back on the water to boat or fish. And some people wish they were those people, but there’s no need to be jealous. If you don’t have the money to sink into a new recreational vessel, you’re not sunk at the Kansas City Boat and Sportshow. Besides looking at beautiful new watercraft – there’s no charge to gawk – there’s a slew of activities to navigate with the family, including a “Dock Dogs” canine aquatics contest, fishing seminars, casting demos with a 5,000-gallon tank, a catch-and-release trout pond for the kiddos and a chance to try “virtual reality” boating. You know what they say, “If you can’t join ‘em, pretend to be ‘em.” Actually, I’m the only one who says that.
Thursday, 2-9 p.m.; Friday, noon-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $12, free for ages 12 and younger.
Regular readers of this space (or at least last week’s installment) will recall mention of an Elvis Presley tribute concert occurring a few days before what would have been Elvis’s 84th birthday. If you’re obsessed with the memory and legacy of the King of Rock ’n’ Roll – I, for one, plead guilty – then that obviously wasn’t enough. This weekend’s “Ultimate Elvis Tribute,” happening a few days after Elvis’s b-day, is the perfect way to fully satisfy your “Happy Birthday Elvis” jones. If you “Can’t Help Falling in Love” all over again with Elvis, then “Don’t Be Cruel” to yourself and miss this nostalgic celebration starring heralded Elvis impersonator Frank Werth. It’s “Now or Never”… until next year!
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino North Kansas City, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $24.25, $37.25.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.