A very buggy Family Picks

If your kids like bugs, this edition of Family Picks may be for them! The annual Insect Fear Film Festival comes to campus, with (hilariously) scary movies and lots of fun activities designed to get kids interested in the world of bugs.

Not your cup of tea? Check out some African drumming, traditional Hindi music and dance or Polish folk music. And remember: it's almost March.

Rhythm and drums: Bolokada Conde with Rhythm Manding, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway Ave., U. Admission charge.

West African Master Drummer Bolokada Conde and his performance group Rhythm Manding will entertain with traditional and contemporary African rhythms. Opening for Rhythm Manding will be the Adzido Drum Club, playing hypnotic and dance music of the Ewe people (pronounced "Ehweh") of southeastern Ghana.

General admission is $3 to $5, or $15 for a family of four or more. All ages are welcome. The number of seats will be limited but there will be plenty of room to dance!

For information and tickets: Visit http://ucimc-bolokada.eventbrite.com

Princess and the Pea: "Once Upon a Mattress," 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Parkland College Theatre, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., C. Admission charge.

A spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s familiar romantic tale of the princess who couldn’t sleep. In this romantic musical-comedy, it turns out that it wasn’t just the pea that kept her awake.

Performances are also scheduled from March 3-6. Tickets are $6 to $12 (half-price on March 3).  A post-performance discussion is scheduled with the actors and director on Friday evening.

Note: The story is generally appropriate for families, but it’s set in 2011 at the ‘Castle Casino’ in Atlantic City, N.J. Some parents may feel the material and choreagraphy aren’t suited for younger children. You can email the theater at theatre@parkland.edu with any questions.

For information: Call 351-2528 or visit www.parkland.edu/theatre

One fish, two fish: Dr.  Seuss Storytime, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Target, 2102 N. Prospect Ave., C.

Enjoy giveaways, coupons and hear Dr. Seuss favorites as part of the "Read Across America" effort. Check out Target's website for free Seuss-related activities!

For information: Visit Target's website

Make lemonade! Weekend Wizard, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum Children’s Science Museum. 346 N. Neil St., C. Free with museum admission.

Enjoy a do-it-yourself science experiment and craft on this week’s wizard topic, “When Life Gives You Lemons.” Suitable for ages 4 to 10 with an adult.

Admission is $3 for children and $4 for adults.

For information: Call 352-5895 or visit www.orpheumkids.com


Ewww, bugs! The 28th annual Insect Fear Film Festival,  6 p.m. Saturday. Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., U. Free.

Hosted by the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois, this annual event may not sound child-friendly but features an insect-petting zoo, face painting, locally made insect-related artwork, and exotic insect displays from around the world.

Films start at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is “Killer Wasps.” The two featured movies are “Monster From Green Hell” and “Swarmed." (Check out an interview with festival creator May Berenbaum for tips on suitable ages for the two films at www.chambanamoms.com.)

For information: Visit the festival's website


Indian music: "Holi: An Indian Festival of Colors," 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Studio Theatre, Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., U. Admission charge.

The Hindu spring festival will feature traditional music and dance. Tickets are $10 to $28.

For information: Call 333-6280 or visit Krannert's website

Polish folk tunes: Latawce Highlanders' Band, 2 p.m. Sunday, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C. Free.

Dressed in traditional costume, the Latawiec family performs Polish folk tunes, combining beautiful string music and dynamic vocals.

For information: Visit www.champaign.org

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Check the Are We There Yet? blog every Friday for upcoming family friendly events, pulled from our News-Gazette online calendar, e3 magazine and other sources. To submit an item, e-mail me at jwurth@news-gazette.com, or use the calendar on the News-Gazette home page, www.news-gazette.com.

Photos: Bolokade Conde in costume at a 2009 performance in Urbana, top. Melissa Merli/The News-Gazette

At bottom, Jacob Walters of Savoy tries to get a better look at a Dobsonfly during the 2004 Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois’ Foellinger Auditorium, Urbana. Heather Coit/The News-Gazette
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