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Tactile exhibits at the Randall Museum

Get Smart

SUN 4/27

Every parent thinks his baby is a genius, but the youngsters in the Kids Play the Darndest Things concert really are child prodigies. (Kit Armstrong, for example, performed Mozart's Concerto No. 24 at the 2001 show, at age 9.) The program showcases pint-size classical-music stars in an evening of impressive performances. Call (925) 943-7469. -- Lisa Hom

Tactile exhibits at the Randall Museum

SAT 4/26

Long before "interactive" became the Bay Area's most overused word, the Randall Museum provided curious kids with hands-on classes, demonstrations, and clubs. Moms and dads love it because they get a much-needed respite from Nintendo and the latest Adam Sandler movie, and youngsters love it because this little-known San Francisco gem is one of the few places where they're not oppressed with shouts of "Don't touch!" and "Put that down!"At its free Spring Festival, the museum officially breaks in its new Outdoor Learning Environment, which features an observation deck, an art patio, and learning gardens. Families can enjoy musicians, magicians, and storytellers, or sit in on drumming circles. Courageous kids can release some pent-up energy with parachute games on the Great Lawn, while more artistically inclined children can try their hand at making pottery and necklaces in the open-air firing pit. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 199 Museum Way (at Roosevelt, near 14th Street), S.F. Call 554-9600 or visit -- Jack Karp

Nesting Instincts

WED-SAT 4/23-26

Kids love to build forts -- small, cozy spaces that feel safe and look cool. And what are forts, really, but human versions of birds' nests? Artist Katherina Audley has gone over to the birds' side and learned to build nests big enough to hold a baby dinosaur -- or several humans. Using sycamore branches, family pictures, fortune-cookie fortunes, yarn, and other bits and pieces, Audley works with children to make 8-foot-wide nests, using the same techniques avians, gorillas, and other animals do. Her program, "Giant Nests," takes place at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Admission is free-$7; call 487-4398 or visit -- Hiya Swanhuyser

Book 'Em

SUN 4/27

At "Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros," reading isn't only fundamental, it's fun. Sure, this celebration of children and books promotes literacy, but with all of the activities -- storytelling in multiple languages, arts and crafts, live dance performances -- who's got time to pick up a good book? Distractions aside, kids can surely squeeze in a trip to the bookmobile. The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. at Dolores Park, Dolores and 18th streets, S.F. Admission is free; call 575-3535. -- Lisa Hom


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