From young readers to poetic cowboys

Ryan Resella

Lasso expert Dave Thornbury entertains at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in California.

By Globe Staff 

MARCH 18-20



Children’s Literature Festival: Cheryl Harness says she writes books for young time travelers. Elizabeth Bunce has a collection of unlikely heroines. Judy Young is a poet who wrote “R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet.’’ Those three talents and a long list of others will be at the University of Central Missouri to share their work, sign books, and talk about their craft. Some parts of the festival are better for children than others, but you leave with a good library. $15, $8 for children. 2444 James C. Kirkpatrick Library, University of Central Missouri. 660-543-4306,

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Sea Dogs Opening Night: Minor league baseball has the best promotions. Magnet nights. Singles nights. Bobblehead doll nights. The Sea Dogs will celebrate their first home game of the season by giving the first 1,000 fans a fleece blanket. It’s a freebie that will keep you warm in the stands. This year marks the 10th year of the Sea Dogs’ affiliation with the Red Sox. 207-874-9300,




Party for the Planet: The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden celebrates Earth Day by giving tours of its Go Green Garden exhibit and by allowing vendors to come on the premises to spread the message of conservation. April is “Zoo Blooms’’ month, which means that spectators will be dazzled by about 100,000 tulips. There’s also live music at night if you feel like sticking around. 4 to 8:30 p.m. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St. 513-281-4700,

APRIL 19-22


Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival: This family-friendly festival includes plenty of activities for adults, including an event with Joel Cox, the Academy Award-winning film editor of “Unforgiven,’’ and Marie Wise Hawkins’s tribute to Patsy Cline. Children can pan for gold and hear the winners of the Cowboy Festival Youth Poetry Roundup read their poems about cowboy and cowgirl life. One- and two-day passes run $10 to $30. 661-250-3735,



JUNE 9-10


River Arts District Stroll: There should be art of all kinds along the French Broad River, and organizers promise that there will be hands-on activities. The River Arts District is friendly and scenic with good food close by. It’s a great spot for families, but if your children aren’t interested in crafts, just explain to them that “The Hunger Games’’ was filmed around Asheville. They will perk up. 10 to 6 p.m. both days. Clingman Avenue at Lyman Street.

Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at