Poetry 101

Somewhere between your kid's soccer practice, reading lessons and swim class, there should be room for a little poetry. Prather's Poetry Jam, an original work by David Prather, draws from the writings of Shel Silverstein, Carl Sandburg and Woody Guthrie. Children will start rapping and rhyming as Prather rides a Razor scooter, jumps rope, hurls TVs and juggles boxes. 10 a.m. Saturday, March 29. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue. For information, call 713-228-8421. $5. -- Cathy Matusow

Ad Nauseam
AstroWorld puts the spin on two new rides
AstroWorld kicks off its new season by unveiling two new rides, and people are already getting sick just thinking about them. SWAT is the one most likely to send stomachs into free fall. The ride is basically a 150-foot tower shaped like a double-sided fly swatter that rotates on an axis. It carries 24 people per "paddle" and makes four 360-degree rotations (two backward, two forward) at 30 miles per hour. To promote the ride, dubbed "the only extreme ride of its kind on the planet," AstroWorld distributed a CD-ROM with simulated video of the ride in motion, from both spectators' and riders' perspectives. The Houston Press has viewed it and recommends you refrain from food and drink at least 24 hours before climbing aboard. Less jarring is Diablo Falls, "the tallest spinning rapids ride in the world," according to AstroWorld. Boats spin continuously through spirals and drops before soaking riders in a final splashdown. The rides open at the beginning of April at Six Flags AstroWorld, 9001 Kirby. To confirm operating schedule, call 713-799-1234. $38.99. -- Troy Schulze

Pet the Piano
If you want your kid to take up an instrument, haul him to see the Sam Dinkins III Trio at the Houston Zoo. After A Jazz Kaleidoscope, a "Da Camera Goes to the Zoo!" concert, kids will get to visit the "musical instrument petting zoo," where they can see, touch and play instruments from the show. When mini-you starts begging for piano lessons, tell him only cool teenagers play piano. He'll be at Juilliard in no time. 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29. Werler Stage and Gardens. For information, call 713-524-7601. $2 to $5. -- Cathy Matusow

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