Flip, Flop, Fly 

Cunning stunts with Lara Croft


It's summer: time for vacation -- unless you happen to be vigilante vixen Lara Croft, and your Palm Pilot lists globe-trekking, tomb-raiding, and kicking major butt with a band of evildoers. All in a day's work for the sultry heroine of videogame fame, who was given the Hollywood treatment a few years ago by Angelina Jolie and her skintight leather unitard. Imagine a combination of Indiana Jones and Wonder Woman, then add a British accent and some slick martial arts moves, and you begin to understand why Lara usually gets her way. She's a strong symbol of independence for young women, and may do for young men what Princess Leia did for a legion of space geeks in the '70s. So how can they get closer than the screen? Take 'em to Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara for the Tomb Raider Stunt Show. The thrilling production -- acted by stunt doubles in character -- is filled with fights and violent special effects (which may not be appropriate for the very small ones), all set against an archaeological backdrop that feels like the real deal. The twenty-minute show goes on each night at closing time, June 7-21. Free with park admission. Log onto www.pgathrills.com -- Justine Nicole

SAT 6/14


Snakes? In El Cerrito? Relax, it's only the Oakland Zoo Zoomobile . Kids of all ages are invited to encounter a live snake, along with lizards, frogs, turtles, and other reptiles and amphibians, when the Zoomobile pulls up in front of the El Cerrito Library (6510 Stockton Ave.), Sunday at 11 a.m. Learn about your cold-blooded animal friends and also find out about the Contra Costa Library's Wild About Reading summer reading program -- you can earn prizes by reading. 510-526-7512. -- Kelly Vance


The Other Raiders

It's "Pirate Weekend"

Q: How did the pirate get to Children's Fairyland? A: He took BARRRRRRRRT! Ahoy, mateys, haul up the mainsail and shiver me timbers -- it's Pirate Weekend at the famed park on the shore of Lake Merritt. The grand reopening of Fairyland's pirate ship is the main event, and there will be interactive shows with Captain Hook and his pirate crew (they "storm" the ship at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) plus a free eye patch for all junior deck hands. Meanwhile, be enthralled by a puppet show called The Troll King's Son, a children's theater performance of Brazilian Adventures, and pirate-themed arts and crafts. www.fairyland.org -- Kelly Vance


Make It Real

Learn acting from the pros

Every kid dreams of being on TV or in movies, and it all begins on the stage, performing live theater in front of an audience. That's one reason Playhouse West artistic director Lois Grandi founded its Performing Arts Youth Academy in 1984, to school young would-be performers in the fundamentals of acting and stage performance. This summer's courses are divided into two programs, held at Playhouse West in Walnut Creek: a five-week intensive training course for youth aged 11-14 (June 23 through July 25), and a pair of one-week theater camps for children 9-12 (two sessions -- June 16-20 and July 28-August 1). In the intensive program, industry professionals will join students for brown-bag lunch seminars, and professionally trained working actors will teach all courses at both levels. In addition, two Master Classes are scheduled for June 27 and July 11. 1345 Locust St., Walnut Creek. 925-943-6464 or www.playhousewest.org -- Kelly Vance


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