FRIDAY, MARCH 6
Brain: The World Inside Your Head
Traveling exhibit that started at the Smithsonian makes its way to South Florida, bringing 5,000 square feet of innovative special effects, video games, optical illusions and interactive displays to show how the brain functions and how, like other parts of the body, it can sometimes malfunction. It’s a rare and invaluable hands-on and up-close look at the human body’s most essential and fascinating organ.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, at the Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-467-6637 or www.mods.org; $14, $12 kids 2-12.
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Avast, ye scallywags! The new exhibit Pirate Island has set sail for Miami Children’s Museum, featuring interactive games, stories, theater shows and even live pirates, plus a pirate ship children can explore and safely blast cannons, walk the plank and learn to tie knots, handle ropes and speak Pirate. And everyone gets a map that leads to pirate treasure. Aarrr!
Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, running through Sept. 6, at Miami Children’s Museum, 980 MacArthur Cswy., Watson Island, Miami; www.miamichildrensmuseum.org; $18, $14 for Florida residents, free for kids under 12 months.
Stars And Lasers At Fabulous First Fridays
The fun kicks off with a free planetarium star show at 7 p.m. Friday and a family laser show at 8, followed by hourly classic rock laser shows, culminating with Pink Floyd’s “Best of The Wall” at midnight.
Details: 7 p.m. at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, 3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-646-4234 or www.miamisci.org; each laser show $8 adults, $4 child.
SATURDAY, MARCH 7
Honey Bug Run/walk
Tracy Wilson Mourning — founder of the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, an organization dedicated to the balance of mind, body, and soul in girls and women — will host the inaugural event in honor of Women’s History Month.
Details: 8 a.m.-noon at Women’s Park, 10251 W. Flagler St., Miami; www.honeyshine.org; $35 registration.
Lion Awareness Weekend
Have a roaring good time as the zoo focuses on awareness of these majestic beasts. There will be educational talks, plus plenty of fun activities, face-painting, a raffle, and a bake sale/lemonade table in front of the lion exhibit where you can also buy lion buttons of Zoo Miami’s lions (all money raised will go toward conservation efforts).
Details: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami; www.zoomiami.org; free with daily admission ($17.95, $13.95 kids 3-12).
Carnaval On The Mile
Family-friendly annual event has it all, from more than 120 fine-art vendors, including painting, sculpture, photography, crafts and jewelry; three stages with more than 30 musical acts, including Stokewood, Mother Falcon, Meklit, Suenalo, Spam AllStars, Batuke Samba Funk and the No BS! Brass Band; gourmet food, wines and spirits; and plenty of activities for kids. Even your dogs are welcome!
Details: 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday at Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; www.carnavalmiami.com; free.
Day Out With Thomas
For more than 65 years, kids have enjoyed the adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, and now they have the chance to take a 25-minute ride with Thomas and to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway. Plus, every event has a Thomas & Friends Imagination Station with activities including music, entertainers, stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts and crafts, and a Thomas storytelling and video viewing area.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; www.gcrm.org; $8, children 2-11 $6, under 2 free.
Asian Culture Festival
For 25 years, this event has offered Asian crafts, art and exotic music and dance, plus authentic Far Eastern cuisine.
Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Fruit & Spice Park, 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead; 305-247-5727 or www.fruitandspicepark.org; $12, $5 kids 6-12.
Teacher’s Pets At Jungle Island
During the month of March, Jungle Island will score big brownie points with Miami-Dade and Broward County public and private school teachers, as every weekend they’ll receive free admission to the park, plus a 50 percent discount for up to four guests. Also, all teachers will receive a “thank you” gift — and one lucky classroom will win a free field trip.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; 305-400-7000 or www.jungleisland.com; regular park admission is $34.95 adults, $26.95 kids 3-10.
Florida Renaissance Festival
Little lords and ladies, prepare thyself for the latest fairy-tale chapter in the Ren-Fest storybook. This weekend’s theme — Dragons and Wizards and Thrones, Oh My! — will fill the village with Hobbits, Wizards, Dragons, White Walkers, Fairies and Elves come to life from your favorite fantastical books and movies. In between, enjoy more than 100 costumed performers, 10 stages with continuous entertainment and 20 stage acts from around the world.
Details: 10 a.m.-sunset Saturday and Sunday, running on weekends through March 15, at Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach; www.ren-fest.com; $21, $9 kids 6-11, free for 5 and under.
Discovering Design: Creative Creatures
Indulge in a day crawling with creativity, and build your own imaginative creature with local artist Alexander Zastera. Kids can also discover the animals in the museum’s collection with story time in the galleries, and go on a self-guided tour with the Creative Creatures Gallery Guide.
Details: 1-4 p.m. at The Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; www.wolfsonian.org; free for children under 12 and accompanying adults.
An Enchanting Tale: Fairy Doll
Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, under the direction of Vladimir Issaev, brings back its charming ballet about a young boy who falls in love with a beautiful doll in the window of a toy store, which brings all the toys in the shop to life at night.
Details: 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St.; 305-466-8002 or www.aventuracenter.org; $30, $5 lap tickets for infants 12 months and under.
SUNDAY, MARCH 8
Grillin’ In The Grove
Family-friendly barbecue feast (described as Willy Wonka for meat lovers) conjures up memories of easy-going backyard get-togethers, except this one has live music and a great Family Fun Zone, featuring cool rides and slides such as the pirate-themed Treasure Island and the Surf’s Up! Robo Surfer simulation challenge.
Details: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove; www.grillininthegrove.com; $15 in advance, $20 at the gate, kids under 12 free.
Butterfly Lovers Concert
Concert of Taiwanese and Chinese symphonic works and folk melodies features the Greater Miami Youth Symphony Orchestra, made up of more than 80 local middle and high school students. The themed feature work will be the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, to be performed by Huifang Chen, GMYS music director and symphony orchestra conductor.
Details: 3 p.m. at Gusman Concert Hall, University of Miami, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-2438; free.
FREE FOR ALL
A Salute To SpongeBob
Although it’s true that Biscayne National Park is home to lots of sponges, most of them don’t wear pants. That all changes Sunday afternoon as the park salutes children’s TV fave SpongeBob SquarePants; kids can design plankton, attend the Bikini Bottom Job Fair and get the inside scoop on Bob and all his buddies.
Details: Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Biscayne National Park, Dante Fascell Visitor Center, 9700 SW 328th St., nine miles east of Homestead; www.nps.gov/bisc.; free