Fine Arts Theatres? four venues surround moviegoers with classic silver-screen ambiance as they present the latest independent and mainstream film offerings. Lovingly refurbished neighborhood movie palaces such as the early-20th-century Rio Theatre now boast surround-sound digital audio, high-backed rocker seats with arm-mounted cup holders, and movie trailers acted out by gregarious ticket takers. In addition to flicks opening each week, The Fine Arts Theatres hosts special independent screenings throughout the year including the Kansas International Film Festival (Oct. 10-16th) that features 55 films in 7 days and the Latin American Film Festival every September.
The local artists at Grapes & Paints encourage students to trade in their self-criticism for brushes, acrylic paint, and a good time. Over the course of two hours, they provide instruction to create a featured painting while participants down drinks and snacks. This sociable ambiance pairs well with team building exercises, children's birthday parties, and fun nights out. By the class's end, guests return home with their own unique work of art to hang on a wall or stash inside a loved one's glove compartment.
During birthday parties at Pump It Up of Shawnee Mission, a white T-shirt is more than a fashion staple—it’s a beacon of light. The indoor play center, outfitted with bounce houses and inflatable slides, switches on LED lighting and black lights during its Glo in the Dark parties, turning outfits luminous without the hassle of a chandelier necklace. Customizable birthday parties can also adhere to pirate or superhero themes. Alternatively, sock-clad youngsters can bounce on the inflatables during open-play sessions, supervised by trained staffers and safeguarded by rigorous safety and cleanliness regulations.
The teaching staff of the Toon Shop, a former Kansas City fixture founded in 1948, now helms the newly inaugurated Village Music Academy. More than 40 independent instructors harness their combined 400 years of experience to immerse students of all levels in rock, classical, jazz, pop, and country techniques. 48 studio spaces—enough for each member of the Partridge Family to practice individually at once—nurture instruction in strings, woodwinds, and horns, and an auditorium showcases the results with appropriate reverence. The staff also helps prepare students for school band or orchestra. Sunny days might find an open-air audience gathered to watch the school's musicians performing in the plaza of the Prairie Village Shopping Center.
Though most pitchers clear their mounds at the slight rumor of a thunderstorm, the ones inside Kansas City Sports Club always stay dry and padded with footprints. In addition to pitching tunnels, hitting tunnels, and a turf infield that stays safe from outdoor weather conditions, the facility features a full fitness center that protects guests from the hazards of working out on treadmills in the wilderness. The fitness center features free weights and cardio machines with flat-screen televisions and free WiFi to keep guests informed and entertained during workouts.
Nestled within the Oak Park Mall, Zonkers Arcade enchants youngsters and guardians alike with its extensive stock of family-friendly games. Customers can strive for kudos and prizes during rounds of redemption games or can compete in video and racing games with such varied titles as In the Groove 2, Dog Pounder, and Potato Sack Race: The Game! Zonkers also accommodates birthday parties, group chanting events, and fundraisers throughout the year. Not content to contain its fun within one place, the arcade has branched out with its family entertainment center Zonkers in the Great Mall of the Great Plains.