In Training

All railroads lead to Danville


Outside of the ice cream truck and its perky rendition of “Home on the Range,” the earthshaking rhythm of a passing locomotive is one of the most breathtaking sounds to a child. Faster than a garbage truck, more evocative than the neighborhood fire engine, the train is a primal symbol of progress and optimism. Your kids may love Thomas the Tank Engine for his sweet smile and G-rated antics, but now you can introduce them to the historic value of the mighty railways at Depot Days for Kids, on display at the Museum of San Ramon Valley in Danville. Indulge your inner engineer with interactive exhibits and story times, and take a peek at the “O” gauge operating through August 3. Revisit an era of endless possibilities and inspire a future generation of visionary innovators — can you say “hydrocars”? I think I can, I think I can. Depot Days for Kids runs through August, Tuesdays-Fridays 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Donations are encouraged. For more info, call 925-837-3750 or stop by at 205 Railroad Ave., Danville. — Justine Nicole

SUN 8/3

We’re With the Banda

Got a taste for family fun in the sun with a Latino tinge? Come to Paramount’s Great America this Sunday for the park’s sixth annual Fiesta Hispana . Along with the usual thrill rides and TV-themed shows, there’s plenty of special free musical entertainment: cumbia, banda, and Spanish rock from such artists as Banda Arkangel R-15, El Gavilàn, Flamazo Norteño, Linces del Norte, Alta Rosa Villa, and Reyna Santillàn. Children’s mariachi, too. After all that music you’ll be hungry — get in line (a long one, sin duda) for tacos and other Mexican specialties. The fiesta is free with park admission. Great America is located on Great America Parkway between the 101 and 237 freeways in Santa Clara. Phone 408-988-1776 for directions, or log onto — Kelly Vance


Space Cadets

Martian arts

Lots going on at Chabot Space & Science Center this weekend, as usual. At the Tien Megadome Theater on Friday and Saturday, they’re playing Mars Attacks!, director Tim Burton’s wacky mock-sci-fi flick, full of little green men with death rays. Showtime both days is 7:30 p.m. It’s an accompaniment to the center’s “Mars Encounter” ex-hibit and “The Mars Show” at the planetarium. On Saturday morning (10-11:30 a.m.), kids five and up can experiment with “The Science of Ice Cream” at the center’s Biology Lab. Info: 510-336-7300 or — Kelly Vance

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