One of the most entertaining science challenges is researched daily in school cafeterias across the country: What happens when a kid sticks a straw in a pint of milk and breathes out? Bubbles, of course -- big, trembling piles of them. And whether bubbles show up in a container of milk, on the end of a bubble wand, or in the bathtub, they're tough for any tyke to resist.
Stoke that interest by blowing across the bay to the Bubble Festival in Berkeley, where scientists age 5 and up can learn how and why bubbles form. Visitors to the fest can make their own bubbles in different shapes and patterns -- squares! cylinders! triangles! -- while other intrepid froth-wranglers craft frozen bubbles, find out why bubbles have colors, and even put a person inside a bubble (just hope it's not you). The event bursts open at noon at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Centennial & Grizzly Peak, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is free-$8; call (510) 642-5132 or visit www.lhs.berkeley.edu.
-- Jack Karp
Summer news flash: Live penguins invade Golden Gate Park! Kids can get an up-close introduction to an African bird and learn all about the breed at a presentation beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Steinhart Aquarium, MLK & Concourse, S.F. Admission is free-$8.50; call 750-7145 or visit www.calacademy.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Better Than Finger Painting
Kids and art go together like peanut butter and jelly. At "Kids Art Day -- Shape, Shadow, Stitch," organizer Jessica Eicher takes that first combination beyond the usual crayons-and-paper scenario with activities based on the show currently at HANG's downtown gallery. Artists Rosie O'Gorman, Beth Howe, Gregg Cassin, and Diane Rollins Feissel are the professionals behind the exhibit, which uses silhouette, collage, and stitching on paper to show children real-life art and teach them how to make their own. Kids ages 5 to 8 are welcome, starting at 10 a.m. at HANG Annex, 567 Sutter (at Mason), S.F. Admission is free; call 544-0610 or visit www.hangart.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
No Strings Attached
Indonesian people spit (figuratively!) on our Punch and Judy: On the islands puppetry is an ancient theatrical art, while in America it's pap for the kiddies. Get a deeper appreciation for the medium at "Introducing Warrior Kings and Divine Jesters," a live demonstration of Javanese rod puppetry. Visitors can admire the carved dummies and hear traditional stories starting at 6:45 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is free-$10; call 581-3500 or visit www.asianart.org.
-- Joyce Slaton