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Open Sesame 

Big Bird, Elmo, and Bert in the flesh

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THURS-SUN 6/5-8

For generations youngsters have wistfully sung along to the end of the Sesame Street theme song: "Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?" Well, for four June days they won't need to ask, because the action will be located in San Jose, where the Sesame Street Live stage show settles in with its cast of singing, dancing, costumed characters.

"1-2-3 ... Imagine!" takes beloved Sesame Street denizens and inserts them into inventive settings -- Elmo in a rain forest, Bert underwater with a bummed-out octopus -- where they work out their problems with a song (hey, it worked for Elvis). Performances take place at San Jose State University's Event Center Arena, 290 South Seventh St., San Jose. Admission is $24; call (408) 924-6333 or visit www.union.sjsu.edu for show times.
-- Joyce Slaton

I Scream, You Scream

SAT 6/7

Some of the happiest folks in this city can be found milling around San Jose Avenue and 29th Street, home to Mitchell's Ice Cream. (On sunny days the mood at this Outer Mission shop is downright jovial: Kids are laughing, parents are smiling, teenage lovebirds are sitting on stoops swapping cones.) Choosing from exotic flavors like ube (purple yam) and macapuno (young coconut) is usually hard enough; during the store's 50th anniversary celebration, when Mitchell's offers 50 percent discounts on cones, sundaes, and shakes, it'll be even harder. The little ones can also enjoy free balloons and a clown from noon to 6 p.m. at 688 San Jose; call 648-2300.
-- Lisa Hom

All in the Family
Kids need culture, too

SAT 6/7

At the new Asian Art Museum, there's a lot to see and do. Ceramics, textiles, sculpture, and paintings representing all the major cultures of Asia make up the museum's permanent collection, complemented by world-class exhibits, demonstrations, and performances. It's not the kind of place that children are likely to get bored. Now, to inaugurate its new family programs, the museum is stepping up its usual offerings with a Family Festival.

In addition to the Thai fruit carver in the afternoon, activities include treasure hunts, storytelling, and contests. The problem won't be boredom; it'll be what to do first. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., get the kids over to 200 Larkin (at McAllister), S.F. This event is free with museum admission (free-$10); call 581-3500 or visit www.asianart.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

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