Ask anyone with kids or cats and they'll tell you the best toy in the world is an empty cardboard box big enough to sit in. The simplicity is the appeal. Take one box, get in it and let your imagination do the work of transforming it into a boat, a car, a spaceship, a cave, a rift in the space-time continuum -- the world is yours in a cardboard box. Today from 4 to 6 p.m. at Alligator's Creek Aquatic Center in O'Fallon Civic Park (403 Civic Park Drive, O'Fallon; 636-272-1626), the versatility of the cardboard box is put to the ultimate test: Does it float? The fifth Cardboard Boat Race challenges you to make a two-person watercraft from a box and duct tape, and then paddle it across the pool. And you don't even have to win the race to get a prize: You could pick up the Best Decorated Boat or even the Titanic award if things go poorly for you. Participation in the race costs $10 to $12, while spectators pay $3.50 to $5.50.
Sun., July 20, 4-6 p.m., 2014

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