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"Big Machines" parks at the Science Center

If we may generalize, the kind of people who go to see monster trucks are not the kind of people who also turn out at museums. So it should make for a really interesting meeting of the minds when the St. Louis Science Center hosts its second Big Machines weekend.

Coinciding with Father's Day (because, really, Dad does not want you to take him to brunch), the celebration of American metal includes fire trucks from the St. Louis Fire Department, forklifts from AD Lift Truck, excavators from Spirtas Wrecking and H1 and H2 Hummers. A Schnucks "big cart," measuring ten by twelve by fifteen feet, is being carted out (ha-ha) for the event; although Schnucks claims the cart makes many promotional appearances, St. Louis Science Center spokesman Jon Wenglikowski probably speaks for the majority when he says, "I've never heard of this thing before."

Perhaps the best part of the event (which is being held in the parking lot and is free, as is regular admission to the Science Center) is that the trucks and such won't just stand there. The fire department is planning a hose-and-ladder demonstration, the St. Louis Police Department will have dogs from its canine unit on hand and AD Lift Truck swears it can make its forklifts play "forklift basketball," in which the bigger lifts pick up and pass around the smaller ones.

"Big Machines" will be open for viewing from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14, and 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 15 (5050 Oakland Avenue, 314-289-4400, -- Rose Martelli

Futbol Fun

Thump ... thump ... thump. If your kids are practicing corner kicks up against the garage door -- again -- here's a loftier goal for them. The 2003 Got Milk? 3-on-3 Soccer Shootout is a weekend soccer festival open to players of all ages and skill levels.

The event takes place starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15, at the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association Complex (3901 Huster Road, behind the Fountain Lakes Industrial Park, in St. Charles). Participants receive T-shirts, removable tattoos and balloons, and the three-on-three action on minifields is fast and wild. Call at 800-989-4088 or visit for more. -- Tom R. Arterburn

Spare the Rod, Whip the Child

MON 6/16

Kids love warm puppies with droopy faces. Kids love running through sprinklers on hot summer afternoons. Ya know what else kids love? Whips. Give an eight-year-old a bullwhip for Christmas, and everybody wins. Chris Camp knows this. That's why he dresses up like Indiana Jones and whips apart objects held in the mouths of brave volunteers. Better known as the Master of the Bullwhip, Camp educates young visitors to the kids' loft at the University City Public Library (6701 Delmar Boulevard, 7 p.m., free, 314-727-3150) with a show full of stunts and stories. If you like what you see, inquire about his corporate presentations and his freelance ass-whippin' services. -- Byron Kerman

Daddy Dearest

SUN 6/15

All your life, you've been waiting for the chance to take the old man down a peg. He thinks he's so big; he has all the answers -- you'll show him! Release the storm of oedipal rage and confusion roiling in your breast and channel it into the manly art of competition; use your skill and guile to show him why Mom is (and always will be) your special lady by cleaning his clock in the Kids vs. Dads Lake Golf challenge at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House's Hots 'n' Brats Father's Day celebration. Then enjoy hot dogs together, just to show there's no hard feelings. Admission is $4 for kids and $5 for daddies; the score-settling takes place in Faust Park (15193 Olive Boulevard). Call 636-530-0076. -- Paul Friswold

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