We don't get it. When a group of men dress up in crazy costumes, dance, play and sing songs in front of a live audience, it's heartwarming. But when Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake do the same thing at the Super Bowl, it's controversial. What's with the double standard, people? Why can't pop stars receive the same respect that Sesame Street Live does? Granted, the latter, coming to Grand Prairie's NextStage (1001 NextStage Drive) this Thursday through Sunday, advertises a higher amount of educational content, but we have to admit that during the Super Bowl we learned quite a bit about jewelry. In this installment of Sesame Street Live, Martians visit the motley Muppet crew and want to learn about our planet. What a convenient segue into educational fun, right? Luckily for parents, the show description mentions nothing about a hostile Martian takeover or a lesson from Bert and Ernie about "Earth Love," so tell the kids to turn off that Yu-Gi-Oh crap and haul them to NextStage. Tickets are $12 and up by calling Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. --Sam Machkovech
Kindermusik Delights Little Ears
What can you do with a baby? When they're not screaming some indecipherable request, they just lie there, staring into the distance with their watery, unfocused eyes. They have no conversation skills, nor do they seem to appreciate foreign films, fine wine or the cultural commentary of The New Yorker. If you're at your wit's end with your tiny philistine, the Lakewood Library, 6121 Worth St., offers Kindermusik with Miss Lisa, a story time program integrating music and movement to tell the story of Shiny Dinah, a musical train. Just call it culture for kids. Kindermusik is appropriate for ages newborn to 7 years and begins February 25 at 10:30 a.m. Call 214-670-1376. --Michelle Martinez
Party With the Mardis
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Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday. The bash before the Ash (Wednesday). Or the fudge before the smudge as its known in secular circles. However you want to brand it, Mardi Gras is a hurricane of vibrancy, sarcasm and sass with music, picnics, sparkles and beads Tommy-gunned from an endless string of floats rambling through the streets of New Orleans. But Mardi Gras is at its core a family festival with shoebox and Radio Flyer red wagon floats and fistfuls of King Cake with tiny plastic baby dolls baked right inside. You can take the family part to the library for kids 5 and older as they learn the history of this pre-Lenten celebration while they craft their own Mardi Gras masks with strips of cloth, feathers and sequins flaunting the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power). Mask-making starts at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Kleberg-Rylie Library, 1301 Edd Road. Call 214-670-8471. --Mark Stuertz