Until May 31: Spring Fest celebrates spring skiing (it isn't just a winter sport) with several popping "corn snow" events. The fest's highlight weekend is May 5-6. May 5 is the Fiesta de la Pipa, an odd Cinco de Mayo celebration that isn't so much about the Battle of Puebla as it is about the Battle of the Half-Pipe. May 6 brings the fifth annual West Coast Invitational, a rail-jam pro snowboard and half-pipe event, and the Orage Masters free-skiing tournament, which bills itself as an "anti-competition," even though there are winners. Other events include the Dragon Three Ring Circus (April 29) and the Volcom Rail Jam (May 20). The fest's main attraction, however, may be value season. Adults can ski for $56 a day. Stay two or more nights and receive a two-day lift ticket.
Various locations. (800) MAMMOTH (626-6684), www.mammothmountain.com.
May 15-20: The 20th Seattle International Children's Festival opens with a variety show featuring John Lithgow. Lots of festivals toss around the word "international," but this one draws members of the Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil, musicians from Iraq, Benin and Poland, and dancers from the Netherlands, Mongolia and Argentina. The colorful, foot-stomping fun also includes storytellers, African jazz, Japanese and Arab cultural explorations, a yodeling and trick-roping cowboy, and a German troupe of actors performing "Moby-Dick."
Seattle Center. Box office at 158 Thomas St., No. 13; (206) 684-7338, www.seattleinternational.org. Tickets $10-$20, at (206) 325-6500.
May 18-21: The Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee is the Kentucky Derby of frog jumping, and anyone can be a jockey. The frogs leap May 21. Losers can release their anger vicariously through the Destruction Derby. There's a daily carnival and Extreme Ranch Rodeo (May 18) for the kids. Music headliners are Loverboy (May 19) and Hot Apple Pie (May 20).
Frogtown is north of Sonora and south of Angels Camp on California 49. Daily admission: $9 adults, $7 seniors, $5 children. Carnival tickets not included. Packages available. (209) 736-2561 www.frogtown.org.
-- Blake Hennon