1. Genetic and Medical Genealogy: 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. International genealogist Kathleen Brandt started her family search because of a rare autoimmune disorder. A former member of the KU Hospital Genealogy Advisor team, she will share how you can become your own health advocate by charting your family’s medical genealogy. This is not a medical presentation, but one more phase toward gathering family and ancestral data. It’s free, but registration is required online at mymcpl.org/events. For questions, call 816-252-7228.
2. Snake Days: 4 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday at George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Road, Independence. Get to know two mild-mannered corn snakes and a large but shy great plains rat snake. Feed them, learn how to handle them, and discover how snakes live their lives. No reservations needed. All ages welcome. For more information, call 325-7115.
3. History presentation: 10:45 a.m. Friday at the Palmer Center, 218A N. Pleasant St., Independence. The National Frontier Trails Museum will give a presentation on African-American pioneers. On every western trail, from the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the California gold rush, African-Americans made a mark on the history of western expansion. The journey west was difficult for all who traveled the trails but, for African-American pioneers, the discrimination and oppression they faced made their contributions even more exceptional. Hear the stories of some of these individuals and learn what it took for them to make new lives for themselves in the West.
4. Family Game Night: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Independence Uptown Market, 211 W. Truman Road, Independence. Feel free to bring some of your own games or play some of the ones provided. Concessions available for purchase. No registration required. No fee. For questions, call the Truman Memorial Building at 325-7843.
5. “Widdershins" – 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the City Theatre of Independence (inside the Roger T. Sermon Community Center), 201 N. Dodgion St., Independence. Inspector Ruffing, last seen in “Ravenscroft,” returns to take on a new mystery. In a peaceful house near the Welsh border, an entire family has suddenly vanished, while supper still sits on the table. There is no apparent violence. Inspector Ruffing’s attempt to understand what has happened to the couple and their two daughters leads him deep into his own soul for answers. Cost: $15; seniors 60 and older: $13.