Through December 7
The Little Red Hen
This fun sing-along show shares a valuable message about cooperation as a hen looks for help to turn wheat into bread. W-F, 10 a.m.; Sa, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $10, adults; $7, children 12 and younger. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, azpuppets.org, 602-262-2050.
Through December 28
Junie B. Jones
The kids in Room One are gearing up for a celebration filled with holiday hijinks as Childsplay presents Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! Call for times and ticket prices. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, childsplayaz.org, 480-350-2822.
Through January 3
The Polar Express
Passengers enjoy a train trip from Williams to the “North Pole,” with a special reading of The Polar Express, hot chocolate and cookies, and a visit from Santa. Call for times. $34-$69, adults; $20-$49, children 2-15. Grand Canyon Railway, 233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams, thetrain.com, 800-843-8724.
Arizona Science Center
National Geographic Earth Explorers, through Jan. 4. The center also boasts more than 300 hands-on exhibits in five themed galleries, plus live demonstrations, a state-of-the-art planetarium and giant-screen theater. Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call for admission prices. 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, azscience.org, 602-716-2000.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Focusing on learning through play, the museum offers hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children from birth to age 10, with an emphasis on early childhood education and school readiness. Tu-Su, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $11 (free, first Friday of month, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.). 215 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, childrensmuseumofphoenix.org, 602-253-0501.
Interactive activities are a hallmark of this facility, which is designed to inspire children of all ages to experience their world differently through art, creativity and imagination. Bugs in Art, through Jan. 25, is an innovative, interactive, kid-friendly celebration of insects. Tu-Sa, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Su, noon-4 p.m. $8. 150 W. Pepper Pl., Mesa, ideamuseum.com, 480-644-2468.
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
A couple struggling to put on a Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most inventively awful kids in history. Mayhem and fun collide when the Herdmans meet the Christmas story head-on. The play is staged by East Valley Children’s Theatre. Th-F, 7 p.m.; Sa, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $15, adults; $11, children 17 and younger. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, evct.org, 480-756-3828.
Spotlight Youth Theatre
An outlaw family – whose kids lie, steal, swear and smoke cigars – invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual holiday show in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. F, 7 p.m.; Sa, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $14. Spotlight Youth Theatre, 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale, spotlightyouththeatre.org, 602-843-8318.
Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and the rest of the gang from the Hundred-Acre Wood celebrate sharing and caring in A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail. Call for times. $18. Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., Phoenix, vyt.com, 602-253-8188.
Arizona Toy Train Show
Train rides, train races and several operating train layouts are in the spotlight as the Desert Division of the Train Collectors Association hosts this event. Visits with Santa, face painting, Lego displays, train sets for sale and door prizes add to the fun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $9, adults; free, children 17 and younger. Renaissance Hotel Expo Center, 9495 Coyotes Blvd., Glendale, tcadd.org, 480-888-9786.
Gary Sprague returns with his talented horse, Dusty, for poetry, stories and songs. Guests also enjoy crafts, games and cookie decorating. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Free; reservations required. Cave Creek Museum, 6140 Skyline Dr., Cave Creek, cavecreekmuseum.org, 480-488-2764.
Fire Engine Rides
Children who donate a new unwrapped gift for Scottsdale Fire’s annual holiday toy drive can ride free in a fire engine. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Target, 15444 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, scottsdalefd.com, 480-312-1817.
The Night Before Christmas
This new production celebrates the season with stories, music and an amazing array of puppets. W-F (except Dec. 25), 10 a.m.; Sa, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $10, adults; $7, children 12 and younger. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, azpuppets.org, 602-262-2050.
The Sound of Music
This classic musical follows the life of a young nun, her duties as a governess, and the subsequent loves of her life – the children, their father and music. The production is staged by Greasepaint Youtheatre. F-Sa, 7 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $12-$17. Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale, greasepaint.org, 480-949-PLAY.
December 30-January 25
A beautiful girl, a wicked stepfamily, a fairy godmother, a handsome prince and transparent footwear add up to true love, lots of laughs and happily ever after in this popular version of the famous fairy tale. W-F, 10 a.m.; Sa, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $10, adults; $7, children 12 and younger. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, azpuppets.org, 602-262-2050.
Noon Year’s Eve
This family-friendly event features a snow play area with tons of snow, snowball target practice, prize drawings, live music and games, plus a special cider toast at noon. 9 a.m.-noon. Included with regular zoo admission. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, phoenixzoo.org, 602-273-1341.