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Through April 2
In a world where imaginary friends seem real and real friends are scarce, a young girl discovers both. The moving and surprisingly funny play is staged by Childsplay. Call for times and ticket prices. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, childsplayaz.org, 480-921-5700.
Through April 16
Anne of Green Gables
An orphan girl rises from destitution to happiness in the farm country, entirely by virtue of her pluck and personality. Call for times and ticket prices. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, fhtaz.org, 480-837-9661.
Through April 16
Naughty Peter disobeys his mother and sets off to find adventure (and lunch!) in Mr. McGregor’s garden in this popular version of Beatrix Potter’s famous tale, told with hand puppets, music and movement – no words. 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.
Archaeology for Kids
Children ages 7 to 12 discover the science of archaeology by doing a simulated excavation of a Hohokam pit house. Participants learn how to identify artifacts in the field, and discover how archaeologists use these artifacts to learn more about past cultures. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $15. Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, pueblogrande.com, 602-495-0901.
April 1 (FREE)
Carnival games and rides, silent and live auctions, a bake sale, book sale and variety of food and drink options highlight this fundraiser. Noon-6 p.m. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School, 2121 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, olmcschool.info, 480-967-5567.
April 1-29 (FREE)
Moonlit Drive-In Movies
Bring a blanket, lawn chair or just get comfy in the car as this series features family-friendly flicks on a 32-foot inflatable screen. Movies include The Secret Life of Pets, April 1; Moana, April 8; The BFG, April 15; Sing, April 22; and Finding Dory, April 29. Sa, festivities begin at 7 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. The Promenade in the parking lot near Nordstrom Rack, Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, scottsdalepromenade.com.
Arizona Science Center
Designed to inspire, educate and entertain people of all ages, the center boasts four levels of hands-on exhibits, plus live demonstrations, a state-of-the-art planetarium and giant-screen theater. Planet Shark: Predator or Prey? through May 31, challenges viewers’ fears, misunderstandings and ignorance regarding the plight of the world’s most feared ocean dweller. 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. 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, with an emphasis on science and technology. Caped Crusaders & Everyday Heroes, through May 28, takes guests on a hero’s journey through works by more than 15 national and international artists. Tu-Sa, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Su, noon-4 p.m. $8. 150 W. Pepper Pl., Mesa, ideamuseum.org, 480-644-2468.
The Little Mermaid
A beautiful young mermaid longs to leave her ocean home – and her fins – behind and live in the world above. The Disney tale features the hit songs, “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Under the Sea.” Call for times and ticket prices. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8670 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com, 480-314-0841.
School of Rock
A wannabe rock star poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school and turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. Call for times and ticket prices. Spotlight Youth Theatre, 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale, spotlightyouththeatre.org, 602-843-8318.
The Secret Garden
This compelling tale of forgiveness and renewal focuses on an orphaned girl whose personality blossoms as she brings life to a neglected garden. Call for times and ticket prices. Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., Phoenix, vyt.com, 602-253-8188.
This inaugural event features five age-specific zones with a variety of interactive and creative activities that range from a zip line to a reading garden. A diaper derby, balloon artist, science and technology discovery zone, zumba dancing, face painting and performances by national and local artists are among the highlights. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $10, adults; free, children 3 and younger. Cityscape, 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix, phoenixchildrensfestival.com, 602-529-2810.
The Grumpiest Boy in the World
Childsplay presents this playful escapade of the imagination, which celebrates ordinariness and extraordinariness—and the grumpiness that can come from thinking we have too much of one, or not enough of the other. Call for times and ticket prices. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, childsplayaz.org, 480-921-5700.
Sea of Imagination
Sammy the Star falls from the sky and lands far under the sea, where he discovers that home is where the heart is. The underwater adventure is presented by PuppetWorks. Sa, 10:30 a.m. and noon. $8. Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, theaterworks.org, 623-815-7930.
Disney on Ice: Dream Big
Guests join eight Disney princesses – Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White – as they embark on incredible adventures, determined to make their dreams come true in this ice skating spectacular. Th, 7 p.m.; F, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Sa, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Su, noon and 4 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.
In conjunction with the Japanese Friendship Garden, performers from Edo Marionette Troupe are coming all the way from Japan to perform their original work, with an introduction and translation by puppeteer/musician Grego. A Q&A session follows the show. 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.
Willy Wonka Jr!
The search for the golden ticket is on in this timeless story about a sweet-natured boy named Charlie and four other winners who get the tour of a lifetime in a mysterious candymaker’s scrumptious factory. Call for times and ticket prices. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, Anthem, musicaltheatreofanthem.org, 623-336-6001.
April 23-May 21
Stumble down the rabbit hole into a rock ’n’ roll adventure where old favorites like The Mad Hatter and The Queen of Hearts appear with a new twist – the actors telling the story are also the band. Featuring an eclectic rock soundtrack, Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure is presented by Childsplay. Call for times and ticket prices. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, childsplayaz.org, 480-921-5700.
April 26-May 14
The Big Bug Circus
Marvel at the powerful strongman ant, gasp at the brave tightrope-walking caterpillar and cheer for the juggling dung beetle as these marionette bugs star in a fun-filled carnival. 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.
April 28-May 14
Once Upon a Mattress
Taking place in a medieval kingdom with a domineering queen, this familiar tale of royal courtship follows a princess from the wrong side of the moat as she competes for the hand of Prince Dauntless. The production is staged by Theater Works. Call for times. $38. Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, theaterworks.org, 623-815-7930.