November 1 – December 31
Celebrate your favorite sugary treats at this epic candy playground featuring larger-than-life interactive art installations and full sensory experiences, from flying unicorn pigs and confetti explosions to a marshmallow pit filled with more than 250,000 foam marshmallows. Check website for times. $28, adults; $20, children 4-12; free for 3 and younger. Scottsdale Quarter, 15059 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, candytopia.com. Advance ticket purchase only.
November 13 – December 1
This fun singalong 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. $12, adults; $8, children 12 and younger. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, azpuppets.org, 602-262-2050.
December 1 – January 4
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. 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. departures. $33-$82. Grand Canyon Railway, 235 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams, thetrain.com, 888-848-3511.
December 4 – 22
Santa sends his elves to help the hardworking shoemaker and his wife in this charming holiday-themed version of the traditional tale. Dec. 4-22, Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, azpuppets.org, 602-262-2050; and Dec. 6-22, Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, fhtaz.org, 480-837-9661. The Dec. 15 performance in Phoenix is followed by a Christmas party featuring puppet-making activities, snacks and a visit from Santa; reservations are required.
December 5 – 15
A young mermaid with an enchanting voice longs to leave her ocean home to 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. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42201 N. 41st Dr., Anthem, musicaltheatreofanthem.org, 623-336-6001.
December 5 – 15
Based on the belief and faith that anything is possible, this heartwarming musical focuses on the 1897 true story of an 8-year-old girl who inspired the most famous newspaper editorial of all time by asking, “Is there a Santa Claus?” The show 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. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, evct.org, 480-644-6500.
December 6 – 22
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Call for times and ticket prices. Spotlight Youth Theatre, 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale, spotlightyouththeatre.org, 602-843-8318.
December 6 – 15
The ultimate feel-good show combines ABBA’s greatest hits – including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper” and “Take a Chance on Me” – with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. The play is presented by Greasepaint Youtheatre. F-Sa, 7 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $20. Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale, greasepaint.org, 480-949-7529.
December 6 – 23
Christopher Robin, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and the rest of the gang from the snow-covered Hundred Acre Wood help Eeyore find his lost tail in this holiday adventure about sharing, caring, friendship and joy. Call for times. $20. Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., Phoenix, vyt.com, 602-253-8188.
December 7 – 29
A princess who is given the “gift” of obedience at birth must defeat an evil stepmother, a hungry ogre and this troublesome curse to find her own voice and live happily ever after. A twist on the fairy tale classic Cinderella, the musical adventure is staged by Childsplay. Sa, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Su, 1 p.m. Tickets start at $12. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, childsplayaz.org, 480-921-5700.