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SanTan FAMILY FUN 3


55th Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony, 4:30-9 p.m. Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. Listen to music, watch dance entertainment, enjoy children’s activities and visit with Santa. Additional festivities include a parade of lights at 7 p.m., the lighting of the tumbleweed holiday tree around 8 p.m., arts and crafts, and refreshments for sale. Admission is free. 3 S. Arizona Ave. at Commonwealth, downtown Chandler. 480-782-2735, visit www.chandleraz.gov.


Visit with Grinch, 10 a.m. Changing Hands Bookstore. Hear stories and meet the Grinch, a costume character, in person. Free. 6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe. 480-730-0205.


Family Bird Walk; tour starts every 30 minutes 8 a.m.- noon. Chandler Environmental Education Center. Take a guided, one-hour trek through Veterans Oasis Park. Identify a variety of birds while exploring wetlands and desert habitats. Ages 17 and younger with a parent. Free. 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler. 480-782-2890.


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ZooLights, 6 to 10 p.m. Phoenix Zoo. Celebrate 20 years of wildlife in wild lights. See more than 3.5 million lights and 600-plus glimmering plant and animal sculptures daily through Jan. 9. Other highlights include Music in Motion; lighted animal displays that appear to swing through trees, hide in bushes and hop across lawns; horse-drawn wagon, carousel and camel rides. Fee: $9-$13, free ages 2 and younger. 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix. 602-273-1341, www.phoenixzoo.org.


4


Plants of the Bible, 1:30 p.m. Boyce Thompson Arboretum, located 45 minutes east of Mesa on U.S. 60 near Milepost 223. Inspect more than 24 plants mentioned in the Bible during a 90-minute guided tour. Ages 8 and older. $9 ages 13 and older, $4.50 ages 5-12, free ages 4 and younger. 520-689-2723, http:// arboretum.ag.arizona.edu.


5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 27 Wiggle Worms, 10:30 a.m. Perry Branch Library. Tots have fun with flannel board rhymes, songs, shakers, bubbles, parachute play and age-appropriate books. Ages 18 months-3 years with a parent. Free. 1965 E. Queen Creek Rd. at Perry High School, Gilbert. 602-652-3000, www.mcldaz.org.


6, 7


Storytime Mash-up, 10:30 a.m. Queen Creek Branch Library. Toddlers and preschoolers celebrate the holidays with songs and activities. Free tickets are required and available in the lobby at 10:15 a.m. 21802 S. Ellsworth Rd., Queen Creek. 602-652-3000, www.mcldaz.org.


6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29 Tumbleweed Tots, 9-11 a.m. Tumbleweed Recreation Center. Children ages 5 and younger with an adult enjoy a safe play space with toys, equipment and activities. $2 to $3 per day. 745 E. Germann Rd., Chandler. Info: 480-782-2900, Registration: 480-782-2641, www.chandleraz.gov/ tumbleweed.


7


Holiday Sing-a-long, 5-7 p.m. Southeast Regional Library. Celebrate the holiday with caroling, treats and a simple craft. All ages are welcome. Free. 775 N. Greenfield Rd., Gilbert. 602-652-3000, www.mcldaz.org.


Just 4 Kidz, 4:30 p.m. Queen Creek Branch Library. Ages 7-11 enjoy crafts, experiments and other fun activities. Free. Preregistration required. 21802 S. Ellsworth Rd., Queen Creek. 602-652-3000, www.mcldaz.org.


7, 14, 21, 28 Baby Time, 10:30 a.m. Perry Branch Library. Introduce baby to books, songs and fingerplays. Ages newborn to 20 months. Free. 1965 E. Queen Creek Rd. at Perry High School, Gilbert. 602-652-3000, www.mcldaz.org.


8


Sonoran Sunset Series, 6-7 p.m. Veterans Oasis Park. Experience an evening of holiday entertainment by the Basha High School Choir under the desert moon in the outdoor amphitheater. Refreshments available for purchase. All ages. Free admission. Located on the northeast corner of Chandler Heights and Lindsay roads in southeast Chandler. 480-782-2890, www.chandleraz.gov/ veterans-oasis.


8, 15, 22 Holiday Storytime with Mrs. Claus, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The Promenade at Fulton Ranch. Enjoy a morning of holiday tales told by Santa’s wife, crafts and a snack at various retailers in the center. Space may be limited, so registration is required for each of the storytime events. To register and learn specific location information, call 623-582-9599. Located on the northwest corner of Chandler Heights Road and Arizona Avenue, Southern Chandler. www. promenadeatfultonranch.com.


8-11, 15-23, 26-30 Las Noches de Las Luminarias, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Desert Botanical Garden. See more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaries lining the trails, buildings and courtyards. Listen to nightly musical performances by 10 musical groups. Fee: $20-$25 Adults, $10-$12.50 ages 3-12, free ages 2 and younger. 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix. 480-481-8188, www.dbg.org.


9


Holiday Nights of Lights, 6-9 p.m. Gilbert Civic Center North Campus. The lake will be outlined with blue lights, and holiday decorations transform the area into a fantasy holiday scene for this free event presented by Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and produced by the Town of Gilbert Community Services Department. Highlights include holiday entertainment, games, inflatable bounces, slides, activities, vendors and sponsor booths. Hot chocolate and other sweet treats are available for purchase. Bring a camera for visits with St. Nick. 50 E. Civic Center Dr., Gilbert. 480-503-6200, www.gilbertaz.gov.


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Photos with Santa, 9 a.m.-noon, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. Santa Claus gives children an opportunity to tell him how good they’ve been this year and share their holiday wishes. Each family receives a free digital photo, which can be downloaded to a personal computer for printing and sharing. The image can also be sent to a digital photo processing center. Participants are welcome to bring their own cameras as well. 3555 S. Val Vista Dr. in Gilbert. 877-728-5414.


Desert Art Discovery, 12:15-1:45 p.m. Chandler Environmental Education Center. This hands-on workshop teaches kids ages 7-11 about prickly pear and saguaro cacti. $12-$16. Preregistration required. 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler. 480-782-2890.


12k’s of Christmas, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Freestone Park. Celebrate fitness, health and the joy of Christmas with your well- behaved pups. Featured are a 1.2K Santa Sled Run/Walk and 6K and 12K Run/Walks. All participants receive Santa hats, and carolers perform at the start and finish lines and at every “K” along the route. A Christmas costume competition is also held with prizes going to best Christmas-themed running outfit, most Christmas spirit, best-dressed pet. Valley rescue groups participate in Santa’s Pet Village, a place to adopt animals looking for loving homes. A Christmas bazaar offers handmade crafts and gifts. Free to spectators with a fee for the runs and walks, which benefits Maricopa County Animal Care & Control and Phoenix Animal Care Coalition. Visit www.12krun.com for fees and registration. 1045 E. Juniper Rd., Gilbert. 480-609-3978, www.gilbertaz.gov/parks/ events-info.cfm.


December 2011 3


Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, 7 p.m. Tempe Town Lake. Festively lighted boats skim across the water for the individuals, families and groups set sail in people- powered, wind-powered or motorized decorated and lighted watercrafts amidst the backdrop of the lake’s bridge dressed in tens of thousands of lights. Santa Claus makes a grand entrance, too, and listens to Children’s Christmas wishes. Admission is free. Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. www.millavenue.com


12


Science Saturday, noon- 4 p.m. McCroskey House at Tumbleweed Ranch. Budding scientists make baking soda rockets, explore chemical reactions and visit historic homes and gardens. The Chandler Museum presents the free monthly events for children and families. The science experiments are held on the porch of the restored house at 2250 S. McQueen Rd., Chandler. 480-782-2717, www.chandleraz.gov/museum.


14


Bubble Blast, 9-11 a.m. Tumbleweed Recreation Center’s outdoor courtyard. This soap-filled morning offers fun with bubble wands and machines in a safe atmosphere. Ages 5 and younger with an adult; max of four children per adult. Program is subject to cancellation with inclement weather. $2-$3. 745 E. Germann Rd., Chandler. 480-782-2900, www.chandleraz.gov/ tumbleweed.


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Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Old Chicago at Fulton Ranch Towne Center. The eatery offers a hearty breakfast buffet for children and parents, and kids can visit with the jolly pair and receive a free goodie bag. The cost for the event is $10 per person, and registration is required by calling 623-582-9599. Located on the southwest corner of Ocotillo Road and Arizona Avenue. www.fultonranchshopping.com/ townecenter.


Animal Tails,10 a.m. Changing Hands Bookstore. An expert from the Phoenix Zoo discusses amazing animals, reads stories and shares a few critter encounters. All ages. Free. 6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe. 480-730-0205.


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Polar Express, 6-8 p.m. Tumbleweed Recreation Center. Children ages 3-8 and their families enjoy storytelling, crafts and hot cocoa in your jammies while you wait for Santa to choose who will receive “the first gift of Christmas.” Preregistration is required. $6-$8 per child. 745 E. Germann Rd., Chandler. 480-782-2900, www.chandleraz.gov/ tumbleweed.


Holiday Flower Power, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Chandler Environmental Education Center. This hands-on workshop teaches kids ages 8-12 the “fun-damentals” of floral design. Arrange, wire and cut flowers, then take them home. $35-$41. Preregistration required. 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler. 480-782-2890.


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Holidays at Heard, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Highlights include music, dance performances, artist demonstrations, fry bread and more. All ages are invited. Free with admission: $7.50- $15, free ages 5 and younger. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-252-8848,. www.heard.org.


29-31 Zoppé Italian Family Circus, 7 p.m. Dec. 29; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 30; noon, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31; noon and 4 p.m. Jan. 1, 2012; 7 p.m. Jan. 2 through 5, 2012; 2 and 7 p.m. Jan. 6, 2012; noon and 4 p.m. Jan. 7, 2012. Chandler Center for the Arts’ West Lawn. This intimate, 500- seat, one-ring circus, returns features acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and more. $15-$30. 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. 480-782-2680, www.chandlercenter.org, www.zoppe.net,


www.ninotheclown.com.


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