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Entertaining your kid can be hard, especially when it's too hot to be outside. Check out 5 places you can take your kids without the sweltering heat. Nicole Schaub, Arizona Republic

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All kids are different, but they have one thing in common: When summertime rolls around, they need to be entertained.

We’re here to help. We’ve surveyed the Phoenix metro to find 75 fun ideas to keep children of all ages active and curious throughout the long, hot season.

For outdoorsy types, there are mountain biking classes, a free fishing day and everyone’s favorite way to get down and dirty, Scottsdale’s annual Mighty Mud Mania. For animal lovers, there are zoos and lizard encounters. And for artsy kids, there’s a ton of live theater, from the Broadway tour of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (if you have a few extra bucks to spend) and Phoenix’s stalwart Great Arizona Puppet Theater (if you don’t).

So dig in. With this many options, there’s no excuse for letting the little ones spend the entire summer in front of their screens.

MORE THINGS TO DO: For restaurant reviews, travel tips, concert picks and more, subscribe to azcentral.com.

Through 6/16: ‘Legally Blonde’

Pretty-in-pink Elle Woods charms her way into Harvard Law School to try to win back her ex in this 2007 musical based on the Reese Witherspoon movie. Performed by Scottsdale Desert Stages Youth Theatre with performers ages 12-22. Favorite numbers include the cheeky "Bend and Snap" and "There! Right There!"

Details: Through June 16. Scottsdale Fashion Square, 4720 N. Scottsdale Road. $20. 480-483-1664, desertstages.org.

Through 6/29: ‘Newsies’

Disney’s 1992 movie musical, about New York City newsboys going on strike at the turn of the 20th century, was a flop, then a cult hit and finally a big Broadway musical, which is fast becoming a favorite title on the regional theater circuit.

Details: Through June 29. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. $22-$40. 480-497-1181, haletheatrearizona.com.

Through 7/21: Wonderspaces Arizona

If your kids think museums are stuffy, they might warm up to this in-the-mall gallery that gathers immersive and interactive art projects from around the world. The LA company’s first show here is “Point of View,” featuring kid-friendly installations such as “Body Paint,” which allows them to add splashes of color to a big-screen design by waving their arms, and “Transition,” a 9-minute virtual-reality boat ride through a surreal seascape featuring flying fish, fantastical architecture and a friendly dog.

Details: Through July 21. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays (last entry 90 minutes before closing). Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. $15-$24; free for children under 3. arizona.wonderspaces.com.

6/1: Free Fishing Day

You won’t need a fishing license or even equipment to fish on this day. The Family Fishing Fun program provides loaner equipment. Just bring your own bait. Hint: You can buy it at Walmart, Cabela's and Sportsman's Warehouse stores as well as independent bait and tackle shops.

Details: 7-10 a.m. Saturday, June 1. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 928-501-1703, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/1: Beginner Mountain Bike Class

First, you'll learn the basic skills you need to ride desert and mountain terrain. Plus you'll get to know your bike; learn how to balance, shift and control your speed; and familiarize yourself with riding protocol and safety. This 30-minute class is followed by a 3- to 4-mile ride to practice what you learned. A helmet is required. Bring plenty of water, an extra inner tube and tools to change a flat tire.

Details: 7-9 a.m. Saturday, June 1. San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/5: Indoor Animal Games

Stay cool and learn interesting things about desert animals while playing games in the Nature Center. Best suited for ages 6-12. One participant will win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix.

Details: 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, June 5. Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/7: Critters and a Movie

Meet some animals and cool off with a movie, Disney’s "The Living Desert" in the Nature Center. This classic film has footage of Sonoran Desert animal behaviors and species interactions that people rarely get to see. Each family will receive one raffle ticket to a drawing for a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix.

Details: 10 a.m.-noon Friday, June 7. San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/7: Creatures of the Night Walk

A ranger leads an easy walk to look for and learn about nocturnal critters of the desert. Wildlife seen on past walks includes ringtails, foxes, javelinas, owls, scorpions and more. Black lights will be provided, but please bring your own flashlight. Space is limited, so call 928-684-2772 to sign up.

Details: 7:45-9:45 p.m. Friday, June 7. Hassayampa River Preserve, 49614 U.S. 60, Wickenburg. $5 per person. 928-684-2772, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/8: Mighty Mud Mania

It’s the 44th year for this Scottsdale summertime tradition, which started as a promotional event for Shout laundry spray. The Original Mud Obstacle Course is a race with slides, rope swings and mud pits 5 feet deep for kids 7-12. There’s a Mini Mud Course for 4- to 6-year-olds and an Extreme Course for older kids ($10 if you’re 18 or older).

Details: 7 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 8. Chaparral Park, 5401 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. Free. 480-312-0205, scottsdaleaz.gov/mighty-mud-mania.

6/8: Night Safari

Learn about desert animals on this easy 1-mile walk along the Merkle Trail. The trail's smooth surface is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Bring a flashlight and water and wear closed-toe shoes. No pets. Come early for the "All About Black Bears” program in the Nature Center at 6 p.m. and the snake feeding at 7 p.m.

Details: 7:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8. Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 4; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/8: Star Party at Lost Dutchman State Park

Want to learn more about the stars and planets? Do you have little ones curious about the cosmos? Head to Lost Dutchman State Park. The Superstition Astronomical League presents this public viewing to give people the opportunity to see the moon, planets, star clusters, galaxies and other astronomical phenomena using sophisticated telescopes.

Details: 8-10 p.m. Saturday, June 8. Lost Dutchman State Park, 6109 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction. Vehicle entrance fee is $7. 480-982-4485, azstateparks.com/lost-dutchman.

6/8, 15, 22, 29: Beginner Mountain Bike Ride

This 5.5-mile ride is geared for beginners but open to all ages and skill levels. Experts will be available to help you understand your bike and safe riding. "No Rider Left Behind" is the policy, so we ride in a group. Helmets are required. Riders younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Bring water, helmet, an extra tube and tools to change a flat tire.

CLOSE

Kick off your summer with a bang on one of these Arizona getaways. There's plenty to do, from hiking to boating to watching an old-fashioned shootout. Nicole Schaub, Arizona Republic

Details: 7-9 a.m. Saturdays, June 8, 15, 22 and 29. San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/11-16: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ first national tour

That’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not Willy Wonka, with all due respect to the late Gene Wilder. The beloved Roald Dahl book of 1964 became a musical in the West End of London in 2013 and moved to Broadway in 2017. Songs are by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman, who also wrote for “Hairspray,” “Catch Me If You Can” — and, hey, “Bombshell,” the musical within the TV show “Smash.”

Details: June 11-16. ASU Gammage, Mill Avenue and Apache Boulevard, Tempe. Demand pricing. 480-965-3434, asugammage.com.

6/13-23: ‘The Lost Boys of Neverland’

East Valley Children’s Theatre presents an original sequel to “Peter Pan,” which explores what happens in Neverland after Peter heads home. It introduces a new heroine, a foster child from New York named Jaime.

Details: June 13-23. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $15. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com, evct.org.

6/14-30: ‘Freaky Friday’

The talented teens of Valley Youth Theatre claim the honor of performing the Arizona premiere of Disney’s new musical based on the body-switching comedy (Mary Rodgers’ 1972 novel and two film adaptations). With songs by “Next to Normal” Pulitzer winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, it premiered in 2016 at Signature Theatre in Virginia.

Details: June 14-30. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. $20.50-$39.50. 602-252-8497, herbergertheater.org, vyt.com.

6/14: Movie in the Park

Enjoy a movie and the chance to meet animals up close. Bring a blanket, picnic lunch and favorite stuffed animal to enjoy this activity in the nature center.

Details: Noon-2 p.m. Friday, June 14. Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/14: East Valley Astronomy Club Star parties

If you or your kids are curious about the night sky, attend one of the East Valley Astronomy Club’s star parties. They offer a chance to observe stars and planets through club members' telescopes. Star parties start at dusk on the second Friday of each month (weather permitting).

Details: 7:30 p.m. June 14, July 12 and Aug. 9. Gilbert Riparian Preserve, 2757 E. Guadalupe Road. Free (donations are accepted). evaconline.org.

6/15: Full Moon Hike: White Tanks

Join this 2-mile walk along the Mule Deer Trail to observe the night sky and experience the moonlight lighting the desert. This is a moderate hike. Wear close-toe shoes and bring water. Flashlights are optional. No dogs, please.

Details: 7:30-8:45 p.m. Saturday, June 15. White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 5; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/15: Full Moon Hike: Estrella

Experience the beauty of the desert in the moonlight. Bring water and sturdy shoes and meet at the Nature Center. At the beginning of the program, names will be entered into a drawing for a Family 4-Pack of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix tickets. At the end of the program, one winner will be selected. You must stay for the entire program and be present to win.

Details: 7:30-9 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 6; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/15: Moonlight Hike at Spur Cross

The Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area is a different experience when seen softly illuminated by the moon on this moderate hike. There will be minimal use of flashlights on this hike, but bring one just in case.

Details: 8-10 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, 44000 N. Spur Cross Road, Cave Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 8; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/19: These Rocks Rock

Geologist AJ Lombard will describe cool things about Arizona rocks, including what they're made of and how they were created. This indoor program is designed for ages 7 and up. One participant will win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix water park.

Details: 10:30-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 19. Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 4, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/19: All About Scorpions

A short indoor presentation will be followed by a trail walk to look for scorpions. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring water, a flashlight and a black light if you have one. Black lights can be purchased at the Visitor Center. No pets.

Details: 7-9 p.m. Friday, June 19. San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 7; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/21: Summer Solstice Sunrise Hike

Start the day with a sunrise hike along the 1½-mile Black Rock Long Loop Trail. Watch the sunrise from a viewpoint, experience the Sonoran Desert as it awakens and see ancient petroglyphs along the trail. No dogs.

Details: 5-7 a.m. Friday, June 21. White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 5; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/29: Creatures of the Night Walk

A ranger leads an easy walk to look for and learn about nocturnal critters of the desert. Wildlife seen on past walks includes ringtails, foxes, javelinas, owls, scorpions and more. Black lights will be provided, but please bring your own flashlight. Space is limited, so call 928-684-2772 to sign up.

Details: 7:45-9:45 p.m. Saturday, June 29. Hassayampa River Preserve, 49614 U.S. 60, Wickenburg. $5 per person. 928-684-2772, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

6/29: Wet and Wild Hike and Splash

The whole family will like this wet hike. Life vests will be provided, or bring your own. The hike is about 1 mile long. Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting wet. The hike starts off of Waterline Way in the east parking lot of the 10-lane boat ramp, next to the restrooms. Just follow the hike signs from the main gate.

Details: 9-11 a.m. Saturday, June 29. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930 ext. 2; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/3: Nature Documentary: Our Planet

Beat the midday heat in the Nature Center classroom for a showing of the BBC documentary, “Our Planet, Fresh Water.” Over two-thirds of Earth’s fresh water is locked in the polar ice caps.

Details: 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, July 3. White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 5; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/3, 10, 24, 31: Kids Creature Feature Movie

Looking for cool fun? Bring a mat, pillow or blanket and watch an animal movie in the Nature Center. Movies are suitable for all ages. Snacks are available for purchase, and you are welcome to bring your own (no glass bottles). At the end of the movie, one person will win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix water park.

Details: 10:30-noon Wednesdays, July 3, 10, 24 and 31. Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 4; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/5-8/17: ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’

The stage musical is based on the 1968 film, with songs by the Sherman brothers, who also wrote the tunes for “Mary Poppins.” The original story about a flying car is by Ian Fleming of “James Bond” fame.

Details: July 5-Aug. 17. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. $20-$40. 480-497-1181, haletheatrearizona.com.

7/6: Beginner Mountain Bike Class

First, you'll learn the basic skills you need to ride desert and mountain terrain. Plus you'll get to know your bike; learn how to balance, shift and control your speed; and familiarize yourself with riding protocol and safety. This 30-minute class is followed by a 3- to 4-mile ride to practice what you learned. A helmet is required. Bring plenty of water, an extra inner tube and tools to change a flat tire.

Details: 6-8 a.m. Saturday, July 6. San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/12: Movie Night in the Park: 'Spy in the Wild'

Life-like robotic animals with built-in eye cameras give a peek into the social lives of wild animals in this movie. Snacks will be available for sale or bring your own (no glass bottles). After the movie, watch a snake feeding. One person will win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix water park.

Details: 7-8 p.m., Friday, July 12. Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 4; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/12: Searching for Scorpions

A ranger leads this night hike in search of scorpions. Don’t worry — there's a strict no-touch rule. Bring a flashlight and a black light if you have one. Some black lights may be available to borrow or purchase. Wear close-toed shoes and bring water.

Details: 8-9:30 p.m. Friday, July 12. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930 ext. 2; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/12-28: ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Theater Works, the longest-running theater company in the West Valley, presents the stage musical based on the classic film fantasy. It has all the tunes you remember, including “Over the Rainbow,” as well as a couple of cuts that didn’t make it to the big screen.

Details: July 12-28. Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 W. Peoria Ave. $18-$38. 623-815-7930, theaterworks.org.

7/12-28: ‘The Addams Family’

Based on the classic cartoons by Charles Addams, this all-ages musical tells a guess-who's-coming-to-dinner story when a grown-up Wednesday returns to the family's haunted house to introduce her fiancé, who is (gasp!) perfectly normal. Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth played Gomez and Morticia, the horrified/horrifying parents, on Broadway in 2010. This professional production is by Peoria-based Arizona Broadway Theatre.

Details: July 12-28. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. $44-$73. 602-252-8497, herbergertheater.org.

7/13: Full Moon Hike: Estrella

Experience the beauty of the desert in the moonlight. Bring water and sturdy shoes and meet at the Nature Center. At the beginning of the program, names will be entered into a drawing for a Family 4-Pack of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix tickets. At the end of the program, one winner will be selected. You must stay for the entire program and be present to win.

Details: 7:30-9 p.m. Saturday, July 13. Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 6; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/13, 20, 27: Beginner Mountain Bike Ride

This 5.5-mile ride is geared for beginners but open to all ages and skill levels. Experts will be available to help you understand your bike and safe riding. "No Rider Left Behind" is the policy, so we ride in a group. Helmets are required. Riders younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Bring water, helmet, an extra tube and tools to change a flat tire.

Details: 6-8 a.m. Saturdays, July 13, 20 and 27. San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/13: Sunset and Almost Full Moon Hike

Take this 2-hour, moderate hike up the Yavapai Point Trail and enjoy the view under the moonlight. Bring a flashlight (just in case), water and a snack. Meet at the Cottonwood Trailhead.

Details: 7-9 p.m. Saturday, July 13. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 2; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/15-25: ‘Musicals Schmoozicals II: Family’s a Drag’

Valley actor Johanna Carlisle-Zepeda and her son, Maxx Carlisle-King, team up for a humorous memoir about their adventures in the local theater scene. The Lunch Time Theater performance is under an hour.

Details: July 15-25. 12:10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, and 7 p.m. Monday, July 15. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. $7. 602-252-8497, herbergertheater.org.

7/18: Shoreline Wet Hike

Wear clothes you won't mind getting wet on this family-friendly outing along the shore of Two Cow Cove. The terrain is a bit rocky, so wear hiking shoes or sturdy water shoes. One participant will win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix water park. Follow the “Hike” signs to the Wild Burro Trailhead.

Details: 9-11 a.m. Thursday, July 18. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930 ext. 2; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

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7/19: Wet and Wild Hike and Splash

The whole family will like this wet hike. Life vests will be provided, or bring your own. The hike is about 1 mile long. Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting wet. The hike starts off of Waterline Way in the east parking lot of the 10-lane boat ramp, next to the restrooms. Just follow the hike signs from the main gate.

Details: 9-11 a.m. Friday, July 19. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930 ext. 2; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/20: Let’s Discover Arizona Monsoons

This presentation will take you through the life cycle of Arizona’s monsoon season. Why are there monsoon storms here? Where do they come from? How long do they last? Get answers to these and lots more questions during this indoor presentation. Bring a snack if you like.

Details: 1-2 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 6; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/25-8/3: ‘Mary Poppins Jr.’

Don Bluth, best known as the animator of films including “An American Tail” and “Anastasia,” opened a community theater in his Scottsdale living room, although he has since moved it to a more traditional venue. Next up is the children’s theater version of Disney’s “Mary Poppins” – so start practicing your pronunciation of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Details: July 25-Aug. 3. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8670 E. Shea Blvd., No. 103, Scottsdale. $27 (no children under 5). 480-314-0841, donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com.

7/26: Make a Rain Stick

Kids can practice their arts and crafts skills while making rain sticks to take home. The activity leader will read a fun story as children create their rain sticks in the Discovery Center. One child will win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix water park.

Details: 3-4 p.m. Friday, July 26. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 2; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/26: All About the Summer Monsoon

Summer is when weather patterns change and the potential for dust storms, thunderstorms, wind, lightning and downpours increases. This indoor presentation will explain the conditions that bring about this weather, why this season is important to desert plants and animals and how you can stay safe when storms approach.

Details: 10-11 a.m. Friday, July 26. San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 7; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

7/26-28: ‘Ice Fantasy: Where Cirque Meets Ice’

Figure skaters and acrobats team up in this show created by former skater Jeb Rand and choreographed by Pasquale Camerlengo, a gold-medal ice dancer at Skate America, Skate Canada and the International de Paris.

Details: July 26-28. 7 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $29-$69. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com.

7/27: Scorpion Search Hike

Walk with a ranger along the Waddell Trail to look for scorpions and experience the desert at night. This will be an easy 2-mile walk. Bring a black light if you have one and wear close-toe shoes. No dogs.

Details: 7:30-9 p.m. Saturday, July 27. White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell. Vehicle entry fee is $7. 602-506-2930, ext. 5; www.maricopacountyparks.net/events.

9/8-10/13: ‘The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane’

Childsplay, the Valley’s only professional theater for young audiences, revives one of its most acclaimed hits, an original adaption of Kate DiCamillo’s novel about a self-centered rabbit doll who learns the meaning of love as he is passed from owner to owner. Be sure to bring Kleenex — and not just for the kids. Our curmudgeonly theater critic saw it twice and cried both times.

Details: Sept. 8-Oct. 13. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. $12-$30. 602-252-8497, herbergertheater.org, childsplayaz.org.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

If your kids love sports, they'll have fun watching the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. A D-Backs Summer Pass can get fans into all 57 home games from May 31 through Sept. 29. During this time frame, the team will play the Dodgers, Rockies, Mets, Giants and more. There are post-game fireworks on some Fridays. 

Details: 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. Ticket prices vary. $99 for D-Backs Summer Pass. 602-514-8400 for single-game tickets; 602-462-4600 for group tickets and season passes. mlb.com/dbacks.

Arizona Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1977, this museum is a classic place for families to explore the history and culture of the Southwest. There are more than 60,000 objects of natural history, anthropology, history and art. Kids will find lots to do, from learning about dinosaurs to panning for gold to watching a flash flood flow over a three-story mountain inside the museum.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays. 53 N. Macdonald, Mesa. $12, $8 for students 13 and older with ID, $7 for ages 3-12, free for kids 2 and under. 480-644-2230, arizonamuseumofnaturalhistory.org.

Arizona Science Center

One of the city's premier museums has a giant-screen theater, planetarium and the CREATE maker space. The featured exhibition through Sept. 3 is “Mummies of the World,” with 40 human and animal mummies and artifacts from around the world.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. $18, $13 for ages 3-17, free for children 2 and younger. 602-716-2000, azscience.org.

AZ on the Rocks

If the kids seem to be climbing on anything and everything, the largest climbing gym in Arizona will be their new favorite place. But there's more than just climbing. Families can also enjoy yoga, fitness equipment and ninja warrior rigs.

Details: 3-10 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 3-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 16447 N. 91st St., Scottsdale. 480-502-9777, azontherocks.com.

Big Surf Waterpark

The 20-acre park is celebrating 50 years in 2019. Ride the Waikiki Beach Wave Pool with a raft, boogie board or surfboard. When big kids are done with the waves, they'll want to try all seven water slides, including the Black Hole and Tahitian Twisters. Kids of all ages can climb the Bora Bora Bay or slip down the Otter slides.

Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 1500 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe. $19.95-$34 general admission, $49.95-$99.95 for a season pass. 480-994-2297, bigsurffun.com.

Butterfly Wonderland

Boasting more than 3,000 butterflies from around the world, Butterfly Wonderland's conservatory is a must-see. The facility has an emergence gallery where chrysalises transform into butterflies, a 3D theater and a rainforest reptile exhibit. Until August, visit "The Very Hungry Caterpillar 50th birthday special exhibition" which features activities like viewing live caterpillars and creatures from the books, photo opportunities, story times and large storybook pages around the conservatory

Details: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. 9500 E. Via de Ventura, on the Salt River Reservation near Scottsdale. $15.95-$23.95 for daily admission. Annual passes available. Combo tickets available for surrounding attractions including Odysea Aquarium. 480-800-3000, butterflywonderland.com.

Castles-n-Coasters

Have kids who want some amusement park excitement? Three roller coasters could do the job: Desert Storm has two loops, Splashdown cools down thrill-seekers with a log ride and Skydiver takes guests up high, then drops them about 120 feet. There are arcade games, mini golf and bumper boats for the calmer adventurers. 

Details: Hours updated weekly; check the website. 9445 N. Metro Parkway East, Phoenix. $30.99-$40.99 for daily passes; $10.99 for one round of 18-hole mini golf. Season and annual passes $49.99-$99.99. 602-997-7575; castlesncoasters.com.

Ceretta Candy Co. tours

Take a 30-minute guided tour through this family-owned candy factory and get a behind-the-scenes look at how candy is made and wrapped. The tours are free; for $12.50, guests can build their own chocolate pizza afterward.

Details: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 5345 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale. Free. 623-930-9000, cerreta.com/factory-tours.

Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The museum has activities for preschoolers, toddlers and babies, with five focus areas: art and culture, learning through play, health and wellness, environmental awareness and cultivating tolerance.

Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. 215 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. $14.95, $13.95 for age 62 and older, free for babies younger than 1. 602-253-0501, childrensmuseumofphoenix.org.

Desert Botanical Garden

With 140 acres to explore and over 50,000 plant displays, the Desert Botanical Garden is a learning experience worth paying for. The garden hosts classes and flashlight tours throughout the summer. Guests can get in for free on Community Day, the second Tuesday of every month.

Details: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Members can get in an hour early on Wednesdays and Sundays. 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. $24.95, $12.95 for ages 3-17. 480-941-1225, dbg.org.

Enchanted Island Amusement Park

There are attractions for children of all ages, including the popular C.P. Huntington Train ride, Encanto Carousel and kiddie cars. If it gets too hot out, bring the kids to the Splash Zone.

Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon-8 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 1202 W. Encanto Blvd., Phoenix. Free admission, $21.75 for all-day ride pass, $1.25 for single tickets. 602-254-1200, enchantedisland.com.

Fat Cats

Bowling, arcade games, movies and glow golf all under one roof? The kids will be occupied all day. Bowl on one of the 20 lanes with food service at each lane. Arcade games are half price on Wednesdays and earn bonus cash when buying $20, $50 or $100 worth of arcade tickets. Test golfing skills at the nine-hole pirate-themed glowing mini golf course for $3 per child 11 and under per round or $4 for person ages 12 and up per round. End the night with a movie. Tickets cost $6.50-$10.50.

Details: 11 a.m.-midnight Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-midnight Sundays. 4321 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert. $4.25-$25 for bowling, $4.25 for shoe rental. 480-498-3325, fatcatsfun.com/gilbert.

Golfland Sunsplash

Plan a day trip with the family to Golfland Sunsplash. There are plenty of water slides along with a lazy river and wave pool. In addition to the water features and three mini-golf courses, there are bumper boats, arcade games, laser tag and a car raceway.

Details: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily in Golfland. Hours vary in Sunsplash; check the website. 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa. $5.99-$33.99 for Sunsplash water-park admission. $3-$9.99 for mini golf. $24.99 for Golfland Fun Pass, which includes open play for all available attractions. Packages available. 480-834-8319, golfland.com/mesa.

Great Arizona Puppet Theater

This Phoenix company has been introducing young children to the magic of theater and puppetry since 1983. Summertime shows: “Rumpelstiltskin” (May 29-June 16), “Jack and the Beanstalk” (June 19-July 7), “The Three Wishes” (July 10-21), “Old MacDonald” (July 24-Aug. 11), “My Pet Dinosaur” (Aug. 14-Sept. 1) and “The Three Little Pigs” (Sept. 4-29).

Details: 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. $8 for kids, $12 for adults. 602-262-2050, azpuppets.org.

Hall of Flame Fire Museum

Children learn about the history and sacrifice of firefighters at this museum with over 90 fully restored pieces, some from overseas, of fire apparatus from 1725 to 1969 on display. There's also a gallery dedicated to the history of firefighting in the United States. Kids can climb aboard a fully functional 1952 American La France Model 700 fire engine from Miami, Arizona.

Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Noon-4 p.m. Sundays. 6101 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix. $10, $8 for ages 6-17, $4 for ages 3-5, free for children under 3. Senior discounts and group rates available. 602-275-3473, hallofflame.org.

Heard Museum

Immerse the family in American Indian culture, art and history. With plenty of exhibitions, educational programming and festivals, there's always something new to explore. Visit on the first Friday of every month except March for free general admission from 6 to 10 p.m. Roam the museum on your own or join a guided tour. American Indians can show their tribal I.D. to get in for free. 

Details: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $15-$18, $7.50 for students with college ID and ages 6-17, free for age 5 and younger. 602-252-8840, heard.org.

Ice skating

It’s hot. What could be cooler than gliding across a sheet of ice? Several Valley ice rinks offer open skating and, for those who don’t know how, instruction is available. You can even rent skates. Call or check the rink’s website for schedules and other information.

Details:AZ Ice has three locations: 3853 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, 602-957-9966; 2305 E. Knox Road, Gilbert, 480-503-7080; and 15829 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, 623-334-1200. Ice Den has two locations: 7225 W. Harrison St., Chandler, 480-598-9400, icedenchandler.com; and 9375 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, 480-585-7465, www.icedenscottsdale.com.

i.d.e.a. Museum

This Mesa museum offers hands-on activities for kids up to age 12. Attractions include ArtVille, a miniature town designed for toddlers to explore, and the HUB gallery, where kids can do arts and crafts.

Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays; noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Closed on Mondays. 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa. $9; free for babies younger than 1. 480-644-4332, ideamuseum.org.

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Jake's Unlimited

Whether it's for a birthday party or an outing for the day, this family entertainment venue is action-packed. It has a dual-level laser tag arena, bowling, over 170 arcade games, carnival-style midway games and rides. Tickets include free all-day entry to the buffet where you can sample unicorn tacos. Check the website for discounts and specials.

Details: 10 a.m.-midnight Saturdays and Sundays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m.-midnight Fridays. 1830 E. Baseline Road, Mesa. $23.50-$45.50. 480-771-0564, jakesunlimited.com.

Legoland Discovery Center

Don't worry about stepping on the Legos here. Tucked inside Arizona Mills Mall is a treasure trove of Lego-themed activities including the city play zone, creative workshops, a 4D cinema and rides. 

Details: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe. $19.95-$39.95. 855-450-0558, arizona.legolanddiscoverycenter.com.

Luv 2 Play 

This is the place for families with younger kids. They can let out their energy in this indoor playground and test their skills in the arcade. Toddlers and babies even have their own space. The best part? General admission is free for parents, kids 0-6 months and siblings over 13. 

Details: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 15495 W. Bell Road, Surprise. $6.95-$14.95. Packages and memberships available. 623-584-2767, luv2play.com/surprise.

Musical Instrument Museum

Don’t try to see the whole thing in one visit. This Phoenix gem has more than 7,000 instruments from around the world, from African guitars built out of oil cans to turntable contraptions from the early days of hip-hop. Kids love the interactive Experience Gallery, where they can play the theremin, and the Mechanical Music Gallery, featuring ingenious inventions such as the Apollonia, with drums, saxophones and accordions built into a giant self-playing orchestra.

Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. $20; $15 for ages 13-19; $10 for ages 4-12; free for children 3 and under. 480-478-6000, mim.org.

Odysea Aquarium

This is the largest aquarium in the Southwest with a 200,000-square-foot, two-story facility holding more than 50 exhibits and 500 aquatic species. It's an educational experience for all ages. 

Details: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays. 9500 E. Via De Ventura, on the Salt River Reservation near Scottsdale. $29.95-$34.95, $24.95-$25.95 for ages 2-12. 480-291-8000, odyseaaquarium.com.

Phoenix Art Museum Free Family Sunday

Discount Tire sponsors this monthly promotion from noon to 5 p.m. on the second Sunday of the month, with free admission to the museum along with performances, hands-on activities (such as scavenger hunts) and the chance to meet working artists.

Details: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. 602-257-1222, phxart.org.

Phoenix Zoo

Bring the family for summertime fun. With over 3,000 animals, kids can stare in awe while learning about the animals at each exhibit. Walk through the Monkey Village, an open exhibit where monkeys run around guests in their home. Feed the giraffes at Giraffe Encounter for $6 (free for age 2 and younger). 

Details: Summer hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily from June 1 through Aug. 31. 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. $22.95-$24.95, $14.95-$16.95 for ages 3-13. 602-286-3800, phoenixzoo.org.

CLOSE

Arizona has plenty of lakes, creeks and beaches for summer fun. Check out these desert swimming holes. Nicole Schaub, Arizona Republic

Public pools

Want to splash all day without the expense of a commercial water park? Consider a public pool. Many city pools have water features where your kids can cool off at a fraction of the cost. These public pools don’t have all the over-the-top amenities, but in some cases, you can get a season pass for the cost of a single day’s admission to one of the other places. Here are a few public options. Check your city’s website to see what it offers.

  • Kiwanis Wave Pool: Three-foot waves, water slide, raft and tube rentals. 6111 S. All-America Way, Tempe. 480-350-5201, www.tempe.gov.
  • Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center: Two water slides, lazy river, toddler water slides, water vortex, shade areas. 5901 S. Hillcrest Drive, Chandler. 480-782-2635, www.chandleraz.gov.
  • Pecos Park Pool: Water slide, diving boards, zero-depth area, spray features, water basketball. 17010 S. 48th St., Phoenix. 602-534-9255, www.phoenix.gov.
  • Rhodes Aquatic Complex: FlowRider surf simulator, splash pads, diving boards, zero-depth entry. 1860 S. Longmore, Mesa. 480-644-7529, www.mesaparks.com
  • Surprise Aquatic Center: Two water slides, a zero-depth area for little kids, a vortex whirlpool and diving boards. 15831 N. Bullard Ave. 623-222-2500, www.surpriseaz.gov.

Sea Life Centre Arizona

Clownfish, seahorses, turtles, sharks and rays are among the many creatures that call Sea Life home. Kids can listen to educational talks and watch feeding demonstrations, too.

Details: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe. $19.95-$39.95. 855-450-0559, visitsealife.com/arizona.

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Summer movies for kids at Harkins Theaters

Families can see a variety of kids movies including "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" and "Shrek" all summer long. A season ticket for $7 allows families to see one movie per week for less than $1 per film.

Details: Weekdays. Doors open at 9 a.m., movies start at 9:45 a.m. Locations vary. $7 season ticket, $2 for single tickets the day of the show. harkins.com/smf.

Superstition Mountain Museum

Learn about the history and legends of the Superstition Mountains at this museum just outside of Apache Junction. While you're there, check out the Elvis Movie Chapel and Apacheland Barn, remnants of the glory days of the Apacheland Movie Ranch. Other attractions include the Lost Dutchman Labyrinth, model train exhibit and nature trails.

Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Superstition Mountain Museum, 4087 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction. $5, $4 for seniors, $2 for students with ID, free for age 17 and younger if accompanied by an adult. 480-983-4888, superstitionmountainmuseum.org.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (formerly Wet 'n' Wild)

Cool down with 12 giant rides and attractions. Challenge a friend to tube race down two side-by-side slide tracks with the Bahama Blaster water slide or relax with younger kids at Wet n' Wild Jr., an area of the park with kid-friendly versions of the bigger rides.

Details: Hours vary between 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Closed some weekdays in August. 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale. $35.99-$45.99, free for kids 2 and younger. 623-201-2000, wetnwildphoenix.com.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park

Watch sea lions swim in the aquarium or look at the latest baby animal in the nursery. With more than 600 species, this zoo claims to have the largest collection of exotic and endangered animals. Kids can also visit the petting zoo, feed parrots, learn about wildlife during demonstrations and enjoy rides.

Details: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park. $39.99, $19.99 for ages 3-12, free for age 2 and younger. 623-232-8741, wildlifeworld.com.

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