'tis the season
Here Comes Santa Claus: He might be a bit pressed for time, but magic--like being in two places at once--is one of the jolly old elf's strong suits. Saint Nick takes up residence for the season at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Christown Mall, 19th Avenue and Bethany Home, and atthe same time way across the Valley at TriCity Mall, Dobson and Main in Mesa. Call Christown at 242-9074 or TriCity at 969-2261.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: A reading of the Dr. Seuss classic is planned at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore, 414South Mill, Suite 109, in conjunction withthe city's Fantasy of Lights festival (see PicHits). Admission is free. Call 966-0203.
"Wild Winter Nights": Wildlife World Zoo has zoo lights, too. The menagerie, 165th Avenue and Northern in Litchfield Park, unveils its new display Friday. Like Phoenix Zoo's ZooLights, "Wild Winter Nights" features thousands of lights placed strategically around the WWZ grounds. Unlike Phoenix Zoo, Wildlife World Zoo plans to let some of its critters, including white tigers Sir Lunge-a-Lot and Mrs. Lunge-aLot, stay up late and enjoy the show. Other highlights include live entertainment and visits by Santa Claus and his reindeer. "Wild Winter Nights" continues from 5:30 to 9:30 nightly, through February 3, 1996. Admission is $4, free for kids age 2 and under. Call 935-9453.
National Puppet Theater Company of Uzbekistan: The troupe from the former Soviet-bloc nation stops at Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 3302 North Seventh Street, for seven performances of its Oriental-flavored production Puppet Caravan on the Great Silk Road. Shows, in English, are planned at 10a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are $5. Reservations are suggested; call 277-1275.
at the museum
"Bear With Us": This exhibit at Arizona Museum for Youth, 35 North Robson in Mesa, features multimedia representations of bruins of all shapes, sizes and sorts, plus interactive games and learning activities. It continues through February 2, 1996. Regular hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays; the museum is closed Thursday, but it's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Admission is $2, free for kids under 2. For details call 644-2467.
"Computer Works": The exhibit, exploring the elements required to run a computer and how they relate to one another, continues indefinitely at Arizona Science Center, 147 East Adams. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $4.50, $3.50 for kids ages 4to 12 and seniors, free for kids age 3 and younger. Call 256-9518 or 258-7250.
"The Great Russian Dinosaurs": Mesa Southwest Museum, 53 North Macdonald, presents this major touring exhibition co-sponsored by City of Mesa and Paleontological Institute of Moscow. It features 24 full skeletons, as well as remains of dino nests, eggs and hatchlings, 50 skulls and dozens of other specimens collected this century from sites in Russia and Mongolia, many of which have never before been displayed in the West. The American premiere of the installation continues through February 4, 1996. Expanded hours are in effect throughout the exhibit's run: 9 a.m. to 6p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5, free for kids age 2 and under. Call 644-2230.
among the animals
"Where Are You?": Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, hosts the latest installment in its yearlong festival "TheCelebration of the Natural World," which continues through September 1996. Throughout November, kids learn about hibernation andmigration. They can climb into a bear's (empty) den, identify migrating birds and participate in face-painting and storytelling sessions. These and other events are free with regular admission: $7, $6 for seniors, $3.50 for kids ages 4 to 12, free for younger children and zoo members. For details call 273-1341 or 273-7771.
the train gang
"Turkey Meet" Toy Train Show and Sale: Approximately 15,000 square feet of toy trains and accessories are on display and on the block atthis 20th annual swap meet, sponsored byDesert Division Train Collectors Association. It's slated for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the pavilion at Embassy Suites hotel, 5001North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale; family admission (including parents and kids under 16) is $5. An auction of tin-plated Lionel, Ives, Marx and American Flyer trains, circa the 1920s to the present, starts at 9 a.m. Sunday; admission is $3 per person. For details call 991-4648 or 391-3336.