among the animals
"Africa! Alive": Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, hosts the latest installment in its festival "The Celebration ofthe Natural World," which continues through September. In "Africa! Alive," continuing through February 29, kids learn about the animals of the African continent via music, mask-making sessions, storytelling and other events. Participation is 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.
"Musical Q Zoo": This "whole different animal of entertainment" features a critter-themed concert by Quintessence Chamber Ensemble and a storytelling/puppeteering session by Animal Talk's Sharon Swanick. Shows are scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the story room at Phoenix Central Library, 1221 North Central, and at 7:30 that night in the Cinema at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. A final performance is planned at 3 p.m. Sunday at Christ United Methodist Church, 2602 North 51st Avenue. Admission to both matinees is free. Seating for the morning show is limited; call 262-6625 to reserve a space. Admission to the evening concert is $10, $5 for kids; call 994-2787.
at the museum
Arizona Science Center: "Food Snacks and Science Facts," scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2p.m. Saturday, gives kids insight into the health aspects of their favorite foods. The center celebrates National Engineers Week, Sunday through February 24, with various events. "Girls Engineering Team" features girls-only, hands-on sessions with women engineers at 10 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m. Monday; advance registration is required. The "Computer Works" exhibit explores the elements required to run a computer and how they relate to one another; it continues indefinitely. The facility is located at 147 East Adams. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Unless noted, participation in all events is free with regular admission: $4.50, $3.50 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors, free for those age 3 and younger. For details call 256-9518 or 258-7250.
Mesa Southwest Museum: The museum has extended its premire of the touring exhibition "The Great Russian Dinosaurs," featuring 24 full skeletons, remains of dino nests, eggs and hatchlings, skulls and dozens of other specimens collected this century from sites inRussia and Mongolia. It now continues through April 28 at the center, located at 53 North Macdonald. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5, free for kids age 2and under. For details call 644-2230.
arts and minds
"Eighth Grade Group Show": Students from Phoenix's Ingleside Middle School show off and sell their creations in this installation, which continues through March 8 at Scottsdale's Wilde-Meyer Gallery, 4142 North Marshall Way. The public/private partnership is designed to support art in the schools and to teach kids the intricacies of preparing such a show. Viewing is free; proceeds from sales benefit Ingleside's arts program. For details call 945-2323.
"Lizards, Snakes and Cheetahs": Art Ventures presents this exhibit of clay works by adozen of the studio's young artists. It continues through February 28 at Scottsdale's Literate Lizard, 10855 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Suite 100. Admission isfree. Viewing hours are 7 a.m. to 7p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 10p.m. Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. For details call 860-8689 or 996-6468.
Peter the Near (Great): The Nebraska-based performer (real name: Peter Petrashek), recognized as the national magician of the year in 1989, performs at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dobson Ranch Branch Library, 2425 South Dobson in Mesa, and at 10 a.m. Saturday in the community room at Superstition Springs Center, 6555 East Southern in Mesa. Free tickets to Thursday's show are available at the library; call 6443441. Registration is required for Saturday's matinee, and reserved tickets must be picked up by Friday; call 644-3184.
"Rhythm and Reading Express": In honor of Black History Month, Valley educator Jamie Showers presents this interactive celebration of literacy and African culture. Showtime is11:30 a.m. Saturday at Borders Books &Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. Admission is free, but space is limited. Call 957-6660.
"Trickster Tales From the Melting Pot": Seem to Be Players presents this program of tall folktales for all ages at 2 p.m. Saturday at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $10 and $11, available at Kerr and Dillard's. For details call 965-5377 or 678-2222.
"Wild Western Watercolors": Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street, hosts this event for kids ages 6 to 8, slated for 9:30to 11 a.m. Saturday. After a tour of the "First Artist of the West: Paintings and Watercolors by George Catlin From Gilcrease Museum" exhibit, the youngsters create their own watercolors in the Catlin style. The cost is $12, $10 for members; materials are included. Call 994-2301.
Pat Murphy's "Spring Training" Baseball Camp: The head coach of the Arizona State University baseball squad hosts this clinic for kidsages 7 to 12. A final session is scheduled Saturday. For more information, call 965-6085.
on the stage
Alice in Wonderland: Desert Stages, Inc., presents its take on the Lewis Carroll story about the little girl who falls down a rabbit hole. This week's performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 1, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday at 8473 East McDonald in Scottsdale. The play continues through March 10. Tickets are $6 in advance, $9 at the door. For details call 483-1664.