Downtown Cooldown: The City of Tempe hosts this way-cool extravaganza, featuring a fresh fall of July snow, a parade starring Otto the Talking Police Car, interactive games, train rides, entertainment and more. It's slated for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 27, centered on the intersection of Sixth Street and Mill. For details call 921-2300.
among the animals
Sleepover at Wildlife World Zoo: The fourth annual chaperoned summer series continues this week. WWZ staff members escort kids in grades four through eight on a night hike through the zoo and teach them how to paint their own tee shirts. The fun starts at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26, and continues until 8 a.m. Saturday, July 27, at the facility, 165th Avenue and Northern in Litchfield Park. The next sleepover is slated for Friday, August 9. The cost is $35, $30 for members, which includes all materials, plus dinner and breakfast. For registration and other information, call 935-9453.
Summer Days and Nights at Phoenix Zoo: The menagerie, 455 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, hosts a sleepover for kids in grades six through nine on Friday, July 26; for prices and registration details, call 273-1341, extension 7332. The educational festival "The Celebration of the Natural World" continues through September; call for details about July's entry. For general information, call 273-1341 or 273-7771.
arts and minds
"Introduction to Mime and Movement": Aurora Mime Theatre hosts this free program for kids age 5 and up. It starts at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Mesa Public Library, 64 East First Street. Admission is free, but seating is limited. For details call 644-2705.
"MACbest: Annual Student Art Exhibition": The juried exhibition of works by students at Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center, continues through Saturday, July 27, at the facility's Galeria Mesa. Admission is free. For details call 644-2242.
"Poets and Painters": The touring exhibit of multimedia works by students at Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School in Williamsburg, Virginia, is the result of a program called "art engineering," an intensive, kid-led exploration of the art-instruction techniques of tomorrow. The installation continues through Sunday, August 18, in Young at Art Gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Viewing is free. For details call 994-2787.
"Where Poetry Hides": Scribes ages 6 to 8, students in the Gilbert Elementary School District, read from their works at this free event, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Borders Books & Music, 1361 South Alma School in Mesa. Call 833-2244.
at the concert
Dino Drummers: The group continues City of Mesa's 1996 "Summer Spotlite" series with a program merging music, puppetry, science, theatre and comedy. Three shows, all in Mesa, are planned on Wednesday, July 31: at 10 a.m. at Dobson Ranch Branch Library, 2425 South Dobson; at 12:30 p.m. in Center Court at Superstition Springs Center, 6555 East Southern; and at 7 p.m. at Mesa Public Library, 64 East First Street. The weekly series continues through Wednesday, August 14. Admission to all performances is free; registration is required for the Dobson Ranch show. For details call 644-2242.
Ronald McDonald: The burger-chain spokesjester is scheduled to make appearances at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at Ironwood Branch Library, 4333 East Chandler Boulevard in Phoenix (call 534-1901); and at the same time Tuesday, July 30, at Saguaro Branch Library, 2808 North 46th Street (call 262-6802). Admission to both events is free.
"Jim Gary's Twentieth Century Dinosaurs" in Flagstaff: New Jersey artist Gary concocts giant dino sculpture out of old auto parts, and about 20 of his labors of love are displayed through Sunday, November 3, at the Museum of Northern Arizona, located three miles north of Flag on U.S. Highway 180. The entrance fee, which doesn't include admission to the museum proper, is $6, $5 for seniors, $4 for kids ages 2 to 12. For details call 1-520-774-5213.
on the big screen
"Free Family Movie Series": Valley Art Theatre, 509 South Mill in Tempe, hosts this weekly series, which continues through Saturday, August 17. Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (PG) screens at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27. Each movie is preceded by a public-safety or community-awareness presentation. Admission is free, but tickets must be picked up in advance. Call 829-6668.
"Fun Flicks for Kicks": Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200, hosts this free, all-ages series, which continues with a screening of Pinocchio (G) at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 25. Each kid receives a gratis bag of popcorn. For details call 957-6660.
Summer Movie Fun 1996: The Harkins Theatres chain presents its annual youth-film fest, which continues this week with final screenings of Casper on Thursday, July 25; and Friday, July 26, at Westridge Mall 6 (75th Avenue and Thomas); Bell Towne Centre 8 (Seventh Street and Bell); Paradise Valley 7 (Tatum and Cactus); and Cornerstone 6 (Rural and University in Tempe). The Indian in the Cupboard plays Monday, July 29; and Tuesday, July 30, at Arcadia 8 (40th Street and Thomas), Bell Tower 8 (51st Avenue and Bell in Glendale), Camelview 5 (Goldwater Boulevard north of Camelback in Scottsdale) and Fiesta 5 (1520 South Longmore in Mesa). More Indian showings are scheduled Wednesday, July 31, at Arcadia 8, Bell Tower 8, Fiesta 5 and Paradise Valley 7. All flicks start at 9:45 a.m. A series pass costs $5; without it, the price is $2 per film. The silver-screen fun continues through Friday, August 9; all movies are rated G or PG. For details call the Harkins Summer Movie Fun Hot Line at 517-2700.