"Animal Crackers": Shemer Art Center, 5005 East Camelback, presents this hands-on exhibit, featuring "tactile art experiences for blind children, as well as altered-vision experiments for sighted kids." It opens Wednesday, September 11, and continues through Friday, October 18. Call 262-4727.
"Strengthening Families Through the Arts": This exhibit features masks, portraiture, sculpture and other works by kids affiliated with the Save the Family Foundation of Arizona program, which provides transitional housing for homeless families. Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona sponsors the installation, which opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, September 6, and continues through Saturday, September 28, at Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center. Admission is free. Call 234-1707 or 644-2056.
Grandparents Day Celebration: Kids salute their parents' parents at this event, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, September 7, at Arizona Humane Society, 9226 North 13th Avenue. On the agenda: information booths, grooming tips, pet advice courtesy of Kay Cox of the Phoenix Zoo and a dog show. Admission is free; gratis adoptions will be available for those age 60 and over. For details call 997-7585, extension 130; or 244-8200, extension 4115.
"Kid Care": Clifford the Dog is the special guest at this event, designed to provide parents with personal-safety documentation for their youngsters. It's slated for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, September 7, in Center Court at Westridge Mall, 75th Avenue and Thomas. Admission is free. Call 245-1400.
National Turtle and Tortoise Society Show: The group's latest event, featuring everyday and exotic varieties of the title critters, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, September 7; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, September 8, at Tri-City Mall, Dobson and Main in Mesa. Admission is free. Call 969-2261.
at the museum
Arizona Museum for Youth: "Fly, Float & Locomote: Transportation in Art" features mixed-media representational works about how to get from here to there by Laurie Campbell, David Gilhooly, Jamie Maverick, Luis Jimenez, Robert McCall and others. The exhibit continues through Friday, September 13, at the museum, 35 North Robson in Mesa. Call 644-2467.
on the stage
Beauty and the Beast: Desert Stages, Inc., presents the musical. This week's performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 6; 1, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 7; and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, September 8, at the theatre, 8473 East McDonald in Scottsdale. The production continues through Sunday, September 22. Tickets are $6 in advance, $9 at the door. For details call 483-1664.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater: The troupe presents final performances of Rapunzel at 10 a.m. Thursday, September 5; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, September 6; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, September 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, September 8, at its theatre, 3302 North Seventh Street. Admission is $4.50; call 277-1275. GAPT performs The Desert Tortoise and the Jackrabbit at 1 p.m. Sunday at Borders Books & Music at 1361 South Alma School in Mesa. Admission is free. For more information, call 833-2244.
IN Through the OUT Door: The Positive Force Players, the teen thespian troupers of Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona, present this production, which deals with topics like smoking, sexual harassment and teen pregnancy. Shows are scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday, September 6; and 1:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, September 7, at John Paul Theatre at Phoenix College, 1202 West Thomas. Admission is $10 for the evening performances, $5 for the matinee. For more information, call 277-7526.