"Out of This World": Clotilde Otranto conducts Phoenix Symphony in this family performance, featuring Holst's "The Planets" and excerpts from the scores of Star Wars: A New Hope and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Showtime is 2:30 p.m. Sunday, September 29, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams; preconcert festivities begin at 1:30. Tickets are $8, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's. For details call 264-6363 or 678-2222.
Hoop-It-Up: (Saturday, September 28; and Sunday, September 29.) See Pic Hits.
Little Tots Mini Olympics: Kids age 8 and under compete in the "flying saucer throw," the "clown beanbag toss" and more-esoteric categories like bouncing, jumping, ball-kicking, the obstacle course, and relays from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, September 28, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue. A parade of athletes opens the festivities. Admission and participation are free. For details call 412-7198.
at the museum
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting: The traveling exhibit "Happy Birthday, Smokey," celebrating the history and future of 52-year-old fire-prevention spokesbruin Smokey Bear and providing illumination about fire and firefighting, opens Tuesday, October 1, and continues through Saturday, November 30, at the museum, 6101 East Van Buren. Call 275-3473.
Mesa Southwest Museum: The museum's curator of paleontology, Brian McClelland, asks and answers the question "Were Dinosaurs Warm Blooded?" at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, September 28, continuing the facility's series about the mighty dinos. The center is located at 53 North Macdonald. Call 644-2230.
the train gang
Fall Festival of Toy Trains: The Grand Canyon chapter of the Toy Train Operating Society hosts its third annual show and sale of choo-choos and related accessories. The fest starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, September 28, at Saint Thomas the Apostle School, 24th Street and Campbell. An auction of items from the '50s to the present follows at 1 p.m.; a preview precedes at 12:15. Festival admission is $3, $5 for families; the separate auction admission is $3. Call 867-7201.
America's Most Beautiful Baby Search: Representatives of cable TV's toddler extravaganza will be on hand at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, September 28, at Tri-City Mall, Dobson and Main in Mesa, looking for Arizona's most comely infants; registration, open to those age 6 and under, precedes at 10. Call 969-2261.
on the stage
Charlotte's Web: Childsplay has opened its 20th season with Joseph Robinette's adaptation of the E.B. White classic about a couple of unlikely, but true, friends: the magical title spider and the naive pig named Wilbur. This week's performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 27; 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, September 28; and 2 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, September 29, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production continues through Sunday, October 6. Tickets are $12.25, $9.25 for students and seniors. For details call 252-8497 or 350-8101.
young at art
"Empty Bowl-a-Thon": Artist Tim Hernandez helps children ages 6 to 12 create clay bowls for donation to Mesa's Empty Bowls program, which helps to feed the hungry and the homeless, in a session at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 2, at Mesa Public Library, 64 East First Street. Walk-in registration is required. For details call 644-2705.
"Strengthening Families Through the Arts": This exhibit features masks, portraiture, sculpture and other works by youngsters 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 continues through Saturday, September 28, at Mesa Arts Center, 155 North Center. The facility's viewing hours are noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. For details call 234-1707 or 644-2056.