Kerri Strug: The Olympian and grand marshal of the Fiesta Bowl Parade (see Tuesday in Pic Hits) signs copies of her kid-aimed autobiography, Heart of Gold, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Monday, December 30, at the Barnes & Noble store at 10500 North 90th Street in Scottsdale. For details call 391-0048.
'tis the season
Baby, It's Still Bright Outside: ZooLights, "Wild Winter Nights": Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, is garbed in its usual Technicolor dreamcoat during the facility's fifth annual ZooLights display. The after-hours fun continues from 6 to 9 nightly, through Sunday, January 12. Special admission is $4.50, free for kids age 2 and under; call 273-1341. Wildlife World Zoo has zoo lights, too. Like ZooLights, "Wild Winter Nights" features thousands of lights placed strategically around the grounds at the west-side menagerie, located at 165th Avenue and Northern in Litchfield Park. Unlike Phoenix Zoo, WWZ lets some of its critters, including white tigers Sir Lunge-a-Lot and Mrs. Lunge-a-Lot, stay up late and enjoy the show. Other "WWN" highlights include "the first penguins ever displayed in the Southwest United States" and a lighted petting zoo. The display continues from 5:30 to 9 nightly (including New Year's), through Sunday, January 5. Special admission is $5, free for kids 2 and under; call 935-9453.
"First Night": The free, family-style New Year's Eve celebration is scheduled on Tuesday, December 31, in the areas surrounding Arizona Center, Third Street and Van Buren; and America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Part of a national program whose motto is "Building Community Through the Arts," Phoenix's "First Night" fest features music and dance performances and a fireworks display. For more information, call 262-4627 or 949-4353.
"A Winter Wonderland": A house full of holiday joy awaits kids of all ages at this interactive abode at 4237 West State, seven of whose rooms have been transformed into thematic seasonscapes. Hours are 6 to 10 nightly, through Tuesday, December 31. Admission is free. For details call 937-3482.
on the stage
Disney's Beauty and the Beast: (Saturday, December 28, through Saturday, February 1.) See Pic Hits.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater: The group presents opening performances of Cinderella at 10 a.m. Thursday, December 26; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, December 27; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, December 28; 2 p.m. Sunday, December 29; and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 1, at GAPT's new location, named the Puppet Center and located at 302 West Latham. The production continues through Sunday, January 19. Tickets are $4.50, $3.50 for members. For details call 262-2050.
Mary Poppins: Greasepaint Scottsdale Youtheatre presents the musical. Opening performances are on Thursday, December 26; Friday, December 27; Saturday, December 28; and Sunday, December 29. All begin at 2 p.m. at Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 East Second Street in Scottsdale. More shows are planned Thursday, January 2, through Sunday, January 5. Admission is $6. For more information, call 990-7646.
"The Air Major Show": Owner Bill Watters may drive the van and pay the bills, but the real star of this smart-pet-tricks team is the hardworking, flying-disc-snagging title pup. The duo does its thing at 10 a.m. Friday, December 27, on the north lawn at Mesa Public Library, 64 East First Street. Admission is free. For details call 644-2705.
Circus Flora: (Saturday, December 28, through Sunday, January 5.) See Pic Hits.
arts and minds
Arizona Museum for Youth: "Face Value: The Art of Portraiture" features works by Andy Warhol, Rudy Turk, Greg Patrenos, Bill Barnhart and others. It continues through Friday, January 17. The museum is located at 35 North Robson in Mesa. The facility's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, December 26; Friday, December 27; and Monday, December 30. It's closed Tuesday, December 31; and Wednesday, January 1. Regular hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is $2, free for kids under 2. For details call 644-2467.
"My Future in the Global Community": The exhibit features works by students from Scottsdale and its sister cities of Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Cairns, Queensland, Australia; and Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. It continues through Sunday, February 2, in the Young at Art Gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Viewing is free. For details call 994-2787.