At the very least, they deserve to be commended for their commitment to car-pooling. Rawhide Wild West Town celebrates National Clown Week on Saturday, August 2, when 100-some clowns from across Arizona swarm in for the theme park's 10th Annual Clown Day. From 5 to 10 p.m., the funny business involves the colorful "Bring in the Clowns" parade, clown skits and, if all goes as expected, a good deal of clowning around. In addition to enjoying Rawhide's everyday amusements -- cowboy stunt shows, live country music, a petting zoo, bull riding and more -- guests will be subjected to the antics of mimes, magicians, jugglers, face painters and balloon sculptors. Rawhide is located at 23023 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, and admission is free. Call 480-502-5600 or see www.rawhide.com for more information. - Jill Koch
Program aims to build reading skills
Burton Barr Central Library and the Phoenix Family Museum are reading kids the "try-it" act. In conjunction with the library's "Raising a Reader" program, a joint exhibition offers activities to help infants and toddlers build reading-preparation skills. It continues through Sunday, August 3, at the library, 1221 North Central. - Jill Koch
An out of this world time
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Impossible to keep your preschoolers content in one place? Try the Challenger Space Center's "Space Place," where 3- to 6-year-olds explore the planet and solar system by making space helmets, watching videos, creating memory journals and embarking on simulated shuttle launches. The two-hour program lifts off at 9:30 a.m. each Wednesday in August at the Center, 21170 North 83rd Avenue in Peoria. Registration is $8, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 623-322-2001 for reservations. - Jill Koch
Funny Side Up
Junior performers learn the ropes of improv
Your kid strides onstage, grabs the mike by the neck and intones in a deep, almost-junior high voice, "Harry and Hermione walk into a bar..." The root-beer-soaked audience roars. From the wings, you beam with pride. Give your 7- to 11-year-old a show-biz break at Glendale Public Library's three-session Kids' Improv Workshop, August 2, 9 and 16. Junior performers learn puppet making, comedy sketches and movement, and try out their chops at a public performance on August 16. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Main Library, 5959 West Brown in Glendale. To register, call the Library's Youth Department at 623-930-3537. - Kim Toms