Five inches of snow piled up in the mid-Atlantic last week, treating residents to winter's requisite charms: sleet, freezing rain, perilous roadways and frumpy overclothes. Why should they have all the fun? Desert dwellers have suffered sunny skies long enough. The snow-deprived can catch a drift this Saturday, December 13, when Tempe's Fantasy of Lights Snow Day gives nature a nudge, dumping 20 tons of flakes on Tempe Beach Park. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the free frozen fun includes interactive games, make-and-take holiday arts and crafts, music, train rides, storytelling, and photos with Santa Claus. Foul-weather friends can slide into other lakeside attractions as well, including carnival rides and the Skate at the Lake Fantasy on Ice, Arizona's only outdoor ice rink. See www.downtowntempe.com/fantasy for more information.- Jill Koch
A Brand-New Bag
It's teatime at the Botanical Garden
Just tip us over and pour us out! That's right, it's teatime at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Don your best holiday wear and grab your favorite teddy bear for an afternoon of treats, entertainment and activities, including art projects, face painting and the chance to make a fragrant sachet. And to sweeten the deal, each child receives a goodie bag. The tea parties are scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14, in Dorrance Hall. Admission is $35 for adults and $30 for children 3 to 10. Reservations are required; call 480-941-1225. - Eric Schandel
Playing the Yule
VYT takes a Holiday
Make a play date with the kids this weekend, when Valley Youth Theatre's Playmakers performance troupe presents The Happy Holidays Collection, a quartet of Christmas comedies. Budding actors ages 8 through 11, the Playmakers stretch their creative muscles at weekly rehearsals focusing on improvisation, comedy, creative drama, staged readings and storytelling. In the Holidays Collection, the young thespians tackle playful fare penned by Vin Morreale Jr.: The Elf Rebellion, The Penguin Who Saved Christmas, The Dickens You Say and The Christmas Tree From Outerspace.The show takes the stage at Valley Youth Theatre, 525 North First Street, at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14. Tickets are $5; call 602-253-8188, extension 2.
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