Disney's Beauty and the Beast Readings: Cast members from the touring musical (see Thursday in Pic Hits) read from various works at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 3, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200 (call 957-6660); at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 4, at the Borders location at 1361 South Alma School in Mesa (call 833-2244); and at 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 8, at the chain's Glendale store, 7320 West Bell (call 487-9110). Admission to all events is free.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater: The troupe presents performances of Cinderella at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, January 2; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, January 3; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, January 4; 2 p.m. Sunday, January 5; and 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 8, at the group's new home, 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; call 262-2050. GAPT performs its Southwestern-themed show Creepy, Crawly, Wild and Woolly at 10 a.m. Saturday in Webster Auditorium at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park; call 941-1225.
"Imagination": Valley Youth Theatre, located at Tower Plaza shopping center, 3883 East Thomas, presents this dance concert, featuring troupe members and guest artists from Tempe Dance Academy and the dance departments at Arizona State University and Glendale Community College. Shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 3; and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 4. Tickets are $4. For details call 267-3880.
Mary Poppins: Greasepaint Scottsdale Youtheatre presents the musical. Final performances are on Thursday, January 2; Friday, January 3; Saturday, January 4; and Sunday, January 5. All begin at 2 p.m. at Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Admission is $6. Call 990-7646.
Quilt: Kids Alive, Theater Works' troupe for young thespians, presents this show, comprising "a series of monologues and songs focusing on the universality of the AIDS epidemic." Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 2; 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 3; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 4; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 5, at the theater, 9850 West Peoria Avenue in Peoria. The "PG-13" production is not suitable for very young kids. Tickets are $7.50, $6 for students and seniors; proceeds benefit AIDS Project Arizona's Kid Central program. For details call 815-7930.
dough re mi
Girl Scout Cookie Munch-Off: The third annual event features tastings and competitions like "Cookie Construction," "Toss Your Cookies" and the title contest. Various pro athletes and Valley media personalities are scheduled to attend. Hours are 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, January 4, in Center Court at Westridge Mall, 75th Avenue and Thomas. Admission is free. For details call 253-6359.
wild zoo yonder
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, 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, through Sunday, January 5. Special admission is $5, free for kids 2 and under; call 935-9453.
Circus Flora: (Thursday, January 2, through Sunday, January 5.) See Pic Hits.
at the museum
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, January 2; and the same hours Friday, January 3. 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.
Arizona Science Center Closing Celebration: Don't fret; the center's just ringing out the old (its longtime address at 147 East Adams) to make way for the new (the still-unopened building at 600 East Washington, scheduled for an April unveiling). The sayonara-for-now party is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, January 5. Admission is $4.50, $3.50 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors, gratis for those age 3 and younger. For details call 258-7250.
Erik Stoops: The herpetological authority and author discusses Arizona reptiles and introduces kids ages 6 to 12 to a live python and a skink named Dink in a program. The event's scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 8, at Mesa Public Library, 64 East First Street. Admission is free. For details call 644-2705.
on the big screen
The Outsiders: Tempe Public Library hosts a screening of director Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 movie, based on S.E. Hinton's book about a group of troubled Midwestern teens. Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe and a very young Tom Cruise star in the PG-rated film, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 2, in the Program Room at the library, 3500 South Rural. Admission is free, and all middle-school-age students are welcome. For details call 350-5500.
rocks of ages
Arizona Leaverite Club: The group specializes in educating kids about geology and related matters. In conjunction with the annual Flagg Gem and Mineral Show, scheduled Saturday, January 4; and Sunday, January 5, at Mesa Community College (see the Events listing), the club offers youngsters a chance to select 12 rock samples for $1. All proceeds benefit Phoenix's Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. For details call 396-2825.
arts and minds
"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.