"Children's Holiday Nutcracker Party": The second annual fund raiser for Ballet Arizona includes a costume party, entertainment, storytelling and lunch. Seatings are scheduled at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, December 8, at the Ritz-Carlton, 2401 East Camelback. Admission is $30, which includes the meal; all proceeds benefit the ballet. Reservations are recommended; call 902-0220.
Christmas at Pooh Corner: Phoenix Theatre's Cookie Company continues its season with this production about holiday doings in the Hundred-Acre Wood. Opening performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, December 6; 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, December 7; and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, December 8, at the Little Theatre, located at the intersection of Alvarado and Coronado streets. The production continues through Sunday, December 22. Tickets are $7. For details call 254-2151.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater: The group presents Legend of the Christmas Leprechaun daily, through Tuesday, December 24, at its theater, 3302 North Seventh Street. Tickets are $4.50, $3.50 for members; call 262-2050. GAPT performs The Christmas Mouse at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at Bank One Center Concourse, 201 North Central, in conjunction with International Christmas XVI (see the Events listing); additional kiddy activities follow. Admission is free; call 221-1005.
Here Comes Santa "Claws": Santa makes appearances at area PetsMart locations each Saturday and Sunday, through December 15. All proceeds from sales of photos with the jolly old elf go to various pet-related charities. For details call 944-7070 or 1-800-785-0557.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Desert Stages, Inc., presents a musical version of Dr. Seuss' seasonal tale. This week's performances are at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, December 7; and the same times Sunday, December 8, at the theater, 8473 East McDonald in Scottsdale. The production continues through Sunday, December 15. Tickets are $6 in advance, $9 at the door. For details call 483-1664.
The Velveteen Rabbit: Childsplay presents its annual, "24-carrot" holiday gift to the Valley. Final performances of the all-ages production of Brian Burgess Clark's adaptation of Margery Williams' touching tale about the strong bond between a boy and his stuffed bunny are scheduled at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at Paul V. Galvin Playhouse at Arizona State University's Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $12.25, $9.25 for students and seniors; call 965-6447. (Note: The Childsplay fund raiser "Brunch With The Velveteen Rabbit" is scheduled at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, December 21, at Terrace Restaurant at the Phoenician resort, 6000 East Camelback; call 423-2530 for reservations and details.)
"Wild Winter Nights": Wildlife World Zoo has zoo lights, too. Like Phoenix Zoo's ZooLights (see Sunday in Pic Hits), "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 stay up late and enjoy the show. Other 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 Christmas and New Year's), through Sunday, January 5. Special admission is $5, free for kids 2 and under. For details call 935-9453.
"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 (including Christmas), through Tuesday, December 31. Admission is free. Call 937-3482.
Great Diaper Round-Up: Several wives of Arizona Cardinals players banded together to create this inaugural, all-ages event, a fund raiser for Homeward Bound, which provides relief for homeless families. Highlights include rounds of minigolf, photos with the Cardinals Cheerleaders and entertainment. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, December 7, at Fiddlesticks Family Fun Park, 1155 West Elliot in Tempe. Call 263-7654.
nights at the opera
The Candy Tale and L'enfant et les sortileges: Arizona State University's Lyric Opera Theatre presents this double bill of fantastical tales. The first, written by Dimitrije Buzarovski and William Reber and performed in English, has similarities to Pinocchio; it's based on a Macedonian folktale about a candy boy who wants to be human. The second, written by Ravel and Colette and performed in French, has more in common with Toy Story; it's about a boy who receives a badly needed lesson, thanks to his animate playthings. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 6; and the same time Saturday, December 7, at ASU Music Theatre, Mill and Gammage Parkway in Tempe. Tickets are $14, with discounts available for ASU students, faculty and staff, available at ASU Fine Arts Box Office; call 965-6447.
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. Admission is $2, free for kids under 2. For details call 644-2467.
on the stage
Greasepaint Scottsdale Youtheatre: The troupe performs scenes from Mary Poppins and croons a few Christmas carols at noon Saturday, December 7, and each Saturday, through December 21, on the patio at the Scottsdale Seville shopping center, 7001 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. For details call 967-8714.
Oklahoma!: (Foothills Youth Theatre; performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 7.) See Thursday in the Theatre listing.
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.