Math of Least Resistance

In a rather calculated move, Phoenix Theatre's Cookie Company is setting math to music. The children's theater troupe opens its season this weekend by Taking the Wrath Out of Math. The new play's grade-school heroine learns -- with a little singing and dancing along the way -- that (ugh!) math really is necessary in everyday life, whether slicing a pizza or planning a budget.The new production is the first in a series of curriculum-based musicals for kids conceived by Phoenix Theatre managing director Sue Tormala. The after-Math is set to include Taking the Mystery Out of History and Giants of Science.

Taking the Wrath Out of Math runs Saturday and Sunday, October 25 and 26, at the Phoenix Art Museum Lecture Hall, 100 East McDowell. Curtain times are 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., with a cookie and milk reception following each performance. Tickets are $12; call 602-254-2151 for reservations.- Jill Koch

Outside Chance

Fun for the whole family in the great outdoors

Sleep under the October sky at Tempe's fifth annual Family Campout at Kiwanis Park Rec Center, 6111 South All-America Way. From noon on Saturday, October 25, to noon on Sunday, October 26, campers go au naturel with singing, storytelling, s'mores and a cookout. Registration is $12 to $25; call 480-985-1679. - Jill Koch

Slave to the Rind

It's all about the pumpkin

Good grief: Linus Van Pelt has been waiting for the Great Pumpkin since October 1966. That boy needs a vine intervention. This weekend, the benevolent pumpkin appears, in festival form, at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 25 and 26, the Great Pumpkin Festival packs pumpkin patch hayrides, a pumpkin-carving demo, the "Pumpkin Guts" investigation station and tasty pumpkin treats -- plus the "Amazing Maze" and World Harvest Market. Activities are free with Garden admission; call 480-941-1225. - Jill Koch

Ghouls' Paradise

The night glows with celebration

Sat 10/25
Sure to scare up a little fun, the City of Peoria's Halloween Monster Bash & Balloon Illumination gets glowing at 5 p.m. Saturday, October 25. While hot air balloons light up the Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue, mini monsters can get in the spirit with pony rides, carnival games, storytelling, puppet shows, slime-making and the antics of Mad Science of the West Valley. And as kids 4 to 14 cruise Monster Street, the parade of costumes crowns the fest's best-dressed. Admission is free with a canned food item for the Westside Food Bank (small fees charged for some activities). Call 623-773-7198 or see Jill Koch

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Jill Koch
Contact: Jill Koch