Wee Hours

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a Valley favorite with the under-four-foot crowd. In addition to the train and carousel rides normally offered, this Saturday's Exclusively Little event hosts dozens of activities geared to children 6 and younger. Game booths, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, and face painting will be available free of charge. Tots can view a display by Phoenix Family Museum and health demonstrations by HealthWorld, and compete in a stuffed animal contest with categories such as "most loved" and "best dressed."

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 1, at the park, 7301 East Indian Bend in Scottsdale. For details call 480-312-2312. Quetta Carpenter

2/28 - 3/30

Fowl Play
Desert Stages Theatre hatches a musical Duckling

Most of us identified with Hans Christian Andersen's tale of a baby swan mistakenly put into a duck's nest and ostracized for honking instead of quacking. But Desert Stages Theatre artistic director Gerry Cullity always wondered how the egg got there in the first place. So he added some back story to his adaptation of Andersen's The Ugly Duckling, which opens this Friday at Desert Stages, 8473 East McDonald in Scottsdale.

The play is interwoven with Cullity's original music. "When I was a composition major, I had visions of Mozartian splendor. But then I fell in love with the theater," he explains. He took this love and started Desert Stages, which performs children's and community theater. "Children are amazing; they're open to anything," Cullity says. But a warning to adults: According to Cullity, "It's a seven-hanky show."

Tickets to The Ugly Duckling fund-raising galas, 7 p.m. Friday, February 28, and Saturday, March 1, are $50. Saturday- and Sunday-afternoon performances continue through March 30; tickets are $12. See www.desertstagestheatre.com or call 480-483-1664 for reservations. -- Quetta Carpenter

SAT 3/1

The Joe Show

It takes a mighty man indeed to assume the moniker "the Jimmy Buffett for kids," but Joe Scruggs isn't sweating the comparison. The children's entertainer did write such kiddy classics as "Goo Goo Ga Ga," "Rapunzel Got a Mohawk" and "Bahamas Pajamas," after all, so a little love is definitely in order.

The Austin resident, whose career in children's music spans nine albums, is a Cable Ace Award winner and a recipient of several Parents' Choice Awards. He brings his road show, The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo Revue, to Scottsdale's Desert Mountain High School, 12575 East Via Linda, on Saturday, March 1, at 11 a.m.; proceeds benefit Phoenix Children's Hospital. Round up the kids, bring the whole family, sing along if you want to . . . it'll do you good.

Tickets are $10 to $12; call 1-866-468-7621 or visit www.ticketweb.com. Craig Wallach

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