If you love music or movies, the Valley has you covered this weekend: There’s jazz in Chandler, country in Florence, rock in Tempe, and round-the-clock film screenings in Scottsdale.
And while those are all well and good for adults who are free to party (think festival beer gardens and film-crowd cocktail parties), they’re not the perfect venues for children. Here, then, are some of our picks for hanging out with the kids this weekend.
For little Olympians
What: Athletic kids will relish the chance to ride their bike a full 12 miles along a guided route during Tempe’s Bike-a-Palooza bicycle festival. The event features a Radio Disney bike rodeo for smaller tykes, craft activities, a bicycle and equipment swap meet, live shows by BMX freestylers, helmet giveaways and fittings, concessions and a bike raffle. Anyone who brings a pair of old athletic shoes to donate to Nike’s shoe reuse program receives two raffle tickets.
When: Registration for the 12-mile ride begins at 7 a.m. Sunday; the ride starts at 8 a.m., and events at the park wrap up by noon.
Where: Kiwanis Park, 6111 S. All-America Way, Tempe
Cost: Free. Don’t forget to bring your bikes.
Information: (480) 858-2215 or www.tempe.gov/tim/events/default.htm
For young Einsteins
What: Arizona’s premier facility for hands-on scientific learning celebrates nationwide Nano Days, a nod to all things nanotech, with a variety of extra activities. So, in addition to the usual attractions — more than 300 hands-on exhibits, an IMAX Theater and multimedia planetarium — kids can participate in liquid crystal demonstrations, check out scanning probe microscopes and learn how inkjet printers work.
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix
Cost: General admission is $7 per child and $9 per adult, but fees will vary with optional add-ons, such as the IMAX Theater or the popular Star Trek exhibit.
Information: (602) 716-2000 or www.azscience.org
For budding artists
What: Artsy types ages 4-12 can learn about an artist and make a creative project to take home at the Arizona State University Art Museum’s First Saturdays For Families.
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: ASU Art Museum, Mill Avenue and Tenth Street in downtown Tempe; parking is available in front of museum, along Forest Avenue and Gammage Parkway, and in the Tenth Street and Apache Boulevard parking garages.
Information: (480) 965-2787 or http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu
For animal lovers
What: More than 40 local animal welfare organizations will gather with dogs, cats, guinea pigs and other critters at the outdoor Pet Adopt-a-thon, sponsored by Petco. Even if you can’t take on another pet, it’s a good opportunity to cuddle with animals that need some attention and teach kids about responsible pet ownership.
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mesa Riverview, Dobson Road and Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway
Cost: Free admission; adoption fees vary. Bring a new, unopened bag of pet food to donate and receive a free raffle ticket.
Information: (602) 992-4779 or www.pacc911.org
For couch potatoes
What: The Phoenix Film Festival isn’t all about swank parties and movies with adult themes; its Family Film Event features three short films for families to enjoy together: “Wings of EPOH” and “I’m Here,” both with a message about tolerance for kids who are different, and “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissman Klein, whose story was made into the Oscar- and Emmy-winning film “One Survivor Remembers,” will speak after the films, which are presented by Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.
When: Noon Saturday
Where: Harkins Scottsdale 101 movie theater, 7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
Cost: $5 per person
Information: (602) 955-6444 or http://phoenix.bside.com/2009/films/familyfilmevent_phoenix2009