Theater outings are a great way to battle the end-of-summer boredom factor and fuel your child’s imagination. And with a little bit of planning, you can transform them into fun family weekends that form memories to last a lifetime.
Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert is currently performing the classic fairy tale “Snow White” with a funny rather than frightening twist. Hale Centre Theatre sits just across from a park with a water play feature, plenty of green grass and benches for grown-ups who’d rather watch than make a mad dash through the sprinkler. The theater is an easy walk to Gilbert Road, where families can find plenty of charming eateries and cute little shops to explore. It’s also close to Art Intersection, which offers a wide variety of art classes. The area is an especially fun choice for families seeking weekend “staycation” options here in the Valley.
Families that have never explored Fountain Hills can enjoy an overnight stay near Fountain Hills Theater, which has a youth workshop performance of ”School House Rock Live!” later this month. It’s a musical fit for young children that puts a fun spin on history, math, science, government and grammar. The town of Fountain Hills recently installed several new sculptures, and there’s an online map for folks eager to enjoy a DIY art walk (guided walks resume in October). Try talking the kids for a walk with cameras in hand after you’ve seen the show.
A production called “Petticoats to Power Suits,” featuring singer and actress Kate Campbell Stevenson, comes to the Boulder Creek High Performing Arts Center in Anthem later this month. During each of two matinee performances for families, Stevenson will blend theater with history to convey the significance of Eleanor Roosevelt, Bessie Coleman and Juliette Low. Her performances will benefit ProMusica Arizona Chorale & Orchestra. Stop by the Outlets at Anthem while you’re in the area if you’re still shopping for back-to-school clothing and supplies.
Scottsdale Musical Theater is performing “Fiddler on the Roof” for just a single weekend this month at Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley. And Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale is performing “Disney’s High School Musical.” If you’re hitting the shows from another part of the Valley, consider spending the night near Old Town Scottsdale, which has plenty of interesting streets to stroll. There’s a spacious outdoor “mall” nearby that’s home to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and a library complete with kids’ castle and art gallery filled with kid-friendly works.
Valley Youth Theatre opens “Legally Blonde The Musical” at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix this month, but notes that it’s got mature content not suitable for little ones. (Most parents feel it’s perfectly fine for older teens). The Herberger Theater Center is located near the Arizona Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum are fairly close as well, so there’s plenty to do if you decide to see the VYT show as part of a weekend “staycation” adventure.
Arizona Broadway Theatre in Peoria opens its production of ”The Will Rogers Follies” this weekend. It’s a musical filled with big dance numbers, rope tricks and plenty of Will Rogers pearls about life and human nature. Families can order tickets for just the show or for both the show and a pre-performance sit-down meal served at tables inside the theater. It’s a fun excuse to spend time exploring the West Valley, and nearby Glendale has a lovely historic district that’s perfect for strolling and window shopping.
Click here for details on these and other “on stage” offerings around the Valley this month.