This month, jump into the pages of your favorite comic book; play in cool, messy mud or go wild watching human and animal performers in the “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Here’s our list of top ways to beat the summer blues and make family memories in June:
➊ Circus Xtreme. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey present this show, which invites children of all ages to explore a world of extreme beauty, flexibility, strength and dexterity. Times vary. Thursday through Sunday, June 23-26. $20-$80. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
➋ Dads & Daughters Game. The WNBA Phoenix Mercury will host its annual Dads and Daughters clinic and game when they host the Chicago Sky. Fathers and their daughters will be featured in various in-game activities and entertainment. Fans are encouraged to donate new Dr. Seuss books for a pre-game book drive. 3 p.m. Sunday, June 12. $45 for game and clinic package; game-only tickets start at $9. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. phoenixmercury.com.
➌ Disney’s “Newsies.” Inspired by a real-life newsboy strike in 1899, the musical tells the story of a band of underdogs who become heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. June 14-19. $20-$150. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. 480-965-3434 or asugammage.com.
➍ Flashlight Tours. The Desert Botanical Garden offers these nocturnal sensory experiences all summer. Families can take a self-paced stroll along the garden’s trail, which includes more than a dozen hands-on “discovery stations” featuring desert plants and live critters. Don’t forget your flashlights! 7 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays through Sept. 5. $22; $10 for ages 3-12; $12 for students; free for age 2 or younger. 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 480-941-1225 or dbg.org.
➎ Los D-backs Fiesta de la Familia. The Arizona Diamondbacks host these monthly family-friendly street festivals with live music, food trucks and family entertainment. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, June 12. Game ticket needed for admission; prices vary. Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. dbacks.com.
➏ Mighty Mud Mania. Children young and old can have good, clean fun as they jump, slide and crawl their way through the mud pits. New this year: a course remodel for ages 4 through 6 and the Mud Nursery for ages 1 through 3. Wear old clothes and sneakers. Guardians must sign a waiver form for kids 17 or younger. 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 11. Free. Chaparral Park, 5401 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. scottsdaleaz.gov.
➐ Music at the train park. Sit back and enjoy a variety of local bands during the Summer Concert Series at family-friendly McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays, June 5 through July 3. Free; $2 train and carousel rides. 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. 480-312-2312 or therailroadpark.com.
➑ Phoenix Comicon is becoming a more family-friendly event, with many activities geared toward young fans. This year’s youth programming includes a superhero obstacle course, a “brain-eating” contest and youth-centric panels. Thurday through Sunday, June 2-5. Times vary. Adult prices vary; $5 for ages 3-12; free for age 2 or younger. Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St. phoenixcomicon.com.
➒ “The Princess, the Unicorn, and the Smelly Foot Troll.” The Great Arizona Puppet Theater’s most popular original show features Princess Harriet’s birthday party. Recommended for ages 3 or older, the show promises plenty of singing, sparkles silliness. June 1-19. 10 a.m. Wednesdays-Fridays; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $10; $7 for age 2 or older; children younger than 2 admitted free with a paid child admission. 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. 602-262-2050 or azpuppets.org.
➓ Glendale Summer Band Concerts. Grab your lawn chairs and blankets for this summer tradition, which began 50 years ago. The multigenerational group plays movie themes, marches and polkas. 8 p.m. Thursdays, June 2 through July 21. Free. Murphy Park Amphitheater, 58th and Glendale avenues. 623-930-2299 or glendaleaz.com/events.