Play among desert animals, explore Arizona’s giant backyard or sink your teeth into the season’s juiciest fruits. Even though we’re heading back to school soon, we’re not ready to say goodbye to summer. Here’s a list of our favorite family activities this month.
➊ Opening Ceremonies Party. Kick off the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics by celebrating the sport of gymnastics with Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics and Dance Center. Boys and girls can learn several new gymnastics moves and jump on trampolines and into foam pits. Parents can learn more about the gymnastics, dance and ninja classes offered throughout the year. Ages 2-13. 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. $5 per child in advance; $10 per child at door. Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center, 3110 E. Thunderbird Road, Phoenix. 602-992-5790 or arizonasunrays.com.
➋ Dog Days of Summer. This is Glendale’s seventh annual canine celebration. Spoil your four-legged friend with a fun-filled morning that includes Doggie Olympics and the Mighty Dog Days Obstacle Course. 7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Murphy Park, 5812 W. Glendale Ave. glendaleaz.com.
➌ Peach Mania Festival. Celebrate sweet and juicy tree-ripened Arizona peaches. Kick off the 17th annual Peach Mania fest with an all-you-can-eat peaches and pancakes breakfast. Spend the rest of the day experiencing the fun of picking your own peaches, wagon rides and peach pie and ice cream. 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 6-7. Free. Apple Annie’s Orchard, 2081 W. Hardy Road, Willcox. 520-384-2084 or appleannies.com.
➍ Prowl & Play. Beat the late-summer heat and join the animals at the Phoenix Zoo for the after-hours Prowl & Play. Meet your favorite princesses and swashbuckling pirates, enjoy musical entertainment, animal encounters and water slides. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. $8 ($6 members); free ages 2 and younger. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway. 602-273-1341 or phoenixzoo.org.
➎ “Grease.” Valley Youth Theatre’s production about teenage drama at Rydell High hits the Herberger Theater on Friday, Aug. 12. Meet the senior class of 1959: Danny Zuko, Sandy Dumbrowski, the Pink Ladies and more. You’ll be singing “Hot Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin” and “We Go Together” all the way home. Showtimes vary Thursday-Sunday Aug. 12-28. $16.50-$34.50. 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. 602-252-8497 or vyt.com.
➏ Musical Icon: Elvis. Celebrate the music, movies and life of Elvis Presley. How well do you know the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? Take a trivia quiz, listen to a special curator, watch an Elvis film and participate in hands-on activities. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. $20; $15 ages 13-19; $10 ages 4-12; free ages 3 and younger. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. 480-478-6000 or mim.org.
➐ Learn Your Lizards Walk. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park hosts this entertaining guided tour around the gardens for kids and adults who enjoy Arizona’s most common, colorful and charismatic reptiles. Lizard walks (also on Saturday, Sept. 10) feature Arizona Audubon naturalist Steven Prager, Dan Leavitt and Jamie Wisenall. Be in the Arboretum Visitor Center breezeway at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. $10; $5 ages 5-12; free ages 4 and younger. 37615 U.S. 60, Superior. 520-689-2811 or cals.arizona.edu/bta.
➑ Special Needs Resource Fair. Raising Arizona Kids magazine hosts a day for parents and caregivers of children with learning challenges and other special needs to discover the best resources in the Valley. Learn about services, support and products from nearly 40 local organizations addressing a wide range of special needs, from developmental disabilities to special healthcare needs to learning and attention differences. Hear panel discussions with professionals and parents. Families can also explore the museum’s many hands-on exhibits. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. Free; registration requested. Halle Heart Children’s Museum, 2929 S. 48th St., Tempe. raisingarizonakids.com/special-needs-resource-fair-2016.
➒ Free National Park Service Birthday Weekend. Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service! With more than 400 national parks available to everyone, every day, fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite. Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 25-28. Free. Sixteen locations in Arizona, including Montezuma Castle, the Grand Canyon and Walnut Creek. nps.gov.
➓ Free Summer Sunday at the Heard Museum. Admission is free to everyone on the fourth Sundays of August and September. On Aug. 28, former world champion hoop dancer Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw) will perform at 12:30 and 2 p.m. in the Steele Auditorium; basketry artist Lakota Scott (Navajo) will give art demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can try one of many make-and-take crafts in the summer exhibit, “It’s Your Turn: A Home Studio!” 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28. Free. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-252-8840 or heard.org.