FamilyTime: Top May events in metro Phoenix

    Organ Stop Pizza offers free pizza for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week (Mon-Fri May 1-5). Photo courtesy of Organ Stop Pizza.
    Organ Stop Pizza offers free pizza for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week (Mon-Fri May 1-5). Photo courtesy of Organ Stop Pizza.

    May is the month we celebrate mothers, teachers, comics and peaches! From free museum admission to swimming mermaids, this month’s top events give you plenty of options for festive family outings.

    May 1-7: Children’s Book Week. Changing Hands is celebrating children’s books and literacy all week hosting events at its Phoenix and Tempe bookstores. Hear about some of the best new spring and summer children’s book titles from a publishing sales rep (and pre-order them at a discount) at 7 p.m. Monday, May 1 at Changing Hands Phoenix. Other events include Club Read for tweens, Kindergarten Bootcamp, Storytime sessions and costumed character appearances, including a 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6 Costume Storytime Party with local Caldecott Honor author-illustrator, Molly Idle (“Flora and the Chicks”) and Ian Falconer’s Olivia character for storytime, photos and and a Flora-inspired craft at Changing Hands Tempe.

    May 1-5: Teacher Appreciation Week. Take the time to show your appreciation for those who teach our children using #ThankATeacher on social media. From 5-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, May 1-5, Arizona’s K-12 teachers (with valid i.d.) will be welcomed at Organ Stop Pizza and given a voucher for a free pizza. 1149 E. Southern Ave, Mesa. 480-813-5700 or

    May 3-4: Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music. We can tell you how to get to Sesame Street via Mesa. Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby and their Sesame Street friends come to the rescue and discover instruments they never knew existed. 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 3; 1 and 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 4. $20-$65. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E Main St. 602-379-2800 or

    May 6: Free Comic Book Day. Whether you are a dedicated comic book fan or a first-time comics reader, Free Comic Book Day is for you. It celebrates the art, diverse story lines and the hobby of collecting comics. Stop by a participating comics shop or the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa on Saturday, May 6 and receive at least one free comic book. Locations are Valleywide.

    May 6: Turf Paradise Kentucky Derby Party. Grab your best hat and wear it to Turf Paradise, hosting the state’s only Kentucky Derby party with live horseracing. Along with simulcast races, you can participate in hat and fashion contests (for kids and adults) and enjoy live music plus a kids fun park with bounce houses and more. 7:15 a.m. gates open; 3:24 p.m. Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6. $5 grandstand admission; free to ages 16 and younger. Free commemorative Derby glasses to first 5,000 paid visitors. 1501 W. Bell Road, Phoenix. 602-942-1101 or

    May 7: Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival. All ages. Keep the Cinco de Mayo celebration going at the one of the largest multicultural festivals in Arizona. This downtown Phoenix street festival is filled with non-stop fun, games, traditional food, drinks and live entertainment. There will be performances by Ballet Folkorico and Lucha Libre and an interactive kid zone. Noon-10 p.m. Sunday, May 7. 200 W. Washington St. 602-279-4669 or

    May 7: SMOCA Family Mix. Experience the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art transformed into an immersive, high-tech wonderland with demonstrations and makerspace activities provided by the Arizona Science Center’s CREATE space. Free. Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, May 7. 7374 E. Second St. 480-874-4666 or

    peachefestival-may2017May 12-21: Peach Festival. Enjoy some of the best peaches in the state at Schnepf Farms. Grab a free hayride to the peach-picking orchids, spend time at the Peachy Tasting Pavilion, eat peach pancakes, enjoy amusement-park rides and listen to live entertainment. New this year: “Just Peachy” Vintage Market Days, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday May 12-14. The Peach Festival runs 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday-Sunday, May 12-21. $5; free to ages 12 and younger. Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. 480-987-3100 or

    May 13-14: Mother’s Day at the museum. Here’s an affordable Mother’s Day outing for the whole family. During its Discount Tire Free Family Weekends (the second weekend each month), the Phoenix Art Museum offers free activities, scavenger hunts, live performances, storytime, tours and the chance to learn about and make art with a featured local Valley artist. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 13 and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 14. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix and the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa also honor moms on Mother’s Day with free admission., and

    May 14: Phoenix Mercury Home Opener. Cheer on the WNBA Phoenix Mercury at their 2017-18 season home opener against the Dallas Wings. First 5,000 fans will receive light-up batons. 3 p.m. Sunday, May 14. $11-$74. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. 602-379-7800 or

    May 20-21: Experience Polynesia. The Musical Instrument Museum’s annual celebration of Pacific Island music and culture features music performances, dancing, ukulele lessons and a Polynesian-inspired menu at Café Allegro. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, May 20-21. $20; $15 ages 13-19; $10 ages 4-12; free for ages 3 and younger. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix.

    Phoenix Comicon (Thur-Sun May 25-28) at Phoenix Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Comicon.
    Phoenix Comicon (May 25-28) at Phoenix Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Comicon.

    May 25-28: Phoenix Comicon. Take advantage of the long weekend to visit the signature pop-culture event in the Southwest. Phoenix Comicon focuses on comic books, anime, sci-fi and film. The list of movie and TV guest actors in attendance is continually growing, and organizers have worked in the last few years to make the event family-friendly, offering more kids activities. Hours vary Thursday-Sunday, May 25-28. Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St.

    May 27-Jun 4: Mermaid Magic. Have you ever seen a “real” mermaid? At the OdySea Aquarium, visitors can talk to mermaids, watch them swim with the sharks and rays and participate in mermaid-themed activities when the Deep Ocean 3D theater transforms into a Mermaid Cove. 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 27-June 4. $34.95; $24.95 ages 3-12. OdySea Aquarium, 9500 Via De Ventura, Scottsdale. 480-291-8000 or