All Aboard for Family Fun

If spending more time with your family is somewhere on your list for 2013, it is one resolution that will be easy to keep. From toddlers to teens, your children and you will both find fun things to do in this list of 10 ideas. And, best of all, you can enjoy them together.



1. The Arizona Fine Art Expo

It’s one thing to look at art on a gallery wall or in a glass case, but it’s something entirely different to watch and interact with the artists during the creation of their work. At the 10-week Arizona Fine Art Expo, you can talk with the artists and participate in hands-on art demonstrations and workshops.


The expo is in a tent at the corner of Jomax and Scottsdale roads in north Scottsdale. More information





2. The Arizona Science Center

The last day for the Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs exhibit is Jan.21. The touring collection includes dinos up to 70 feet long and 24 feet tall. The display is sponsored by JPMorgan Chase. Tickets


At the Science Center, you can also kick back and watch a movie. The 280-seat IMAX Theater runs two shows daily on its five-story screen. The current shows are  “Legends of Flight 3D,” where you can view 100 years of aviation history through the eyes of a test pilot, and “Rocky Mountain Express,” where audiences take a steam train journey through breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies.


Legends of Flight Tickets

Rocky Mountain Express Tickets





1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro Couple to be shown at the Russo & Steele Collector Automobile Auction



3. Car Shows

January is the month for car shows in the Valley. You know you want to go. But take the kids?


Barrett-Jackson has a family value day, and Gooding & Company, Russo and Steele, and Silver Auctions have special prices or free admission for children. Besides, there are always yummy treats at the concessions, and it’s fun to walk around outside or sit for a while inside and watch the auction.



Barrett-Jackson: Jan. 13 to Jan. 20 at WestWorld of Scottsdale. More information

Gooding & Company: Jan. 20 and 21 at Gooding & Company Scottsdale Auction. More information

Russo & Steele: Jan. 16 to Jan. 20 at Scottsdale Road and North Loop 101. More information

Silver Auctions: Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 at Fort McDowell. More information




4. Childsplay

Both you and your youngsters will enjoy “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.” Based on the picture book by Doreen Cronin, Farmer Brown’s animals take over the barnyard. When they get fed up with their working conditions, they take to their typewriters and turn the barn upside down.


The preview is Jan. 20. The show opens Jan. 26 and closes March 3. Performances are at Tempe Center for the Arts. More information





5. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

If you haven’t visited the Railroad Park within the last year, you’re missing a real treat. Both you and your children will be mesmerized by the trains in the new Model Railroad Building. The 10,000-square-foot facility showcases the park’s four model railroad clubs with displays and artifact.


Outside, you can take train rides, ride the antique carousel or just relax in the unique surroundings. More information





6. Native Trails

Presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Native Trails is a series of free outdoor festivals that showcase the Native American cultures of the Southwest. Experience and enjoy the traditional instruments, colorful dances and customary attire of the Hopi, Navajo, Akimel Au-Authm and San Carlos Apache. American Indian artisans will sell jewelry, baskets, flutes and paintings. Vendors will sell special treats, so bring a blanket or lawn chair and have a picnic. The season kicks off Jan. 17. Performances are noon to 1 p.m. on the Scottsdale Civic Center Park. More information





7. Phoenix Zoo

Do you know what giraffes eat for breakfast? You can find out at Phoenix Zoo. In fact, you can have breakfast with the giraffes! After a light meal and some activities, you’ll go behind the scenes to meet the tallest animals at the zoo. Breakfast is at 8. For schedule of days, click here.





8. Sunday A’Fair

Pick a warm, sunny Sunday, and visit Scottsdale Civic Center Park, noon to 4 p.m. for a free concert, fun activities for children and a fine arts and crafts market. Take a blanket or lawn chairs to enjoy sitting on the lawn. Prepare your own picnic, or enjoy food and drink from onsite vendors. Jan. 13, 20 and 27. Additional dates/entertainment schedule






9. Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

A fourth aquarium has opened at this Litchfield Park treasure. Who isn’t captivated by colorful and exotic sea life in its constant aquatic dance?


But if turtles, Amazon River Monsters and vampire fish aren’t your thing, don’t worry. The Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is home to more than 600 species. Save time to visit the zoo's nursery. Right now, it is home to a baby white tiger. When the kids get tired, hop aboard the African Safari train or the Australian Boat ride. Or the skyride. Or the carousel.

More information





10. Waste Management Open

Like the car shows, you might be tempted to think your children won’t like a golf tournament. Au contraire. The atmosphere of the Waste Management Open gives everyone license to be a kid: Sit on the lawn. Roll down a hill. Eat a hot dog. What’s not to love? Plus, you might spark their interest in a sport for a lifetime.


 “The Greatest Show on Grass” starts Jan. 28. Children ages 17 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Everything else you need to know is here.


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