With cooler weather comes no shortage of things to do in Valley. Here’s our list of new or notable goings-on that make particularly good family outings for a fall weekend.
See baby sharks
What: A shark isn’t so scary when it’s only a foot long; in fact, it’s kind of cute. Five shark pups — an Indonesian bamboo, a zebra and three white-spotted bamboo sharks — have arrived at Sea Life Arizona. Ooh and aah all you want, and be sure to catch the 11:30 a.m. daily feeding and discussion at the ray tank. That’s where the baby zebra shark is living until he’s big enough to move to the ocean display, where he’ll eventually be one of the aquarium’s largest creatures at 7 feet long.
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Sea Life Arizona at Arizona Mills mall, 5000 Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe
Cost: $15-$18 for adults and seniors, $10.50 for kids ages 3-12. Save $5 per ticket by buying an online Twilight Ticket, good 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Information: (480) 478-7600 or sealifeus.com
Dig for dinosaurs
What: Arizona Museum of Natural History’s new outdoor Paleo Dig Pit holds lots of surprises for young paleontology buffs, including dinosaur tracks, a full-size Tyrannosaur skeleton, marine fossils and, in the nursery area, dinosaur eggs and babies. It’s accompanied by an indoor exhibit that teaches about how the dig pit’s creatures lived.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 N. Macdonald, Mesa
Cost: $9-$10 adults and seniors; $6 kids ages 3-12; $8 students 13 and older with I.D.
Information: (480) 644-2230 or azmnh.org
Play your hearts out
What: Pay one admission fee, and pre-schoolers through eighth-graders get unlimited access to inflatable rides, carnival games, obstacle courses, a petting zoo, prizes, storytimes and live shows by the Arizona Disc Dogs canine performance troupe.
When: noon to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Falcon Hill Park, 7222 E. Jensen, Mesa
Cost: $7 per child, parents are free
Information: (480) 644-2352 or mesaaz.gov/parksrec
Join a giant bike ride
What: Arrive early for this mellow, 12-mile community bike ride led by Tempe mayor Hugh Hallman, and you’ll score free breakfast snacks and T-shirts (for the first 800 to register). Just make sure to bring your helmets; they’re required.
When: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday; registration starts at 7 a.m.
Where: Kiwanis Park, 6111 S. All-America Way, Tempe
Information: (480) 350-8663 or tempe.gov/time/events/default.htm
Watch elephants, and other animals, do the “Pumpkin Stomp and Chomp”
What: Wild beasts, from warthogs to jaguars, get to attack and eat pumpkin treats at “Boo! at the Zoo,” the zoo’s annual fall festival. Aside from watching the animals have a ball with their unexpected loot (which zookeepers place in their enclosures), you can join fall games and activities, meet major sports team and community mascots, navigate a maze, visit a pumpkin patch and see a 10:30 a.m. “Tails From the Crypt” animal show.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway
Cost: $18 adults, $9 kids ages 3-12
Information: (602) 273-1341 or phoenixzoo.org