Mummies and werewolves and ghouls, oh, my.
They're among the creepy creatures running amok in sculptures, paintings, fabric works and other art pieces in "My Favorite Monster," a new exhibition open now at Arizona Museum for Youth.
Bizarre-looking eyeballs and spiders hang from the ceiling, and strange creatures reminiscent of poor, mutilated souls from The Island of Misfit Toys lurk safely behind glass. But the exhibit offers plenty of hands-on elements for kids and families to do, all with a touch that's decidedly more lighthearted than scary.
Among the attractions to sink your fangs into is a create-your-own puppet area full of assorted monster parts that can be velcroed onto colorful, unadorned puppets. It is adjacent to a small theatre, where children can stage their own puppet shows while adults watch from movable ottomans.
In another room, kids can don monster costumes and act out their own movie, displayed in real time on a big screen. A third room, painted on all sides with neon, glow-in-the-dark monsters, contains fuzzy, glowing puppets; a collection of delightfully nightmarish hats; and a distorting fun house-style mirror.
There's also a small art studio, where families can take a moment to draw monsters of their own.
The exhibition, open through Sept. 27, is free with general admission. In conjunction with the monster theme, the museum will host several special activities throughout the summer:
Meet an artist from the exhibit and make a monster to take home, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 13, July 11 and Aug. 8. The activity is free with museum admission, and no registration or reservations are required.
Drop little ones ages 4-10 off for "Kid's Night Out Monster Movie Nights." Children can come dressed as monsters and enjoy pizza, popcorn a cookie and a movie. "Monster House" will be shown 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. June 19; "Igor" is 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. July 17. $25 for members; $30 for nonmembers.
Enroll children ages 2-5 in "My Favorite Monster Sculptures" art workshops, held 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, July 16-30. $39-$54 for all three workshops; $29-$44 for each additional child; or $13-$18 for a single class.
Enroll children ages 8-12 in "My Favorite Monster Puppet" workshops, held 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 15 and 22. They'll make a puppet with staff from Great Arizona Puppet Theater. $60 members; $72 nonmembers.