Check out the best things to do in metro Phoenix this weekend, including the Great Southwest Cajun Fest, 31st annual Pow Wow at ASU and more.

Immerse kids in culture with Japan Week or give them a taste of what’s waiting outdoors with glow paddle classes on Tempe Town Lake or a variety of Earth Day events.

There’s still time to check out the Arizona Science Center exhibit all the way from Australia about sharks. ‘Planet Shark: Predator or Prey’ continues through May.

Find a more listings of kids events at And peruse a round up of free events for families in April.

4/19-23: Japan Week

In a collaboration with the Japanese Friendship Garden, performers from Edo Marionette Troupe in Japan will perform their original work. An introduction and translation by will be performed by puppeteer/musician Grego, and a question and answer session will be held after the performance.

Details: 10 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m. 2 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; April 19-23. Great AZ Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. $10 for adults, $7 for children through age 12. 602-262-2050,

4/20: Gilbert Earth Day Celebration

Gilbert Parks and Recreation is hosting an Earth Day Celebration at McQueen Park Activity Center. There will be family activities such as face painting, recycling-themed arts and crafts, games and Earth Day giveaways.

Details: 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, April 20. McQueen Park Activity Center, 510 N. Horne St., Gilbert. Free. 480-503-6294,

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4/21: Downtown Chandler Art Walk 

Juried local artists and musicians participate in the monthly art walk. Families can peruse work in paint, photography, jewelry and pottery. This month is island-themed and includes a steel drum band and tropical food and drink.

Details: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, April 21. Downtown Chandler, Dr. A. J. Chandler Park,  3 S Arizona Ave., Chandler. 480-855-3539.

4/21, 5/5, 5/19: Glow Paddle on Tempe Town Lake

Older kids and adults alike are sure to enjoy kayaking under the night stars on Tempe Town Lake. The Glow Paddle classes include all needed equipment and glow-in-the-dark accessories.

Details: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, May 5 and May 19. Tempe Town Lake, Tempe. $35 for adults, $20 for youth. 480-350-8069,

4/21: Teddy Bear Tea Party at AZ Air Time

This event for ages 6 and younger is for kids who love their teddy bears or stuffed animals. Complimentary lemonade, iced tea and cookies will be served with coffee served to the parents. The foam pit and rock wall will also be include in admission.

Details: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 21. AZ Air Time, 13802 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 145, Scottsdale. $5 per hour per child. Ages 6 and younger. 480-427-2000,

4/21-23: 31st annual Pow Wow at ASU 

The ASU band practice field will transform into the site for an exciting Pow Wow. Come watch the Grand Entry, gourd dancing ceremony and more.

Details: Friday-Sunday, April 21-23; times vary, please check Facebook page for details. ASU band practice field, E. Sixth St. and S. Rural Road, Tempe. $8, $6 for students, free for under 6 and over 60.

4/22: Ride-in Movies at the Park: ‘Jungle Book’

Ride-in Movies at the Park returns for its monthly movie: “Jungle Book.” Attendees are encouraged to walk or bike to the park, where they can picnic and watch the free movie. Popcorn will also be provided at the event. Movies are subject to change or cancellation. Stay up-to-date on the movie information via their website.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Silvergate Park, 2121 E Enid Ave, Mesa. Free.

4/22: Kidtopia festival

Live 101.5 sponsors this kid-centric event, which will include areas for books, inflatables, sports, arts and crafts, becoming a DJ for a day and a petting zoo. There will also be carnival rides and a food court.

Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Schnepf Farms 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. $20, $40 VIP, age 2 and under free.

4/22: Earth Day at the Phoenix Zoo


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Learn to reduce, reuse and recycle with conservation stations, a drumming circle, a make-your-own planter and creature features. Also, bring your used clothing, bedding, shoes, and books to the front curb to help raise money for the zoo.

Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 22. 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 602-286-3800,

4/22: Moonlit Drive-in Movies: ‘SING’

The third annual Moonlit Drive-in Movie Series at the Promenade in Scottsdale returns. Watch a movie from your car or blanket or lawn chair in the parking lot near Nordstrom Rack on a 32-foot inflatable screen. Free balloon animals contests and other activities will begin before the movie between 6:45 and 7:30 p.m.

DETAILS: 6:45 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The Promenade, Frank Lloyd Wright and N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale. Free.

4/22: Peoria Planetpalooza 

Celebrate Earth Day with Peoria at Planetpalooza by getting educated on ways to protect the planet. There will be prizes, food trucks, music and appearances by Peoria’s Planetary Superheroes Desert Defenders.

Details: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Westwing Park, 27100 N. Westwing Parkway, Peoria. Free. 623-773-7133,

4/22: Recycle Arts and Youth Festival 

Event highlights include an artist’s reception and and the Eco Chic Fashion Show, a creative display of recycled fashion that underscores the importance and possibilities of working with post-consumer, reusable materials. There will be several art activities for children, and local food vendors and entertainers.

Details: 4-9 p.m. Saturday, April 22. WHAM Community Arts Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road, Surprise. Free. 480-823-4120,

4/22: Spring Fling Carnival and Talent Contest

The Spring Fling Carnival is a free family event that features live music, entertainment, a talent show, free games, face painting, and free carnival rides including a bungee trampoline, bounce house, vertical rush slide and obstacle course. You can also get a free chair message while listening to the live music and then help your favorite talent win $500 by voting for the BackFit’s Biggest Superstar’s Talent Contest. Food trucks and local vendors will also be in attendance.

DETAILS: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 22. BackFit Health + Spine, 754 S. Val Vista Drive, Gilbert. Free. 480-497-2900.

4/22: Arizona Scitech North Valley STEAM Expo

This free event is open to all ages includes demonstrations, tours, hands-on activities and information about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) careers.

Details: 10-2 p.m., Saturday, April 22. Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Free.

Through 4/23: The Secret Garden

A young girl raised in India is sent to live in England with her great uncle in a mansion full of secrets. The lush grounds around the estate is the girl’s only escape from an uncle in mourning and his son, who is confined to bed. She discovers a secret garden and later brings love and new life to the garden and home.

Details: noon and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 and 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 23.  Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., Phoenix. $18. 602-253-8188,

4/26-5/14: ‘Big Bug Circus’

Experience insect circus acts as ants, caterpillars, beetles and more perform in the center ring. An original show featuring string puppet bugs and fun for the family.

DETAILS: 10 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m. 2 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; April 26-May 14. Great AZ Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix.  $10 for adults;$7 for children through age 12. 602-262-2050,

Through 5/29: ‘Planet Shark: Predator or Prey’


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An exhibit with teeth that educates and entertains with technology that makes visitors feel submerged with sharks. The exhibit includes a vast array of shark teeth, rare fossils and stunning facts about one of the world’s scariest predators.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. $18; $13 for ages 3-17 for general admission, then an additional $11.95 for adults and $9.95 for ages 3-17 for Planet Shark. 602-716-2000,

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Republic reporters Kerry Lengel, Owen Baldner and contributor Alison Stanton contributed to this article.

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