BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
For November 2019
by Kathryn Brooks

The classroom is not the only place where learning happens. Experiences outside of school are essential, giving young minds an opportunity to explore a myriad of relevant topics in different ways. Research indicates that learning beyond the classroom can stimulate motivation, widen practical knowledge, build personal and social skills, develop independence, provide challenges and nurture creativity. Take advantage of these ten Valley’s resources available this November that will provide quality learning experiences for youngsters and their families.

SCPA: ERTH’S PREHISTORIC AQUARIUM

Take the kids on an exciting excursion to the bottom of the ocean where prehistoric marine reptiles lived centuries ago. Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo has created this immersive underwater adventure using actors, puppets, technology, science and imagination to create an amazing visual  experience that connects young audiences to the real science of paleontology. You’re invited you to jump in and explore the unknown ocean depths at 2 p.m. on November 16 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. www.scottsdalearts.org

CANAL CONVERGENCE: WATER + ART + LIGHT

The annual 10-day event returns to the Scottsdale Waterfront area on November 8-17. On the banks, in the water and soaring above the Arizona Canal, guests can explore the ten large-scale, light-based installations, many of which have interactive components. In addition to the artworks, the family-friendly event features creative programing and entertainment for all ages. Children will enjoy music and dance performances and the coloring and painting stations. Many workshops are geared to children such as Stenciled T-Shirt Printing, DIY Laser Show, DIY Waterlight Stamp and Petri Dish Sculptures and require ticketing. www.scottsdalearts.org

THE PHOENIX THEATRE COMPANY: THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Just in time for the holidays, wrap yourself up in the musical that has inspired and delighted generations. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s romantic epic overflows with the indomitable spirit of survival—and includes some of the most iconic songs of all time. Warm, funny, and inspiring, The Sound of Music reminds us all of the sustaining power of family. Opening on November 13 through December 29 at The Phoenix Theatre Company. www.phoenixtheatre.com

MESA ARTS CENTER: BUILDING THE PHOTO ARK

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to capture portraits of the world’s species before they disappear. With ingenuity, wit, and a serious midwestern work ethic, Sartore has created the Photo Ark project, the largest archive of its kind with nearly 8,000 images and counting. As part of the National Geographic Live! series, on November 20 at Mesa Arts Center (MAC), attendees will hear about his comical mishaps, endearing encounter and personal stories while documenting a world worth saving. While you’re on the  MAC campus, be sure to view the current exhibition of Satore’s photos on view at the Museum. www.mesaartscenter.com

CANDYTOPIA

Life is sweet at this confectionery wonderland. Now through December 31 at Scottsdale Quarter, this interactive art installation celebrates the vibrant colors and flavors of our favorite sugary delights. From flying unicorn pigs to a marshmallow tsunami, bring your kids, your friends, and your sweet tooth for an experience like none other. www.candytopia.com

ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER: VICTORIA THE T. REX

Victoria, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton touring the world, is making her debut at Arizona Science Center with a special exhibition that opens to the public on November 17. Kids will be transported to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, bringing to life one of the most important discoveries in the history of paleontology and giving museum visitors the rare opportunity to visit the Cretaceous period where Victoria’s story will unfold in her natural habitat. Unearthed outside Faith, South Dakota, in 2013, Victoria has undergone years of meticulous research and restoration to be named the second most complete T. rex skeleton on record. www.azscience.org

TOUCH-A-TRUCK

Hosted by the Junior League Phoenix the 7th Annual Touch-A-Truck event will be held on November 16 at Aviano Community Park in Phoenix. This a family-friendly event offers children a hands-on opportunity to explore a variety of machinery and to meet the people who build, protect and serve the Valley communities. Vehicles on display routinely include construction trucks, emergency responders, tractor trailers, utility trucks and a helicopter. The event also features a DJ, local mascots, interactive educational games, bounce houses, slides, face painters, balloon artists and food trucks. https://www.jlp.org

PHOENIX ART MUSEUM: FREE FAMILY SUNDAY

Thanks to the generosity of Discount Tire, general admission is waived and admission to the special-engagement exhibition is discounted on Sunday, November 10. Kids of all ages are invited to join in on art-making, scavenger hunts, story time and hands-on activities inspired by the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions. Given the newly-opened exhibition, Legends of Speed, the theme for November is: Motion. www.phxart.org

THE PHOENIX ZOO: ZooLights, GLOW WILD

Opening on November 27 through January 19, ZooLights has become a Valley tradition. From 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. nightly, the Zoo is aglow with millions of LED sparkling lights and hundreds of dazzling displays. There’s a three-story tall Christmas tree, live reindeer, lakeside Music in Motion shows, a Polar Slide, 3-D light sculptures and new life-size animal lanterns.  www.phoenixzoo.org

THE PHOENIX SYMPHONY: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX IN CONCERT

You-Know-Who™ is not the only one who has returned—Harry Potter™, Ron Weasley™ and Hermione Granger™ are back as well in this unforgettable concert event. Relive the magic with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ displayed on a giant screen in high-definition and accompanied by a symphonic orchestra. See Harry and his friends race through the Department of Mysteries, practice Defense Against the Dark Arts in secret, and endure Professor Umbridge—all with Nicholas Hooper’s iconic score. All witches and wizards are welcome to wear their finest robes or costumes. www.phoenixsymphony.org