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Winter Safari at the Zoo, A Movie Musical and Puppets Galore …

Toy Story 3 On Ice
The toys are back in town — and they’ve brought their ice skates! Disney On Ice brings Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3 (plus memorable moments from Toy Story 1 and 2) to the Palace of Auburn Hills Wednesday-Sunday, March 9-13. See Buzz’s galactic battle with Emperor Zurg and a hoedown on the set of “Woody’s Roundup” all while the whole gang tries to escape the evil Lots-o’-Huggin Bear and the terrifying toddlers at Sunnyside Daycare. To infinity and beyond! Tickets start at $15.
Palace of Auburn Hills, 6 Championship Drive, Auburn Hills. (800) 745-3000; or

If it’s March (or Adar I and II, if you want to get technical), then it’s time for some festive Megillah action at PuppetART Detroit Puppet Theater. Their annual production of Purim Shpiel is based on the biblical Book of Esther and tells the story of how a beautiful but poor Jewish girl marries the wealthy King Ahasuerus and saves her people from certain death at the hands of the wicked Haman. Kids love this holiday, which is known as the Mardi Gras of the Hebrew calendar.
Located in the city’s theater district, Detroit Puppet Theater offers Purim shows every Saturday during March at 2 p.m. Performances are $5 for children, $10 for adults.
25 E. Grand River Ave., one-half block east of Woodward, Detroit. (313) 961-7777;

Dick Van Dyke may not excel at putting on an English accent, but he’s practically perfect in every other way in this film classic. Bring your kids (and the grandparents) for this rare chance to see him on the big screen, singing and dancing his way through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (based on the children’s book written by James Bond creator Ian Fleming) at the historic Redford Theatre.
With a screenplay by Roald Dahl, and Oscar-winning songs by brothers Richard and Robert Sherman (composers for the musical films Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book), Chitty is a must-see classic. 8 p.m. Friday, March 25; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 26. All seats: $4.
Redford Theatre, 17360 Lahser Road, Redford. (313) 537-2560;

Celebrate the end of winter with the last event of Wild Winter Weekends at the Detroit Zoo. Take the kids on a winter safari scavenger hunt (they can redeem their finds for a prize at the end) while experiencing the animals in their natural winter habitat. Face painting, animal arts and crafts and talks by the zoo’s expert keepers are also on hand; hot cocoa and ice cream will be available to purchase. All activities are free with zoo admission. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sarturday and Sunday, March 12-13.
Detroit Zoological Park, W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak. (248) 541-5717;

The Melikin family has been touring the country with their captivating and educational puppet presentations since 1963. On Sunday, March 20, it’s the Detroit Institute of Arts’ turn to get a taste of the Melikin Puppet Theatre’s magic when it presents Dragon Feathers, a collection of legends, fables and history — including Ogden Nash’s Custard the Dragon, Kenneth Grahame’s Reluctant Dragon and Andrew Lang’s Stan Bolovan and the Dragon — all hosted by the wizard Merlin, the world’s foremost authority on dragons. A lucky few members of the audience will be chosen to join the puppets onstage for an authentic Chinese Dragon Dance. Dragon Feathers is at 2 p.m. in the DIA Lecture Hall.

Stay after the performance for the DIA’s other Family Sundays offerings: Create a simple kite and learn basic kite-flying safety tips (noon-4 p.m.) and join Drawing in the Galleries (for ages 6 and older, noon-4 p.m.) as artist-instructors lead participants in creating pencil drawings to take home.
Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit. (313) 833-7900;



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