This may be one of those weekends when spending a few hours with the kids doesn't have to be so fraught with peril, or pizza served by a mouse named Chuck.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens’ 36th annual Oshogatsu New Year’s Celebration will honor the Year of the Snake on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oshogatsu is Japan’s most important yearly observance and a time of renewal, and the family festival includes games and entertainment for all ages, surrounded by the lush and fragrant gardens themselves. Highlights this year include: Mochitsuki, the pounding of the rice and making of large, round Japanese cakes called mochi; lion dancers and taiko drumming; tea ceremony demonstrations; hands-on crafting and storytelling; and the second annual Social Scavenger Hunt. Afterward you’ll likely want to stop by the Kirin Beer Garden and Sake Station, which will be open, along with food vendors around the garden. Tickets: $15, $10 for children 4-10, free for members and children 3 and younger. The museum is at 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach. Info: Morikami.org/newyear, 561-495-0233.
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood kicks off its free 2013 Family Performance Series on Saturday with “Actors with a Clue: Hooray for Holly-Weird!” at the Hollywood Performing Arts Center (1770 Monroe St.). The comedic murder mystery, in which audience participation is essential in cracking the case, begins at 2 p.m. The show is the first of the free monthly productions that the ACCH will offer through May. Info: ArtandCultureCenter.org, 954-921-3274.
SPIELBERG AT HIS BEST
How well has "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," Steven Spielberg's magical, kid's-eye-view riff on childhood, aged after 30 years (30!)? Find out by taking your own young focus group to a free 8 p.m. Friday showing of the film at Screen on the Green on the Great Lawn on the Waterfront Commons in downtown West Palm Beach. Info: WPB.org/screen.
There will be a range of kids’ activities, food and a throw-down-a-blanket vibe at the ArtsPark in downtown Hollywood 1-5 p.m. Sunday for Hollywood Healing Haiti. And for adventurous kids (and parents) there’s the chance to shake a leg to the crazy sounds of Locos por Juana, ArtOfficial and garage-rockers the 33 1/3s. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for the Project Papillon orphanage and youth center in Port au Prince. Info: HollywoodCares.net.
HUGO, MIRABELLE & CHURROS
Family Day on Aragon, the second-Saturday partnership between Books & Books, the Coral Gables Cinema and the Coral Gables Museum, gets going with a screening of Martin Scorsese’s beautifully rendered and engaging Oscar winner “Hugo” (below) at 11 a.m. Special ticket prices are $5, with free popcorn and a soda. At 12:30 p.m. Michael Muller, photographer, artist and author children’s books about his Boston terrier, Mirabelle, will be at Books & Books, joined by Mirabelle herself. Muller (and Mirabelle, apparently) will read “Mirabelle Goes for a Walk” and “Mirabelle and the Bouncy Ball” (Workman, $6.95). From 2 to 4 p.m. the Coral Gables Museum will show off its new exhibit, “EcoAtlas,” which teaches about Florida flora and fauna. There will be a scavenger hunt for prizes, which you can chase with Spanish churros and chocolate for sale in the courtyard. Admission free. More info: BooksandBooks.com.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is back with a new production called “Dragons,” and by way of a recommendation, here’s my Chicago Tribune colleague Chris Jones’ impressions from a tour stop in November: “As annual editions of the Greatest Show on Earth go (and I've seen about 20 of them), ‘Dragons,’ the 142nd, is one of the best. It's easily in the top two or three productions, mostly because it comes with a far sharper edge than most of the Ringling editions of late, but also because it is faster-paced and more urgent. I suppose there are sacrifices in terms of sweetness and warmth, but ‘Dragons’ compensates with action and an unusually generous number of those great moments when mouths are dropping open in surprise.” Performances of “Dragons” are Friday-Sunday and Jan. 17-21 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. Tickets: $23.70-$98.05 via Ticketmaster.com.
The theatrical romp “Pinkalicious” is based on the book (by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann) about a girl (pictured above) obsessed with a certain color, to the point that she turns the color of cotton candy. The cure: Eat green, healthy snacks. Oh, the humanity! Yes, this is a little scary, and strictly younger-kid fare. And, mom, fair warning: We’re guessing the lobby wine bar will be closed. Performances are 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday at the Broward Center (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets: $3, $16. Info: BrowardCenter.org, 954-462-0222. It also can be seen at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.). Tickets: $3, $10. Info: AventuraCenter.org, 877-311-7469.
A RUN FOR FUN AND GOOD CAUSE
The second annual 5K for Kids takes place Saturday morning at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park on Sunrise at A1A in Fort Lauderdale. Race-day registration is $35, $15 for the Kids Dash and Youth Mile events. The event, including live music and food, is hosted by St. Anthony Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the Florida Panthers Foundation, with 75 percent of the proceeds going to the Jessica June Children's Cancer Foundation. Info: 5K4Kids.org.
Second Saturdays are free for families at the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St., Miami). The "Form and Transform" events from 1 to 4 p.m. will convert the auditorium into a giant installation using cardboard, found objects, and miscellaneous materials. Info: MiamiArtMuseum.org, 305-375-3000.