Before the MoonPie madness falls from on high, welcome the calendar’s turn with your younger family members by heading to the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center (65 Government St.) on Saturday, Dec. 30. That’s when they will hold their “Happy Noon Year’s” celebration.

Exploreum’s New Year’s hoopla is a family-friendly event exploring science, technology, engineering and math. Activities include a Firework Painting Scratch Factory, Hidden Fizzing Fireworks, Healthy Moonpies and a Moonpie Drop with confetti cannons, countdown and New Year’s-inspired take-home activities, including firework rings and much more.

When the clock strikes noon the Moonpie will drop, heralding even more fun throughout the building. Be sure to not miss the Big Boom in the courtyard as hundreds of balls are sent flying through the air.

Despite the name, the doors open at 9 a.m. and activities kick off at 10 a.m. The Exploreum will close early, at 2 p.m. when activities wrap.

Admission is free for Exploreum members and children age 3 and under. Non-members pay $10 for the IMAX/exhibit/event combo.

For more info, call 251-605-7067 or go to

“Miracle Worker” auditions at Playhouse
Playhouse in the Park (4851 Museum Drive) will hold auditions for “The Miracle Worker,” a play about Alabama native and state hero Helen Keller. It covers her difficult youth as a deaf and blind girl and Anne Sullivan, the diligent teacher who opened a universe to the child.

Auditions will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 3 and 4, 6:30-8 p.m. Girls and boys ages 7 through mid-20s are invited to try out.

Students and parents should complete an audition sheet in the Playhouse lobby, where board members will assist with details.

Playhouse in the Park is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has trained young people in theatrical arts since 1961.

For more information, call 251-422-5434 or go to

CCT stages Neil Simon comedy
If you want to prolong the lightness of your holiday season, look just north of town in the coming weeks. That’s when Chickasaw Civic Theatre presents its rendition of Neil Simon’s comic fable “Fools” at the Lola Phillips Playhouse (801 Iroquois St.).

The tale involves a schoolteacher with a new job in a small Russian village who learns a curse has rendered the entire population mentally deficient. Of course, the teacher develops feelings for an adult pupil who holds the answer to the curse.

The original 1981 production was reworked three years later into “The Curse of Kulyenchikov,” then into a 1990 musical. This latest version features a cast of 10 under the direction of Josh Jack Carl.

It runs Jan. 12-21 and tickets are available now. Friday and Saturday curtain is at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m.

For more information and to buy tickets, call 251-457-8887 or go to