During this very special episode at the Puppetry Arts Center (1200 S. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach), puppets teach kids about life, love, and the triumph of the human, er, hand-puppet spirit. See, our protagonist, Doodles, is a clown, and to add to the cultural stigma already attached to such folks, Doodles is a lonely clown. To combat his loneliness, Doodles creates a companion to keep him company -- a dog. Doodles and his new friend frolic and engage in general dog/clown goofabouts until a mean circus owner steals the mutt away. This can only lead to his furry friend's being exploited in ways that surely involve degrading costumes, so Doodles devises a plan to save the circus-bound pup. This is where the very special lesson kicks in, as kids learn about problem-solving, courage, and determination. Show starts at 10:30 a.m. Admission is $4. Call 561-967-3231. -- Audra Schroeder
Hay, Ho, Let's Go
When you think of South Florida, hayrides don't immediately come to mind. But the weather is cooling off a bit, and C.B. Smith Park (900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines) offers a "Family Hayride and Campfire" to at least make it feel more like fall. In addition to a lazy ride through the park's winding trails, families can enjoy roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. The hayrides cost $2 per person, but the marshmallows and cocoa are free, the way nature intended. Starts at 7 p.m. Call 954-437-2650. -- Audra Schroeder
Bump at Break
Because kids gotta do something on vacation
Tuesday is Veteran's Day, and working parents who get a day off may be debating how to turn this day into a true holiday, sans both workplace and parental duties -- not that they don't love the little rugrats, of course, but you gotta have some downtime. For parents put in this situation, your best bet is the Museum of Discovery and Science's (401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale) "Things That Go Bump in the Night" event, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. While parents go and do, ahem, whatever it is they do when the kids aren't home, children ages 5 to 12 learn all about the slimy, hairy, fanged, and otherwise nasty residents of planet Earth. Preregistration is required; admission is $50. Call 954-467-6637. -- Dan Sweeney
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