If you have young children, October could be a very busy month for you. (Sorry.) Here are several major entertainment options your kiddies are likely to be clamoring for.
Hot ticket: Disney on Ice's ‘Worlds of Fantasy'
Movies you know by heart – including “Cars,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King” – are condensed and translated to the ice. Disney's got deep pockets (surprise!), so the sets, costumes and effects at these shows tend to be more impressive than you'd expect.
Opening night is Wednesday; showtime is at 7. Eight more performances through Oct. 12. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. $14-$60. 704-522-6500; www.time warnercablearena.com.
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Sesame Street Live's
‘When Elmo Grows Up'
Every toddler's favorite red Muppet shares the limelight with new gal-pal Abby Cadabby (basically a female Elmo) in a show that – like any good episode of the PBS series – includes lessons on perseverance, teamwork and the power of imagination.
Opening day is Oct. 16; showtimes are at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Six more performances through Oct. 19. Cricket Arena, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. $14-$30. 704-372-3600; www.cricketarenacharlotte .com.
The Cheetah Girls
They've never achieved a “High School Musical” level of success, and their fans aren't as rabid as the Jonas Brothers'. But the screaming is still likely to get way too loud for anyone over age 14 when the “girls” – Adrienne Bailon, 24; Sabrina Bryan, 24; and Kiely Williams, 22 – sing songs from their latest Disney Channel movie.
7 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville; 4 p.m. Nov. 2 at Greensboro Coliseum. (The Charlotte date was canceled earlier this week.) $35-$45. www.ticketmaster .com.
‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua'
Disney's track record for talking-dog movies, of late, isn't good (2007's “Underdog” was wretched; 2006's “The Shaggy Dog” was god-awful). But voice talent includes several funny Latino comics (George Lopez, Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez). And face it: Kids under 7 will probably come away declaring it their favorite movie of all-time – like they do after every movie they see.
In theaters: Today.
Movie: ‘High School Musical 3: Senior Year'
No. 3's budget is three times the original's, so expect a much more polished look to the sets and the song-and-dance numbers. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are now 20 and 19, respectively, so they can still pass for graduating high school seniors. A few “sophomores” will be introduced; expect them in coming years to carry the torch for the franchise.
In theaters: Oct. 24.
Hot spot: Carolina Renaissance Festival
While this celebration of 16th-century Europe isn't strictly for kids, there are plenty of attractions that make the RenFest worthwhile. The biggest hits: Pirate's Assault Catapult, which simulates bouncing on a seriously springy trampoline; Dextre Tripp's death-defying acrobatics (do not miss this show); and the elephant rides way in the back of the park.
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekends, through Nov. 16. 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville. $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $7 for children 5-12, free for kids under 5. 704-896-5544; www.royalfaires.com.