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Fall Arts Preview: Family entertainment picks

“Pandas” is screening at the Museum of Science.Drew Fellman

Pandas What is it about the panda, more than any other wild animal, that makes this creature so beloved? This IMAX film explores the preservation of the species through the story of Qian Qian, a cub born in captivity, and a scientist in China who breeds the animals and introduces them into the wild — using a technique inspired by a black bear program in New Hampshire. Ongoing. Museum of Science. 617-723-2500,

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Turns 50 The 1969 creation of Eric Carle challenged the publishing industry to rethink the children’s book. The first edition of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was made in Japan because it was too costly for US printers to produce the die-cut holes and pages of irregular sizes — the very qualities that made the butterfly-to-be’s story a tangible plaything. Through March 24. Eric Carle Museum, Amherst. 413-658-1126,


Come to Your Senses This collection of art “to see, smell, hear, taste and touch” was curated by Sally Taylor, who asked visual artists, poets, dancers, perfumers, chefs, sculptors, and musicians (including her parents, James Taylor and Carly Simon) to create art based on the work of others — in this case, fifth-grade students from North Adams and North Berkshire schools. How does one use art that expresses an emotion you’re not aware of as a catalyst for one’s own creations? Ongoing. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. 413-662-2111,

Yellow Submarine 50th-Anniversary Sing-along So, your kids like cartoons, right? Well, they’re going to be entranced by this Fab Four story of a place called Pepperland, which is beautiful and happy until the Blue Meanies show up. Sing along as a family — you might be surprised by how much Beatles music the little ones have absorbed. Sept. 12. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 781-646-4849,


Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic “Silly old bear, I won’t ever forget about you.” Christopher Robin had it right. The A.A. Milne book, published in 1926, has withstood the test of time and transcended borders. (It has been translated into more than 50 languages.) This exhibit displays original E.H. Shepard drawings as well as early editions depicting the adventures of Pooh, Piglet, and friends. Opens Sept. 22. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300,

Tree Textures As part of the annual celebration of Take a Child Outside Week — sorry, kids, turn your devices off and put your shoes on — this two-part exploration begins with a walk in Discovery Woods to collect natural items of various textures. Then it’s time to take pastel or pencil in hand to create a frottage, or rubbing. And there it is: a two-dimensional work of surrealistic art that mimics the three-dimensional realism of nature. Sept. 25. Discovery Museum, Acton. 978-264-4200,

Father Goose’s Tales It’s a much-deserved day off for Mother Goose, so it’s up to Father Goose to offer his adaptations of favorite nursery rhymes in this edition of the annual Fall Fairy Tale Festival. The shadow puppetry of Nappy’s Puppets features songs and plenty of audience interaction. Sept. 29-30. Puppet Showplace Theater, Brookline. 617-731-6400 ext. 101,


Boston Mini Maker Faire Expanded to two days to contain all the ingenuity, this gathering of engineers, artists, and simply curious people is billed as “The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth.” Visitors of all ages can draw inspiration from more than 100 creations ranging from the high-tech (robotics) to the old-timey (blacksmithing). All the ideas sparked in your imagination are yours to take home. Oct. 6-7. Boston Children’s Museum. 617-986-3692,

Gorillaz It might seem like a contradiction or even an impossibility to say a virtual band is live in concert. But watch it unfold before your very eyes, this brainchild of Blur lead singer Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett. They’re touring to support “The Now Now,” the follow-up album to their Grammy-nominated “Humanz.” Oct. 14. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,

Extreme Chunkin Festival NASCAR might be faster, but nothing at the racetrack goes the distance like this annual fall tradition. Teams from around the country will bring in their trebuchets, catapults, and air cannons to see who can launch a pumpkin the farthest. (Last year’s winner: 4,381 feet by New Hampshire’s American Chunker team.) Pumpkin carving, face painting, and live music add to the family atmosphere. Oct. 20-21. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.

Mickey’s Search Party What will thrill your kids the most at Disney on Ice? Will it be live appearances by longtime stars such as Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell and newer characters Moana, Elsa from “Frozen,” and Miguel from “Coco”? Or will it be the spectacular skating, acrobatics, and stunts? Only one way to find out. Oct. 26-28. DCU Center, Worcester. 508-755-6800.


Gooney Bird Greene and her True Life Adventures Nonconformity is a good theme for the first day of school, and this adaptation of the Lois Lowry book follows new student Gooney Bird on that very occasion. The quirky bird inspires classmates with brightly mismatched clothes and wild (but true) stories, and audience members might get caught up in the inventiveness, too. Weekends Oct. 26-Nov. 18. Wheelock Family Theater. 617-353-3001,

Kidz Bop Live With so many tunes at their fingertips these days, young music fans grow up awfully fast — though some lyrical content can be too mature for their ears. That won’t be an issue with the all-new tour of Kidz Bop. Filled with pop hits “sung by kids for kids,” this audience-participation fun fest of singing and dancing is fit for the whole family. Are you ready to move? Nov. 2. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000,

Darci Lynne and Friends Live Darci Lynne Farmer shares the stage with her “Friends,” but she performs solo. That’s not a paradox, dummy — she’s a ventriloquist. One of the youngest winners ever on “America’s Got Talent,” this 13-year-old incorporates comedy, singing, and even yodeling into a performance costarring Petunia, Oscar, and Edna. Nov. 4. Hanover Theatre, Worcester. 877-571-7469,


Marvel Universe Live! The Avengers, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy team up for “Age of Heroes,” in which aerialists, acrobats, and motorcyclists portray the heroes and villains. Using video projection and special effects, the story travels from outer space to the Savage Land to New York City (those are different places, by the way) and beyond. Nov. 8-11. SNHU Arena, Manchester, N.H. 800-745-3000,

An earlier version misstated the dates for the “Pandas” film and the Extreme Chunkin festival.