The Beat's (a.k.a Jim Fischer) picks for September.

OUT OF THIS WORLD

Playwright David Mamet brought his crisp, witty sense of humor to Revenge of the Space Pandas, a play for children. CATCO for Kids brings it back for a short run Aug. 29-31 at the Columbus Performing Arts Center's Shedd Theatre. Follow the intergalactic adventures of precocious 12-year-old inventor Binky and his two friends, Vivian and Bob the Sheep, as they're transported across the cosmos and scheme to return home, against the will of their captor and his Panda henchmen.

Columbus Performing Arts Center, Shedd Theatre, 549 Franklin Ave., (Discovery District), Columbus 43215, 614-469-0939, catco.org

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HOT TIMES

If you think a festival featuring jazz music and poetry is too serious for your kids, you've never been to the Hot Times Festival, set for Sept. 5-7 at the corner of Parsons Avenue and Main Street. Highlighted by the annual Columbus Children's Parade, the festival is packed full with activities for children of all ages. Lots of local music is, of course, also featured in this great way to send off summer.

Hot Times Festival, 240 Parsons Ave., (Near East Side), Columbus 43215, hottimesfestival.com

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EVEN MORE JAZZ

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus holds its final summer 2014 PBJ & Jazz concert Sept. 13. The free concert, featuring the Dan White Sextet, begins at 12 noon in the Topiary Park. It's preceded by Family Storytime at the Columbus Metropolitan Library's main branch and followed by an hour of fun Columbus Museum of Art activities.

Topiary Park, 480 E. Town St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215, 614-294-5200 ext. 107, jazzartsgroup.org


............... THE MUSIC'S NOT FLAT, JUST STANLEY

You know all about Flat Stanley, the accidentally two-dimensional world traveler who first appeared in Jeff Brown's 1964 children's book of the same name. Well, you might not know about The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, brought to life in a play to be given its central Ohio premiere by Columbus Children's Theatre and opening Sept. 18 at its Park Street Theatre. Recommended for ages 4 and older.

Columbus Children's Theatre, 512 Park St. (Arena District), Columbus 43215, 614-224-6672, columbuschildrenstheatre.org


............... A TRUE CLASSIC

Enjoy a concert by pop superstars, enjoy a major equestrian competition and raise money for charity - all in one day. It's the 17th annual New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day, set for Sept. 21 at the home of Abigail and Leslie Wexner in New Albany. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., carnival rides, ziplines and a host of other activities take place. The day is highlighted by the Tween Brands Concert with Fifth Harmony, Jake Miller, AJR and Sabrina Carpenter, plus an equestrian competition featuring 30 of the world's best riders and their mounts. The event is the primary fundraiser for The Center for Family Safety and Healing.

The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day, 4584 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, New Albany 43054, thenewalbanyclassic.com


More BEAT

-The Fam Five and The Beat are arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer at ThisWeek Community News. Check out weekly coverage at ThisWeekNEWS.com/thebeat