Cheap Thrills

PARTY ANIMAL. Catmandu's name may give him away. He's a cat, all right, but a white tiger at that.

In the world of tigers, Catmandu's a kitten, just a year old. On Saturday, get the kids over to Reid Park Zoo, where they can watch this critter turn into a serious party animal.

The birthday bash for Catmandu offers the chance to get a good look at his digs and watch as keepers present him with a birthday cake surprise.

Kids also get a slice of cake (Catmandu may not want to share his, so bash organizers will make sure extra cakes are on hand). Also, birthday partygoers can participate in special activities and will get party favors.

The event from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday is free--kind of. The party is free with regular zoo admission. For more information, call 791-3204, ext. 12.

COWBOY POETS AND COUNTRY CRUISING. Tired of Tucson's humid funk?

Take a breather with a road trip. A couple of great events are happening this weekend just up the road a piece.

Prescott hosts the 14th annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering. Check out the working cowboys who compose and recite and sing poetry about their lives and work. The event also includes old-time singing, songwriting and yodeling.

If cars get you going, get going to Williams for the Cool Country Cruise-In and Route 66 Festival 2001. Go back in time and enjoy the 1950s again on Route 66. The event features a classic car show with trophies given for various classes, plus a battle of the bands, a sock hop and contests.

The cowboy poets do their thing in Prescott from Thursday through Saturday at the Sharlot Hall Museum and Yavapai College Performance Hall. Daytime activities are free. (Tickets for evening shows are $11 advance, $12 at the door.) For more information, call 928-445-3122.

Williams fires up its Route 66 event Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 928-635-1418.

ONE WEEK ONLY. Kids 12 and under get free admission this week to the International Wildlife Museum, where they can check out more than 400 kinds of animals, from insects to polar bears.

With the aid of taxidermy displays and background replicas the museum, founded in 1988, is able to highlight the animals' natural habitats.

The museum has a 98-seat theater with free natural-history films as well as workshops and classes for families and schools. The International Wildlife Museum offers a unique wildlife education experience.

The museum, located at 4800 W. Gates Pass Road, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Regular ticket prices are $7 adults, $5.50 students and seniors, $2.50 children. Kids 5 and under are always free. For more information, call 617-1439.