The Arden Theatre Company is encouraging families to be swept away by the whimsical story of

Sleeping Beauty

- and by a price break on tickets.

During tonight's Target 2-for-1 performance, the audience can enjoy what the theater representatives describe as the "modern, funnier version" of the timeless Disney classic, getting two tickets for the price of one.

The Charles Way version of

Sleeping Beauty

, which debuted at the theater on Dec. 5, introduces Briar Rose, an unconventional princess who excels at everything from spelling to dancing to sword fighting. She is shielded from evil witch Modron by magical half-dragon Gryff, good witch Branwen, and her overprotective parents. This contemporary version of the tale answers two questions: "Will Briar Rose's parents grant her the freedom she craves?" and "Can Owain [her best friend, who is a prince] overcome his fears and win praise from his father?"

Claiming to be the perfect weekend outing for boys and girls of all ages, the performance includes a question-and-answer session and a meet-and-greet with the cast after the show, plus a free commemorative poster for each guest.

"Sleeping Beauty" Target 2-for-1 performance, 7 tonight (regular performances scheduled through Jan. 27) at the Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St. Tickets: $26-$30, $18-$22 for teens ages 13-17, and $14-$16 for children 12 and younger (pricing depends on seating and performance). Two-for-one applies to tickets of equal value. Information: 215-922-8900 or www.ardentheatre.org.

'A Christmas Carol' through children's eyes

The World Theatre of Children, which is dedicated to educating children and youth in the fine arts of communication skills and familiarizing them with world cultures through theater arts, will perform

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol

throughout the weekend at Bucks County Community College in Newtown.

Directed by Gorman John Ruggiero, 30 child actors ages 7 to 14, including some with disabilities ranging from attention deficit disorder to Asperger's syndrome and autism, will perform at the Theatre Auditorium to musical arrangements by Fred Van Dorn. The dramatic adaptation of the beloved play will encourage children to explore the world and its many cultures through teachings of nonviolence, teamwork, conflict resolution, and social interaction.

World Theatre of Children performing "A Christmas Carol," 7:30 tonight and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown. Tickets: $15, $8 for children 6 and older, $5 for children 5 and younger. Information: 215-598-3727 or www.worldtheatreofchildren.org.

Santa in the Square

With the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, Philly Mini Golf, two playgrounds, Philadelphia-inspired snacks, and a fountain, Franklin Square was already making many kids' wishes come true. But now, for those wishes that might be out of its league, there's Santa.

Santa Claus and Elfreth the Elf will take a break from the North Pole Saturday and Sunday to spend three hours each day in the square meeting with children, while visitors sing along with carolers to their favorite holiday songs. Children who bring their Christmas lists for Santa will get a free ride on the carousel and families are encouraged to bring canned food donations for Philabundance to help those in need.

Santa in the Square, 12-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Franklin Square, Sixth and Race Streets. Free to meet with Santa (fees for other attractions vary). Information: 215-629-4026 or www.onceuponanation.org.