Fall Festivals Around Phoenix, The Valley and Arizona



Photo credit Hide Obara [left] | Blake Bronstad [top right] | Jessica Flecky [bottom right]

One thing I love about fall in Phoenix is that it’s finally cool enough to go outside for more than a few minutes at a time (OK, I feel a bit silly calling a high of 90 “cool,” but it beats triple digits). And as soon as we’re able to, we Phoenix-area residents love to spend our time outdoors.

Thankfully, there’s a ton of fall activities for the family, which means there’s always something to do. Here are some October favorites from around Phoenix + the Valley + Arizona.


Halloween Spooktacular & Car Show::

Oct. 16th 6-8PM:  Join The Shops at Norterra for a boo-tiful night of FREE Halloween fun for the whole family! There will be TONS of activities on Main Street and in the Corridor between Pita Jungle and Harkins. Entertainment will include costume contests, car show, live music, photo booths and more! Check out details HERE


Oct. 24-25: At Autumnfest Anthem residents and visitors from far and wide will come together to celebrate all things fall at ACC’s Autumnfest. This family-friendly event celebrates the season with fall festivities including arts & crafts vendors, carnival rides, pumpkin picking and live entertainment. Autumnfest is open to the public. Admission and parking are free.


Mesa is a bit of a hike for me, but it’s worth it to drive for the full day’s worth of activities at the Vertuccio Farms Corn Maze & Fall Festival. The festival runs through Nov. 1. This one isn’t free, but it’s well worth the $9 admission (younger than 2 is free).  Kids and adults will enjoy the corn maze, jump pad, hay rides, train ride and more. Plus, all-day fun + tiring the kids out so they go to sleep at bedtime is priceless.

Are you going to be in the East Valley?! See what is going on from our friends at East Valley moms Blog HERE!


Every weekend in October: For those seeking an autumn adventure, hop on the Grand Canyon Railway Pumpkin Patch Train! Departing from Williams, this train will take you through the countryside before reaching its destination – a secret pumpkin patch, where children will be able to select their very own pumpkin. There will also be a free, walk-through Haunted Train Car, a hay bale maze, and pumpkin arts and crafts at the Williams Depot. Pumpkin pie, caramel apples, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and other Halloween treats will be available for purchase at the Java on the Platform Snack Shop. All are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes.

Every weekend in October: Come join the Bearizona crew for family fun, weekends in October at the Howly, Growly, Owly Festival. Children are encouraged to dress up in costume and those that do will get a “beary” special treat. Festivities include the Howl-O-Ween Express: an open air bus which travels through the entire drive through portion of the park; Growly Bear Cave: those who dare can walk through our super spooky haunted cave; Wandering Entertainers: professional jugglers & balloon twisters will be out and about in Fort Bearizona; Owly Raptor Show: this amazing show lets visitors come face to face with hawks, owls and raptors in a free flight demonstration; Bearizona Barnyard Petting Zoo: come visit with Bearizona’s barnyard animals including goats, chickens, pigs, turkey, peacocks, and mini horses. There will also be photo opportunities with lots of Halloween decor for family photos.


Oct 23-25: 10th Annual Wild Western Festival – Best in the West entertainment, live music, classic Hollywood western TV and movie stars, cowboy singers, musicians, vendor encampment and Sutler’s Row, displays and demos, working blacksmiths, Mounted Calvary C-Troop Buffalo Soldiers, Cowboy Fast-Draw Assn competition, Dutch-oven and chuck wagon camp, kids korral, gunfights and stunt shows all happening at Sahuaro Ranch Historic Park. Entry $5-10.

Oct. 31: The Glendale, AZ Convention & Visitors Bureau welcomes you to their inaugural, Dia de Los Muertos celebration in Historic Downtown Glendale. This exciting event will be rich with traditions, it’s FREE to the community and will also offer FREE health screenings and healthy eating options via an onsite Farmers Market.


Oct. 30: I don’t celebrate Halloween, so I am keen on any event that keeps my kids from asking the dreaded “Trick or Treat” question. Peoria’s Halloween Monster Bash fits the bill. There is a Parade of Costumes, inflatables, carnival games, a rock wall and more. Which means both my preschooler AND my first grader will have something to do. The event is 5-9 p.m. at the Peoria Sports Complex.

My new favorite Friday activity is avoiding cooking dinner. And I accomplish this lofty feat by attending Food Truck Friday-West, the newest food truck event in the West Valley. With more than 25 trucks (and counting!) to choose from, plus kids’ activities, it makes for a pretty good Friday night. The food truck lineup is posted on the event Facebook page each week.

Food truck friday west


Oct. 3-31: I don’t eat – or cook- pumpkin. But for some reason, we can’t let the season pass without picking up a few. The Pioneer Harvest Fest is the perfect place to do that. The event boasts a pumpkin patch, live music, hay rides and gold panning. They also have a costume contest and Trick or Treating on the 31st. Located at Pioneer Living History Museum.

Oct. 16-Nov. 8: When is the last time you had an oversized turkey leg or fried butter/cookies/anything? That long? Well, you’re due. The Arizona State Fair may be the epitome of family friendly. This year’s fair includes the requisite carnival rides, over-the-top food, but also includes tons of other activities, including something called the UFO Experience, a Bear Show and petting zoo, along with some date-night concerts like Brett Michaels, Meat Loaf, Sheryl Crow, Flo Rida and Jason Derulo.

Oct. 23 & 24: Phoenix Zoo Howl-O-Ween is two Phoenix Zoo Halloween traditions in one! That’s right; this year Boo at the Zoo is joining forces with Howl-O-Ween for two nights of ghostly fun. Enjoy everything Boo at the Zoo offered, just in the evening. And thrill seekers need not worry, because all the scare Howl-O-Ween is known for is also planned. Howl-O-Ween includes activities and experiences for the whole family. So whether you’re looking for scary tricks or sweet treats — Howl-O-Ween is a delightfully spooky event for all ages. Find out more here!

Nov. 14: Don’t miss the Certified Local Fall FestivalEntrance is free, with crafts and activities for kids and families. $1 food tickets will be available for purchase at the Fall Festival. Entrance to the Beer and Wine Garden is free, only 21+ allowed. Drink samples will be available for 2 food tickets. Local business vendors will be selling a variety of unique gifts and products, prices vary. Attendees will also be able to purchase raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items on site.

Nov. 21 & 22: Be enchanted at the Enchanted Island Annual Fall Festival! Admission is $7 for unlimited access at Harvest. Enjoy the Hayride or Pony Rides, a Petting Zoo, Climb a Rockwall or Play a Game, Face Painting and Bounce Houses. Receive $1 off per person per canned food donation up to 5 cans, maximum discount $5: benefits St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Nov. 27-Dec. 31: Las Noches de las Luminarias, has a new outdoor exhibition, Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden, running for 24 magical evenings. Each night of Luminaria, the Garden will come to life with the soft glow from more than 8,000 hand lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and Munro’s vibrant works of art. As you walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, the sounds of handbells ringing and Mariachis singing will remind you of what the season is all about. Make plans with family and friends to attend this year’s very special Las Noches de las Luminarias


Oct. 24-25: At the Salt River Fields Balloon Spooktacular, satisfy your sweet tooth a week early — 20 hot-air balloons will hover over Salt River Fields and hand out more than 2 tons of candy to trick-or-treaters. Get a fright at the haunted house or take a ride in a tethered balloon. And in what seems to be a new Halloween tradition, there will be a fireworks display to close the evening. Written waiver required for balloon rides.

Oct. 31 5-9PM: Boo! Scottsdale’s Fall Festival is going to have some spooky fun at this year’s 46th Annual Fall Festival! The event will take place at Eldorado Park from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. The event will consist of 25 game booths, more than 10 bounce houses, stage entertainment, fireworks, candy, a tot area and more. Food vendors will be on site offering an awesome assortment of food and sweet treats. The fireworks will take place at 9 p.m.


Oct. 23-25: Howl-O-Ween at The Reid Park Zoo‘s family-friendly Halloween event offers less “boo” and more “zoo” to provide the entire family with an enjoyable, but not too frightening, celebration. Enjoy costumed characters and decorations galore as you stroll down the paths of the Zoo.

What are your favorite family-friendly activities around the valley?  Did we miss any you love to attend?


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