Looking for something fun to do that you’ve never done before for Halloween? Look no further than our very own Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale. It was the perfect evening to get out of the house with the family and do something that actually made it feel like the holidays.
This fall in Phoenix hasn’t been the typical. Yes of course the pandemic is the huge one but also THE HEAT! It’s hard to really embrace the halloween vibes when you’re still rocking a tank top and shorts everyday. But when I walked onto the ground of The Princess, it felt like I was transported into Halloweentown.
First of all, if you go right at 5 pm, parking is a breeze. I got to park right next to where we walked in. As you enter, you’ll pass beautiful signs that not only make great spots for pictures, but also tell you a little bit about what you’ll see inside. The kids that walked behind us were reading them out loud and could hear the excitement in their voices- which only made us that much more excited ourselves.
If you’ve been to The Princess around Christmas time, you might already have an idea of what to expect but at the same, it’s their first time doing Pumpkin Nights so you’ll be surprised all the same. They have out so many fun animatronics scattered around the opening quad. Each one with something fun to say or music to play. The workers nearby had on themed clothing that only added to the vibe and of course you had children in the cutest costumes walking around with giant light up sticks that are available for purchase throughout the event.
The first actual event item you’ll stumble onto is the mini pumpkin patch. It’s not just for looks, you can actually get a pumpkin from there if you wish! A guide is stations at the front to make sure you have a mask on, remind you to social distance and give you a little run down of the area.
Now if you aren’t interested in buying a pumpkin, you might still want to hang around! It’s the most photogenic spot of the even in my opinion. Several little benches all decked out, a photo arch that says, “cutest pumpkin in the patch,” a fire pit to warm your mitts and of course, a chance for you to grab some fall flavored snack items. When you’re ready to exit, there is a hand sanitizer station (which you’ll find at every entrance and exit,) and you’ll follow the path to the next area.
If you walk past the pumpkin pie stand, walk around the giant pumpkin and refrain from immediately running over to where the rides are, you’ll find the Spookeasy! Such a great idea. If you’re here for a fall date night, this is where I recommend you hang out! It’s low lit with a special drink menu that looked delicious although I wasn’t able to indulge myself. I however got to enjoy some mocktails and the hummus snack on the small bites menu they provided. The Spookeasy is a great stop for young couples or parents who get a night without the kids.
If you need more than small bites, just a stone’s throw away from the Spookeasy is La Hacienda. It’s the restaurant in the resort and it does not disappoint! I filled up on guacamole but did leave enough room to scarf down the farm fresh mixed green salad. Honestly one of the best salads I’ve ever had. The dressing was light but flavorful and the sweet flavors screamed of fall. My husband ate the entire plate of chicken enchiladas that he said were, “perfect” but was too busy eating to tell me much more beyond that. So I guess take his word for it!
While we sat at dinner, enjoying some drinks (mine was a virgin spicy bloody mary!) the sun had set and the lights turned on. From where we were sitting outside, we had the perfect view of the pumpkin patch I was talking about earlier which was now glowing yellow and orange. The lights were tasteful and not overdone. Just enough to give it a glimmer of magic. It made our closing cocktails all that much more special.
After our meal we decided to go check out all the commotion about the rides but along the way we found the Lanterns of Hope area. First let me say that the pool at night looked like a romantic night time getaway. Blue lights danced across the water and the giant firepit in the middle of the pool burned in the reflection. Up the stairs by the pool is where you receive your lantern and instructions. (This is complimentary by the way.) You walk over to a table and write something on each side. It can be hopes and dreams or you can do something like what we did. We lit our lantern for a loved one no longer with us, my dad. After, you go down the stairs, get your candle ignited and then walk over to the pool where they let you place your lantern in the water and then an employee will assist in pushing it out beyond the shallow. It was a truly beautiful sight to see.
When we were done being emo, it was time for a smile. It was like a tiny carnival just steps away from the lanterns. I opted to not to the rides while pregnant but it wasn’t easy to say no! In the same area there was a haymaze and MY favorite, a s’mores roasting area!
This spot was cool. There were mini fire pits scattered around where you could roast your own s’mores with your little group you came with. You simply walk up to the stand, grab your dessert materials and then pick a spot to munch. When I was there, it wasn’t crowded enough that you had to wait for a pit. Not sure what it will be like this week- as it’s the last week for the event but I always say to err on the side of being early!
Surely this event will happen next year and only get even better! My whole family had a blast and went home tired. The entire shindig was well coordinated with a friendly staff and an incredible ambiance. I really can’t recommend checking it out enough.
Please remember that Arizona is steadily increasing our cases of COVID19 every day. People who had it once ARE getting it again. Many are suffering with long term symptoms (yes, even young athletic adults like myself,) such as shortness of breath, randomly experiencing flu-like symptoms, brain fog and more. Of course don’t just take my word for it. Look it up yourself. I say this so that you WILL utilize the hand sanitizer stations, you WILL wear your mask properly, you WILL social distance and finally you WON’T invade someone else’s personal space out of carelessness.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
Go check out Pumpkin Nights at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale before the witching season is over!