The big transition is among us. This weekend opens up a slew of fall activities around the valley – and when it come to seasonal fun, things sell out and fill up up quickly. (Maybe the pandemic changes that this year- but I wouldn’t bank on it.) Let’s go ahead and bust out the social calendar and get these fun seasonal events on the schedule.
For a lot of these, you can buy tickets online and for things like haunted houses and special event nights I highly recommend booking it ahead of time. It might just be my awful luck, but I always end up waiting until a couple days before I’m expecting to do something to actually purchase the tickets- and then it ends up being sold out.
Keep in mind, there are still precautions we should take this fall to stay healthy so we can enjoy the whole season and not be cooped in bed with the flu – or worse! When planning these events, please plan to respect and follow general safety guidelines and be prepared to follow any additional protocol that the business has decided to establish. Remember they are not only trying to keep participants safe but keep their staff remaining healthy as well.
AZ Field of Screams
Where are my adrenaline junkies? Let’s start things off with a scream! AZ Field of Screams is open Friday and Saturday nights in Glendale. Opening night, Friday, October 2nd is running a special of $18 a ticket and after that it runs the normal price of $25 a ticket. Check them out on Facebook for more details! To buy your tickets CLICK HERE.
Go to a Pumpkin Patch
If you’re not ready for a scream, you can warm yourself up to the fall spirit by taking a visit to the local pumpkin patch. What’s great about Arizona Pumpkin Patch is they have a lot of locations scattered around the valley, so you are bound to find one near you. However, they don’t open this weekend like some others are. You’ve still got about 2 weeks to wait for this one. You can plan your visit starting October 14th. If you’re ready to go now – like me – Tolmachoff Farms opens this week on October 1st, $15 to get in – but click HERE to print off a coupon!
Some don’t have an entrance fee and have more to offer than just pumpkins! Check out the Facebook page or website of the one you’d like to go to and see if they have any special events going on for the family. Sometimes they have carving days and crafts to do on-site. You’ll also find tons of picture-perfect spots and maybe even some seasonal snacks!
Halloween Town AZ
You’ll have to wait a little later into the year for this one but it’s worth it! Halloween Town AZ gives you the movie-vibes you’re looking for. It’s not just a pumpkin patch. It’s more like a pumpkin amusement park. They plan on having crafts, games, rides, picking and more. Halloween Town AZ Pumpkin Patch opens October 22nd on Cactus Rd in Phoenix.
This year they will have some extra safety guidelines they are asking everyone to follow. Please be respectful! Click the photo to check out their Facebook page!
Arizona State Fair Drive Thru Fair Food
Ready for some fall eats? We might not be getting the actual State Fair this year, but at least you can feast like you went. Find all your fair favorites at the Arizona State Fair Drive Thru Fair Food. Funnel cakes, fried cheesecake, chili cheese fries and more BUT for a limited time only. October 2, 3 & 4 (Friday-Sunday) are your last chances to snag some of your fair favorites.
Click HERE to check out their digital menu and map!
13th Floor Haunted House
Okay… now that you’ve warmed up with some other activities, are you ready for that scare? It opens up this weekend on October 2nd and will be ready for screams every weekend through the end of the month. They have been around the valley for 10 years and each year seems to get more terrifying. If you are a true lover of all things haunted, this should definitely be a yearly destination for you. Get your friends together and be sure to buy your tickets in advance.
Ticket prices vary. There is a special for if you join the Fright Club of $13.99, a based price between $25-$30 (depending on what night you pick,) a fast pass price which adds $10 to your admission and lastly, a “skip the line price” which adds $20 to your admission price.
CLICK HERE to see their site & get your tickets!
Pumpkin Nights at the Princess
Want to get all you fall fun items crossed off your list all in one place? THIS is for you. Pumpkin Nights at the Scottsdale Princess. Thursday – Sunday nights until the last of the month at the Fairmont Princess, the resort transforms into a fall extravaganza.
There will be themed food at the restaurants, amazing spa services that you will fall in love with, pumpkin and haunted plazas, fireworks and so much more. There is a complete list of activities plus a map that you can see by clicking HERE.
Pricing varies. You can do the valet parking + admission for $60. That parks your car and includes wristbands for up to 6 people. Self-park + admission for $40 that will provide wristbands for up to 4 people. Or a rideshare & individual admission option that is $10 a wristband.
Desert Botanical Garden
So you can actually do this all year round but the fall is our favorite time to go.
1) The weather is perfect for a long stroll
2) They themed it up!
Closer to Halloween they do like to decorate but aside from that they also have this new art exhibit up all the way from Milan! It’s called “Wild Rising” by Cracking Art. It’s a gorgeous light up display that you can see through November 18th. The garden is open until 8pm so I recommend going around sunset to see this one! Admission is $24 and well worth it to embrace that natural desert beauty.
Due to safety guidelines, advanced ticket purchased and reservations are required right now. CLICK HERE to check out your options and plan your visit!
Shop Your Local Farmers Market
Dress up your kitchen and pantry with some fall food. But not just any fall food, FARM FRESH food. The goods you get straight from the farm are far superior to what you will get from the store that’s had who-knows-how-long in transportation. But that isn’t the only reason to take a trip to your local farmers market.
You go for the experience too. Walk around, get to know the people that grow your food. Learn their story and hear how they are passionate about their produce. Find something new to try! The best part of trying a new vegetable at the farmers market is they often will have a recipe to go with it. Just ask!
Most are open Saturday mornings until around noon but there are a couple open daily. Here are a few you can check out and see what is close to you.
Downtown PHX Farmers Market: Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (October through April)
Uptown Farmers Market: Saturdays:
8 a.m. – 12 p.m. (May through October)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (November through April)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (October through April)
8 a.m. – 12 p.m. (May and June)
Tempe Farmers Market: Open daily: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Gilbert Farmers Market: Saturdays: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. (October through March/April)
7 – 11 a.m. (April/May through September)
Chandlers Farmers Market: Saturdays: 7 – 10:30 a.m.
Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market: Saturdays: 7 – 11 a.m. (resuming Oct. 3)
Roadrunners Park Farmers Market: Saturdays: 7 – 11 a.m. (June through September)
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. (October through May)
Ahwatukee Farmers Market: Sundays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (October through May)
8 – 11 a.m. (June through September)
Momma’s Organic Farmers Market: Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Please note that right now face masks are required and they respectfully ask for you to keep your distance from other shoppers. In addition to that, each vendor may have their own rules.
With those temperatures dropping, this is the perfect thing to do to get outside and enjoy that fall weather. In fact, it’s a great time to some more in-depth exploring of the state. Do the trail you keep talking about driving out to but never did this summer. Test your strength and do the tougher trail that you didn’t dare tackle over the summer. Remember to not let these dropped temperatures fool you either, always bring plenty of water!
This one is at the top of my list! I’ve been in the state over a year now and still have so much to explore and see. During the fall there are some BEAUTIFUL drives that I hear you can do.
Check out the Apache Trail, Wrigley Mansion (at sunset if you can swing it,) or drive up to Dobbins Lookout. Need more? Check out Payson and Mogollon Rim. I’ve been told they have actual trees there. You can see the leaves change there with about a 90 mile drive.
Looking for a drive that leads to a getaway? Head to Sedona and pass through Oak Creek Canyon. This is something I’ve only seen in Instagram photos and am dying to see it person!
For more foliage, take a trip to Prescott National Forest. You can make this one an overnight trip and take a peek at the gorgeous wineries.
A scenic drive can turn into a whole trip if you do it right!
Hit a Picnic Spot
Maybe on this scenic drive, you pack up a picnic! Honestly, the best picnic spots end up being the ones you stumble upon. The drive to Flagstaff offers so many of these little “look out” spots that I was begging for my husband to pull over at, and not just for a pee break!
Of course, you don’t have to drive all the way to Flagstaff to find some amazing spots to eat outdoors, nor does it need to spontaneous. There are some traditional spots around the greater phoenix area to see too. Granada Park, Encanto Park, The Farm at South Mountain, Margaret T. Hanson Park, and more!
This is great for a socially distant first date or something the whole family can enjoy to get out of the house.
Saddle Up for a Quick Getaway
So this isn’t a fall specific activity either but it sounds so picturesque for the fall season that I couldn’t pass up adding it to this list! Book a weekend for the family at Ranchero de los Caballeros!
It’s a whole resort for of that western-styled fun. This place has horseback riding, a kid’s club, pools, corrals – even babysitting services! And that’s not all. Make it an escape to fit everyone in your family with tennis courts, a full spa, and a pro golf course.
The inside is rustic and cute but the luxury of it all is anything but rustic. Check out their website and see for yourself and then book an incredible getaway for you and your friends to do this fall.
Most of us missed out on summer so don’t let another season go back being stagnant this year! This area has so much to offer all within driving distance. Take advantage of it. Explore places you’ve never been before and revisit the places you miss. Have a happy and health fall and let us know about your adventures in the comments.