It’s still hot in the desert and I know it’s hard to think about Fall, but there are several wonderful events to get you in the mood for pumpkins, Halloween and yes, even colder temperatures. Keep reading to find out about all of the “Fall Fun: Things to do Around Town!”
Round up all your cowboys and cowgirls and head to the pumpkin patch at MacDonald’s Ranch. Relax on a hay ride, climb on a pony, enjoy some Western games and say hello to your favorite animals at the petting zoo. There is something for everyone at MacDonald’s Ranch. What are you waiting for?
Details: October 1 – 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Wednesdays through Mondays, closed Tuesdays. (closes at 3 p.m. on Halloween), 26540 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale (SW corner of Jomax Rd. & Scottsdale Rd.). $10 entrance fee per person on weekdays, $12 per person on Saturdays and Sundays, one year old and younger are free. 480-585-0239
For some adult fun, visit Taste of Cave Creek where you can enjoy fall themed cuisine from 25 local restaurants including the Horny Toad Restaurant and Cartwrights. Try samples of tequila, beer and wine to complement the food. Listen to live entertainment while enjoying the outdoors.
Details: 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Oct. 15-16. Stagecoach Village, 7100 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek. $10; free for ages 12 or younger. 480-488-6600
$2 Tacos? You heard right! At the Arizona Taco Festival, enjoy cuisine from 40 vendors, cooking classes, live music, tequila tasting, photo booths and a taco eating contest!
Details: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 18-19. Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road, Salt River Reservation. $12 single day; $20 for weekend; $85 for VIP online; $100 for VIP day-of; $20 for Tequila Expo (Saturday only); free for ages 12 or younger. 480-270-5000
The Phoenix Zoo is fun place during the fall. Dive into a scavenger hunt, participate in a maze, and it is a great way for kids to learn about animals while trick-or-treating for candy.
Details: Monday, October 20 – Sunday, October 26, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., 455 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, Admission included with zoo price. 602.286.3800
Picking out a special pumpkin is something kids adore and at the Desert Botanical Garden festival, children under twelve can choose a free pumpkin. Adults can take an authentic hayride and get lost in the desert landscape while listening to music and playing fun carnival games.
Details: October 23 (8:30 a.m. to noon), October 24 and 25 (8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
1201 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Entry included with garden admissions, children under 3 free. 480-941-1225
20 hot air balloons will decorate the Salt River Fields during the Spooktacular – take a ride in one of the balloons or visit the haunted house. This is a fun activity for both kids and adults!
Details: 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 24-25. Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road, Salt River Reservation. $10 adults; $5 children; $8 haunted-house admission; $25 adults, $10 children for balloon rides. 480-270-5000
No tricks at this festival, only treats for an early Halloween celebration. Walk through the haunted forest, win candy at game booths and compete at the costume contest. To cap off the evening, enjoy the fireworks!
Details: 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. South Eldorado ball field, 1909 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale. Free admission. 480-312-0217
Pumpkin Patch and Chili Party – Schnepf Farms
Exhausted all the pumpkin patches in town? Take a short road trip to Schnepf Farms and have fun on roller coasters, participate in a honeybee adventure, navigate the rock climbing wall, tell stories while roasting marshmallows, get lost in the mazes and watch the fireworks show on Friday and Saturday nights. And of course, there are pumpkins too!
Details: Oct. 1-Nov. 2. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, $17; $15 at Fry’s Food Stores. 480-987-3100