Halloween events in Arizona: Salt River Balloon Spooktacular and more

PHOENIX - It's time to get your spook on! Because Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, you might be celebrating early this weekend.

Get your best costume ready because there are many events to choose from all across the Valley. There's fun to be had for the whole family or some adult-only events that might thrill you!

ABC15 has compiled a list of events happening in the Phoenix-metro area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some were provided to us by Arizona Foothills Magazine while others were sent to us by event organizers. Be safe and have fun!

The Salt River Balloon Spooktacular

The 2nd annual event is happening Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. On Friday morning glowing hot air balloons filled the morning sky to get people excited for the event that will feature more than 20 hot air balloons on display. Kids can trick-or-treat at each balloon where 150,000 pieces of candy will be handed out. There's also a haunted house and spook trail. A new addition to the family-fun is an "adult pumpkin patch" with Halloween themed drinks. The event ends with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. It costs $10 for adults and $5 for children. Balloon rides are also available at a cost. srfballoonfestivals.com

Trick-or-Treat for an Anthem Sweet

This free, community-wide, business trick-or-treat event provides a family-friendly and safe environment by encouraging all little ghosts and goblins, Valley-wide, to trick-or-treat store-to-store at Anthem's commercial properties.

Participating businesses throughout Anthem displaying an ACC-issued orange, pumpkin window decal, will open their doors from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, to hand out candy and spooky surprises to all visiting families. Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to wear their best Halloween costumes.

Anthem Monster Ball

After Trick-or-Treat for an Anthem Sweet, residents and visitors are invited to the inaugural Anthem Community Council Monster Ball, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the ACC Community Center, 41130 North Freedom Way, in Anthem.

Phoenix Scare Fair

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is hosting this fun family event on Oct. 26, 6 to 9 p.m. at Desert West Community Center, 6501 W Virginia.

It features a Haunted House ($1 admission for kids ages 6 and up) free carnival games, concessions and 50 cent popcorn, water, candy bars and other snacks. More information is available by phone at 602-495-3700.

16th Annual Pumpkins at the Peak

Join Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort for a "spooktacularly" fun evening at the 16th Annual Pumpkins at the Peak from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26. It's at River Ranch at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, 7677 North 16th Street.

River Ranch at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort will be transformed into a spooky fall carnival where guests will be able to celebrate with Halloween tricks and treats, games, live music, snack booths and other family activities, all while giving back to the community. As an entrance fee, guests are asked to bring two cans of food or $5 per person to benefit St. Mary's Food Bank, which works to alleviate hunger in the Valley.

River Ranch will be filled with more than 20 activities and craft booths ranging from fortune telling to ring tosses. Children are encouraged to dress in their Halloween costumes for even more Halloween fun. squawpeakhilton.com

Haunted Hayride at South Mountain Park

This family event features a spooky ride on a horse-drawn wagon through Box Canyon. You'll pay $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 12. It runs Oct. 26 -28 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event begins in the parking lot of the South Mountain Activities Complex, 10409 S. Central Ave. This is a privately produced event presented by South Mountain/Laveen Village Festivals Inc. More information is available by phone at 602-438-2928

Phoenix Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

It's the largest and finest indoor showcase featuring hundreds of exhibitors from across the nation. Don't miss this seasonal 'shoppertunity' with more than 24,000 original handcrafted treasures to choose from. Live performances by Mogollon, Scott Land Marionettes, Mama Sue & Fast Eddie, WC Willy Cowboy, Fables of the West and more. With culinary presentations, strolling performers, contests and an interactive Kidzone with Halloween crafts, this event is a terrific experience for all ages. Alliances with local non-profits benefit St. Mary's Food Bank, Macaroni Kid, Children First Academy, and the Arizona Desert Weavers and Spinners Guild. harvestfestival.com

Family Halloween Fun in El Mirage

Celebrate Halloween in El Mirage by attending the City's annual Halloween Harvest Festival on Friday, October 26, 2012 from 5 to 8 p.m. at El Mirage City Plaza, 14010 North El Mirage Road.  There will be costume contests for every age group including a costume contest for pets.  (Pets must be on a leash.).  Pumpkin carving/decorating contests, a cake walk, car show, face painting, music, and

food will also be part of the fun.

Kids will be especially intrigued by the animals that will be on display from the Wildlife World Zoo. Event attendees who bring canned food items or other non-perishable items to benefit St. Mary's Food Bank will receive free candy as a thank you.

MacDonald's Ranch Annual Pumpkin Festival

Halloween is all about pumpkins. This year start a tradition of doing to the Pumpkin Patch with friends and family. MacDonald's Ranch Annual Pumpkin Festival is happening until Oct. 31. Take a hay ride to the pumpkins; pony rides, bounce house, corn maze games and BBQ fixens when you're hungry.
$8 per person (1 year and younger FREE) macdonaldsranch.com

13th Floor Haunted House in Phoenix

This year, 13th Floor Haunted House in Phoenix is all the rage! Over 60,000 square feet of terror! Two haunted houses (13th Floor and Weekend Rise) Zombie Land and a graveyard. Discovery Channel even picked it as one of the scariest haunted houses in the country! This place is so awesome they even have parties in the parking lot on the weekends. Costumes and make-up are even more outrageous than you can imagine.
Tickets start at $25, however I have seen some deals online at 13thflooraz.com.

Cave Creek Wicked

Cave Creek Wicked is Arizona's All Day All Night Halloween Event. It's on Saturday Oct. 27, 2012. Family & Pet Events are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Adult Costume Contest and Bar Crawl are from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Day time events: Thriller Dances every 20 min, Haunted Kids Maze, Horse and Dog Costume Contest, Chilli Cook Off and El Encanto Margarita Garden and Taco Stand!

Adult Events: Nighttime Haunted Maze, Costume Contest and Bar Crawl through the most fun bars in Cave Creek: Big Earls Greasy EATS, Smokehouse Grill, Buffalo Chip Saloon, Harold's Cave Creek Corral and Tap Haus


W Scottsdale is presenting "Carn-EVIL," a freakshow-themed Halloween celebration that will shock and surprise guests as they are transported into a nightmarish world full of creepy creatures and performers on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Guests will experience a night of horror as they make their way up the grand staircase to the entrance of the Carn-EVIL where the possessed carnival leader will invite them to watch the freakish performers that await their arrival. Once inside the torturous amusement, party goers will be scared around every corner as demented clowns, ghoulish characters and more jump out from dark corners or are on display in their cages.

Star attractions of Carn-EVIL will include an exhibition of the bizarre, deformed performers such as convoluted contortionists, twisted temptresses, looming stilt walkers and tortured souls. If guests are looking for even more chills and thrills, they are welcome to compete in various terrifying carnival games booths for prizes that will satisfy even the ultimate thrill seekers. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at wscottsdaletickets.com

Canine Halloween party

Join W Scottsdale, Oh, My Dog Boutique and Home Fur Good Animal Rescue for a Halloween party where canines are the main event on Tuesday, October 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Dress your four-legged friend in their favorite Halloween costume and you (or your dog) may win a prize for the best doggie costume!

The voting categories this year for the dog costume contest are funniest, cutest and most creative.

The event will feature a cash bar and $5 Sushi Roku specialty rolls. Dogs from Home Fur Good Animal Rescue will be available for adoption during the event. Guests can also purchase a specialty cocktail, with proceeds benefiting the Rescue.

Admission is free, however, they do ask that all guests attending this event bring an item to donate to the rescue, such as cat/dog food, cat litter, pet toys, etc. www.wscottsdaletickets.com ".

Trick or Treat Off the Street in Glendale

Halloween is all about candy, spooky scenes and trick or treating and children ages 10 and under will get plenty of that at the Foothills Recreation & Aquatics Center's annual Neighborhood Trick or Treat Off the Street event held 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26.

The event is a great alternative to traditional trick or treating, and children can also enjoy an evening of activities including carnival games, a pie eating contest, a Thriller dance performance, face painting as well as arts and crafts. Children will also be able to take part in the costume parade in their Halloween costumes. Train rides will be available for an additional $2 with proceeds going to Firefighter Charities. Plenty of photo opportunities will be available.

Trick or Treat passports can be purchased the night of the event for $4 ($5 non-residents) or in advance at the center located at 5600 W. Union Hills Dr.  Supervision is required, but parents are free.

Halloween at the Zoo

Do you enjoy a good night of ghoulish fun? Then be sure to mark your calendars for our annual event for a night of fright, with goodies. At this event, guests can enjoy creepy Halloween

lights throughout the Zoo, journey through the "Fields of Fear," battle to escape the "Maze of the Mind," see the Creatures of the Night Animal Show, enjoy a Magic Show, and dance the night away at the Halloween Dance Party with DJ Mars and much, much  more! It's happening Friday and Saturday, October 26 & 27 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets cost $6 members and $8 for non-members. phoenixzoo.com

Freaky Friday Film Event Downtown

Vice Mayor Michael Johnson invites residents to attend a free movie in the park event at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. The screening takes place in Patriot Square Park located inside CityScape, at Central Avenue and Washington Street. This "Freaky Friday Film" will be none other than Ghostbusters, the 1984 comedy classic about three unemployed parapsychology professors who decide to set up shop as ghost hunters for hire. The family friendly movie is a spooky (and funny!) way to kick off the Halloween weekend. Attendees should bring chairs and blankets. Costumes are welcome at this free event. Light rail stops are conveniently located near CityScape and metered street parking is free after 5 p.m.

The Haunted Capitol

Saturdays are Family Fun Days at the Capitol and to celebrate Halloween, the Arizona Capitol Museum offers an array of free factual and fictional frights! Visitors of all ages are welcome to join us on Saturday, October 27, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a uniquely Arizona Centennial Halloween celebration under the Copper Dome. Meet Arizona's first Zombie Governor, the undead George W.P. Hunt. Discover the mystery of the Capitol Creature. See the Capitol crime scene of the famous murder and suicide. Use museum technology to transform into a territorial ghost. Enter the Arizona Centennial Costume Contest.

Any Arizona themed costumes can enter the centennial costume contest. Possibilities include favorite historical figures, state symbol, or even places on the Arizona map. Use imagination, and knowledge of the state to create an Arizona themed costume and win prizes from the Capitol Museum Store. Judging for the contest will take place at 1:00 p.m. so arrive early to experience everything!

Peoria Halloween Monster Bash

The city of Peoria invites the community out to enjoy their 27th Annual Halloween Bash, on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be make-n-take crafts, inflatable activities, carnival games, fright zone, hay maze, laser tag, a haunted house and much more! The Parade of Costumes begins at 5:30 p.m. where every child will have the opportunity to show off their costume and win prizes. Make sure to bring your candy bags and fill them with treats and trinkets throughout the event.

Gates open at 5 p.m. at Peoria Sports Complex, located at 16101 N. 83rd Ave just south of Bell Rd. Parking and admission are free with a donation of canned food to benefit St. Mary's/Westside Food Bank Alliance. Food and beverage will be available for purchase including a special $5 kids' meal (hot dog, small soda and chips) for those 12 and under.

Gypsy Bar Carnival Halloween Adventure

Gypsy Bar, the newest full-service nightlife venue and upscale lounge in downtown Phoenix's CityScape, presents their first ever Carnival Halloween Adventure. The event will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday with performances by the DeViltry Dolls, a group of visual artists who create unique entertainment concepts entwining music and fashion, and a DJ set by DJ Tricky T. 

Guests in Halloween costumes will get a complimentary drink and are invited to enter the Halloween costume contest which will take place at midnight where the winner will receive a $500 cash prize. The evening will boast a full menu of tasty delights, specialty cocktails and premium beers, along with live entertainment and an arcade game lounge. Gypsy Bar is located at 50 W. Jefferson St. #240.

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