PHOENIX — Halloween may look and feel a bit different this year as events and officials make changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the season is not canceled.
Pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and haunted houses will go on as planned with safety changes including limited attendance, reservations, and wearing masks when unable to socially distance. There are also drive-in movies and farmers markets to check out, too.
For those looking for something to do, here are a few of the events and festivals going on now -- and coming up in the next few weeks!
FALL FESTIVALS/PUMPKIN PATCHES
Arizona State Fair Drive-thru Fair Food, now through Oct. 25
Even though the Arizona State Fair was canceled due to the pandemic, people can still get the tastes of the fair. Some of the fair's most popular vendors are set-up and serving of peoples' favorites treats: turkey legs, funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreo and cookie dough, cotton candy, hot dogs, kettle corn, and pizza. The event, which is open Thursday - Sunday, has also been extended a few times. It will now remain open through Oct. 25.
Details: Weekends through Oct. 25 (closed Oct. 24), Thursday & Friday, noon to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. The entrance is off 19th Avenue and Monte Vista in Phoenix. There is no entry fee, but food and drinks are separate costs. More information.
Pumpkin Nights #AtThePrincess, now through Oct. 31
Families can get into the fall spirit at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort's inaugural "Pumpkin Nights" event. There will be a multi-acre hay maze, carnival rides, bonfires and s'more making stations, a pumpkin patch, an animated Halloween show, and nightly fireworks. The restaurants are also showcasing special fall dishes and cocktails.
Details: Sept. 17-Oct. 6, Thursday - Sunday, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Oct. 7-11, Wednesday - Sunday, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., Oct. 14-31, every night, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Admission/parking is $40 (self-park, four wristbands), $60 (valet, six wristbands). Individual wristbands (walk-up, rideshare) are $10. If you spend $60 at a resort restaurant, get valet parking and six wristbands. Included with admission: pumpkin patch, Jack O' Lantern Lawn, rides, hay maze, Lantern launch, fireworks. Some activities might have additional fees. More information.
Mother Nature's Farm Fall Festival, now through Oct. 31
Spend a day at Mother Nature's Farm in Gilbert, Arizona. The family-owned farm puts on a yearly fall festival with a pumpkin patch, straw bale maze, hayrides, petting zoo, and outdoor games and activities. Visit Maneau's Market for treats and decorations.
Details: The farm is open every day, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. through Oct. 31. Admission is $10 and includes a one-ounce pumpkin, hayride, straw bale maze, animals, and outdoor games. Larger pumpkins are available for purchase. More information.
Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party, Oct. 1 - Nov. 1
Schnepf Farms' signature fall event -- its Pumpkin and Chili Party -- begins on Oct. 1. People can explore two corn mazes, pet the animals at the petting zoo, ride carnival-style rides, feed deer, and play backyard games. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance will be limited each day. People are encouraged to purchase their tickets online, but it is not required. Several of the farm' food vendors will be open.
Details: Oct. 1 - Nov. 1, Thursday - Sunday. Hours vary by day. Admission is $23 per person, $10 for military, veterans, police officers, or first responders (ID required for individual tickets). Entry includes most rides, corn maze, mini-golf, petting zoo, play yard, pig races, among others. Food and the train ride are separate costs. More information.
Tolmachoff Farms Corn Maze & Pumpkin Days, Oct. 1 - Nov. 1
Head over to Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale, Arizona to explore their six-acre corn maze, haunted corn maze, petting zoo, hay pyramid, or shoot tomatoes out of a tomato cannon. You can also buy a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch (prices vary) in time for Halloween.
Details: Oct. 1 - Nov. 1, Wednesday - Sunday. Hours vary by day. Admission is $15 per person and includes the activities above. Pumpkins, train ride, and tomato cannon are additional costs. More information.
Vertuccio Farms Corn Maze & Fall Festival, Oct. 1 - Nov. 1
At Vertuccio Farms in Mesa, Arizona, families can explore a five-acre corn maze, pick pumpkins (extra fee), play mini-golf, and go on a mini zip line during the farm's yearly fall festival. There is also an area for photos. If you get hungry, they'll have snacks for sale.
Details: Open daily, Oct. 1 - Nov. 1 (closed Oct. 5 & 12). Hours vary each day. Admission is $12 per person. Entry includes five-acre corn maze, mini-golf, mini zip line, hay climb, duck races, and other activities. Pumpkins and some other activities have additional fees. More information.
MacDonald's Ranch, Oct. 3 - Nov. 1
Head over to MacDonald's Ranch in Scottsdale for a taste of the Old West. The ranch's annual fall festival and pumpkin patch opens on Oct. 3. Families can visit a petting zoo, go through a maze made out of hay bales, and play various lawn games, including Jenga, Connect Four, and Conk the Crow.
Details: Open daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays). Admission is $10 during the week and $12 on weekends. The petting zoo, hay bale maze, pedal car ride, photo areas, and lawn games are included with admission. Pumpkins, food, pony ride, mechanical bull, and hayride are additional costs. More information.
RCS FUN (Ray Cammack Shows) Pumpkin Patch & Carnival, Oct. 9 - Nov. 1
Ray Cammack Shows is one of the vendors behind some of the rides and food booths at the Arizona State Fair. With the fair canceled this year, RCS opened a pumpkin patch and a mini carnival on the grounds of the now-closed Fiesta mall in Mesa. There is a free maze, nine carnival rides, a pumpkin patch, and vendors selling popular fair foods, such as funnel cakes, corn dogs, churros, cotton candy, kettle corn, and caramel apples.
Details: Oct. 9 - Nov. 1, Thursday - Sunday, 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. There is no entry free, but food, games, rides and pumpkins are separate costs. All-day wristbands are $25. Individual tickets for rides and game are $1 each. Most games/rides require 2-5 tickets. More information.
Strange Encounters -- A Halloween Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Mesa, Oct. 17 - Nov. 8
Ray Villafane is known for his whimsical pumpkin carvings and sculptures, especially at Carefree's Enchanted Pumpkin Garden, which is sadly not happening this year. However, he has helped create 15 Halloween-themed vignettes, displays, and window decorations throughout downtown Mesa, part of a free social-distant scavenger hunt during the COVID-19 era. Most of the displays are located along Main Street, between Morris and the Mesa Arts Center. Find all the displays and fill out the form to be entered into a drawing for prices. More information.
Halloween Town Pumpkin Patch, Oct. 22-31
The Halloween Town Pumpkin Patch will be located on the east side of Paradise Valley mall. In addition to pumpkins, there will be a hay maze, pumpkin painting, bounce houses, carnival games, a ferris wheel, and kiddie rides.
Details: Oct. 22-30, 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Oct. 24, 25, and 31, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Admission is $5, ride tickets are $1 each (most rides require 2-4 tickets). An all-day wristband is $20. More information.
Fall Fest at Phoenix Premium Outlets, Oct. 23-25, 28-31, Nov. 6-7
Arizona Events Group, the group behind the Arizona Balloon Classic, will host a free fall festival at the Phoenix Premium Outlets in Chandler. The event will have a pumpkin stand, trick-or-treating, a beer garden, and themed activities. Some weekends are themed and will have additional activities.
Details: Fall Fest, Oct. 23-24, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Oct. 25, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m; Halloween Weekend, Oct. 28-31, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Oct. 31, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.; BBQ and Balloons Weekends, Nov. 6-7, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. There is no cost to get in, but some activities have separate fees. More information.
Moonlit Monsters + Munches at Tempe Marketplace, Oct. 23
From 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, kids and their families can trick-or-treat at Tempe Marketplace. There will be at least six candy stations throughout the main part of the shopping complex, between Harkins Theatre and Thirsty Lion. There will also be live music and Halloween-themed murals. More information.
Boo & Brew at Scottsdale Quarter, Oct. 24
The Scottsdale Quarter shopping center is hosting its third Boo & Brew. The free event will have a pumpkin patch, kids crafts, goat yoga (preregistration required), face mask painting, and a dog costume contest, plus other activities. The event is free, but some activities, food, and drink, are separate costs.
Details: Oct. 24, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. Note: Goat Yoga is held from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. and preregistration is required. The event is free, but some activities require preregistration and have separate costs. Same for food and drinks. More information.
Mesa Arts Center's Día de los Muertos Virtual Festival, Oct. 24
The Mesa Arts Center will host a virtual Dia de los Muertos Festival on Oct. 24, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will be live-streamed on Mesa’s Channel 11 and the Mesa Arts Center’s website. It will be hosted by Paola Morales, an anchor at Telemundo, and will feature performances from La Luz de la Luna, Ballet Folklorico de México de Amalia Hernández, and Mariachi Pasion. There will also be a Pan de Muerto cooking demonstration. More information.
Phoenix Dia de los Muertos Virtual Festival, Oct. 25
The Culture Coalitions annual Dia de los Muertos Festival in Phoenix will be held virtually in 2020. The event will start at 2 p.m. and will be live-streamed on the organization's Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts, according to its website. More information.
Chandler drive-thru spooktacular, Oct. 29 & 30
The City of Chandler has transformed its annual "spooktacular" event into a free drive-thru experience. "As you travel along Commonwealth Avenue expect to see some larger than life scenic environments featuring your Halloween favorites, multimedia displays, and live characters. The experience is not scary but can be a little spooky in a few places," the website states. The event is hosted at Dr. AJ Chandler Park.
Details: There are three viewing sessions: Oct. 29, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., and Oct. 30, 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Vehicles have to enter at Boston Street and Arizona Place. More information.
The haunts will still be -- well, haunting -- at some of Phoenix's haunted houses this year. But, because of the coronavirus pandemic, they've added some extra precautions and safety measures to protect their guests and actors.
The Gauntlet Haunted House at Golfland Sunsplash, Sanctum of Horror haunted house, The Crypt haunted house, and Terror Nights are not opening for the 2020 season.
13th Floor Haunted House, now through Halloween
13th Floor will debut two themes for 2020: Dead End District and Deadly Reflections. Because of the pandemic, they are limited attendance each night and tickets have to be bought online and in advance. Some nights are expected to sell out and tickets will not be sold at the door.
Masks will be required for both employees and guests, and groups will be further separated from other groups once inside the haunted house.
Details: Sept. 26 - Nov. 1. Hours vary by date. Admission is $20-$33 per person and varies by date. Pricing increases closer to Halloween. The reserved time is when you're allowed on the property, not when you will go into the haunted house. People will have to wait in line. Fast passes are available for $10-$20 additional. More information.
Fear Farm Haunted House, now through Halloween
Fear Farm and 13th Floor are owned by the same company so the same "Scary Safe" safety precautions apply: limited attendance, tickets need to bought in advance, and masks are required.
Fear Farm will have four themed experiences this year: The Plague, Fallout, Bunker, and The Reaping, Fear Farm's 20-acre haunted corn maze.
Details: Sept. 26 - Nov. 1. Hours vary by date. Admission is $25-$33 per person and varies by date. Pricing increases closer to Halloween. The reserved time is when you're allowed on the property, not when you will go into the haunted house. People will have to wait in line. Fast passes are available for $10-$20 additional. More information.
Scarizona Scaregrounds, Oct. 9 - Nov. 1
The Scarizona Scaregrounds will have three haunted houses this year: Slayer’s Slaughter House, Epic Fear, and Startled
Darkness. They will also debut a family-friendly drive-thru haunted house.
The drive-thru has nine themed experiences, including fear fair, fright lane, the haunted west, the graveyard, and zombie takeover. There will also be an escape room and photo opportunities.
Details: Oct. 9 - Nov. 1. Hours vary between 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Make sure to check the calendar on the website. Tickets to the haunted houses are sold in pairs of two, four, or six and range from $70-$180, plus processing fees. The drive-thru experience is $50 per vehicle. More information on Scarizona. More information on drive-thru experience.
DRIVE-IN MOVIE NIGHTS
Tempe's Kiwanis Park
The City of Tempe will screen a handful of movies on Friday nights during the month of October. The movies will start at dusk at the north soccer fields at Kiwanis Park. The event is free and open to the public. Groups will be separated by 10-foot circles that have been painted on the soccer fields.
Oct. 9 - Goonies
Oct. 16 - Disney's Onward
Oct. 23 - Hocus Pocus
The Promenade Scottsdale
The shopping center in Scottsdale will also screen a series of movies during the month of October, part of its "date night drive-in movies" series. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Parking spots can be reserved online. Check-in is at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 9 - The Peanut Butter Falcon
Oct. 16 - Knives Out
Oct. 23 - Gemini Man
Movies in your Car at Arizona State Fairgrounds
CBF Productions, a California-based traveling events company, is hosting a series of drive-in movie nights at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, which are located near 19th Avenue and McDowell Road. This is not a free event and admission is $19 per vehicle. More information.
Oct. 14 - Ghostbusters, 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 - Scream, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 - The Sandlot, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 - The Blair Witch Project, 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 - Halloween, 7 p.m.
If you're looking for a farmers market near you -- or a new one to visit in the Valley -- there are more than a dozen to visit. From fruits and vegetables from local farmers to artisanal crafts and gifts from small businesses, to spices, soaps, and food trucks, there is a lot to see -- and sometimes eat -- at local farmers markets.
Here are a few:
Arizona Community Farmers Markets
Ahwatukee: Sundays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Ahwautukee Swim & Tennis Center parking lot, 4700 E. Warner Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85044. More information.
Anthem: Sundays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Anthem Community Park, 41703 N Gavilan Peak Pkwy, Anthem, AZ 85086. More information.
Carefree: Fridays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Carefree Desert Gardens, 1 Sundial Circle, Carefree, AZ 85377. More information.
Chandler: Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at AJ Chandler Park in downtown Chandler, 3 South Arizona Ave., Chandler, AZ 85225. More information.
High Street (North Phoenix, Opens Oct 25): Sundays, 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at High Street complex, 5415 E. High Street, Phoenix, AZ 85054. More information.
Old Town Scottsdale: Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Old Town Scottsdale, 3806 N. Brown Ave. Scottsdale, AZ 85251. More information.
Roadrunner (Phoenix): Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Roadrunner Park, 3502 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85032. More information.
Sun City: Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at The Recreation Center of Sun City, 16820 N. 99th Ave. Sun City, AZ 85351. More information.
Verrado: Sundays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Verrado Town Square, N. Market Pl. and W. Main Street, Buckeye, AZ 85396. More information.
Get Local Arizona Events
Peoria Night Market: Wednesdays, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Park West shopping center, 9744 W Northern Ave., Peoria, AZ 85345. More information.
Arrowhead: Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Arrowhead Towne Center in front of Sears, 7780 W Arrowhead Towne CenterGlendale, AZ 85308. More information.
Sterling Grove (Surprise): Sundays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Sterling Grove community, 17193 W Montpelier St., Surprise, AZ 85388. More information.
Sun City: Thursdays, twice a month, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Sage Recreation Center, 26501 W Desert Vista Blvd., Buckeye, AZ 85396. More information.
Uptown Farmers Market: Wednesdays, 9 a.m. - noon, and Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 North Central Avenue Phoenix AZ 85012. Pre-order and pickup also available. More information.
Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. - noon at the now-closed Phoenix Public Market Cafe, 721 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004. More information.
Mesa Farmers Market & Flea: Saturdays, 8 a.m. - noon at Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main Street, Mesa AZ 85203. More information.
6th Street Market (Tempe): Sundays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 6th Street Park in downtown Tempe, near Fifth Street and Mill Avenue and City Hall. More information.
Gilbert Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. - noon in downtown Gilbert near the iconic water tower, 222 N Ash St, Gilbert, AZ 85234. More information.
Pinnacle Peak Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. - noon in parking lot of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale, AZ 85310. More information.