Grab your day planner and get a pencil, because your fall season is about to be booked. As the heat dies down, the Valley livens up with festivals, shows, holiday entertainment, and more. Since there's so much to do and only so little time to do it, Jackalope Ranch presents your our top picks for events this autumn.
See also: 20 Reasons to Love Fall in Arizona
Featuring headliners Dave Chapelle and Flight of the Conchords, as well as comedians Jeff Ross, Chris D'Elia, Hannibal Buress, Jim Jeffries, and Brody Stevens, this first-ever festival of wise guys will be bringing laughs, booze, vendors, and more to the final stop of its 15-city tour. Ticket prices vary and can still be purchased by visiting oddballfest.com.
Jackalope Ranch has been reviving an old classic with mystery shots, prizes, and an entertaining batch of emcees including Dulce Dance Company on September 23. Spaces fill quickly on the cards and around the room at this free event so guest are encouraged to show up sooner rather than later. Check out Jackalope Ranch Bingo on Facebook.
When the leaves come down, the art comes up as the ASU Art Museum hosts the opening reception for "Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft," "Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066," and "This is Not America: Protest, Resistance, Poetics." This free event will also feature a live sewing performance by local artist artist Paul Nosa. Visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu.
Steam Crow's Daniel and Dawna Davis are breaking up the monotony of commercial Halloween with the second annual Keen Halloween event. This two day event offers everything from costume demos, Thriller dance classes, live entertainment, and a Monster Market of handmade Halloween goods from artists and vendors. Admission is $9.18 for the day or $15.30 for the weekend. Visit keenhalloween.com.
Phoenix Fashion Week October 1-5 Talking Stick Resort The Valley's most stylish event returns the first week of October to Talking Stick Resort as designers from around the globe debut their newest designs on the runway. This textile takeover will also feature fashion seminars, designer sample sales, after-parties, and a signature marketplace. Admission prices vary. Visit phoenixfashionweek.com.
Halloween's most haunting poet comes back from the dead as the works of Edgar Allen Poe are reenacted on stage by 19th century asylum inmates. PoeFest happens every weekend through the month of October at the Hotel San Carlos, with a special performance of The Raven at Rosson House on Halloween. Tickets range from $10 to $20. Visit poefest.org. "Hot Plate! Best of Phoenix Commemorative Collaboration" October 4, 18 R. Pela Contemporary Art
This year's Best of Phoenix vintage inspiration takes to the gallery as R. Pela Contemporary Art showcases commemorative plates created by local artists Eric Cox, Michael Allen, Cheryl Brandon, Sue Chenoweth, Eric Cox, Kathleen Engstrom, Jeff Falk, Todd Grossman, Halldor Hjalmarson, Sarah Hurwitz, Christopher Jagmin, Peter Kuttner, Janet Deberge Lange, Annie Lopez, Melissa McGurgan, Ronnie Ray Mendez, Kim Sweet, Melany Terranova, and Paul Wilson. Check out the Jackalope Ranch preview for more information on this free exhibition.
The undead take to the dance floor as The Duce hosts a haunting high school-style dance complete with a Homecoming royalty crowning, photo booth, DJ, cocktails, and zombie makeover for KUPD's John Holmberg by SyFy's season three Face Off winner, Nicole Chilelli. Tickets are $10. Visit downtownphoenix.com/zombie.
Cinematic cultures collide as Harkins Shea 14 hosts the 13th annual Scottsdale International Film Festival screening 51 films from 31 countries including The Congress, No God, No Master, Il Futuro, and The Broken Circle Breakdown. Many screenings will be followed by Q&As with featured filmmakers. Ticket prices vary. Visit scottsdalefilmfestival.com.
New Times hosts the 14th annual Best Of A'fare at the fittingly vintage Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. Put on your most retro cocktail attire and enjoy an evening of entertainment, drinks, and food from 30 Valley restaurants. Tickets for the Best Of festivities range from $40 to $50. To purchase yours, click here.
If you're a Breaking Bad fan or a comedy junky, you know that Bill Burr is getting big. The comedian, actor, and host of his own Monday Morning podcast is bringing his You People are All the Same tour to Phoenix for one night only. Tickets are $35. Visit billburr.com.
The Herberger Theater hosts its fourth annual Festival of the Arts with a free afternoon of dance, food, art, live music, film shorts, wine tasting, pet adoption, Lunch Time theater, family activities, and more. Visit herbergertheater.org.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Lisa Starry's original dance production, A Vampire Tale. Considered "the Nutcracker of Halloween," this sexy, spooky, and visually stunning performance set on the Phoenix Little Theater stage is by all means a local holiday tradition for Halloween lovers and dancers alike. Tickets range from $25 to $30. Visit scorpiusdance.com.
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art sets the stage for its fall exhibitions with a fee opening reception for the public. Check out new installations including "Narrow Road to the Interior: Contemporary Japanese Artists" and enjoy a live shakuhachi music performance by Bobby Seigetsu Avstreih, sound installations by Julianne Swartz, as well as conversations with artist and museum curators. Visit smoca.org.
The Arizona State Fair returns with usual classics -- carnival rides, pie-eating contests, monster trucks -- as well as new attractions including Native American Spirit Dancers, The Secret Circus, "Star Trek: The Exhibition," and musical performances by the Alabama Shakes, Snoop Lion, ZZ, The Wanted, and more. Ticket prices vary. Visit azstatefair.com.
Sunnyslope Art Walk October 12 Central Avenue near Dunlap This biannual community arts festival features the work of more than 130 artists selling handmade works such as ceramics, paintings, and jewelry, spread along Central Avenue from Dunlap Avenue to the canal. The event will also be complimented by live musical performances, and participation from local businesses. For more information visit the Sunnyslope Art Walk on Facebook.
Ignite Phoenix No. 15 October 18 Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Passionate locals take their interests to the stage as the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts hosts the 15th Ignite Phoenix. Promoting ideas and inspiration, Ignite Phoenix offers an eclectic mix of 18 hand-picked speakers, equipped with 20 slide presentations and 5 minutes of stage time -- followed by a lively meet and greet after party. Tickets are $15. Visit ignitephoenix.com.
Phoenix Design Week October 18-25 Locations vary
The Valley's design community comes together for one week of exhibitions, workshops, presentations, and a conference of keynote speakers. Specific events for this year's Phoenix Design Week include: PechaKucha Phoenix, Pedalcraft Volume Three, and a Method & Madness Workshop, Kick-off Party, and Conference. Ticket prices vary. Visit phxdw.com.
The Grand Avenue Merchants' Association is getting together for a fifth year of celebrating Downtown community arts, history, food, business, and more. The free festival will offer Re-Dapt Historic Commercial Building Tours, special events and exhibitions by Grand Avenue studios and galleries, an Un.trashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show, Hanging Gardens & Woven Fences & Trashy Sculpture Show, and The Rolling Rubbish Revival Show. Visit grandavephoenix.com.
Phoenix Pride hosts one of the biggest LGBT events in the Phoenix with a free festival and street fair at Heritage Square Park. The two day celebration offers live entertainment, over 150 exhibitors, and celebrates National Coming Out Day with OUTdayPHX. Visit phoenixpride.org.
Daniel Tosh October 25, 26 Commerica Theater Celebrity comic and host of Comedy Central's Tosh.0 returns to Phoenix for two nights of comedy at Comerica Theater. Like all Tosh tours, this stand up show promises to deliver new material that is as funny as it is offensive. Ticket prices vary. Visit danieltosh.com.
Prepare for Downtown Phoenix to look like a scene from The Walking Dead as droves of undead looking locals carry their best zombie impressions through the city. One of the largest zombie walks in the country, the fifth annual Phoenix Zombie Walk and Festival estimates a turnout of more than 10,000 undead attendees. Visit downtownphoenix.com/zombie.
Mesa Arts Center is celebrating the day of the dead with two stages of live entertainment, an altar contest, Bookmans Family Activity Area, and special Dia de Los Muertos Mercado offering jewelry, arts, and crafts. For more details on this free event, visit mesaartscenter.com.
Put on your comfiest yoga pants and position yourself at Steele Indian School Park for the Dharma and Yoga Fest. This free celebration of yoga will feature live kirtan music, spiritual discussions, family activities, yoga workshops, cultural exhibitions, and vegetarian food. Visit dharmayogafest.org/phoenix. Scottsdale Polo Championships November 1-2 WestWorld of Scottsdale
Sponsored by Scottsdale Ferrari and Maserati, this high-class showcase of equine sport and sports cars considers itself the biggest polo event in the country. This year's "Horses and Horsepower" will offer a two-day lineup of polo matches, fashion shows, car shows, after-parties, and more. Ticket prices vary. Visit thepoloparty.com.
Phoenix Parade of the Arts returns to Downtown Phoenix with a new theme, "Weird, Wild West," and a search for new art. As usual, the free event plans to offer vendors, art displays, food trucks, live music and other entertainment as well as a parade of unique and creative floats, cars, bikes, and more. Visit phoenixannualparadeofthearts.com.
Spanish Market November 9-10 Heard Museum Start your holiday shopping early with the Heard Museum's annual Spanish Market. A cultural collaboration of artists and merchants, this two-day shopping event will offer everything from pottery and paintings to furniture and jewelry as well as food, mariachis, and folklorico dancers. The Spanish Market asks for a suggested donation of $10. Visit heard.org/spanishmarket.
The Big Heap is hauling another batch of sweet salvaged goods and handmade treasures, this time to Cave Creek. Shop a juried selection of antique, industrial, repurposed, and one-of-a-kind items by talented artist, pickers, and more. Admission is $5. Visit thebigheap.com.
Tempe turns its streets into a maze of merchants and artists just in time for the holiday season with its biannual Festival of the Arts. Enjoy two days of handmade arts and crafts including painting, sculpture, jewelry, and everything in between from a juried selection of artists, plus food, live music, and street performers. Admission is free. Visit tempefestivalofthearts.com.
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Celebrate the diverse arts and culture of Downtown Phoenix with the second annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts featuring 80 performers and 80 artists and exhibitors as well as a community mural, food trucks, flash performances, family activities, a beer garden, and more. Admission is free, visit phoenixfestivalofthearts.org.