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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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You have exactly 11 days to come up with a Halloween costume. While we've dealt you a lifeline with our roundup of 2014's hottest costumes, we can appreciate that you're waiting for inspiration to strike -- or paralyzed by fear of choosing between being an emoji or banding together with your pals to become the Spice Girls. Apart from freaking out about what to wear to this year's parties (that Miley getup is not going to cut it a second year in a row), here's what you should pencil in for this week.

Fall Festival and Corn Maze

Time to throw on some flannel, pick up your pumpkin spice latte and head to the East Valley for the annual Fall Festival and Corn Maze. This seasonal event features a seven acre corn maze, mule rides, a grain train, barrel rides, a pumpkin patch, a spider web rope climb, pedal race cars, farm animals, and plenty of places for a holiday family photo op.

See also: 13 Must-See Plays This Fall in Metro Phoenix

The Fall Festival and Corn Maze runs from Saturday, September 27, to Sunday, November 2, at Vertuccio Farms, 4011 South Power Road, Mesa. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday. General admission is $9. It's $22 for a season pass. Visitors can purchase corn stalks for $5 and straw bales for $12. Pumpkin prices vary. Visit www.vertucciofarms.com or call 480-650-6611. Katie Johnson

Fitness in the District

It's the most wonderful time of the year. It's also the time when we tend to put on the most pounds. Lucky for those who like to be proactive about their well-being, lifestyle and fitness coach Nina Carr is bringing her workout skills to the west Valley. The certified instructor holds a weekly one-hour class geared to strengthen the core, tone the muscles, and get the body moving with music and a combination of "Insanity," "Turbo Kick," "Hip Hip Hustle," and "PiYo" exercise routines.

The Fitness in the District series runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday through October 28 at Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 North Sunset Boulevard, Glendale. Admission is free, complimentary drinks and refreshments will be provided but guests are advised to bring their own mats, towels, and possibly defibrillators. For details, visit www.westgateaz.com/fitness or call 602-385-7502. Katie Johnson

Project Hieroglyph Presents "Stories and Visions for a Better Future"

Remember the scene in Back to The Future Part II when Marty goes to the future? It's wondrous -- flying cars, clothes that shrink to fit you, hoverboards. The Chicago Cubs even won the World Series! And this year, so full of badass technology and improbable baseball wins: 2015. Doesn't it seem like we had a grander idea of what the future would hold than the future we actually created? Project Hieroglyph is a group of experts and authors who aim to rekindle humanity's ambitions for the future through storytelling. Join nine of its members as they share their ambitious, optimistic visions of the near future -- and find out when you can finally get that hoverboard.

Project Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future hits Wednesday, October 22, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Cost is $28 for a seat and a copy of Hieroglyph. Doors open at 6 p.m. Visit www.crescentphx.com for more. Zachary Fowle

Chuck Palahniuk

If we had a nickel for every time someone started the sentence, "The first rule of fight club...," we'd be able to fill up a truckload of coin wrappers and use them to plant punches right on each of their slack jaws. See, we freaking love Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, but if we were really going to adhere to its set of rules, um, we should've stopped talking about fight club a while ago. Because the real first rule of fight club is: Shut up, you aren't Tyler Durden (no one actually is, remember?); that book was great, but, be real, you probably love Ikea. Also, Palahniuk has a ton of other thought-provoking and entertaining books we could be referencing.

Case in point, the author's latest, Beautiful You. Inspired by chick lit, he's described the novel as "Fifty Shades of the Twilight Cave Bear Wears Prada." It's a satirical look at consumerism, feminism, and sex in a post-Christian Grey/Miranda Priestley/Team Edward world. And it's most definitely worth a read.

With Beautiful You in tow, Palahniuk visits Dobson High School Auditorium, 1501 West Guadalupe Road in Mesa, at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 23. A ticket to the Changing Hands-sponsored event is $25.95 plus tax and good for one seat and one signed copy of Beautiful You. Save your spot via www.changinghands.com or by calling 480-730-0205. Becky Bartkowski

See also: Chuck Palahniuk on Beautiful You, Arousal Addiction, and Chick Lit


Prepare yourself for 32 hours of non-stop improv action when the Torch Theatre brings its annual Ghostfest fundraising event back to their Phoenix stage.

Now in its fourth year, the comedy event boasts performers both local and national -- even a troupe from Australia. The lineup includes acts such as For A Good Time Call Ghostbusters, Mail Order Zombie Bride, and G-G-Ghost Jam. Highly experimental, one-of-a-kind performances will be running overnight for the true improv devotees.

The Ghostfest Improv Comedy Marathon runs from 6 p.m. Friday October 24 until around 2 a.m. Sunday, October 26, at the Torch Theatre, 4271 North Central Avenue. Full event passes are available for $15 and six-hour passes are $10. Family-friendly programming passes are also available for $5. All proceeds go to fund the Phoenix Improv Festival. For tickets and more information, visit www.thetorchtheatre.com. Heather Hoch

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