Things to Do

Your Guide to the Best Halloween 2020 Events in Metro Phoenix

This is Halloween — everybody make a scene.
This is Halloween — everybody make a scene. Toni Cuenca/Pexels
click to enlarge This is Halloween — everybody make a scene. - TONI CUENCA/PEXELS
This is Halloween — everybody make a scene.
Toni Cuenca/Pexels

If you wish Halloween would last longer than just one night, we’ve got some good news: A multitude of macabre events will take place over several days leading up to All Hallows Eve – and it's more than just costume parties happening.

Read on for details about art displays, self-guided tours, horror movie screenings, and even an adult puppet show happening around metro Phoenix. Each will offer their own take on Halloween and have a variety of rules and guidelines aimed at increasing safety and reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Pumpkin Pop

Now through Saturday, October 31
Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 North Sunset Boulevard, Glendale

Westgate’s WaterDance Plaza will be decorated with a canopy of illuminated jack-o’-lanterns, pumpkin trees, and enormous gourds, all of which will serve as a spot to grab a selfie or six. We’re sure Linus would love it. The display will up through Halloween.

Strange Encounters – A Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Now through November 8
Downtown Mesa

Renowned sculptor and pumpkin artist Ray Villafane created 15 different Halloween vignettes and displays that will adorn shops, businesses, and outdoor areas along Main Street in Mesa. Visitors can use a downloadable map to participate in a scavenger hunt for prizes that involve items and characters in each display. Complete details can be found here.

Pumpkin Nights

Friday, October 23, through Saturday, October 31
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 East Princess Drive, Scottsdale, 480-585-4848

This family-friendly event series at the high-style Scottsdale resort will include rides, an elaborate pumpkin patch and “jack-o’-lantern lawn,” a hay maze, and nightly fireworks shows at 8 p.m. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; and 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $60 where you park your car yourself and $90 with valet parking included.

Halloween Anime Fest

Saturday, October 24
Collectors Marketplace, 1945 East Indian School Road, 480-442-1117

Got a Vegeta, Naruto, or Edward Elric costume you’d like to show off? Don your gear, charge up your super Saiyan powers, and head for Collectors Marketplace and this anime-focused geek event. There will be a cosplay contest for prizes, an artist alley, special sales, games, and more. Social distancing will be used during the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s free to attend.

Halloween Monster Bash

Saturday, October 24
Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue, Peoria

This drive-thru event will offer a socially distanced mix of interactive elements, live entertainment, giveaways, and treats. Hours are from 6 to 8 p.m. and it’s free to participate.

Delightfully Dreadful Drive-In Puppet Slam

Saturday, October 24
Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 West Latham Street, 602-262-2050

The characters of Daisy the Kitten and Jingles the Cat will host an evening of stories both scary and silly at this Halloween edition of the Adult Puppet Slam. Djentrification will dig into his vast selection of vinyl to provide the soundtrack for the 18-and-over performance, which patrons can watch from their cars. The show starts at 8 p.m. and admission is $30 to $40 per vehicle. Tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 23 (more details can be found here).

Movies In Your Car

Wednesday, October 28, and Thursday, October 29
Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 West McDowell Road

The folks behind the ongoing “Concerts In Your Car” series will be showing a pair of horror films under the stars at the fairgrounds. The 1999 found-footage flick The Blair Witch Project is scheduled to be screened on Wednesday, October 28, followed by the 2018 remake of Halloween the following evening. Both films start at 7 p.m. and admission is $19 per carload.

The Afterlife Experience

Saturday, October 31
Grand Arthaus, 1426 West Roosevelt Street

This “interactive art experience” and collaborative project will explore death, grief, and remembrance and will offer a more profound take on the themes of Halloween. According to its Facebook page, the event will consist of a series of interactive installations created by local artists and musicians that will “guide visitors through levels of the Afterlife.” Safety measures include mandatory masks, a separate entrance and exit, staggered entry, temperature checks, and more. The experience begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Halloween Drive-In Double Feature

Saturday, October 31
The Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street, 480-352-9882

The parking lot of the historic Mesa venue will become a drive-in theater on Halloween night for a back-to-back screening of Night of the Living Dead and Little Shop of Horrors. Start time is 6:30 p.m. and admission is $5.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.