Nerd Culture

Halloween 2016: 20 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix That Weekend

Halloween is Monday, October 31, but don’t worry. That only means you have a whole weekend to celebrate. You’ve got your costume ready, right? Now's the time to plan where you'll be on (or leading up to) the most frightening night of the year. Not sure where to begin? Well, here's your guide to a Vampire Ball, an Edgar Allan Poe festival, and a quintessential horror movie screening, along with 17 more things to do in metro Phoenix over Halloween weekend.

Bright Night
An exhibition and fundraising event for the Phoenix Art Museum, Bright Night celebrates the work of Kehinde Wiley starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 28. See more than 60 works of art in "A New Republic," and enjoy custom cocktails, wine, and hors d’oeuvres with DJs and a steel drum band – while dressed in colorful cocktail attire. Tickets are $750, with all proceeds benefitting the museum. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website for more.

Comedy On Fire 43: The Final One
This is seriously the last Comedy On Fire show at The Firehouse Gallery, ever. Expect 12 local comics and  — because it’s Halloween weekend — a costume contest and Halloween raffle. The show runs from 9 to 11 p.m. on Friday, October 28, and entry is $5. Visit the Facebook event for more.

Ghost Story Campfire
If it’s been a while since you’ve told spooky stories around a campfire, or really, had DIY s’mores – check out the free Ghost Story Campfire at Estrella Mountain Regional Park in Goodyear. Spin your best tales from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 28. Visit the Maricopa County Parks website.

Urban Legend Lane, Haunt for Dead October, Post-Apocalyptic Train Tour, and EVP recordings from Phoenix Arizona Paranormal Society — if this sounds like the kind of stuff you’d like to see in the middle of the Phoenix Zoo, then check out Howl-O-Ween from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29. Tickets are $12 for general admission. Visit the Phoenix Zoo website.

The Vampire Ball
We just don't get it when people think they're “too cool” to dress up at Halloween parties, but thankfully that won’t be the case at Vampire Ball – presented by Scorpius Dance Theatre and Davisson Entertainment. Costume styles will include Vampyre, Dorian Gray, Venetian Carnival, drag, or a black suit or dress. The Vampire Ball is from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, October 28, in the Grand Ballroom at Club Palazzo. Tickets are $29 to $40, VIP admission is $49 to $80, and after midnight is $20 at the door. Visit the Vampire Ball website.

Arizona State Fair
Big headliners, whirling rides, fried Oreos; the Arizona State Fair is there for you every Halloween weekend. Hit the Arizona State Fairgrounds from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 29, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 30. Adult prices are $6 online and $10 at the gate. Visit the Arizona State Fair website.

Pumpkin & Chili Party
The Pumpkin & Chili Party at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek has pumpkin, chili, and pumpkin chili – plus rides and a dog show. Hit the hay from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29, and 10 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday, October 30. Entry is $18. Visit the Schnepf Farms website.

Scarizona Scaregrounds
A combination of two haunted houses – Epic Fear and Slayers Slaughter House – and an interactive zombie paintball experience Operation Zombie Storm, Scarizona Scaregrounds is open all Halloween weekend, October 28 through 31, from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 7 to 10 p.m. on Sunday and Halloween night. Tickets are $20 for both houses, $20 for Operation Zombie Storm, and $35 for both. Visit the Scarizona Scaregrounds website.

Veronica's Room
Produced by iTheatre Collaborative, Veronica's Room is a mysterious story of the living resembling the dead – and written by the same author as Rosemary’s Baby. Showtime is 8 p.m. for Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29, on the Kax Stage at Herberger Theater Center. Tickets are $20. Visit the Herberger Theater Center website.

Move over AMC, Carpenter's baby will screen at FilmBar – where beer is also served. So, they win. Settle in at the one-screen theater to watch 1978’s Halloween at 10:30 p.m. on Friday, October 28, and 10:10 p.m. on Monday, October 31. Tickets are $9 per screening. Visit the FilmBar website.

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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.