Things to Do

Your Guide to the Best Halloween 2021 Events in Metro Phoenix

Spooky things to do are in abundance around the Valley.
Spooky things to do are in abundance around the Valley. Karolina Grabowska/Pexels
We’re in the midst of the Halloween season and there’s plenty of things to see and do – and we aren’t just talking about scary movies on TV or haunted houses operating just down the street. Themed events and parties are happening across metro Phoenix from now until October 31, including movie screenings, pumpkin carving parties, tours of haunted locations around town, and costumed get-togethers.

If you’d like to get into the spirit of the season, we’ve put together a rundown of events both family-friendly and otherwise, each offering its own variety of thrills, chills, and fun.

Pumpkin Fest at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

This family-friendly event series at the Fairmont, 7575 East Princess Drive in Scottsdale, takes place nightly through October 31. Attractions include rides, an elaborate pumpkin patch and “Jack-O’-Lantern Lawn,” a “Cider Orchard,” and a “Mystic Passage” featuring animated skeletons singing and telling ghost stories. A nightly fireworks display will happen on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 4 to 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Admission is $60 where you park your car yourself and $90 with valet parking included. Complete details, admission prices, room rates, and parking info can be found here.

The Rocky Horror Show at Phoenix Theatre Company

The thespians of the Phoenix Theatre Company will do the time warp during their production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show's stage version. Performances take place at 8 p.m. from Wednesday through Sunday (with matinees at 3 p.m. on weekend afternoons) inside the PTC’s Hormel Theatre, 1825 North Central Avenue. Virgins and longtime Rocky Horror fans are welcome (and if you can’t catch it during the Halloween season, it runs until December 5). Tickets are $41 to $121. More information is available here.

Halloween Spook-Track-Ula at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

The miniature trains of the Paradise & Pacific Railroad at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 East Indian Bend Road, will be adorned with a variety of lights, spooky characters, and Halloween-themed decorations through October 31. Patrons can get unlimited rides on the train and the park’s carousel during 90-minute sessions that start at 6 and 8 p.m. (Note: Entry will be limited to 550 people per session.) Photo pods and other activities will also be available. Admission is $15 per person and free for kids 2 and under. Hours are from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
click to enlarge Downtown Phoenix's legendary Hotel San Carlos. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Downtown Phoenix's legendary Hotel San Carlos.
Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix Ghost Tours in Downtown Phoenix

Want to get a good scare while hearing ghost stories about some of downtown Phoenix’s most historic landmarks? This popular tour will start out at the Hotel San Carlos, 202 North Central Avenue, and take participants on 60- to 90-minute-long journey with stops at eight different locations. Tours take place nightly at 8 p.m. through Halloween. (Additional tours will also happen at 10 p.m. on October 30 and 31.) Adult tickets are $24.99 per person before taxes and fees. Full details can be found here.

Halloween Anime Fest at Collectors Marketplace

Don your anime-inspired costumes, charge up your super Saiyan powers, and head for Collectors Marketplace, 1945 East Indian School Road, for this anime-focused geek event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 23. There will be a cosplay contest for prizes, an artist alley, special sales, live entertainment, and more. Admission is free. Call 480-442-1117 for more details.

Halloween Monster Bash at Peoria Sports Complex

You and your brood are welcome to attend this family-centric event from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, at the Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue, which will feature rides, games, live music, interactive experiences, and giveaways. Attractions like a rock-climbing wall, bungee trampoline, a reptile exhibit will be available, and trick-or-treating will take place. Other highlights include an appearance by the Ghostbusters, a photo booth, and an ongoing costume contest for prizes throughout the evening with different age groups up to 10 judged every 15 minutes. There will also be a sensory room for kids with special needs. Admission is free, but donations of canned or nonperishable food items are appreciated.

Outdoor Halloween Party at Whyman Park

A screening of the hit Pixar film Coco will be the highlight of this free outdoor event from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, at Whyman Park, 2350 South 103rd Avenue in Tolleson. A kids' dance party, costume contest, game booths, vendors, food trucks, and other activities are also planned. The movie starts at 6:30 p.m. and you can bring blankets, chairs, and other seating to the park.

Community Pumpkin Carving Party at FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel

If you’re in the mood to create a jack-o’-lantern (without having to deal with the cleanup afterward), the FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel, 1100 North Central Avenue, will host an all-ages carving event from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 26. They’ll provide the pumpkins and carving gear while you supply the creativity. Food and drink specials will also be offered and prizes will be awarded for the best creations. It’s free to participate.

Family Halloween Bash at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

People of all ages are welcome to attend this outdoor event from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 24, at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 East Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. Activities like trick-or-treating stations, pumpkin decorating, a costume contest, a photo booth, and a character meet-and-greet will take place and swag bags will be given away. Admission is $30, but rides on the trains must be purchased separately.
click to enlarge The exterior of Alwun House. - LYNN TRIMBLE
The exterior of Alwun House.
Lynn Trimble

Silver String Circus: Inferno at Alwun House

The performers of the Silver String Circus troupe will take a page from Dante’s Divine Comedy for their latest show, which will be staged on Saturday, October 23, at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street. The adult-oriented production will be inspired by the macabre poem and involve “magic, music, and death-defying stunts,” according to Silver String’s Facebook. It also will be limited to those 21 and older. The performance runs from 7 to 11:30 p.m. and tickets are $13 in advance, $18 at the door.

Myth and Magic Festival at Irish Cultural Center

Wizards, dragons, fairies, and other fantastical costumed characters are welcome to attend this afternoon-long event at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 North Central Avenue, on Sunday, October 24. In addition to such festival staples as vendors, a photo booth, face painting, giveaways, and live entertainment, there will be a knighting ceremony, a jousting game, and a performance by a fire-breathing dragon. Tickets to the event, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m., are $10 for kids and include a magic wand and goodie bag. It’s free for adults and kids under 10.

Pumpkin Carving Party at Thunderbird Lounge

Grab your gourds and spend an evening carving them on Monday, October 25, at Thunderbird Lounge, 710 West Montecito Avenue. Pumpkin beer will be on tap while It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will be screened. It’s free to attend the 21-and-over event, which starts at 6 p.m.

Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest at W Scottsdale Hotel

Get up your pups in a costume and bring them to this free event and happy hour from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27, at the W Scottsdale, 7277 East Camelback Road. The most creatively dressed doggos will win prizes like a complimentary one-night stay at the hotel. Contestants are required to show up between 6 and 6:30 p.m. to be eligible and judging will take place at 7 p.m. You can register online here.

Jim Bob’s Burgers Pop-Up at Worth Takeaway

For the past few Halloweens, the folks at Worth Takeaway, 18 West Main Street in Mesa, have paid tribute to Bob’s Burgers by transforming the eatery into the titular hamburger joint from the popular Fox cartoon, complete with costumes and themed menu items. They’ll do so again on Friday, October 29, and Saturday, October 30, during the fourth edition of the event. Amusingly named burgers will be being served, including a few taken straight from the show like the “Paranormal Pepper-Jacktivity,” and “Texas Chainsaw Massa-Curd.” Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or while supplies last). Costumes are encouraged. Call 480-833-2180 for more info or click here.

Beyond the Grave at Pioneer & Military Memorial Park

Marshall Shore (a.k.a. Arizona's "Hip Historian") will host this event at the Pioneer & Military Memorial Park, 1317 West Jefferson Street, from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, which will explore the lives of the people who are buried there. Participants can conduct their own self-guided tour or hear tales from storytellers standing near the graves of several historical figures. Items like flowers or pictures can also be left on several memorial altars that will be available. Tickets are $50 per person.

Downtown Mesa Trick-or-Treat

The various stores and businesses along Main Street downtown Mesa will have trick-or-treat stations passing out individually wrapped candy from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 30. An arts and crafts area and a photo booth will also be set up at 1 North Macdonald if the kiddos need something to do while working off their sugar buzz. Everything will be free. More details are available here.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.