The weather is cooling off just in time for outdoor festivals and fairs. Join the festivities or find some indoor Halloween-inspired fun on our top things to do in Phoenix this weekend:
Arizona Taco Festival: October 17-18
During this two-day event, taco-making teams will battle for a cash prize—and lucky festival attendees will be there to taste their creations. In addition to a staggering selection of $2 tacos, the festival features a tequila expo, live music, Lucha Libre wrestling and more entertainment. If you’re game, enter the hot chile pepper or taco eating contest.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale 85256
Arizona State Fair: October 16-18, and Wednesdays–Sundays through November 8
The fair’s 150-foot ferris wheel may tower over the other attractions, but it’s just one of many things to do. Dozens of rides, animal shows, a demo derby, Native American Spirit Dancers and a concert series offer fun for the whole family. Tip: If you’re visiting Friday for opening day, admission is only $2 before 5 p.m.
1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix 85007
Costumes and Cocktails Play Date at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix: October 17
If you’ve never played giant beer pong or maneuvered through a noodle forest, now’s your chance. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix opens its doors for grownups-only play time on Saturday, and yes, Halloween costumes are encouraged. Grab your play dates and enjoy a cash bar, dancing and games, and three floors of interactive exhibits.
215 N 7th St, Phoenix 85034
Rainbows Festival: October 17-18
Join friends and allies for a celebration of the local LGBTQ community at downtown’s Heritage Square Park. The street fair will feature more than 150 exhibitors and two stages of live entertainment. There’s face painting for kids, a Four Peaks craft beer garden for adults (hello, Pumpkin Porter) and pet-friendly vendors with treats for your pooch.
Heritage Square Park, 113 N 6th St Phoenix 85004
PoeFest at the Hotel San Carlos: October 16-17
This uniquely chilling, month-long event from the Arizona Curriculum Theater takes places inside the historic (and reportedly haunted) Hotel San Carlos’ Ghost Lounge. Actors take the stage as asylum inmates to deliver poet Edgar Allan Poe’s darkest tales. Our marketing intern recently attended a PoeFest performance—read her experience and catch a showing at 8 p.m. this Friday or Saturday.