Pick out the perfect pumpkin (or just enjoy a hayride), treat yourself to some of the best tacos in Phoenix, explore a local arts community plus more. Here are our top picks for things to do this weekend in Phoenix.

Great Pumpkin Festival at the Desert Botanical Garden (October 17-20)
Fall season activities come to the Desert Botanical Garden this weekend for the annual Great Pumpkin Festival. Take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch where children 12 and under can pick out a free pumpkin, visit the petting zoo, try your luck at carnival games and enjoy plenty fall family fun.

Great Pumpkin Festival at the Desert Botanical Garden

Great Pumpkin Festival at the Desert Botanical Garden

Arizona Taco Festival (October 19-20)
With so many places for great tacos here in Phoenix, it could take many nights out to try them all. Or you could head to the Arizona Taco Festival this weekend where more than 50 teams will put their taco skills on display for a chance at winning a $10,ooo cash prize. The judges aren’t the only ones who’ll get to enjoy the goods as the teams will also be selling tacos for $2 a pop.

The festival will also feature lucha libre wrestling, a tequila expo with more than 100 types of tequila, hot chili pepper eating contests, music and more.

Arizona Taco Festival

Arizona Taco Festival


5th Annual Grand Avenue Festival (October 19)
Some know Grand Avenue as the road that cuts diagonally through our streets’ grid system, but we know it as a reawakened arts and culture district. The Grand Avenue Festival will showcase area neighborhood businesses and art spaces along the unique and historic travel corridor with tours of renovated buildings and interesting adaptive re-use projects, art exhibits and other special activities that highlight the history of the area.

Rainbows Festival and Street Fair (October 19-20)
Head to Heritage Square Park in downtown Phoenix this weekend for the annual community festival celebrating the diversity of the LGBTQ community. The free event is open to the public (pets are welcome, too!) and will have nearly 150 exhibitors and sponsors. The festival is also the new home of OUTdayPHX, a Celebration of National Coming OUT Day.

International Archaeology Day at Pueblo Grande Museum (October 19)
Amateur Indiana Jones’ can enjoy the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park for free this Saturday in celebration of International Archaeology Day and partake in demonstrations of preservation and conservation methods used on the museum’s prehistoric Hohokam platform. Children can participate in the Archaeology for Kids program and help excavate a replica pithouse, 10 a.m. to noon.

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

More weekend events in Phoenix.