Have you picked out your pumpkin? Halloween is almost here, but until then, these top things to do in Phoenix this weekend will keep you busy with cultural celebrations, pumpkin-centric festivities and costumed fun.
Dìa de Los Muertos Festivals
Celebrate the traditional Day of the Dead holiday at Mesa Arts Center this Saturday and Sunday with food, a mercado of arts and crafts and live performances from local and regional acts. The Dia de Los Muertos PHX Festival kicks off Sunday in Steele Indian School Park with a community gathering for food, art, dance and music performances (don’t forget a blanket or chair). Both events are free to attend.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St, Mesa 85201
Great Pumpkin Festival
Kids 12 and under can pick out a pumpkin for a jack-o’-lantern and enjoy a hayride, carnival games and meeting farm animals at the Desert Botanical Garden. Folk and bluegrass musicians will keep families dancing, and food truck vendors will be on hand for lunch of a bite of kettle corn.
Adult Nights Out in Downtown Phoenix
October 21 and 22
If you’re looking for fun with friends ages 21 and up, head downtown Friday for the Arizona Science Center’s monthly Science with a Twist, an adults-only event with access to the center’s exhibitions, cash bar, live science demos and themed activities. You can also don your Halloween costume early for a big kids’ play date at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix on Saturday, featuring cocktails, DJs and dancing, retro board games and playime in the museum’s 3 floors of exhibits.
Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix 85004
Children’s Museum of Phoenix, 215 N. 7th St., Phoenix 85034
Carefree’s pumpkin garden is filled with the pumpkin art of sculptor Ray Villafane, who transforms gourds into ghoulish and whimsical characters. Take a walk through the 3-acre botanical garden to see his work, and enjoy craft beer, hayrides, arts and crafts, face painting and more fall fun for families.
Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, Carefree 85377
Phoenix Fan Fest
Produced by the brains behind Phoenix Comicon, the Southwest’s largest pop culture event, Fan Fest offers even more opportunities for comic geeks and TV nerds to meet with favorite artists, authors and actors, dress to impress and enjoy fan programming. Featured guests include actors from Dr. Who, Star Wars and Stranger Things and even a few WWE superstars.