As Halloween approaches, we’re doling out the tricks and treats at these festivals and events on our top things to do in Phoenix this weekend.
Howl-o-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo: October 23-24
The Phoenix Zoo gets ghoulish with an all-ages Halloween celebration. Activities for younger guests include a trick-or-treat trail, carnival games and character meet and greets, while thrill-seekers can spook themselves in encounters with witches and zombies. The zoo’s animals will likely be resting off exhibit, but you can get up-close with a few nocturnal critters or, if you’re brave, seek out horrific beasts on the Monster Safari Tour.
Halloween Balloon Spooktacular: October 23-24
It’s like trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, if your neighbors’ homes were colorful hot air balloons. The Balloon Spooktacular features more than 20 balloons and a vendor market armed with 4,000 pounds of trick-or-treating candy. Enjoy live music, take a tethered balloon ride, or get your blood pumping in the haunted house.
Great Pumpkin Festival: October 23-25
Your perfect pumpkin is just a hayride away at the Desert Botanical Garden: Whether you decide to take it home for carving or gussy it up at the festival’s decoration station is up to you. In addition to pumpkin picking, the event features a petting zoo, carnival games, pony rides, country-western performances and food for purchase from Short Leash Hot Dogs.
Celebrate Day of the Dead
While this traditional Mexican holiday is celebrated on November 1, you can get in the spirit early with two Phoenix-area festivals this weekend: Dia de Los Muertos Festival at the Mesa Arts Center, October 24-25, and Dia de Los Muertos PHX at Steele Indian School Park on October 25. Both events will feature an artist market, food booths and cultural performances.
Star Wars: The Music at the Phoenix Symphony: October 25
You’ve loved the movies and watched the new Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer: Now it’s time to hear Symphony Hall swell with the sounds of the “Imperial March.” The Phoenix Symphony will perform hits from John Williams’ iconic soundtrack to the intergalactic Star Wars film franchise this Sunday. The first show is already sold out, but—as of publishing this—tickets remain for the 7 p.m. performance.