Arizona residents in particular often relish the fall season, with summer bringing sizzling temperatures to the state. While you probably won’t experience much in the way of cool, crisp air, temperatures are idyllic and the trees are highlighted in a myriad of hues, which paint the Arizona landscapes with gorgeous colors. One of the top ways to celebrate this fantastic time of year is to attend a fall festival, and these are some of the truly some of the best.
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Arizona Harvest Fest and Farmers Market, Chandler (Nearby Hotels)
This festival held annually in November celebrates the fall season in downtown Chandler. It showcases live entertainment and activities for all ages like cornhole, a pumpkin toss, pumpkin pageant, pie eating contest, corn shucking, cake walk and a kid’s zone. Adults can look forward to enjoying the various brew flavors of the season in the beer garden where local pumpkin ales and seasonal beers are served. Some 100 merchants attend, providing a vast selection of services and products, including a farmers market with artisan gourmet items, local produce, holiday decor, home goods, fashions, art, jewelry and much more. Even better? The festival is free to attend.
Local First Arizona Fall Festival, Phoenix (Nearby Hotels)
This Arizona Fall Fest is all about eating and drinking local. Hosted at Hance Park in early November, it’s a free and family-friendly celebration of all that’s local in the state. It festival features food from many of the finest restaurants around, including food samples, drinks and dishes from over 200 vendors as well as a beer and wine garden, booths selling local items, and lots of live entertainment. There’s also a game-filled kid zone.
Annual Apple Festival, Crown King (Nearby Hotels)
Now in its 13th year, this annual festival in the Bradshaw Mountains is held in early October and features all of the favorite autumn festivities one could want in a small town festival. Activities include picking from the pumpkin patch, hay rides, and an Old Fashioned Country Fair. There are even rides, dipped apples, to indulge in, arts and crafts and the opportunity to tour a historic one-room schoolhouse.
Annual Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party, Queen Creek (Nearby Hotels)
One of the most authentic traditional fall festivals in the Phoenix metro area, the annual Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party is always a good time, and it lasts throughout most of the month of October. It’s even been voted by Sunset magazine, Phoenix magazine and other publications as the very best fall family even in the Valley. Look forward to hayrides, pumpkin-picking, rides for thrill-seekers, and the popular hot chili dinner. The event also includes season favorites like a corn maze and a petting zoo as well as unique attractions like pig races and the extreme canines stunt dog show.
Tucson Beer Festival, Tucson (Nearby Hotels)
Beer lovers won’t want to miss the Great Tucson Beer Festival. This annual autumn event is hosted at the Kino Sports North Complex, with the 32nd annual festival held on October 20th from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m. and features hundreds of different beers to taste. You can wash down your favorite ale with all sorts of tasty fare from one of the many vendors and food trucks that attend. Toss in live music and entertainment and it makes for a fantastic fun-filled day.
Salt River Fields Balloon Festival, Scottsdale (Nearby Hotels)
Salt River Fields is one of the most popular venues in Arizona for hosting big events. In the autumn season, one of the best and biggest is the annual Balloon Festival. It takes place during the lead up to Halloween, which means there are lots of Halloween-related festivities too, including costumes and candy. It also hosts a pumpkin patch, live music, firework shows, and a haunted trail. The highlight as the name belies, however, are the more than 20 hot air balloons in attendance. Not only is it a sight to see with colorful balloons filling the almost always bright blue skies, attendees can hop on a tethered balloon ride for an unforgettable bird’s eye view of Scottsdale and the surrounding desert landscape.
Dia de los Muertos Festival, Phoenix (Nearby Hotels)
Many feel that the very best holiday in the fall isn’t Halloween, but Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This Mexican celebration honors the spirits of the dead. Arizonans get to enjoy it too, right in Phoenix’s Steele Indian School Park. The Dia de los Muertos Festival showcases hundreds of entertainers donning traditional day of the dead masks, and there are always fabulous multicultural dances, theater performances, and delicious foods.
Fall Pumpkin Celebration, Willcox (Nearby Hotels)
This multi-weekend festival starts on the first weekend after the beginning of fall and is held through the last weekend of October. It’s hosted at Apple Annie’s in Willcox and offers family-fun pumpkin-picking in a huge pumpkin patch, as well as apple-picking in the orchard and gathering fall vegetables in the farm. It also features the state’s largest and most impressive corn maze with two levels of difficulty. Those who arrive early can enjoy the “All-You-Can-Eat” pumpkin and buttermilk pancake breakfast, though an Apple Smoked Burger Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. along with plenty of pumpkin-related treats like homemade pumpkin ice-cream, pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread.
Cornucopia Fall Festival at Thorpe Park, Flagstaff (Nearby Hotels)
It’s a little cooler in Flagstaff which means you can enjoy the crisp days of fall here while attending a fun community festival! Typically held on the last Saturday of September, it features carnival rides and games, a pumpkin patch, hay maze, pie-eating contest, a petting zoo, kids’ talent show, circus performers, live performances, a massive Inflatables World for the kids, the pet-friendly Dog World, Petting Zoo, Circus Performers, Kids Talent Show, Live Performances, Giant Kids Inflatables World, refreshing microbrews and lots more.