Guide to Halloween in Phoenix

Halloween kicks off the holiday season with lots of fun things to do.

From buying a costume to trick-or-treating and pumpkin patches, this is your guide to Halloween in Phoenix.

HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

If you’re not going to make a costume, you have several convenient options for purchasing them.

  • Party City is always reliable for all your costume needs. → Find a store
  • Chances are a Spirit of Halloween store has popped up near you. → Find a store
  • Mardi Gras Costume Shop in Scottsdale offers costume sales and rentals and has an online store. → Find a store

Your best bet to buy cheap Halloween costumes is to shop the thrift stores.

  • You can’t go wrong at Savers. → Find a store
  • Last year the Goodwill marked down all Halloween items to 50% off on October 31st, so if you’re in a last minute bind give them a try. → Find a store

WHERE TO TRICK-OR-TREAT

Phoenix didn’t make Zillow’s 20 Best Cities to Trick or Treat in 2012. Or in 2011. We did manage to manage to make the bottom of the list in 2010 and they offered the top 5 Phoenix neighborhoods to trick or treat. They are:

  1. Paradise Valley
  2. North Mountain
  3. Camelback East
  4. Ahwatukee Foothills
  5. Deer Valley

Zillow picked the locations based in part on home values, population density and crime rates. The idea was to pinpoint safe and populated areas, not necessarily where to find full-size candy bars instead of the minis. As for my family, I admit that we trick or treat outside of our neighborhood but only because there are few participating houses where we live. It’s just more fun with a crowd of mini princesses and ninjas.

HALLOWEEN PARTY PLANNING

Need ideas and inspiration for your Halloween party? Pinterest is your friend! But just for fun, here are a few of my favorite finds this year.

Invitations – A Facebook or Evite invitation will suffice, if you really must. But with a little effort you can make toe tag invites. Or, you can dress up any paper invitation with some blood stains.

Décor – Here’s where your creativity can run wild. Spirit jugs made with milk jugs and holiday lights are a simple and classic way to welcome guests. Here’s a fun thing we did one year: glue a gummy eyeball to your doorbell for the night. It’s fun to see which guests will knock and which ones are brave enough to “poke the eye.”

Food and Drink – In case you thought it was all cupcakes and candy, checkout this carrot slice pumpkin and watermelon zombie hearts. Also stop by Our Best Bites to find out how to make glow in the dark drinks and food.

Games – Tip Junkie shares 15 Indoor Halloween Games. Keep an older crowd entertained with Ghoul Friday’s fun activities. More fun Halloween party games here.

Treat Bags – For me, part of the fun of hosting a party is making the bags. I like these easy grave marker goody bags.

PUMPKIN PATCHES

October is my favorite month of the year and the Fall Festivals and pumpkin patches are the reasons why. Schnepf Farms has been part of my family’s tradition for years but there’s lots of fun happening around the Valley.

Schnepf Farms – Pumpkin patch, corn maze, mini golf, petting zoo, carousel, gravity roller coaster, train ride (haunted at night), play area and lots more. Don’t miss the delicious chicken and chili dinner. Fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights. Buy discount tickets for $3 off at Fry’s stores.

MacDonald’s Ranch – Horse drawn hayrides to pumpkin patch, pony rides, petting zoo, and games. Additional charges apply for: bounce house, small train, carnival rides, face painting, and sand creations. Donate a can of food for $1 off admission. Limit 1 discount per person.

Tolmachoff Farms – Six acre corn maze, kid-sized maze, petting zoo, bounce house (weekends only), and train ride. Also enjoy play areas with adult/child pedal cart track and farm themed activities, like grinding corn to feed chickens. Go online to print a coupon for $1 admission. The large corn maze is haunted Halloween night. Visit AZ Field of Screams and print a coupon for $2 off admission.

Mother Nature’s Farm – Entry for each child includes a pumpkin, pumpkin decorating, bag of stickers, air bounce, straw bounce, hayride, animal feeding and Alexander’s Adventure Maze. Parents can relax at the picnic tables or under a shady tree while kids can run around in the grassy fields.

Great Pumpkin Festival at Desert Botanical Garden – Entrance to the festival included with paid Garden admission. Hayride to pumpkin patch, children’s crafts and activities, petting zoo, carnival style games, and country and western entertainment.

Vertuccio Farms – Ten acre corn maze, mini hay maze, pumpkin patch, extreme air pillow, giant tube slide, bounce house, pedal race cares, train ride, playground with teeter-totter, and more.

HAUNTED HOUSES

One day I’ll be brave enough to go to one of these super scary haunted houses.

The Nest – Located at Rawhide, The Nest is award-winning and was named “The Spookiest Place in America” by ABC News and Good Morning America. Go online for a printable coupon.

Fear Farm – If you won’t settle for scary and insist on terrifying, Fear Farm is for you. Printable coupon here.

13th Floor Haunted House – Over 60,000 square feet of haunted horror.

Scream Park – Fifteen acres of thrills and chills that include four attractions. Option to buy a Speed Pass so you can avoid the lines. Printable coupon here.

The Crypt & The Asylum – The Crypt is a dark labyrinth of supernatural horrors and The Asylum is a mental hospital that will scare and gross you out. Coupons and promos here.

HALLOWEEN IN THE MOVIE THEATER

Just in time for Halloween, at Harkins Theaters you can catch John Carpenter’s 1978 flick Halloween on the big screen. Or, enjoy a double feature with the classics Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein. There’s also several movies in theaters to bring the kiddos to this year.

→ Frankenweenie (PG) – A young boy reanimates his beloved dog, Sparky. From director Tim Burton.
See it at Harkins or AMC

→ Fun Size (PG-13) – A girl’s plan to attend a party thrown by the guy she likes goes awry when her little brother wanders off. Starring Victoria Justice.
See it at Harkins or AMC

→ Hotel Transylvania (PG) – Dracula invites the world’s most famous monters to his exclusive hotel for his daughter’s birthday party. An ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and falls for Dracula’s daughter.
See it at Harkins or AMC

If you want to get a babysitter, there’s plenty of frights for parents too.

→ House at the End of the Street (PG-13) – A newly divorced woman and her daughter move into their dream home. Against her mother’s wishes, the daughter befriends the sole survivor of a horrific crime that occurred years earlier in the house next door.
See it at Harkins or AMC

→ Paranormal Activity 4 (R) – Five years after the disappearance of Katie and Hunter, strange events happen when a mysterious woman and child move into the neighborhood.
See it at Harkins or AMC

→ V/H/S (R) – A group of petty criminals is hired to find a rare piece of footage among piles of VHS tapes. In their search they watch horrifying videos that are increasingly strange.
See it at Harkins

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