Every October the Phoenix area goes all out for Halloween, with many areas hosting trick-or-treating nights and local businesses putting on special events like haunted houses and costume parties. For an authentically Arizona experience, don't miss out on trick-or-treating in a field of hot air balloons. In the area surrounding Phoenix, there are also plenty of places to grab a seat on a haunted hayride or pick out your seasonal squash at a pumpkin patch.
Many events and haunted attractions are canceled or have special guidelines in place for 2020. Be sure to check in with individual businesses for the most up-to-date information.
Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the most important and colorful celebrations in Mexican culture, dating back to the Indigenous Aztecs whose empire stretched across Mesoamerica. Without actually crossing the border, Phoenix is one of the best places to celebrate this important holiday and hosts numerous festivities. While Day of the Dead technically takes place on the first days of November, cultural festivals in the U.S. often begin throughout October leading up to Halloween night.
Options around Phoenix include the Dia de los Muertos PHX Festival, taking place virtually on October 25, 2020. The nearby city of Mesa hosts its own Dia de los Muertos Festival—also taking place virtually in 2020—on October 24. Regardless of which festival you choose to attend, expect to see colorful characters, Folklorico dancing, and elaborately decorated altars celebrating the dead.
The Fear Farm
If you love to be scared at Halloween time, nowhere in Phoenix is more terrifying than the Fear Farm, a megaplex of haunted attractions that will leave you shaking by the end. The Fear Farm is made up of four different areas that include traditional haunted houses and a 20-acre corn maze, and your ticket includes admission into all four of them. You'll wander through an apocalyptic building teeming with zombies, a bunker that has extraterrestrial visitors, and the iconic corn maze that's filled with ghoulish characters.
Located on the west side of Phoenix, the Fear Farm opens on September 18 and runs through November 7, 2020. Advance tickets with a timed entry are required to enter in 2020 and are expected to sell out, especially on weekend nights. If you want to skip the line, there's also a limited number of fast pass tickets available for each night.
Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Every October, children are welcomed to discover a Halloween celebration called Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona in Tempe. There is a lot of fall-themed fun in store, from a Halloween Mask Build to an opportunity for guests to build their own pumpkins out of Legos to add to the pumpkin patch. Little kids—and maybe older kids too—will love ghost hunting in the augmented reality experience, "Hidden Side."
Legoland's Brick-or-Treat event lasts from October 17 until November 1, 2020, and advance tickets with a timed entry are necessary to enter.
Mysterious Mansion Mayhem
Halloween decorations are serious business in the City of Maricopa, where residents hope to win prizes for the spookiest decorations which are awarded by a community vote in the Mysterious Mansion Mayhem competition. Winners are announced in late October, but the public is invited all month to view the homes that have entered the contest. Judging takes place on October 21–22, 2020, so all the houses in the competition must be decorated by then.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater
For young children, the Great Arizona Puppet Theater is always an endearing activity for a fun day out. In October, the theater puts on a special holiday Halloween show (which isn't scary, so concerned parents have nothing to worry about). The 2020 performance is "Trouble at Haunted Mansion," and it's a drive-in show that spectators watch from their own car. Performances are scheduled for October 24 and October 31 at 10 a.m., and admission is for the entire vehicle, not per person. You'll even be able to pre-order breakfast from the local restaurant, Fair Trade Cafe, and it will be delivered right to your car.
Nightmare on Main
Nightmare on Main is canceled in 2020.
In downtown Mesa, the second Friday of each month is always an occasion to celebrate on Main Street with live bands, galleries, and contests. During October, the theme of the event is Nightmare on Main and attendees are encouraged to come out dressed as zombies, vampires, robots, superheroes, or any other creative costume.
The Enchanted Trail event is canceled in 2020.
At the Audubon Center's annual fall festival, glow lights transform the nature trail into a magical adventure. At the Enchanted Trail, visitors are invited to trick-or-treat, see live animals, encounter costumed characters, make some Halloween crafts, and more.
Strange Garden at Desert Botanical Garden
The Strange Garden event at the Desert Botanical Garden is canceled in 2020.
At the Desert Botanical Garden, with every Halloween comes the return of the Strange Garden. Filled with curious plants and enchanting creatures, the Strange Garden invites kids to come dressed up in their costumes. Children younger than 12 can even pick the perfect pumpkin to take home with them.
Howl-o-Ween at The Phoenix Zoo
Howl-o-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo is canceled in 2020.
Look out for zombies, witches, vampires, and other frightening characters hiding around every corner at the Phoenix Zoo during the annual Howl-o-Ween festival. All Howl-o-Ween activities are broken down as either “Merry” or “Scary.” Those listed as Merry are appropriate for all ages and those listed as Scary are for guests 8 years and older who like a good scare.
PoeFest is canceled in 2020.
Produced by Arizona Curriculum Theater, PoeFest is a celebration of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. During the show, performers will act out scenes from some of Poe's most famous stories and on Halloween night, you can catch a performance of "The Raven" every 20 minutes inside Rosson House Museum in Downtown Phoenix.
Salt River Fields Balloon Spooktacular
The Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival is canceled in 2020.
What could be cooler than going trick-or-treating in a field of hot air balloons? At Salt River Fields, the Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the most unique ways to celebrate the holiday. This safe and easy trick-or-treat extravaganza is fun for the whole family. The event features more than 20 hot air balloons, over 4,000 pounds of candy, a haunted trail, a petting zoo, fireworks, and tethered balloon rides.