Things to Do in Phoenix, Arizona, in November

Downtown Phoenix Skyline
Judy Hedding

Hardly a day goes by without something to do in Phoenix during the month of November. The start of the winter high season brings cooler temperatures—which is a good thing in the hot desert southwest—but you'll still find plenty of sunshine and increasing crowds as the snowbirds start to arrive.

Christmas tree lightings, holiday festivals, and seasonal events typically begin in mid-November and continue through the end of December and even into January, but you'll also find several fall celebrations, festivals, and events earlier in the month. Ultimately, no matter what time you come to Phoenix this month, you're sure to find something to do.

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    Many of the Southwest's best Latino artists show and sell their work at this annual event, formerly known as Mercado de las Artes, which used to take place over the second weekend in November. Now, this one-day event will take place on November 10, 2018. Artwork at the event includes an array of santos, furniture, jewelry, tile work, glitter art, tin work, paintings, carvings, and pottery—all of which will be on display at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

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    Take an educational family-friendly trip through American history with reenactments, demonstrations, historical characters, and more at Schnepf Farms in Queens Creek, Arizona, on November 17, 2018. This interactive event presents American military and civilian life throughout history—from early Colonial Days to modern times. School trips can also book a tour on November 15 and 16 this year, but the November 17 event is open to the general public.

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    Celebrate the coming of cooler weather with live music, contests, games, activities for kids, food, vendors, and a beer garden in downtown Chandler at the annual free Arizona Harvest Festival and Farmer's Market on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Over 100 merchants selling gourmet foods, home decor and furniture, jewelry, clothing, art, and health services will be on site for this annual event. Activities also include a pumpkin toss, a pumpkin pageant, cornhole, pie-eating contests, corn shucking, a cake walk, and a children's zone.

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    You can see and test drive hundreds of the newest cars, trucks, minivans, and sport utility vehicles on display at the Phoenix Convention Center, with live entertainment and celebrity appearances at this Thanksgiving weekend mainstay. From November 22 to 25, 2018, you can experience the best in modern automotive technology, including discussions and demonstrations about the latest innovations in the field.

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    Fine art, live music, international foods, and an interactive family area featuring hands-on art activities and creative challenges for children make this annual event worth a slot on your itinerary. From November 17 to 18, 2018, more than 200 select contemporary artists and craftspeople from across the nation will show and sell one-of-a-kind artwork at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza as part of this free annual event.

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    Join Arizona chefs, visiting chefs, and cookbook authors for the Grand Tasting Experience, a farmers market, technology expo, kitchen gadget expo, and seminar series presented by AzCentral and Martha Stewart magazines at the Monterra at Westworld of Scottsdale on November 3 to 4, 2018. At the event, you'll also get the chance to explore the Martha Steward Experience, which features all of the latest products from this lifestyle matron's extensive collection.

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    From November 9 to 11, you can enjoy three days of bluegrass bands on stage—along with contests for awards and cash—at the Wickenburg Rodeo Grounds. Presented by the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce, this annual event features local and national talents competing for the title of the best fiddler in the country. Headlining acts in 2018 include Old Blue Band, Mountain Heart, and Hillbilly Fever.

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    On the first weekend in November, you can check out one of Arizona's largest Western Festivals at Cave Creek Wild West Days. Featuring artists, vendors, roadhouse attractions, a parade, pig races, and other family-friendly diversions, this annual event takes place throughout the historic town of Cave Creek. You'll also want to stick around for mutton bustin', a motorcycle poker run, and the official Wild West Days Dance as well as a battle of the bars, a cornhole tournament, and a pie-eating contest.

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    This family-friendly street festival at Hance Park in Phoenix features members of Local First Arizona, a nonprofit organization of locally-owned businesses. On Saturday, November 3, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local First Arizona restaurants and vendors will sell their goods, products, and services while Arizona musicians, bands, and performers provide entertainment. There will also be a raffle and a silent auction to raise funds for Local First.

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    Authentic, old-fashioned chuck wagon teams compete at this family-friendly event at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler on Saturday, November 10, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This free event also features live music, gunfight reenactments, evening campfire glows, and cooking demonstrations as well as a unique, up-close look at some of the region's history.

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    On November 24 and 25, 2018, you can browse hundreds of tables of interest for both the once-a-year hunter and the avid collector at this touring gun show. For just $12, you have access to the Centennial Hall in Mesa, Arizona, for both days of the event; children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult get in free.

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    Arizona State University invites the public to the School of Earth and Space Exploration for science and engineering activities designed for students ages 5 and up, families, educators, and anyone interested in exploring earth and space. The events will take place various dates throughout the month and include 3-D astronomy shows, interactive meteorite displays, tours of The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Science Operations Center, and guided walks through the Visitors Gallery. Events at the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University are free, though registration is required to attend.

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    On November 16 to 18, 2018, more than 2,500 hot rods, custom cars, classic vehicles, trick trucks, and muscle cars will park at this swap meet and sale at WestWorld in Scottsdale. The show will also feature a swap meet, a vendor and manufacturer exhibit, a burnout competition, live music entertainment, a model & pedal car show, a kids' zone, a bar and grill, and an autocross bike race. Both members and non-members of Good Guys Rods & Customs Association are welcome to attend, but the price of admission varies based on membership.

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    Located in the heart of the historic Wigwam Resort, this outdoor festival features an artisan's village filled with more than 250 fine arts and crafts booths plus artist demonstrations and an International food court. On November 3 and 4, 2018, the Litchfield Park Festival of the Arts returns for its 49th year, making it one of the oldest events of its kind in the American Southwest.

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    The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation hosts this celebration with a powwow, rodeo, and other outdoor activities plus Yavapai song and dance, sporting events, concerts, and a carnival on November 16 to 18, 2018. There will also be an annual golf tournament, a softball tournament, and a 5K run that coincide with the festival as well as a parade on November 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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    One of the longest-running 10K races in the United States, the route of the annual Phoenix 10K and Half-Marathon travels through downtown Phoenix on November 4, 2018. The event will also feature music performances, exhibitor booths, a health fair, and other festivities in honor of this annual run for charity.

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    You can find pretty much anything rock related at this annual show in Black Canyon City: Dealers, demonstrators, minerals, gemstones, jewelry, fossils, crystals, tools, equipment, books, lapidary supplies, gold panning, beading, wire-wrapping, faceting, stone carving, gem setting, raffle, rock identification. On November 2 to 4, 2018, you can enjoy free admission to this annual event, but bring money so you can add to your collection.

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    The Enchanted Island Amusement Park hosts its Harvest Festival on November 17 and 18, 2018. This annual event welcomes kids 2 to 10 years of age (and their families) to enjoy a full weekend of games and activities, pony rides, a petting zoo, a barrel wagon, hay rides, bounce houses, and a rock wall.