February 23, 2024 10:06 pm

Local News

Arizona Kicks Off the Spooky Season With Family Fun

Credit: iStock

Parker Wallis

Few know how to celebrate Halloween time like Arizona residents, made evident by the myriad of festivals, haunted locales, parades, and other ghoulishly fun family activities.

The city of Chandler, for example, is getting ready for its Halloween Spooktacular on October 28th. The event takes place at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park – Stage Plaza between 5:30 and 8:30 PM and offers a variety of family events free of charge. 

Guests of all ages can show off their costumes while marching in the Catwalk Costume Parade, which begins at 6:15 PM and again at 7:30 PM. No registration is needed, and kids ages 12 and under will receive a special glowing souvenir, according to the city’s website.

The event also features Trunk-or-Treat with multiple stations carrying over 300 lbs of candy, a Halloween Dance Party, and carnival games like Spooky Prize Wheel, Musical Headstones, Pumpkin Sack Races, and Inflatable Ax Throwing.

Many places can’t wait until late October to celebrate. The Arizona Boardwalk in Scottsdale has a series of events lined up between September 24th and Halloween, including a festival presented by Family Fun AZ (September 26th, 10 AM – 2 PM), Macaroni Kid N. Scottsdale/PV’s fourth annual Fall Festival (October 22nd, 2-5 PM), a costume contest called Halloween Bash (October 29th, 11 AM – 3 PM), and Bugfest (October 30th, 10 AM – 2 PM). 

Family Fun AZ’s September festival will have guest appearances from everyone’s favorite superheroes, like Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Supergirl. Attendees can fly on a 300-foot zipline, ride down slides, hop on bouncy castles, get their faces painted, and enjoy other events such as live entertainment, raffles, and giveaways. 

The Fall Festival on October 22nd will also have character meet and greets, face painting, music, and games as well as arts and crafts and a costume contest where kids 16 and under can win prizes. 

Halloween Bash, also presented by Family Fun AZ, offers a cash prize of $1,000 to a guest 18 years or younger for the best costume. This event too will have bounce houses, slides, face painting, family-friendly performances, shopping, and raffles.

On the Saturday before Halloween, The Butterfly Wonder Foundation will present Bugfest, featuring events for all ages like cockroach races, butterfly releases, a photo “hissing booth,” and interactive bug zoo learning stations. Snack on some of the edible insect treats they offer, and come wearing your costume for the chance to win a prize. 

For a real spooky destination, look no further than Vulture City Ghost Town in Wickenburg, said to be one of the most haunted places in Arizona.

From 1863 to World War II, Vulture City was home to a lucrative mine that produced over 600,000 lbs of gold and silver. At the start of the war, all non-essential mines were ordered to close, and the residents, most of whom were miners, promptly fled town. 

People say that ghosts still roam the grounds of the old mining settlement, especially given the town’s most infamous landmark, the “Hanging Tree,” where 18 men were hanged for stealing gold. 

The settlement has found new life as a tourist attraction where guests can explore the historic buildings and see the old mine shaft. Come Halloween time, the ghost town is transformed into a lively village with live pumpkin carvings, Jack O’ Lantern displays, food, and more.

Over in Prescott, restaurants and food vendors including A Treat from Prescott, Triple Creek Kitchen, and The Sam Hill Warehouse will come together to host End of the Line on October 29th, a costume party and celebration of local cuisine. The event’s venue is at End of the Rail Line.

An all-ages costume party (3-6 PM) will have games, treats, and a costume contest, and afterdark (8-11 PM) will feature an adult-only costume party where restaurants from the area will showcase their menus. Tickets for the all-ages party costs $15 per family, and the adult party is $50 per person or $90 per couple. 

Arizona is getting ready to wake the dead with their Halloween festivities, and there are so many options from which to choose this year.