The city of Scottsdale rings in the season with a frighteningly fun fall festival, featuring a Haunted Forest, game booths with candy prizes, costume contests, and a colorful fireworks display. Free. 5-9 p.m. October 28 at Eldorado Park, 2311 N. Miller Rd., Scottsdale, 480-312-2483, scottsdaleaz.gov.
Kids and adults alike can have a gas at this event, which features more than 20 lit-up, holiday-themed hot-air balloons hovering over Salt River Fields. Tethered rides are available on the illuminated balloons, which will cast a glow over further festivities, including live music, trick-or-treating, arts and crafts, children’s games, a haunted trail, and a firework show. $15, adults; $10, children 3-12. 5-9:30 p.m. October 27-28 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 480-270-5000, srfballoonfestivals.com.
Dunkin’ for Pumpkins
Forget bobbing for apples – dunkin’ for pumpkins is all the rage at this big splash, which takes place at the heated pool at McDowell Mountain Ranch. Kids can pick a pumpkin and then decorate it. $10 per person (includes a pumpkin, while supplies last). 1-3 p.m. October 29 at McDowell Mountain Ranch Park, 15525 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy., Scotts-dale, 480-312-6677, scottsdaleaz.gov.
Spooky vibes descend on Desert Botanical Garden for this event, which is chock-full of fantastical sites, kooky creatures and “Mad Botanists” ready to delight with tales of crazy plants. Kids can dance with ghosts, zombies, vampires and werewolves at the Monster Bash. Artist Ray Villafane will demonstrate pumpkin-carving, and youth ages 12 and younger can pick a pumpkin to take home. Free face painting adds to the fun. Free with garden admission ($24.95, adults; $12.95, kids ages 3-17). 5:30-9 p.m. October 27 and 28 at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, 480-941-1225, dbg.org.
Pumpkin Patch Puppets
Great Arizona Puppet Theatre’s new Halloween show, Old Macdonald’s Pumpkin Patch, brings the spirit of the season to Old Macdonald’s Farm and all its animals. $10, adults; $7, children. Various times through October 29 at Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, 602-262-2050, azpuppets.org.
The Woman in Black
In the spine-tingling ghost story, two men set out to learn why the spirit of a woman haunts a remote village on the moors and the Eel Marsh House. Mysterious events from the past are revealed, along with the spectre’s terrible secret. The play, based on the novel by Susan Hill, is a Davisson Entertainment production. $29, adults; $19, children. Various show times October 31-November 5 at Playhouse on the Park, 1850 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-734-5734, womaninblackphx.com.
Pumpkin & Chili Party
There’s plenty of seasonal action at Schnepf Farms this fall, as the homestead hosts hayrides, pig races, bonfires and marshmallow roasts, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, crafts, carousel rides and a BMX stunt show. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through October 29 at Schnepf Farms, 24610 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, 480-987-3100, schnepffarms.com.
Dia de Los Muertos Festival
This fest celebrating the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead features more than a dozen dance and cultural performances, live music, a giant community altar for remembering deceased loved ones, artisanal memorial altars by local creatives, family-friendly activities, food, a marketplace filled with jewelry, furniture and crafts and artist demos. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. October 28; noon-5 p.m. October 29 at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com/diadelosmuertos.
Golfland Fright Nights
Golfland-Sunsplash becomes the 15-room Gauntlet Haunted House this Halloween season, oozing with special effects, live animals, creepy actors and realistic props. The attraction’s a bit gory, and so not recommended for people with heart conditions or claustrophobia. But everyone can enjoy playing “Spooktacular Golf” on the 18-hole mini golf course, navigating through graveyards and encountering costumed characters handing out candy. $6.99-$7.99. Various times through October 31 at Golfland Sunsplash, 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa, 480-834-8319, golfland.com/frightnights.
Pumpkin Days & Corn Maze
Fall hits full swing at this old-school seasonal farm fete. Guests can visit the pumpkin patch and petting zoo, hit the hay pyramid, bounce off jumping pillows and take train rides, in addition to finding their way through “haunted” corn mazes. $12 farm admission with additional costs for food, train rides, pumpkins and the tomato cannon. Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday through October 31; and noon-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through November 5 at Tolmachoff Farms, 5726 N. 75th Ave., Glendale, 602-999-3276, tolmachoff-farms.com.