Scottsdale is known for being many things. It’s the West’s Most Western Town, it offers a Cosmopolitan lifestyle not often found in desert towns, and at Halloween, it is full of frights and thrills. The last item is perhaps the most important for families traveling with children over the holiday, as all parents know they would definitely be held accountable if they dared visit someplace without an active Halloween scene! And because Scottsdale is just a small part of the greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area, your Halloween chills will be multiplied as you explore all the different ways to celebrate in each of the towns in the area, including activities that adults who love the holiday as much if not more than the children! Spend your days at haunted houses, fall festivals, and exploring all that’s offered at Boo at the Zoo and come home every evening to our I Love Scottsdale holiday hideaways, where the only ghosts you will find are the ones showing on the big screens of our state-of-the-art televisions and nightmares are firmly denied access to your long nights of deep sleep. This guide to the spooky adventures you can enjoy during your time in our hometown will give your children some peace of mind when they discover you will be traveling during one of their favorite holidays!
We’re just going to get the candy out of the way first, as we know your children will find that the most important part of their visit! All the neighborhoods in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas will be participating in trick-or-treating, starting at dusk and ending sometime between 8 or 9 PM, with Scottsdale perhaps having the best neighborhoods to “beg” in! Known for giving out the full-sized candy bars and offering private haunted houses, your children will be in their element, but there are plenty of alternatives. We understand that parents may be unsure about setting their children loose in neighborhoods they aren’t familiar with, so Trunk or Treating may be something you will feel more comfortable participating in! Trunk or Treating is when local businesses, sometimes churches or charity spots, offer a version of trick-or-treating. Usually held in one large parking lot or open field, children can march from trunk to trunk begging for treats. In the cases of shops that may be holding their own version of Trunk or Treating, parents are often thrilled by the opportunity to do a little souvenir shopping as the kids do their thing! Often Trunk or Treating events take place up to a few days before Halloween, which may encourage your child to get extra use out of their costumes as they partake in every event!
Halloween Bar Crawls
Now that your children are busy planning their costumes, you have a few minutes to learn about the adult side of Halloween! Celebrate the season by sipping your way across town, visiting some of Scottsdale’s most iconic bars and enjoy free admission, drink specials, and beautiful weather, because October is when the temperatures drop and paradise comes alive. Costumes are encouraged and in some events, could possibly lead to a prize at the end of the night, so take a step back to your childhood days, drop into any of the Halloween Spirit Stores that open in vacant storefronts September through October, and reignite your love for the holiday!
Boo at the Zoo, The Phoenix Zoo, 455 N Galvin Parkway in Phoenix
The Phoenix Zoo first opened its gates back in 1962 and today is the largest privately owned non-profit zoo in the country. Every year in October, they offer an event called Spooky Safari! Inviting guests to don their spookiest best, the event generally lasts over three nights and involves trick-or-treating, (because you can never have enough candy) face painting, Halloween themed games, arts and crafts projects, and of course, a chance to peek at the wild animals that make their home in our zoo! Best of all, live entertainment will be appropriately spooky (no nightmares induced from this chilling event) and camel rides will be available at an additional fee.
Howl-a-Ween at the Monarch Theater, 122 E Washington Street in Phoenix
This spooktacular adult Halloween party is a relative newcomer to the region, having started in 2022, but we are hoping that it remains a huge part of the Halloween landscape for years to come! Offering live entertainment that includes DJs, burlesque, and more, the costume contest is quite possibly our favorite part of the event, and multiple rooms, multiple stages, and multiple opportunities to have a party you will never forget ensures that your Halloween in Scottsdale will be one you wish never had to end. Historically held the Saturday before Halloween, (although we imagine it will be held ON Halloween if the holiday falls on a Saturday during your stay) we at I Love Scottsdale see great things coming from this event and envision many years of chilling adventures for them and everyone who partakes in their events!
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a haunted house, and although we can promise that our I Love Scottsdale holiday hideaways are not haunted, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore the commercial ones that suddenly seem to appear out of thin air starting right around the end of September. In Scottsdale, a couple of favorites are The Haunted Graveyard held the last few days of October at 8414 E Valley Vista Drive and the House of Haunts, also open the last few days of October and located at 8325 E Lincoln Drive. The Haunted Graveyard offers a family friendly adventure a few days earlier, offering no actors and no big scares, but the last few days, we suggest older teens and adults only because it will scare you! There are other haunted houses located all over Phoenix and Mesa, but these two will be relatively close to your Arizona sanctuary, ensuring a quick return home!
At Halloween, the temperatures are as close to perfect as they can get, and the festivals that pop up are guaranteed to make your time here in the desert all that much more fun! The Halloween Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival held at Talking Stick Fields in Scottsdale offers vendor markets, over 4,000 pounds of candy waiting to be handed out to trick or treaters, arts, crafts, live entertainment, costume concerts, and a display of color and light from the hot air balloons that visitors will never forget! The Macaroni Festival is an annual kids’ festival with candy and costumes, held at the Arizona Boardwalk and the Kierland Fine Art & Wine Festival may not have anything to do with the holiday, but we feel you can never have enough of art or wine in your life and attending will bring joy to your vacation adventures!
No Ghosts, Just Comforts and Luxury
However you spend your days and evenings of your holiday escape to the desert, coming home each night to the comforts and luxuries offered by our holiday sanctuaries will be the highlight of your day! Binge watch horror movies on state-of-the-art television, create a Halloween themed feast in our fully equipped kitchens, and fall into a deep and happy dream filled sleep in our tranquil bedrooms every night of your stay. Reserve your favorite today!