Kids love Halloween — the costumes, the candy, the craziness and the fun — but when it falls on a weeknight, like it does this year, it can be a hassle for parents. Thanks to all the carnivals and trunk-or-treats going on around the East Valley this weekend, the whole family can enjoy themselves without having to worry about getting up the next morning for school.
Mesa and Apache Junction also offer day-of activities, so traditionalists can enjoy the holiday on its calendar date.
Chandler’s annual Halloween Spooktacular boasts a menagerie of games, food and crafts, plus a costume contest and a haunted house. DETAILS >> 5:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. Chandler Downtown Library Plaza and Community Center, 125 E. Commonwealth Ave., Chandler. Free admission. (480) 782-2735 or http://www.chandleraz.gov.
Gilbert’s Fall Music and Halloween Festival combines live entertainment from the Marmalade Skies and Rattle Cat Junction with lots of family entertainment, including a fire show, face painting, a zipline, a BMX show, games, and costume parades for people and pets. DETAILS >>Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Freestone Park, 1045 E. Juniper Road, Gilbert. $5 admission, free for children 3 and younger; $1 for individual activity tickets, $15 for a wristband, covering unlimited rides (excluding the $6 zipline); wristbands are not available for purchase after 6 p.m. (480) 503-6200 or http://www.gilbertaz.gov.
The Queen Creek Trunk or Treat street event gives kids an opportunity to collect candy (purchased by the city) from residents, businesses and community groups with decorated car trunks. There will also be games, a zombie run, costume contests (people and pets) and a competition for the best dressed car, best dressed group and most spirited group. DETAILS >>5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Desert Mountain Park, 22201 S. Hawes Road, Queen Creek; additional parking at Queen Creek Library. Free. (480) 358-3700 or http://www.queencreek.org.
Tempe’s 35th Annual Family Halloween Carnival at Kiwanis Park offers a fun, safe way for your little trick-or-treater to participate in a costume contest, play games, get their face painted and eat all sorts of food booth goodies provided by local civic groups. DETAILS >> 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Kiwanis Park, 6111 S. All-America Way, Tempe. Free admission; 25 cents per ticket (some activities may require multiple tickets). (480) 350-5200 or www.tempe.gov.
Mesa’s Trick or Treat on Main Street is a daytime Halloween event that includes free trick-or-treat bags from the Downtown Mesa Association, live entertainment and lots of kid-centered fun. Attendees will receive restaurant discounts and be entered into a gift card raffle. The goodie bags can be picked up at the southeast corner of Main and Center streets. DETAILS >> 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Downtown Mesa, at Main and Center streets. Free. (480) 890-2613 or www.downtownmesa.com.
The Apache Junction Halloween Festival offers Halloween night fun for the whole family with a costume contest at 6 p.m., a pumpkin carving contest (submissions must be in by 7 p.m.), and lots of food and games. DETAILS >> 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Prospector Park, 3015 N. Idaho Road, Apache Junction. Free admission, separate fee for food and games. (480) 983-2181 or http://www.ajcity.net.
Contact writer: (480) 898-5629 or firstname.lastname@example.org