It’s that time of year to get out and enjoy an entire day picking your favorite pumpkin, eating caramel apples, visiting a petting zoo and ending the night with fireworks and a haunted house. Or, to just take stroll through the pumpkin patch to snap a few photos with your family. Either way, the Valley has it all, and this is your one-stop guide for fall festivities in the East Valley.
Pumpkin and Chili Party
This mini-amusement park has everything we love in a fall festival: a pumpkin patch, hay rides, pig races, a petting zoo, a pumpkin launch, two corn mazes and children’s rides. New this year are two giant, in-ground air pillows that let kids and adults jump high into the air. When the sun goes down, you can cozy up with the family, roast marshmallows over a bon fire and watch fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights.
Where: Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays in October.
Cost: $16 per person at the gate, free for children younger than 2. Tickets are available at a $3 discount from Fry’s Food Stores.
Information: (480) 987-3100 or SchnepfFarms.com
This family owned, family oriented stable is great for those with young children and those who want to keep things low-key. DeWitt offers a hayride to the pumpkin patch, a hay maze and a petting zoo.
Where: DeWitt Stables, 2211 E. Quince St., Mesa
When: Noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 8-12, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 13. Open Oct. 19-20, 26 and 27 (call for hours).
Cost: $6 per person, $3 for children 3 and younger, or $25 for a family ticket
Information: (480) 835-9689 or DeWittStables.com
This Mesa farm is switching things up with a new giant tube slide and a bee observation hut. The 10-acre corn maze is back (this year with a patriotic design) and so is the pumpkin patch, Extreme Air jumping pillow, farm animals, pedal car races, hay maze and pizza garden. They also sell corn stalks and straw bales.
Where: Vertuccio Farms, 4011 S. Power Road, Mesa
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 4.
Cost: $8 per person, free for children 3 and younger
Information: (480) 650-6606 or VertuccioFarms.com
Mother Nature’s Farm
Fall Festival and Halloween Pumpkin Patch
Mother Nature’s caters to kids. A child’s admission includes a small pumpkin, a bag of stickers, a hay ride, feeding the animals, a maze and access to air and straw bounces. Adults tagging along will appreciate a fall store full of decor and grassy fields with shade trees and picnic tables for where kids can run and play.
Where: Mother Nature’s Farm, 1663 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Nov. 2.
Cost: $10 for children, $3 for adults
Information: (480) 892-5874 or MotherNaturesFarm.com
Check in to this haunted hotel, but remember, there’s no checking out this year. Creepy sets and a bloody nightmare await those who choose to visit.
Where: Next to Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill at Mesa Riverview. 1061 N. Dobson Road, Mesa
When: Opens Oct. 5. Open Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 3. Also open Oct. 21, 28 and 31. Hours vary; visit website for details.
Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for children younger than 12
The Crypt and
The Crypt brings the dead to life, and they crave preying on souls who trespass in their tomb. The Asylum puts visitors in the center of an 1870s psychiatric hospital that specializes in electric shock therapy and tortuous experiments on its patients.
Where: Fiesta Mall, 1445 W. Southern Ave., Mesa
When: Opens 7 p.m. Oct. 5. After that, open at 7 p.m. daily in October except for Oct. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23.
Cost: $13 for single haunted house, $18 for both haunted houses, $5 for maze
Monsterland: The HAUNT
Get a tasty meal and a cold beverage with your scare. Monsterland Bar & Grill turns its basement into a spooky haunted house full of monsters and goblins.
Where: Monsterland Bar & Grill, 18 W. Main St., Mesa
When: Opens 6 p.m. Oct. 5. After that, every Friday and Saturday through Oct. 20, as well as Oct. 18 and Oct. 25-31. Hours are roughly 6 to 10 p.m. or midnight; call or go online for up to date hours.
Information: (480) 461-3300 or Monsterland.com
GolfLand Fright Nights:
The Gauntlet and Spooktacular Golf
Get ready to crawl and climb your way out of the maze of terror known as The Gauntlet. If haunted houses aren’t your thing, there’s spooky mini golf and amusement park activities such as bumper boats and laser tag.
Where: Golfland-Sunsplash, 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa
When: 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays in October. Also open 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 10-11, 17-18 and 30-31.
Cost: $11.99 for single entry to The Gauntlet. $27.46 for an Unlimited Fear and Fun pass that includes mini-golf, race cars, laser tag, bumper boats and two haunted house admissions.
Information: (480) 834-8319 or Golfland.com/mesa
This year, The Nest — a sprawling haunt based on the gruesome tale of a 1940s serial killer — is taking spookiness to a new level, partnering with Brightline Interactive and FISH Technologies to use RFID technology in concert with social media. The result: making fear personal. The Nest was named “The Spookiest Place in America” by Good Morning America, picked by MTV as “The Best in the West,” and chosen five years in a row by AmericasBestHaunts.com as one of the nation’s best.
Where: Rawhide, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler
When: Opens 7 p.m. Oct. 5. After that, 7 to 10 p.m. Thursdays, Sundays and Oct. 31; and 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays through the month of October.
Cost: $25 per person
The “zombie apocalypse” has been quite the topic this year and now it’s in the streets of Mesa. Participate in the apocalyptic costume contest, a haunted basement tour, face painting and activities for kids.
Where: Between Center and Robson streets on Main Street, Mesa
6 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 12.
Information: 2ndfridaynightout.com or (602) 318-5689
This annual Tempe Halloween Carnival is a great opportunity for the kids to have some fun, ride ponies, play games, participate in craft activities, jump in the bounce house and ride great rides. Make sure the children come dressed in their best costume for a chance to win the costume contest.
Where: 111 W. Baseline Road, Tempe
When: 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Information: www.tempe.gov/halloween or (480) 350-5200
2012 Fall Music and Halloween Festival
This Halloween-themed festival is a great event for the family. Games and attractions will cater to all ages. Live music and entertainment will bring the stages to life and booths with face painting, food and beverage vendors and sponsors will fill the empty spaces.
Where: Freestone Park, 1045 E. Juniper Road, Gilbert
When: Noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27.
Information: www.gilbertaz.gov/calendar or (480)503-6235
• Nichole Kowalski is a senior studying journalism at The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or email@example.com.