In Arizona, the change of seasons from summer to fall is a special time of year. Cooler nights and shorter days means it’s festival season – time to head outside for pumpkin-fueled family fun! The communities of Mesa, Gilbert, and Queen Creek — collectively known as the East Valley in Greater Phoenix — serve up some of the most anticipated family experiences in the region.
Make sure to plan a weekend at Schnepf Farms during their month-long Pumpkin & Chili Party in Queen Creek. With fright nights, tractor-pulled hayrides, two corn mazes, farm games, carnival rides, s’more’s pits, a petting zoo, and mini-golf, there is so much in store for all ages at this 300-acre farmstead.
Held all October, the festival’s main feature is the 10-acre celebrity corn maze. Each year, the cornstalk-lined paths are grown in the shapes of famous icons. The Pumpkin & Chili Party sells out fast, so nab tickets in advance.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
The Queen Creek Olive Mill hosts its Annual Garlic Festival in mid-September. Vampires beware, this free flavor-filled festival features live cooking demonstrations, lawn games, a beer and wine garden, and so many ways to enjoy the mill’s organically grown garlic. Keep an eye out for garlic-infused olive oil cupcakes, gelato, and even lip balm from their on-site olive spa.
Mother Nature’s Farm
You can find Mother Nature’s Farm in the town of Gilbert. It opens in late September and hosts live music.
Mother Nature’s Farm stocks its patch with fresh pumpkins daily, with some pumpkins weighing up to 500 pounds! Shop at the on-site farm boutique for great fall decorations and the best seasonal accessories.
You can even take part in a seasonal picnic with tables available for families who want to pack a lunch and spend a fall afternoon at the farm.
The Paisley Pumpkin Street Fair
More than 70 unique vendors line the streets with handcrafted items, artisan wares, jewelry ,gadgets, and so much more. You can shop till you drop just in time for the holiday gifting season!
Fall sunsets in Arizona kick off the Farm Nights event at Agritopia, the nationally recognized ‘agri-hood’ in the heart of Gilbert. Held every second Wednesday from Sept. through May, locals and visitors enjoy a vibrant evening of shopping from local vendors in addition to the many retailers located within Agritopia.
Agritopia’s Farm Store features the daily yield from the adjacent organic farm in addition to a myriad of Arizona-only souvenirs, custom designed t-shirts, foodie finds, and even bath and body products. With new restaurants and nightlife options now open at Epicenter, Farm Nights offer a great date night option, too .
Mesa’s family-owned Vertuccio Farms gets creative with their fall activities, turning the five-acre corn maze into a detective-style game of whodunnit.
Fall fun kicks off in late September and runs the entire month of October with a paint-and-take pumpkin patch, hay bale climbing, giant jump pads, and the all-new Super Mega Slide. Kiddos will love the barrel train ride that takes them on a bumpy journey across the farm.
Find cheap flights to Phoenix and get in on all the fall fun!
What’s your favorite autumn activity?