Fall is the perfect season to visit almost anywhere in the Grand Canyon State — from Phoenix and Scottsdale to Tucson and Flagstaff. By September, the hot summer temperatures have started to subside and are replaced by cooler temperatures, fall colors, and local festivals and fall events that are fun for the whole family!
Top Fall Festivals & Activities in Arizona
If you are visiting the Valley of the Sun this September, October, or November, we encourage you to check out one (or more!) of these fun fall festivals, events, or activities, so you can enjoy all that Arizona offers during this beautiful season.
1. Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party
What do you get when you mix a pumpkin patch and tasty food? The Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party! This annual event is one of the best fall festivals in the Greater Phoenix area and occurs on weekends (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) throughout October at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, AZ.
At this fall event, you’ll enjoy amusement park rides, train rides, lawn games, hayrides, a petting zoo, pig races, and more! And, of course, you can expect plenty of great food, including chili (the event’s staple!), pizza, burgers, burritos, sweets, and more.
2. Tolmachoff Farms Pumpkin Days & Corn Maze
The Tolmachoff Farms Pumpkin Days & Corn Maze is one of the best fall events in the West Valley that occurs every night (except Mondays and Tuesdays) in October in Glendale, AZ. You’ll find a vast pumpkin patch — making it easy to pick the perfect pumpkin — and a huge family corn maze with a new theme each year. Tolmachoff Farms also has a “mini” corn maze for little kids and a haunted corn maze for a spookier take on this classic fall activity.
Other fun activities at Tolmachoff Farms Pumpkin Days & Corn Maze include a petting zoo, train rides, a jumping pillow, and a corn box. The farm is open on Halloween night, but only for pumpkin picking and the haunted maze.
3. Mortimer Farms Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze
If you are okay with spending an hour or two in the car, heading up north to Dewey, AZ, for the Mortimer Farms Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze is a must during autumn in Arizona. During the day, you can enjoy fun farm rides, u-pick fields for fruits and vegetables (including a pumpkin patch!), a giant corn maze, ziplines, and a ropes course. You can enjoy live music, barn dances, and fire dancers at night, but most of these evening events are only available on weekends.
Mortimer Farms is open daily from the last weekend of September through the last weekend of October. However, some entertainment and activities are only available on the weekend, so be sure to check the website before booking tickets if you have your heart set on participating in certain events.
4. Arizona State Fair
Not every fall event in Arizona is necessarily “themed” for fall — like the classic Arizona State Fair that has been delighting local Arizonians and visitors for over a decade! The state fair usually kicks off at the end of September and lasts through the end of October.
The Arizona State Fair occurs at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Downtown Phoenix. It offers plenty of fun for the entire family, including thrilling carnival rides, lively concerts with big-name artists, and fabulous fair food. You can get a “bird’s eye view” of the Valley on the Ferris wheel, cuddle furry animals in the petting zoo, watch bull riding, and more!
5. Four Peaks Oktoberfest
Do you love local craft beer? If so, you’ll love attending Oktoberfest at Tempe Beach Park, hosted by Four Peaks. You’ll be able to sample 15 German beers in the beer garden while listening to live music, enjoy carnival rides, and sample traditional German food, like brats and pretzels, from local vendors.
Oktoberfest is happening from Friday, October 13th – Sunday, October 15th this year, and admission is free on Sunday. Admission is $16 on Friday and Saturday. Proceeds from the admission costs go to Tempe Sister Cities — a nonprofit that supports student exchange, educator exchange, and professional exchange programs.
6. Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival
The Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a fun way to celebrate Halloween — especially if you have young kids. This one-weekend event runs from Friday, October 27th to Sunday, October 29th, from 5 PM to 9:30 PM each night.
During the event, children and families can participate in a spooky costume contest, go “trick or treating” at the 20 hot air balloons tethered to the ground filled with candy, or even take a tethered hot air balloon ride. Tickets for this popular Scottsdale event are $22 for adults and $17 for children. It’s the perfect, safe way to celebrate Halloween with the whole family!
7. Arizona Fall Festival
The Arizona Fall Festival is a fun one-day event in Downtown Phoenix at Margaret T. Hance Park from 10 AM – 4 PM. This year’s event will be hosted on November 4th, bringing 200+ local businesses together for a family-friendly and dog-friendly event.
At the Arizona Fall Festival, you can sample food from local food vendors and restaurants, shop from local vendors, participate in the silent auction, or hang out in the “Kid Zone” with crafts, games, and activities for kids and families. And the best part? This event is completely free to attend!
8. Hiking in Flagstaff
It doesn’t feel like autumn until you see some gorgeous fall colors, right? Fortunately, you can catch plenty of stunning fall foliage in Arizona — especially if you drive up to Flagstaff and other northern cities from southern Arizona!
If you’d like to see the bright yellow hue of the golden aspens, head up to Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Arizona. Though the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort is a popular location for skiing in Arizona in the late winter and early spring, it’s also a great spot to hike in the summer or fall. One of the most popular trails guaranteed to be filled with golden aspen groves in the autumn is the Aspen Nature Loop Trail, but you can find plenty of others in the surrounding area.
9. Leaf Peeping in Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon
Flagstaff isn’t the only great spot to see fall foliage in Arizona. While Flagstaff offers bright yellow aspen trees, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon offer a stunning array of deep red, orange, and yellow leaves from several types of deciduous trees framed by the picturesque red rocks that have made Sedona famous across the country (and world!).
While you can certainly take a hike through the crimson rocks and beautiful leaves (West Fork Trail and Cathedral Rock are two of the best hiking trails for fall foliage!), you can also take scenic drives through Oak Creek Canyon for a more laid-back leaf-peeping experience.
Alternatively, consider boarding the Verde Canyon Railroad nearby in Clarkdale to enjoy the stunning fall colors via train — the “Ales on Rails” event that runs in September and October is a fun way to blend Oktoberfest with a scenic train ride through the Verde Valley!
Soak Up the Fall Season in Arizona Like a Local with PrimeNest AZ
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to spend fall in Arizona. From hot air balloon festivals in Scottsdale and fall festivals in Phoenix to leaf-peeping in Sedona and hiking in Flagstaff, you’re sure to enjoy any (and all!) these activities you try while visiting Arizona in the autumn. If you decide to visit during winter instead, we’ve also got a great winter guide for you.
Are you still looking for a place to stay during your fall trip to Phoenix? We’ve got you covered. PrimeNest AZ offers several vacation rentals with spacious living areas, comfortable bedrooms, and luxurious bathrooms in the up-and-coming West Valley.
Explore our properties to find the perfect place to stay this fall in Arizona!