By Carson Mlnarik
There’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of fall — and finally some cool weather — than spending time outside. Even if the leaves in the Valley rarely change, Arizona autumns are still special. Check out these fall festivals to get you in the mood.
Apple Annie’s Fall Pumpkin Celebration
Make a day out of it and make the drive to Apple Annie’s in Willcox. The old-fashioned family farm lets guests pick and purchase pumpkins and fall vegetables from the patch. While it features two corn mazes, the celebration’s biggest highlight is its dining options. The orchard location, which is down the street from the farm, offers an all-you-can-eat pumpkin and pancake breakfast in the morning. Apple-smoked burgers are served for lunch, along with homemade cider and various pumpkin desserts.
Apple Annie’s Pumpkins and Produce, 6405 W. Williams Road, Willcox, 520.384.4685, appleannies.com, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 23, to Sunday, October 29, $8-$10. Saturdays and Sundays only.
Mortimer Family Farms Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze
If you’re a fan of challenges, you might just find this fall festival “a-maze-ing.” Mortimer Family Farms features a 15-acre corn maze —in the shape of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dancing together— and a 40-acre pumpkin patch. The festival will also feature educational interactive displays, traditional farm rides and gem mining.
Mortimer Farms, 12907 E. State Route 169, Dewey, 928.830.1116, mortimerfarmsaz.com, times vary, Friday, September 29, to Sunday, October 29, $15-$35. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.
Pumpkin Days and Corn Maze at Tolmachoff Farms
Whether you’re looking to get lost in a maze, snag a pumpkin or explore a forgotten cemetery, there’s something for the whole family at Tolmachoff Farms. Admission includes a petting zoo, jumping pillow and bounce houses. Also available are kids and family corn mazes, and a haunted maze.
Tolmachoff Farms, 5726 N. 75th Avenue, Glendale, 602.999.3276, tolmachoff-farms.com, times vary, Sunday, October 1, to Sunday, November 5, $12, free for children younger than 2. The farm is closed Mondays in October; and Monday to Wednesday in November.
Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party
Plan to spend a whole day at the Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party, where corn mazes, a rollercoaster, carousel rides, entertainment and fireworks await. With a menu featuring chili bowls, hot dogs, pizza and burgers, you can have dinner, a show and a pumpkin, too.
Schnepf Farms, 24610 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, 480.987.3100, schnepffarms.com, times vary, Thursday, October 5, to Monday, October 30, $19, free for kids younger than 2. The farm is open Thursday to Sunday in October.
Farm Fresh Family Fun
If you’re looking for a picture-perfect fall, look no further than Rocker 7 Farm Patch’s fall festivities. Featuring a crop maze, pumpkin patch and sunflower field, it’s sure to feel like autumn. Other activities include hayrides, a farm obstacle course and petting zoo.
Rocker 7 Farm Patch, 19601 W. Broadway Road, Buckeye, 928.415.1568, rocker7farmpatch.com, various times, Saturday, October 7, to Sunday, October 29, $9 Fridays and $10 Saturdays and Sundays.
Fall Festival at Goodyear Ballpark
Get into the fall spirit with an afternoon at the ballpark for the whole family. This year’s festival will feature train rides, a pumpkin patch, rock wall, inflatables and trick or treating. Kids can don their Halloween best and compete in the costume contest, while adults can peruse the selection of arts and crafts on sale.
Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear, 623.882.3120, goodyearbp.com, 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, October 21, free.
Residents and visitors from around Arizona can celebrate the season together with a two-day festival in Anthem. Featuring arts and crafts, carnival rides and pumpkin picking, the event will even feature Smokey the Bear and a fire truck tour. Autumnfest will mix it up this year with a strolling magician and a community scarecrow garden, featuring local masterpieces.
Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway, Anthem, 623.742.6050, onlineatanthem.com, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 22, free.
Arizona Fall Fest
Celebrate all-things local to Arizona with a free, family-friendly celebration. The afternoon will feature food from the state’s finest restaurants, a Hensley beer and wine garden, as well as more than 100 local vendors. Arizona talent will take the stage to provide the soundtrack.
Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 W. Culver Street, Phoenix, 602.534.2407, localfirstaz.com/fall-festival, time TBA Saturday, November 4, free.
Festival of the Superstitions
Apache Junction’s eighth annual fall festival is filed with two days of family fun, including a parade, car show, free monster truck rides and a 75-foot obstacle course and bounce house. Admission and parking are free and you can even bring your favorite furry friend! That’s right, this year’s festival is dog friendly.
Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce, 567 W. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, 480.982.3141, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 11, and Sunday, November 12, free.
Arizona Harvest Fest and Open-Air Market
Autumn takes over downtown Chandler with 100 merchants, selling everything from local produce and to holiday items, furniture and jewelry. The festival will feature games for all ages, including a pumpkin toss, a pumpkin pageant and a pie-eating contest. Adults can top it off with local pumpkin ales and seasonal brews in the beer garden.
Dr. AJ Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler, 602.276.2499, arizonaharvestfest.com, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 12, $10.
Enchanted Island’s annual fall festival brings out hay and pony rides, a corn box, a petting zoo and a rock wall. For an extra $7, you can score unlimited access to the park’s collection of carnival rides. Catch the festivities either day and bring a canned food donation to receive $1 off admission.
Enchanted Island Amusement Park, 1202 W. Encanto Boulevard, Phoenix, 602.254.1200, enchantedisland.com, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 18, and Sunday, November 19, $12-$20.