Balloon Spooktacular

Halloween can bring both frights and delights in the form of zombies, ghosts, haunted houses, horror movies, carved pumpkins, fun costumes and tons of candy. Not bad for a day that began as a simple remembrance of the dead called All Hallows’ Eve.

Whatever your preferred style of Halloween, a party, festival or other event exists near you. Read on for 13 options that we think you’ll like whether you want a family affair or an adult-only party that lasts into the dark and creepy night.

1. 7th Annual Halloween Balloon Spooktacular

Twenty hot-air balloons light up the sky while 4,000 pounds of candy spoil trick-or-treaters on the ground. Plus you can enjoy a haunted trail, food and beverages, a Kids Zone and fireworks.

Location: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale
Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29
Cost: $15 adult, $10 kids 3-12

2. Halloween Spooktacular

Enjoy carnival games, pumpkin bowling, witches broom races, a haunted house and pumpkin cemetery, and plenty more. Dress up for the costume contest and bring bags because every booth gives out candy.

Location: Stage Plaza at Dr. A. J. Chandler Park, 3 S Arizona Ave, Chandler
Hours: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday, October 28
Cost: Free

3. Howl-O-Ween

The Phoenix Zoo offers something for everyone. Kids will enjoy magic shows, trick-or-treating, “Nature’s Nightmares” and more fun fare, while teens and adults experience zombies, vampires, an asylum and other dastardly frights.

Location: Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix
Hours: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29
Cost: $12 general public, $10 members

4. 15th Annual Haunted House & Hayride

Test your nerves with a haunted hayride to the threshold of a spine-chilling haunted house. But if you make it through, you get free candy. Plus, enjoy a bake sale, caramel apples and more treats. Note that for smaller kids there’s a “not so scary” time from 6-7:30 p.m.

Location: Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center, 4700 E. Warner Rd., Phoenix
Hours: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, October 30
Cost: $8 adult, $5 kids 8 and under, $15 unlimited wristband

5. The Paisley Pumpkin Holiday Festival

Browse for art, crafts, clothing, food and more from 50 local vendors while the kids trick or treat and enjoy other fun activities.

Location: Dana Park, 1758 S Val Vista Dr, Mesa
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Cost: Free

6. Cave Creek Wicked

The fun doesn’t end in Cave Creek with family fun from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Bicycle Pub Crawl from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the Night Time Bar Crawl from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. The entire downtown turns into a festival with carnival games, a haunted scavenger hunt, costume contests, live music and more.

Location: Downtown Cave Creek
Hours: 11 a.m. Oct. 29 – 2 a.m. Oct. 30.
Cost: Free entry (some paid individual activities)

7. All Dogs Matter Festival

If your two great loves are dogs and Halloween, you’ll love this annual bash that raises money for the AZ Humane Society, and gives you plenty of cool stuff to do. Dress up and take part in the costume contest while little ones trick-or-treat and play in the Kids Zone. On hand will be some of the Valleys biggest tribute bands, including Faceless (Godsmack) and The Jack (AC/DC), paying homage to the greatest rock bands around.

When you get hungry, food and drinks are available. Just go easy on the “drink” drinks because dog adoptions will be held on-site as well, and adopting a new fur baby should be a (mostly) sober decision.

Location: WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Cost: $19.95 adults, $10 kids 12 and under

8. Zombie Walk 8

It died in May but — true to its name — the popular Zombie Walk came back in time for Halloween. Dress up like a zombie and shuffle your moaning, brain-eating way through the Downtown Phoenix with a whole horde of zombies .

Show up at 4 p.m. for makeup tips and other costuming help. The actual walk begins at 6 p.m., followed by a costume contest at 7:30 p.m. Beginning at 9 p.m., its time for the little zombies to return to their graves as the adult zombies embark on a Blood (Pub) Crawl.

Location: Phoenix Warehouse District, 4th Street and Jackson
Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Oct. 29
Cost: Free with registration ($5 donation to Arizona Hemophilia Association suggested); $20 Blood (Pub) Crawl

9. 39th Annual Family Halloween Carnival

Celebrate Halloween with carnival games, live entertainment, food, train rides, a play area for toddlers and plenty more. Plus, dress up for the costume contest and you might win some prizes.

Location: Kiwanis Park, 5500 S Mill Ave, Tempe
Hours: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Cost: Free entry; Play tickets $0.25 each

10. Halloween Monster Bash

A safe and family-friendly Halloween extravaganza, this massive event features a parade of costumes, trick or treating, inflatable attractions, carnival games, crafts, live music and plenty more fun for kids and adults alike.

Location: Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria
Hours: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Cost: Free (donations of canned food for The St. Mary’s/Westside Food Bank Alliance)

11. Wicked Ball

The biggest adult Halloween bash around. Party with dancing, a carnival room, an outdoor ultra lounge and EDM music from Cash Cash and Benny Benassi. Plus, win up to $3,500 in the costume contest. 21+ only.

Location: Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale
Hours: 9 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Cost: $50 general, $90 VIP presale; $60 general, $100 at the door

12. Dia de los Muertos Celebration

The Mexican “Day of the Dead” hearkens back to the original All Hallows’ Eve with its focus on honoring the dearly departed. Celebrate at Desert Botanical Garden with music, dance and storytelling about the history and meaning of Dia de los Muertos. A community altar will be on hand so you can leave paper flowers and notes to departed loved ones.

Wander the “Ofrenda” exhibit, which sees local artists create their own altars, or visit El Mercado where artists and vendors will sell artwork and traditional food. Then finish each day with a La Procesión around the garden.

Location: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30
Cost: Free with regular Garden admission ($22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $12 for students (13-18 or college ID) and $10 for children 3 to 12)

13. Halloween in the Hills

Join 40 local businesses and charities for carnival-style game booths, trick or treating, bounce houses, a costume contest, martial arts demos, a Zombie Thriller Dance, a haunted house and plenty more fun.

Location: Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills
Hours: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, October 31
Cost: Free

Want more thing to do Halloween weekend?

Celebrate fall and harvest festival fun at four farms around the Valley.

Visit a scream-worthy haunted house or corn maze and get your heart pumping.

Check out more non-Halloween events.

– Justin Ferris,