The Hot Sheet | The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ


Where to Get Your Pumpkin Fix in Phoenix

Pumpkin Cream Eclairs from Essence Bakery

Pumpkin Cream Eclairs from Essence Bakery

Although fall temps have officially arrived in Phoenix, locals are often alerted to the start of the season by the appearance of pumpkin flavored food and drinks. Now that we’re well into October, there are plenty of places in Phoenix to get your pumpkin fix.

(Please keep in mind many of these items are seasonal and may or may not be available when you visit. It’s best to call and check first.)

No Comments Read Full Post

Things to do in Phoenix for Halloween 2013

Looking for something spooky to do this Halloween in Phoenix? We've got the lowdown on haunted houses, trick-or-treat events, ghost tours, zombie walks and more things to do in Phoenix for Halloween!

13th Floor Haunted House (Through November 9)
The world famous 13th Floor Haunted House has come to Phoenix! Created by nationally-recognized and award-winning haunted house designers, the 13th Floor will transport you to new levels of horror. Prepare to be terrified by two epic haunted attraction walkthroughs for one all-inclusive price. The 13th Floor is an intense, graphic, theatrical show that will take you on a gut-wrenching ride of visceral thrills and psychological horror. 60,000 square feet of shocking twists and horrifying turns.

Chambers of Fear Haunted House (Through November 2, closed October 21)
Chambers of Fear has been featured on national and local TV, newspapers, and is regarded as one of the top haunted houses in the United States. This year’s haunted house features more than 25,000 square feet of screams, with three spine-chilling attractions; Chambers of Fear, Den of Darkness and the all new Scary Tales-themed attraction Twisted.

Howl-O-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo (October 26- October 27) Haunted attractions include zombies, witches, vampires and other frightening characters hiding around every corner. Sneak through the Fields of Fear and be careful not to awaken what is lurking inside. Test your luck against the creepy clowns of the Monster Midway and dare to enter the Vampire Manor. Enjoy other haunted activities, DJ music and much more. This event is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Howl-O-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo

Howl-O-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo

No Comments Read Full Post

Fall Festivals in Phoenix 2013


Fall is in the air, pumpkins are in our lattes and fun festivals are happening all across town. Here's our roundup of fall festivals in Phoenix:


Pumpkin Days and Corn Maze (October 1 - November 10)

Have an unforgettable fall season at Tolmachoff Farms and experience the ultimate holiday outing where there is something for the whole family: A great big pumpkin patch, six-acre family corn maze (search for pieces of your map as you walk through), mini corn maze, and a haunted corn maze. Other activities include a petting zoo, train ride, hay pyramid, corn box, pedal cart track, jumping pillow and much more.

Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party (Thursdays-Sundays through November 3)

Fun for the whole family on the farm! For the entire month of October (Thursdays-Sundays) Schnepf Farms offers fun fall activities like hay rides, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, pig races and, of course, chili.

CALA Alliance Festival (October 6 - November 5)

The month-long valley-wide celebration allows audiences and participants to  enjoy the artistic, musical and culinary offerings of the regional Latino community through various exhibits, concerts, street fairs and more. Audiences can look forward to a cornucopia of exhibits, performances and cultural activities showcasing the work of top-notch Latino and Latin American artists.

Arizona State Fair (October 11 - November 3)

There will be something for everyone in the family at the Arizona State Fair this year. Numerous food booths will be there to get your carnival cravings. Musical guests Alabama Shakes, Billy Currington, The Wanted, Trace Adkins, ZZ Top and more will be performing. With Native Spirit Dancers, the Great American Petting Zoo, and the Great American Duck Race, there will always be attractions for the family.

Arizona State Fair

Arizona State Fair

No Comments Read Full Post

Día de los Muertos Celebrations in Phoenix

1.1 DDLM_1

Photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden

A colorful tradition celebrated throughout the American Southwest, Latin America and Mexico, Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead,  honors and celebrates departed loved ones in a festival setting.

Here's where you can take part in Día de los Muertos festivities in Phoenix.

Ofrenda - Offering (October 26 - November 4)

Come view Ofrenda installations at the Desert Botanical Garden. The installations are created for this event by local and renowned artists. During this time you can see the interactive altar honoring Día de los Muertos.

The offerings placed on the altar for Dia de los Muertos usually consist of a wash bowl, basin, razors, soap and other items the traveling spirit can use to clean-up after the journey. Pictures of the deceased are also placed on the altar as well as personal belongings for each person and any other offerings the deceased may enjoy. Candles are used to help light the way for the spirits as well as other decorative items such as papel picado (tissue paper cut-outs), wreaths, crosses and flowers.

Día de los Muertos at The Phoenix Symphony (October 27)

Celebrate the Halloween season as Mexico’s Day of The Dead comes to life with The Phoenix Symphony in a Latin flavored performance featuring Mexican Folklore Dance Company, Ballet Folklorico. Sure to be a hit with the entire family, enjoy the color, pageantry and friendly chills, as The Phoenix Symphony both tricks and treats. Come one hour early with children for pre-concert festivities including the instrument petting zoo and crafts celebrating the Halloween season.

Dìa de los Muertos Festival at the Mesa Arts Center (October 27 - 28)

Spirits will connect at the Mesa Arts Center's annual Dìa de los Muertos Festival - a community celebration complete with a community altar, live music and performances.

The Day of The Dead festival will also feature delicious food, a mercado featuring an assortment of Dìa de los Muertos merchandise, jewelry, arts and crafts, children's activities, and more.

CALA Alliance Dìa de los Muertos Festival (October 28)

This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Join the CALA Alliance at Margaret T. Hance Park for the inaugural Día de los Muertos Festival. See Aztec Dancers, La Calaquitas, El Paseo, La Mascarada and Las Coronas, participate in an artist mask-making workshop, march in a colorful procession with eight-foot tall animated puppets, shop the artists' Mercado, listen to live music, enjoy children's craft activities, food and much, much more!

Cuisine and Culture of Día de los Muertos (November 1)

Cuisine and Culture of Día de los Muertos kicks off the Día de los Muertos celebration at the Desert Botanical Garden. An interactive experience, the evening begins with the history of Día de los Muertos presented by multimedia artist Zarco Guerrero. The presentation is then followed by dinner catered by Silvana Salcido Esparza, executive chef/owner of Bario Café.

A cash bar will be available serving wine, beer and margaritas. One complimentary margarita will be served upon arrival.

Día de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life Festival (November 3)

The festival in Chandler features traditional music and dance by local performers, storytelling from SMCC Storytelling Institute, children's activities, folk arts and crafts, ethnic food, the first annual El Katrin / La Katrina contest, community altar, and a candle light procession.

Día de los Muertos, A Celebration of Life through Music (November 3-4)

Commemorate and celebrate your loved ones through music at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM). MIM and the Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix present Día de los Muertos, A Celebration of Life through Music. This weekend-long celebration will feature a variety of musical and dance entertainment and activities related to this important Latin American tradition. The Latin America gallery and the Tree of Life exhibit will be highlighted by MIM docents as well.

Día de los Muertos Fall Festival (November 3 - 4)

Enjoy entertainment that will bring the history of Día de los Muertos to life with song, dance and storytelling. Experience the Desert Botanical Garden's interactive community altar, enjoy delicious food and pastries, and browse through beautiful art and jewelry for purchase in the Garden's Mercado.

La Procesión (November 4)

The festivities of Día de los Muertos at the Desert Botanical Garden will culminate with La Procesión. The ancient indigenous tradition of marching as a community to ancestral burial sites that honors those who have gone before us.

This year, La Procesión has been expanded to progress from Boppart Courtyard to Ullman Terrace where guests can take part in a unique and interactive memorial by placing candles at the triptych, toasting loved ones, and enjoying continued traditional music and dance.

No Comments
Filed under: Events, Fall And Halloween

Things to do in Phoenix for Halloween 2012


Looking for something to do for Halloween in Phoenix? Here's our big spooky list of haunted houses, trick-or-treat events, ghost tours, zombie walks and more. Happy Halloween!

Chambers of Fear Haunted House (September 21- October 31)

Chambers of Fear Haunted House is returning for its third season. It has been featured on national and local TV, newspapers, and is regarded as one of the top haunted houses in the United States. This year’s haunted house features more than 25,000 square feet of screams, with two new additional haunted house attractions, Hillbilly Nightmare, and the Den of Darkness.

Spooktacular Golf (October 1- October 31)

Experience an 18-hole miniature golf course that has undergone a terrifying transformation, through the month of October.

The Gauntlet Haunted House (October 5- October 31)

The Gauntlet is one of Arizona's award-winning haunted houses. The Gauntlet is a terrifying maze full of heart-pounding terror. The multi-level haunted house contains ground-breaking special effects, animatronics and skilled actors. The Gauntlet is not recommended for young children under 13 years old and those with heart conditions.

Vision Gallery: Things That Go Bump in the Night (October 5 – November 3)

Come view an exhibition of artworks that evoke childhood memories of the monsters and mayhem of a child's imagination. Things that Go Bump in the Night are conjured up in visions of mystery created by several regional artists. From the creature that hid beneath your bed, to nightmares of stuffed animals come to life, the exhibit holds a wide array of images that evoke childhood memories of a cold, autumn night. The artworks relay stories and cultural folklore passed down through generations.

Boo! At the Zoo (October 20 – October 21)

Learn about animals that "wear" masks, hide with camouflage, or even apply make-up. Bring a gently-worn costume and swap it with other guests as part of the EEK-O-Friendly Costume Swap. It is a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Watch animals throughout the Zoo enjoy the Pumpkin Stomp and Chomp. Children in costumes can participate in the costume parade each day at 11 a.m. There will also be crafts, games and prizes at Harmony Farm. Intended for ages 7 and under.

Trick or Treat for an Anthem Sweet (October 26)

Little ghosts and goblins (with their parents) are invited to trick-or-treat, door-to-door at Anthem's commercial properties for free from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 26. A map with participating Anthem businesses and locations will be posted online at as the event nears.

Pumpkins at the Peak (October 26)

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort will be transforming its River Ranch into a festive, "spooktacular" carnival where guests and locals are invited to enjoy Halloween treats, family-fun activities and an opportunity to give back to the Phoenix community. Parents and children will find more than 20 activities and craft booths ranging from fortune telling to ring toss. Children are encouraged to dress in costumes. Live music and snack booths will be available

Haunted Full Moon Hike (October 26)

Do you dare venture into the desert on the night of a full moon? Join the frightful fun as you creep through the windy turns of the Stargazer Trail under the light of the full moon (2.2-miles round trip). Dressing in costume is encouraged but not mandatory. Bring a flashlight and wear clothing/costumes that allow you to hike safely on desert terrain.

Howl-O-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo (October 26- October 27)

Haunted attractions include zombies, witches, vampires and other frightening characters hiding around every corner. Sneak through the Fields of Fear and be careful not to awaken what is lurking inside. Test your luck against the creepy clowns of the Monster Midway and dare to enter the Maze of the Mind. Enjoy other haunted activities, DJ music and much more. This event is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Halloween Spooktacular (October 26- October 27)

Bring the whole family to Salt River Fields for the most exciting Halloween event the Valley has ever seen. Over 30 hot air balloons will adorn the night sky while kids go trick-or-treating in a fun and safe environment.

Spooktacular has something for everyone: live music, food and beverage, Kids Zone, vendors market, tethered hot air balloon rides, haunted house and much more.

Zombie Walk and Halloween Festival (October 27)

Before you get decked out for that Halloween party, partake in this growing tradition. The fourth annual Zombie Walk invites participants to get ghoulish and creep and moan their way around Downtown Phoenix. More than 5,000 undead are expected to show up for the walk, which begins and ends at The Heritage and Science Park. Food vendors, fortune tellers and make-up artists will be on hand. After the walk, shuffle over to a beer garden at the Rose and Crown pub.

Mesa Ghost Tour and Historical Walk (October 27)

Guests will be lead above, below and beyond Main Street. Hear firsthand accounts of things that go bump in the night from Mesa business owners. The tour will feature actual accounts of paranormal happenings in some of Mesa's oldest buildings explaining the present-day hauntings. Downtown Mesa's architectural history is also shared. Does Mesa have tunnels? What floats down the stairs in the old territorial jail cells? Do chairs roll, doors slam and can you hear whispers in the dark? Not recommended for young children. Prior registration is required.

Family Halloween Carnival (October 27)

Your family will have a bewitching good time at this free admission event in Tempe featuring live entertainment, costume contests and face painting. Carnival games and food booths will be provided by local civic groups as a fundraiser with tickets sold for those activities.

Halloween Monster Bash (October 27)

Looking for a safe place to take the kids this Halloween? Come out to The Halloween Monster Bash in Peoria. There will be a parade of costumes contest, trick or treating, inflatable activities, carnival games, make-n-take crafts, puppet shows, a fright zone, entertainment and more.

Haunted Halloween Express (October 31)

Why trick-or-treat from door to door when you can ride a train at the Verde Canyon Railroad and still score plenty of candy and prizes? There will be a costume contest held for the kids, and plenty of candy and ghost stories to go around.

Halloween in the Hills (October 31)

There will be a costume contest for dressed pets and pet owners starting at 6:30 p.m. The pet costume contest will be $10 per category and proceeds will benefit a local rescue organization. Immediately following the costume contest businesses will be open for trick or treating, games, pumpkin carving, petting zoo, a spider village, and thriller dancers.

Find more things to do in Phoenix for Halloween on our events calendar.

No Comments

Fall Festivals in Phoenix 2012

It's that time of year again! Everything is pumpkin flavored and there's a festival going on every weekend in Phoenix. Here's our roundup of festivals in Phoenix this fall.


7th Annual Phoenix Old World Oktoberfest (October 5 – 6)

The Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures expands its traditional Old World Phoenix Oktoberfest to two days. Both days the festival features live musical entertainment, dancing, a variety of competitions for all ages, vendors, German cooking and other demonstrations, traditional German food, beer, wine, schnapps, and much more. Saturday also features a free "Kinder Village" children's area with inflatable's, games, contests, and interactive kids' activities.

Rainbows Festival (October 6-7)

The annual Rainbows Festival and Street Fair is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBT community. The event is located in historic Heritage Square Park in downtown Phoenix. Each year, the Rainbows Festival draws a crowd in excess of 25,000 gay and lesbians, family members and friends. This is one of the largest LGBT events in the state of Arizona.

Each year, the Festival Stage at the annual Rainbows Festival is the center of excitement. The stage features local entertainment from noon until 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Herberger Theatre of the Arts Festival (October 6)

The third annual Herberger Theater Festival of the Arts celebrates the arts in downtown Phoenix with a day featuring performances, dance, food vendors, visual art, live music, children's activities, film shorts, pet adoptions, wine tasting, Lunch Time Theater excerpts and more.

Scottsdale Street Fair (October 7)

Come out to the grand re-opening of the 2012-2013 season of the Scottsdale Street Fair. Special appearances for the grand opening include the 2012 Arena Football Champions, the Arizona Rattlers, and Emmy award winning television and radio personality, Pat McMahon.

Live entertainment from local bands will be featured all day as well as a performance from the Baton Boosters. The ALS Association of Arizona is also hosting a registration booth for their upcoming "Walk to Defeat ALS" on October 20th. Local and visiting artists will be showcasing their unique products, art, jewelry and plenty of delicious food.

For Mom and Dad, the fair features a new and improved kid's entertainment zone featuring four bounce houses, hamster balls, a swing ride and zip line.

Arizona State Fair (October 12- November 4)

There will be new and exciting attractions for the 2012 Arizona State Fair and many of the fun attractions will be returning as well. Like the United States Arm-wrestling Championships, Arizona Lottery Backyard, Arizona State Fair 5k and Fun Run/Walk, Figure 8 Racing and so much more. There will be something for everyone in the family. Numerous food booths will be there to get your carnival cravings.

Way Out West Oktoberfest (October 12-14)

Come out and enjoy Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake this year. There will be 15 kinds of German beer, authentic German food, wine gardens, Daschund racing, Kinderfest KidsZone, music and much more.

Greater Phoenix Greek Festival (October 12-14)

Visiting Greece is an affordable stay-cation at the Greater Phoenix Greek Festival with Greek food, music, dancing, jewelry, art, grocery items and activities.

A Wild Western Festival (October 19-21)

Come experience 17 acres of fully restored property, showcasing historic buildings from the famous Bartlett Ranch built in 1886. The perfect setting for Arizona's biggest western family fun event.

There will be gunfights, stunt shows, American Indian dancers, trick horses, magic shows, live music, a kids korral, and much more.

Grand Avenue Festival (October 20 - 21) 

The festival will be a celebration of the vibrant culture, music, fashion, art, history and adaptive re-use of the Lower Grand Avenue Arts and Small Business District and adjoining neighborhoods. The free Historic Commercial Building and Adaptive Reuse Tours, begin at 8 am and continue hourly until 11 am, courtesy of the Phoenix Revitalization Corporation (PRC). Free screenings of "The Greenest Building," shown at the conclusion of the tour are courtesy of Steve Weiss and No Festival Required.

3rd Annual Arizona Taco Festival (October 20-21)

More than 50 teams take up the taco-making challenge as fans sample and savor their creations. Taco competitors are judged by officials of the National Taco Association. The stakes are higher than ever with $10,000 prizes. The event is filled with music, food and fun including, Lucha Libre Wrestling, Boutique Tequila Expo with more than 100 types of tequila, Hot Chili Pepper Eating Contests, Chihuahua Beauty Pageant, Surf Band Music Showcase, Mariachi Contest and more.

Arab-American Festival (October 20 - 21)

The annual festival brings together thousands of Arab and Americans to enjoy the Arab culture and entertainment. More than 35 international singers, dancers and musicians from all over the Arab World perform 20 Hours of live entertainment on stage.

Activities include folklore shows, an international food court, hookah lounge, kid's rides and booth vendors.

Autumnfest 2012 (October 27-28)

Celebrate everything fall while getting an early start on your holiday shopping at this annual event, now in its fifth year. Activities include fine arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment and music, a pumpkin patch, pony, hay and barrel rides, inflatable jump houses, a food court with Rotary beer and wine garden, and carnival rides and games by Frazier Shows Carnival.


St. Sava Serbfest 2012 (November 3 - 4)

Come out and celebrate The Tenth Annual SerbFest. Your admission becomes your passport to experience all of the traditions of Serbia. Be sure to bring your appetite and try delicious homemade Serbian cuisine and pastries. There is also live Serbian music and traditional folk dancing, church tours of a Byzantine style church, a shopping bazaar which includes religious, cultural and ethnic items, and a Kids Zone where kids can play all day. All proceeds will benefit the Child Crisis Center.

Cook Phoenix (November 4)

Cook is a chance to sample culinary creations from many of Phoenix's finest restaurants, and vote on your favorite restaurant while enjoying live entertainment, a festive atmosphere and live cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Cook raises funds to help fund HRC's efforts to ensure a nation where every citizen is treated equally, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Fountain Hills Festival of Arts and Crafts (November 9-11)

The Fountain Hills Festival of Arts and Crafts features nearly 500 artists, artisans and gourmet food provisioners. Over 200,000 visitors are attracted to this event to do their holiday shopping, purchase art and enjoy good food and live entertainment.

Many of the artists in this fair offer unique holiday themed ornaments that have become family tradition. Enjoy live music, abundant breakfast and lunch selections in shaded seating areas make this a great way to spend the day in Fountain Hills.

Veterans Tribute Ride and Family Festival 2012 (November 10)

The Veterans Tribute Ride honors our armed services and veterans. Funds from the ride will benefit the Arizona National Guard and USO Arizona. The free family festival brings our community together in a day of remembrance and celebration for their service

8th Annual Certified Local Fall Festival (November 10)

Voted Best Free Festival in 2011’s New Times Best of Phoenix awards, this family-friendly festival has a street fair atmosphere and has drawn upwards of 5,000 attendees in past years. The event is open to the public and will offer a variety of local businesses, restaurants, food trucks, live music and children’s activities. The event historically has been a great place to get a jump start on holiday shopping, while attendees can enjoy some of the valley’s best restaurants, breweries and wineries.

Artfest of Scottsdale (November 17-18)

The annual ArtFest of Scottsdale is one of the valley’s most popular holiday traditions. Downtown Scottsdale features 200 artists from across the country where you can find that one of a kind gift just in time for the holidays. Visitors will enjoy fine art, fine crafts, local authors (located in the "Book Street" section), live music throughout the festival, taste tempting foods in a beautiful sculpture garden setting. Other amenities include hands on kids activities, Scottsdale art museum, great restaurants, plenty of close parking and unique shops.

The Festival at the Farm (November 17)

This fall visit The Farm at South Mountain to meet Arizona's local grape farmers and wine producers while learning wine production and tasting various wines. Over 20 of Arizona's top wine growers will be featuring their finest wines and creations. Participate in the educational wine seminars to get the full experience.

American Indian Heritage Festival (November 17)

Experience the music, art, culture, food, traditions, and innovations of Arizona's American Indians. Enjoy activities for the whole family such as live music, entertainment, traditional foods, art demonstrations, crafts, guided hikes and more.

Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts (November 30- Dec 2)

The Tempe Festival of the Arts consistently ranks among the Top 20 art festivals in the nation by Sunshine Artist and has received the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association. The fall event attracts nearly 250,000 visitors to the Mill Avenue District over the course of a 3-day weekend.

While the Tempe Festival of the Arts primarily focuses on art and the artists that create it, there are also a wide variety of other activities for guests to enjoy. Live entertainment stages provide musical entertainment for festival-goers. Performances by a number of well-known local musicians keep audiences in high spirits throughout the day. In addition to the scheduled entertainment, street performers, vendors, sponsor exhibits and entertainment booths are set up for the amusement of Festival visitors.


No Comments