I consider the 2 most perfect months here in Scottsdale to be October and March. The weather is truly perfect, not too hot and not too cold. It is the reason we live here…for the weather in these 2 months. Now, this is not to say that September, November, February and April aren’t pretty damn near perfect. And December and January are nice but can be a little cold (by Arizona standards).
When I moved out here, I really made a promise to myself to do Arizona type things and take advantage of this spectacular weather. I went to Ballet Under the Stars (a fantastic experience if you like the Ballet), tubing down the Salt River and eating on the patio as often as possible. The Arizona State Fair is 3 weeks in October/November and there is always lots of great BBQ and good musical acts. It’s all good and life doesn’t get any better than this.
This is the perfect time to come out and visit this beautiful state. There are many outdoor fairs and festivals and of course, there is always lots of golf…spectacular golf.
Come out to Arizona and spend some time here.
Here are some ideas for things to do and festivals to enjoy:
9-11: Arizona Dance Festival: Individual dancers and a variety of dance troupes, from emerging to professional perform. Guests include Conder Dance and Desert Dance Theatre. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. FREE. 480-962-4584, desertdancetheatre.org.
9-11: Greater Phoenix Greek Festival: Food, wines, pastries, a village market, art, music, jewelry and Greek dancing. James A. Speros Community Center, 1973 E. Maryland Ave., Phoenix. $2. 602-264-7863, holytrinityphx.org.
9-10: Route 66 Cultural Heritage Days: Route 66 photo-journal exhibit, Taste of Williams. Downtown Williams. $25-$30. 928-635-4451, williamsarizona.gov.
9-11: Tucson Film and Music Festival: A celebration of the work of independent filmmakers and musicians of the Southwest with music and featured films. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. $40. 520-622-8848, tucsonfilmandmusicfestival.com.
10: Fly-in and Classic Car Show: Static air show, aerobatic exhibit and pancake breakfast. Wickenburg Municipal Airport, 3420 W. Wickenburg Way. FREE. 928-684-6579, outwickenburgway.com.
10-11: Italian Street Painting Festival: SanTan Village, 2361 S. SanTan Village Parkway, Gilbert. FREE. 480-898-0228, shopsantanvillage.com.
10: Tour de Fat: New Belgium beer, parade, costumes, live entertainment, bike showcases and vendors. Tempe Town Lake, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $5 for beer tokens. 480-350-8625, newbelgium.com.
10: Fiesta Glendale: Hispanic music, dances, food, crafts, fine art and a fiestas patrias ceremony. Downtown Glendale. FREE. 623-930-2299, glendaleaz.com.
10: Phoenix Old World Oktoberfest: Beer garden, Bavarian bands, German food, dancing and contests. Margaret T. Hance Park 1134 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $5; free for age 12 and younger. 602-534-2406, phoenixoktoberfest.com.
10-11: Railfair: Railroad displays, demonstrations and concessions. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. $2 train rides; $1 carousel rides; free for age 3 and younger with adult. 480-312-2312, therailroadpark.com.
10-11: FallFest in the Park Arts & Crafts Show: Holiday arts, crafts and vendors. Montezuma and Gurley streets, Prescott. FREE. 928-445-2000, prescott.org.
16-Nov. 8: Arizona State Fair: Live music, home arts, booth games, livestock, rides and food. Closed Mondays. State fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, Phoenix. $6-$12; free for age 5 and younger. $7 lot parking. 602-258-6711, azstatefair.com. | Live music: State Fair lineup
17-18: Fall Plant Sale Festival: A variety of arid-adapted plants are for sale. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. FREE. 480-941-1225, dbg.org.
17: Community Street Faire: Clowns, pony rides, dunk tank and a rock-climbing wall. Resurrection Lutheran Church, 4930 E. Greenway Road, Scottsdale. FREE. 602-971-7979, rlc-scottsdale.org.
17: Third Annual Harvest Festival: Food, cornhusk dolls, face painting, live music and sale of arts, crafts and antiques. The Rosson House features the “Mourning in Victorian Times” exhibit. Rosson House Museum, 115 N. Sixth St., Phoenix. FREE. 602-262-5071, rossonhousemuseum.org.
22-29: The Great Pumpkin Festival: Hayrides, pumpkin patch, hay-bale maze, petting zoo and country music. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. $2-$17; free for age 3 and younger. 480-941-1225, dbg.org.
22: Black Crowes: Band performs hit songs such as “She Talks to Angels,” “Jealous Again” and “Hard to Handle.” State fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, Phoenix. $15 reserved seating. 602-258-6711, azstatefair.com.
23-24: Mesa Storytelling Festival: Vendors, live music and storytelling by Bobby Norfolk, Motoko, Mary Gay Ducey and Dovie Thomason. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $15 per day; FREE on Saturday. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com.
23-25: Taste of Greece: Three-day festival features Greek cuisine, live entertainment, folk dancing, games, activities and raffle prizes. $5 or 5 for $20 for raffle tickets. St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church, 10320 N. 84th Ave., Peoria. $2; free for age 11 and younger, military and students with ID. 623-486-8665, peoriagreekfest.com.
23-25: Tucson Bluegrass Festival: Workshops, contests and music from the Gibson Brothers, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, Goldwing Express, the Brombies, the Headline Bluegrass Band and Jam Pak. Desert Diamond Casino, 7350 S. Nogales Highway, Tohono O’odham Reservation. $30 for weekend pass; $20 Saturday and Sunday; FREE Friday night and for age 16 and younger. 520-294-7777, desertbluegrass.org.
23-25: Fine Art and Craft Show: Southwestern decorative and handcrafted art. Frontier Town, 6245 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek. FREE. 602-789-7222, dixiegreenpromotions.com.
23-25: Mesa Powwow: Intertribal Native American gathering and dance competition. Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main St. FREE. 602-799-0260, cityofmesa.org/parksrec.
24: World Water Day Festival: Hands-on water-related activities, presentations, magic tricks, recycling games and hiking. Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, 2439 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. FREE. 602-262-6863 or 602-262-6713, phoenix.gov/riosalado.
24-25: Anthem Autumnfest: Arts and crafts, food, kids zone and dance performances. Anthem Community Park Amphitheater, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway. FREE. 623-742-6050, onlineatanthem.com.
24: Gilbert Family Halloween Carnival: Frankenstein’s Fishing Hole, ghost bingo, pumpkin decorating, inflatable bounces and slides, food and beverages, and live entertainment. Freestone Park, 1045 E. Juniper Ave, Gilbert. $4; free for age 3 and younger. 480-503-6200, ci.gilbert.az.us.
24-Nov. 1: Sedona Plein Air Festival: Live open-air painting sessions, demonstrations, workshops, guest speakers, a public exhibition and art sale of work from Sedona plein-air painters. L’Auberge de Sedona, 301 L’Auberge Lane. Prices vary. 928-282-1661, lauberge.com.
31: The Arizona Irish Festival: Irish music, dance performances, food and live entertainment. Halloween costumes encouraged. Irish Cultural Center 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $10; $1 for ages 6-12; free for age 5 and younger. 602-258-0109, azirishfestival.org.
31: Trunk or Treat Festival: Trick-or-treating out of car trunks, bone garden, phantom fun house and canine-costume contest. Desert Mountain Park, 22201 S. Hawes Road, Queen Creek. FREE. 480-358-3700, queencreek.org.
1: Great Cajun Cookoff and Food Fest: Amateur Cajun gumbo and jambalaya cooking contest, samples, and live music. Historic Heritage Square, 115 N. Sixth St., Phoenix. $25-$40. 602-262-5071, greatcajuncookoff.com.
1: Knock Out Parkinson’s Jazz and Blues Festival: Live music, buffet and silent auction. Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 N. Scottsdale Road. $75. 480-595-6890, parkinsonaz.org.
5-8: Arizona Classic Jazz Festival: U.S. and European bands perform. Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort, 1 San Marcos Place, Chandler. $35-$95. 480-620-3941, azclassicjazz.org.
6-8: Fine Art and Wine Festival: Wine, live entertainment and crafts from more than 160 artists. Carefree Town Center Amphitheater, 101 Easy St. $3; free parking. 480-837-5637, thunderbirdartists.com.
6-8: Tucson Celtic Festival: Beer garden, jumping castles, crafts, storytelling, petting zoo, life-size board game, Celtic dancing and food, historical re-enactments, sheepherding demonstrations, bagpipe bands, and athletic and musical competitions. Rillito Raceway Park, 4502 N. First Ave. $5-$12. 520-807-9509, tucsoncelticfestival.org.
7-8: Litchfield Park Festival of the Arts: The 39th year of the Litchfield Park Festival of the Arts features music, artists, wine tasting, and a book and antique sale. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Downtown Litchfield Park. FREE. litchfield-park.org.
14-15: Chiles and Chocolate Festival: Chocolate and salsas samples, cooking demonstrations, dance instruction, children’s activities, music and vendors. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. $5-$15. 480-941-1225, dbg.org.
14: Phoenix Faerie Festival: Crafts, fantasy artists, authors, music, dance performances, live performance theater, storytelling and masquerade ball. Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear. $10. 623-932-3811, westerngatesfaerierealms.com.
20-22: Thunderbird Artists Fine Art and Wine Festival: Wine tastings, live music and art displays, boutiques and specialty stores. CityCenter at CityNorth, 5515 E. Deer Valley Drive, Phoenix. $3. 480-837-5637, thunderbirdartists.com.
27-28: Glendale Glitters: 1.5 million lights illuminate 12 blocks of downtown Glendale. Entertainment, food booths, handcrafted holiday gifts, children’s winter wonderland, horse-drawn-carriage rides, shopping and visits with Santa Claus. 5-10 p.m. Downtown Glendale. FREE. 623-930-2299, glendaleaz.com.
3-30: Las Noches de las Luminarias 2009: Each year during the holiday season the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix lines the paths of this extraordinary desert garden with thousands of luminarias for Las Noches de las Luminarias. Combine the evening desert glow, with the unique environment of the Desert Botanical Garden, entertainment, food, wine, and snacks, and Las Noches de las Luminarias is an event that you won’t want to miss. 480-941-1225, dbg.org.
4-6: Tempe Festival of the Arts: Art, gifts, hands-on kids activities, food and entertainment. Mill Avenue District, Mill Avenue and University Drive. FREE. 480-355-6075, tempefestivalofthearts.com.
12-13: Holiday Art and Music Festival: Live entertainment, art, kids activities, food and artist demonstrations in glassblowing, metals and ceramics. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. FREE. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com.