We think most people would agree, fall is truly the best time of year in Scottsdale. The nights start cooling off while the days are still pleasantly warm, making it such a fun time to enjoy the city and celebrate the season.
With the start of autumn, the city comes to life with a plethora of fall activities to add to your calendar. It’s hard to narrow it down, but keep reading for our list of five must-do fall activities in the Valley for 2022.
Enjoy the Arizona State Fair
One of the most quintessentially fall activities you can participate in during the month of October is visiting the Arizona State Fair. Visiting the state fair is a great annual tradition you can start this year, as it celebrates all things Arizona in a family-friendly setting.
Little kids will love the petting zoo and opportunity to play carnival games, while the adults will love the carnival rides and live music! Visit the Arizona State Fair website to check out their line up of live music, which offers different artists performing all month long.
Everyone knows the best part of any fair is the food! Everybody in your group will be delighted to pick something fun to try from the extensive fair food finder menu, with everything from bacon wrapped turkey legs to funnel cakes and snow cones. The new specialty item for 2022 is the Captain Crunch Churro!
The State Fair takes place until October 30th, 2022, giving you several weeks to fit in a visit during the fall season. The fair is open starting at noon Thursday-Sunday, and closing time is typically at 11 pm. Tickets for anyone eight and older cost $15 and it is free for kids under seven. We advise buying your tickets in advance before you arrive to avoid paying service fees and skipping the long admission line when you get to the fair, so that you can go straight to the fun!
Visit a Local Pumpkin Patch
One of the most time-honored traditions during the fall season is going to a pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins to bring home. Whether you go home and carve them, or use them to decorate your front porch, hand picking your pumpkins from a patch is way more fun than buying them at your local grocery store.
A visit to a pumpkin path is fun with kids, or if you are looking for a cute date night activity. This gives you an opportunity to get dressed up in fall clothes and take some great themed photos as well!
Many of the pumpkin patches in the Phoenix area offer other fun activities in addition to the pumpkins, such as corn mazes, hayrides, and fall carnival games.
One of the most festive spots is Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert. The admission cost is $12 a person, and it includes access to the pumpkin patch, a hayride, a maze, and an opportunity to play with petting zoo animals. They are open every day from 9 am – 9 pm until Halloween, so plan your visit now!
Watch the Leaves Change
As you probably know, Scottsdale and its surrounding neighborhoods are all in the middle of a desert, so there are not many local opportunities to see fall foliage in your own backyard. However, one of the many perks of living in the state of Arizona is that if you drive a few hours north, you can be in a totally different climate where the leaves do change in the fall!
Flagstaff is one of the best cities in the state to visit for incredible fall foliage during the month of October. You are guaranteed to see some amazing fall colors whether you choose to do a driving tour of the area, or stop to walk around town.
If you want to see fall colors but don’t have time to drive very far, the closest spot you can visit is the town of Payson. It’s only an hour and half drive away from Phoenix, and during the fall season you will get to witness some beautiful cottonwood and aspen leaves changing color.
One tip is to do a little research online to see when the peak fall foliage is predicted to be in the town you want to visit before you drive up north to get the most out of your leaf peeping experience!
Get Active Outside
The simplest way to enjoy the fall weather in Scottsdale this year? Get outside and appreciate those sunny cooler days! As the temperatures begin to drop, the rattlesnakes go into hibernation, making fall the best hiking and mountain biking season in the Valley. Make a date with a friend or family member to get out there and hike a trail you have always wanted to explore. Some of our favorites include Piestewa Peak, Gateway Loop, and the entire Tom Thumb trailhead.
You can also try your hand at a more adventurous form of outdoor activity by planning a horseback riding trip or going on a four wheeler ride through the Sonoran desert!
Another way to soak in the fall weather in the Valley is to become one with the birds and go for a hot air balloon ride! Thanks to the almost constant sunny weather, Scottsdale has a lot more flyable hot air balloons than many other destinations. What is more special than floating over the gorgeous mountain peaks, watching the sun rise with someone you love? It’s sure to get you in a festive fall spirit. Check out Hot Air Expeditions for additional information on pricing and hot air balloon availability.
See a Live Music Performance
While there’s never a bad time of year to attend live music performances, they are even more fun to attend on a crisp fall evening. There is no shortage of live music events happening around the Valley during the next few months, with musicians touring in the Valley from every type of genre.
If you like country music, Zac Brown Band is coming to Chase Field on November 19th. If you want to experience an outdoor concert, consider seeing one of the concerts coming to Ak-Chin Pavilion in the next few weeks, like Stevie Nicks on or The Black Keys. Ak-Chin Pavilion is the Valley’s premiere outdoor concert venue, with great views of the surrounding desert and an expansive general admission lawn.
If you’re looking for a more low-key and budget-friendly alternative, Kierland Commons is hosting an October Concert series every Saturday during the month from 5-7 pm. Each artist will be from a different musical genre, but you can bet all of them will have you tapping your toes and singing along!
Get excited to make lasting memories in the beautiful fall weather in Scottsdale. From enjoying the outdoors, watching the leaves change, to participating in fall activities, there’s something to do every weekend for the next few months!