What to Do in Scottsdale in October for Fall Family Fun
Wondering what to do in Scottsdale in October? October is one of the most anticipated months of the entire year in Scottsdale, Arizona. The weather finally takes a turn from the blazing summer heat, and locals and visitors alike flock outside to enjoy the cooler fall temperatures throughout the Valley of the Sun.
October also brings many fall activities and events to Scottsdale and Greater Phoenix. These are just a few of the fun attractions you’ll be able to enjoy when you visit Scottsdale in October!
Peruse a Farmers’ Market
There are many fabulous farmers’ markets throughout Phoenix and Scottsdale, but they usually take a few months off during the summer due to the extreme heat. However, by October, all the farmers’ markets in the Valley are generally back in full swing, making this one of the best things to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning in Scottsdale, AZ!
The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market and North Scottsdale Farmers’ Market are two of the best farmers’ markets in Scottsdale, where you can find products from local farmers, growers, and specialty food producers.
Hit the Hiking Trails in the Sonoran Desert
Scottsdale is located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert and is filled with dozens of fabulous hiking trails. Though it’s usually too hot to hike in the summer, the temperatures begin to cool down by October, making the weather in the mornings and evenings perfect for enjoying outdoor activities on the trails in the Sonoran Desert, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the largest urban preserve in the country and boasts several excellent hiking trails, including the Gateway Loop Trail, Tom’s Thumb Trail, and Lost Dog Wash Trail. Hit one (or more!) of these trails in October to see all the beauty the Sonoran Desert offers on a hike or mountain bike ride!
Camelback Mountain is arguably the most famous place to hike in Greater Phoenix. This daunting mountain offers two trails with steep inclines — Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail — and should only be attempted by experienced hikers on a crisp, cool fall day.
Stroll the Scottsdale ArtWalk
The Scottsdale ArtWalk is a long-standing event hosted by the Scottsdale Gallery Association that takes place in the Old Town Scottsdale Art District every Thursday year-round from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
During this free event, you can visit 100+ art galleries filled with artwork from local and international artists and enjoy outdoor art pieces, live music, and other attractions in Old Town Scottsdale. Though this popular event occurs every Thursday, walking around in the cool, crisp autumn air in October is much more enjoyable than in the hot summer months!
Find the Perfect Pumpkin at MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch
If you want to enjoy traditional fall activities in Scottsdale, head to MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch. During October, this ranch offers tons of family-friendly fall activities, including a petting zoo, a pumpkin patch, a hay bale maze, a train ride, pony rides, and more.
Though MacDonald’s Ranch is the closest pumpkin patch to Scottsdale that offers fall activities and seasonal specialties, if you’re willing to drive, Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party, Vertuccio Farms Fall Festival, and Mortimer Farms Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze are all fun pumpkin patches in Arizona.
Attend the Arizona State Fair
The Arizona State Fair, held in Downtown Phoenix, is one of the best things to do in October in Arizona. The fair runs from the end of September through the end of October and only costs $15 for guests eight and over — children under seven are free!
At the Arizona State Fair, you can enjoy concerts, carnival rides, attractions, and fair food. It’s one of the best ways to kick off the fall season in Scottsdale!
Go Trick or Treating at the Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival
The Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival, hosted at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, is one of the best family-friendly activities in Scottsdale in October. This fun event runs during the last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of October from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to kick off the weekend before Halloween!
During the event, families can participate in spooky costume contests, go trick-or-treating at 20+ hot air balloons from across the country that have been turned into candy “stations,” and even take a ride in a tethered hot air balloon.
Enjoy Outdoor Dining and Shopping in Old Town
Soak up the beautiful fall weather in Scottsdale by walking around Old Town in October. It’s the perfect way to spend a relaxing autumn day — whether you want to check out the area’s local restaurants, boutiques, or art galleries.
You can grab dinner or a cocktail at the best restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale, including The House Brasserie and Diego Pops, go shopping at the local boutiques and shopping malls in the area, like Fashion Square Shopping Mall, or hit the wineries and tasting rooms on the Scottsdale Wine Trail.
Say “Hello” to the Animals at the Phoenix Zoo
To get “close up and personal” with hundreds of exotic and desert animals, you should head to the Phoenix Zoo — one of the best zoos in Arizona — while visiting Scottsdale in October. The cooler weather brings the animals out and about, so you’ll be more likely to see them interacting with each other and their environment.
At the Phoenix Zoo, you can see flamingos, coyotes, jaguars, lions, zebras, sloths, giraffes, toucans, and more. Other fun things to do at the Phoenix Zoo include Harmony Farm (a petting zoo), Giraffe Encounter, Stingray Bay, and Camel Rides.
Stay in a Luxury Vacation Rental from Stay With Style Scottsdale
From outdoor dining and hot air balloon events to pumpkin patches and hiking trails, there is no shortage of fun, family-friendly things to do in Scottsdale in October!
If you’re still looking for somewhere to stay in Scottsdale, AZ, we’d love to host you at one of our stylish, spacious vacation rentals. Our homes have beautifully furnished interiors and resort-style backyards that are perfect for enjoying the fall weather! Please take a look at our Scottsdale properties to find the ideal home for your upcoming stay.