What Do You Do for Halloween? | A 2012 look at the Different Ways to Celebrate

“Hello Kitty”, “Rapunzel”, and “Peanut Big Top” Halloween 2011

When I was a kid, it was my favorite most talked about, anticipated part of October – Halloween.  It was such a fun time to get together with friends, carve pumpkins, and “trick or treat” throughout our neighborhoods.  I remember emptying treat bags onto the family room floor and comparing the “loot” with each of my brothers.  Negotiating trades, eating way too much candy, and staying up late became part of the anticipated annual tradition.

Fast forward 20 some-odd years and I find myself in the place of establishing my own family views and traditions for Halloween.  With the emergence of Harvest Festivals, Fall Carnivals, Fairs and the like, it seems there are more options than the traditional neighborhood haunt.  I’ve even found Halloween and trick-or-treating to be a kind of controversy in mom community.  Some stick to the Harvest Festival at a local nearby church or community center, some avoid it all together – choosing not to participate in any of it.  Others continue the traditions of their (and my) childhood knocking on neighbors doors in the hopes of their favorite treat and still others start new traditions of neighborhood bbq’s.

So as this Halloween day approaches, I have found myself curious as to what YOU do for Halloween?  What’s your favorite way to {or not to} celebrate this fall holiday?


Curious what we do (at least right now)?  We do a little of it all.  We love hitting up the {very big} Highlands Harvest Festival in North Scottsdale the weekend before Halloween but also enjoy spending the evening with our friends and neighbors ringing door bells with chorus’s of “trick-or-treat”.  That’s where you’ll find us this year 🙂


  1. Hi! I came across your web site in a google search and would love to get some ideas for Halloween. My family is stuck in the Phoenix area for a few days (a great place to be stranded!) – we live in Boston and were on vacation in Mexico but were rerouted, canceled and rerouted again due to the Hurricane back east and are now spending a few days in Scottsdale! We’ve been here before but not with toddlers… we have a 3.5 year old and 1.5 year old. Sadly, the costumes I made are back home, but I am going to try to find some maybe on consignment that they can sport. I am wondering if you can recommend a place for the kids to trick or treat or a festival to attend? I found one at the El Dorado park but my kids go to bed early so am not sure they’ll last that long. We might hit the zoo early today too – it seems like a great kids’ zoo! Any recommendations you might have would be very appreciative!
    Happy Halloween!

    • Oh goodness! Sorry to hear about your travel woes and definitely sending prayers to everyone on the east coast…but happy that you get to enjoy our fabulous weather in the mean time!

      For costumes – check out Hissyfits. They are a great little consignment shop and even if running low on costume selection, they have a great selection of other stuff and they are the place to get you hooked up for very reasonable prices. There are two locations – central phx and south scottsdale.

      Definitely hit the zoo – if you are not there already! For tonight – I’m not sure where in the valley you are staying, but many churches are having “harvest festivals”. As you said, El Dorado is having one as well. Many of these are just open and come as you want. We went to one on Saturday night and just stayed an hour and my kids still had a blast and created a fun memory. You can also pick a neighborhood – and just do some plain-old trick or treating. If you would like to post where you are, I can give you some more helpful information. I would hate to send you running all over the valley 🙂

      I hope you and your family enjoy your unexpected visit here!

  2. Desert springs Bible Church has a neighborhood block party with bouncers, petting zoo, trunk or treat and more! It’s off Tatum and Paradise Lane. 🙂

  3. Thank you! I so greatly appreciate it. We decided to do the zoo tomorrow and do some halloween things today, My 1 year old couldn’t hang past 10 this morning (we’ve been running him ragged!) so he’s napping already. Of course he’ll wake up and my 3 year old will be ready to sleep… but maybe enough to last until the festivals tonight! Thank you again! We may venture into a neighborhood to go door to door, but it’s a little daunting when we don’t know the neighbors. We’re staying near N. Scottsdale Rd & McDonald. Hilton Village I think is the area we’re in/near.

    • Oh I so know what you mean about naps! I have a couple kids in the same age range and I feel like the only time to do stuff is 12-2pm!

      Actually, you are in a great location for some plain old trick-or-treating. Just to your east is Hayden Rd. and a wonderful Scottsdale community called McCormick Ranch. Any of the streets off Hayden that head to the east will be wonderful for a Halloween adventure and kid friendly.

      If you want to try out a farm – animals, hay rides, etc, McDonalds Ranch is in North Scottsdale (take the Loop 101 North to Scottsdale Rd). They are open to 6pm tonight so that may help with an earlier evening for you.

      I hope you find something fun to do tonight! I also hope this unexpected adventure turns into great family memories. Blessings!


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