OCTOBER 1 TO OCTOBER 6
“Frozen 2” doesn’t hit theaters until November 22, but you can get your “Do You to Build a Snowman” on early with East Valley Children’s Theatre’s production of the Broadway musical. Adventure through an eternal winter with Anna and Elsa—and resist the urge to sing along to “Let it Go.”
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, times vary, $15
OCTOBER 1 TO OCTOBER 13
A good pair of high-heeled boots can do wonders for a man’s career. When things aren’t looking so hot for Charlie Price’s family shoe business, he meets Lola, a cabaret performer and drag queen, whose out-of-the-box ideas are just what he needs to turn his life around. With music by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Broadway’s legendary Harvey Fierstein, it’s a good time guaranteed.
Phoenix Theatre, 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.254.2151, phoenixtheatre.com, times vary, $71-$121.
It’s a Disney lip sync for your life at the second annual Lip Sync Idol. Watch performers like Ada Vox of “American Idol,” Porkchop of “RuPaul Drag Race” and Glen Campbell’s daughter, Debby, compete for the top prize. Wear your best costumes, and get ready to vote, vote, vote!
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7 p.m., $20-$100.
Big Gay Classic: “Mean Girls”
“On October 3, he asked me what day it was.” Celebrate the most famous day in “Mean Girls” lore with a screening of the cult teen classic that stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Tina Fey. What happens when the nerdy new transfer student befriends the evil mean girl clique The Plastics? Grab a drink, kick back and find out—and wear pink.
FilmBar Phoenix, 815 N. Second Street, Phoenix, 602.595.9187, thefilmbarphx.com, 7 p.m., $14.
Arizona State Fair
OCTOBER 4 TO OCTOBER 27
It’s that time of year! The Arizona State Fair is rolling through Phoenix for three weeks of bright lights, thrilling rides and fried cuisine. From slides and carnival games, to a retro arcade and the first Esports Gaming World, you won’t want to miss a Midway day this season. This year’s concert lineup includes Lee Brice, Billy Currington, Becky G, MC Hammer and Matthew West.
Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 602.252.6771, azstatefair.com, Wednesday to Sunday, times vary, $8-$12 and kids under 4 free.
Gilbert Art Walking Opening Day
As fall rolls in, Arizonans head outdoors! Enjoy the cooling temps with the kick-off of Gilbert Art Walk’s eighth season. The family- and pet-friendly art show hosts an array of media like jewelry, painting and ceramics, as well as live music. Make a morning of it and swing by the Gilbert Farmers Market right across the street! The art walk runs through March on the first and third Saturdays of the year.
Water Town Plaza, 45 W. Page Avenue, Gilbert, gilbertartwalk.com, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., free.
Prepare to be spooked by Phoenix’s checkered past with a guided bus tour by Arizona “hip historian” Marshall Shore. Learn about spirits taking residence at Phoenix haunts—pun intended—like the Clarendon Hotel, the historic Orpheum Theater, and the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park.
The Clarendon Hotel, 401 W. Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, 602.252.7363, bit.ly/2lEaHwK, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., $30.
The Jo Bros are back and bigger than ever! The boys released their highly anticipated comeback album “Happiness Begins” this summer, and their first headlining tour in nearly a decade rolls through Phoenix. Expect to dance all night to your 2000’s faves from “Year 3000” to “Burnin’ Up,” and their first No. 1 hit, “Sucker.” Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw are set to open.
Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2000, talkingstickresortarena.com, 7:30 p.m., $75-$395.
Tour de Fat
In its 20th season, the Tour de Fat bike parade has raised nearly $6 million for local bike nonprofits. Featuring comedians, circus performers and New Belgium beer, the community celebration is not to be missed. The parade runs from 11 a.m. to noon, and the party continues at Tempe Beach Park with performances by bands like Slow Ride, The Stakes and Kolars and a crazy dance contest.
Tempe Town Lake, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, newbelgium.com, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free.
Who doesn’t love donuts? Phoenix’s sweetest festival has arrived with one goal in mind: crown Phoenix’s favorite donut. Sample sugary sweet treats from nearly 10 donut vendors alongside beer and coffee. Admission includes samples, photo booth opportunities, eating contests and a special goody bag.
Helio Basin Brewing Company, 3935 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, 602.354.3525, bit.ly/2lZrRF9, 1 to 5 p.m., $35-$50 and $20 kids/designated driver.
Four Peaks Oktoberfest
OCTOBER 11 TO OCTOBER 13
Break out the lederhosen! Tempe’s festival for all ages is back and it’s time to eat, drink and be merry. The annual event hosts the finest offerings in Four Peaks beers, brats and entertainment with a 5K, Dachshund races, carnivals and kick ball. The packed concert lineup includes performances by Black Bottom Lighters, Instance Classics, Wyves, Banana Gun and, of course, tons of polka!
Tempe Town Lake, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 602.625.3493, fourpeaksoktoberfest.com, times vary, free and VIP $69-$75.
Arizona Taco Festival
OCTOBER 12 AND OCTOBER 13
Nothing brings a community together quite like its love for tacos. This annual AZ fixture has scaled up to WestWorld of Scottsdale where it has elevated the taco-loving experience. Admission includes two days of peace, love and tacos with over 50 vendors, a tequila expo, eating contests, dramatic lucha libre wrestling, and a Chihuahua beauty pageant. New this year is the Holy Hot Sauce Tent with fearful offerings of some of the spiciest sauces known to man.
WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 480.312.6802, aztacofestival.com, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., $10-$220.
Mesa Farmers Market and Flea Market
Every Saturday of the month, Mesa’s newly renovated Pioneer Park plays host to the East Valley’s most unique farmers and flea market. Featuring delicious vegetables, fruit and food offerings, as well as handcrafted goods by some of Phoenix’s most talented creators, the family and pet friendly market is the perfect excuse to spend the day outdoors.
Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main Street, Mesa, mesafarmersmarketandflea.com, 8 a.m. to noon, free.
Arizona State vs. Washington State Football
Football season is in full swing! The Sun Devils haven’t played Washington State since the 2016 season, and haven’t emerged victorious since 2014, but they’ve got home field advantage this time around. Get in on the action and show up early for tailgating, face painting, games and more at Devils on Mill Avenue.
Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E. Veterans Way, Tempe, 480.727.0000, thesundevils.com, time TBA, $25-$295.
“We Will Rock You: The Musical”
Didn’t get your fill of Queen with last year’s “Bohemian Rhapsody?” Worry not! The band’s legendary music comes to life in this glam-rock theatrical production featuring some of its biggest hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Ga Ga” and “We Will Rock You.” With thrilling spectacle and Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor serving as music supervisors, we are indeed the champions.
Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2680, chandlercenter.org, 6:30 p.m., $48-$78.
This 25-year-old singer-songwriter has penned tracks for the likes of Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, P!nk and Justin Bieber, but now it’s her time to shine. She takes her latest EP, a pop confessional about boys, anxiety and growing up called “Inner Monologue Part 2,” on the road alongside a slew of other tracks you know her for, including 2017’s “Issues.”
Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 8 p.m., $25-$55.
The Big Home and Garden Show
OCTOBER 18 TO OCTOBER 20
Holy Martha Stewart! The crafting queen will here for this year’s show to talk about Snoop Dogg, their unlikely friendship and all things home and garden. Plus, you even get to meet her! In addition to a nearly endless line of vendors, this year’s show features DIY terrariums, bath bomb making, demos, and wine tasting.
WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 602.485.1691, maricopacountyhomeshows.com, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, $10 and kids $2.
OCTOBER 18 AND OCTOBER 19
In its lucky 13th year, Arizona’s largest independent horror event is back. The film festival and horror convention features two days of horror movie screenings, meet and greets, panel discussions, workshops and horrific swag. This year’s event reunites Lynn Lowry, Rhonda Fuller and the rest of the “I Drink Your Blood” cast for the cult classic’s 50th anniversary.
Sun Studios of Arizona, 1425 W. 14th Street, Tempe, 602.399.9500, phoenixfearcon.com, times vary, $30-$50.
Mandisa’s Girls Night Live!
This one’s for the girls! Mandisa, of “American Idol” and gospel music fame, hosts a night of female community and empowerment with friends Blanca and Riley Clemmons. Featuring music, humor and worship, it’s all about women’s issues, vulnerability and feeling good.
Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2680, chandlercenter.org, 7 p.m., $18-$75.
Sum 41 has carved out a spot for itself in the world of punk rock with tracks like “Fat Lip,” “In Too Deep,” and “Blood in My Eyes.” The Canadian crew is still going strong, touring in support of their seventh album “Order in Decline.” The band has partnered with PLUS1, and $1 from each ticket goes to support families affected by war across the globe. The Amity Affliction and The Plot in You are set to open.
Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 8 p.m., $33.50-$202.50.
OCTOBER 25 AND OCTOBER 26
Celebrate the spookiest of holidays with the Phoenix Zoo! Whether you’re looking for tricks or for treats, there’s a little something for everyone with scary and merry activities like haunted trails, paranormal displays, character meet-and-greets, trick-or-treating and a haunting “Scare”ousel.
Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, 602.273.1341, phoenixzoo.org, 6 to 10:30 p.m., $12.95.
Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival
OCTOBER 25 AND OCTOBER 26
Who says Halloween has to be scary? This family-friendly festival features over 20 hot air balloons and tethered balloon rides with a special Halloween twist. Festival goers can enjoy a spooky trail, fireworks, plenty of food and drinks and a kids zone. Plus, dress the kids up in costume and trick-or-treat till your heart’s delight with 4000 pounds of candy on hand.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 480.270.5000, bit.ly/2lJ4WxM, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., $10-$15.
Día de los Muertos Festival
OCTOBER 26 AND OCTOBER 27
Mesa Arts Center pulls out all the stops for its annual Day of the Dead celebration. With free admission and parking, visitors can revel in a weekend-long authentic celebration of the Mexican holiday with delicious food, artistic Altars on display, over a dozen cultural performances, and an artisan market. The actual holiday may be October 31 to November 2, but there’s nothing wrong with getting the party started early!
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, free admission.
It’s been five years since this soulful Irish singer-songwriter took us higher with his powerful track “Take Me to Church.” He returned this year with a slightly poppier offering “Wasteland, Baby!” and brings his moody musings and multi-instrument talents to Phoenix for one night. Freya Ridings opens the show.
Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2800, comericatheatre.com, 8 p.m., $35-$59.50.
Nothing says Halloween like “Halloween.” Catch FilmBar’s special Halloween night showing of the 1978 flick that started it all. Haddonfield, Illinois—and Jamie Lee Curtis—have no idea what they’ve got coming when Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to wreak havoc. You’ll want to sleep with the lights on.
FilmBar Phoenix, 815 N. Second Street, Phoenix, 602.595.9187, thefilmbarphx.com, 8 p.m., $9.95