1. Enchanted Pumpkin Garden (Oct. 20-28). World-renowned pumpkin carver Ray Villafane and his team host live pumpkin-carving demonstrations at the town of Carefree’s annual event with colossal pumpkin photo opportunities, an inflatable corn maze, face-painting, arts and crafts, costume and pie-eating contests.
2. Give Kids a Smile(Oct. 20). Kids can get free dental care — including cleanings, sealants, fillings, or extractions — at Midwestern University-Arizona’s annual event. Families will get information on proper oral health maintenance and disease prevention, and Spanish-speaking faculty, staff, and students will be available. Registration is required.
3. International Archaeology Day (Oct. 20). Celebrate the thrill of discovery at Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix with site tours, hands-on archaeology activities and demonstrations that will have you channeling your inner Indiana Jones. Families can also enjoy lunch from the Yellowman Frybread Foodtruck and a lecture with Dr. Glen Rice about food sharing.
4. Pumpkin Paint-and-Take at Vertuccio Farms (Oct. 20-28). This weekend event includes a pumpkin and paint time with an art teacher; stencils, glitter and paint are provided. Also, see a kid-friendly magic show every weekend at Vertuccio Farms during its Fall Festival. Plus, a seven-acre corn maze, mini golf, pumpkin patch, inflatables, petting zoo, mini zip line, barrel train ride and giant jump pad.
5. Arizona State Fair (Oct. 6-28). For more than 100 years, Arizonans have gathered at this annual event to fill up on fried foods, seek thrill rides and master carnival games. Visit azstatefair.com for details on grandstand events, special exhibits, petting zoos and concerts, including The Wallflowers, 38 Special, Big & Rich and Sesame Street Live!
6. Brick-or-Treat (Oct. 20-31). Enjoy Halloween-themed builds, scavenger hunts, costume contests, prizes and more at Legoland Discovery Center’s Brick-or-Treat event inside Arizona Mills Mall on weekends and on Halloween.
7. Cosmic Playground (Oct. 6-Jan. 13). Learn more about space, our solar system and the universe at the Arizona Science Center’s new “Cosmic Playground” exhibit. Space lovers can climb, slide and explore the galaxy in an interactive play space constructed almost entirely of tape. Lie in a tunnel of stars, climb into a wormhole or slide down a black hole.
8. Electric Desert. Desert Botanical Garden invites families to see the desert in a new way at this light-and-sound experience by Klip Collective. Cacti and desert trees and plants become a living canvas in this nighttime experience of projected lights and original music.
9. Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical (Oct. 12-28). Valley Youth Theatre stages the story of Lily Polkadot, who just moved to a “Squares Only” small town. From daily bullying to the segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest for acceptance seems hopeless until she meets Sky. Inspired by Civil Rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and The Little Rock Nine, Polkadots is a colorful history lesson meant to remind kids (and parents) that our differences make us awesome, not outcasts.
10. I Recycle Phoenix Festival (Oct. 20). Join Keep Phoenix Beautiful, the City of Phoenix and Desert Ridge Marketplace for the semi-annual event behind the AMC Theaters.
11. Care Card week (Oct. 19-28). It’s shopping week for the Board of Visitors Care Card program. Anyone who buys a $60 Care Card will save 20 percent on purchases at more than 500 participating local and national retailers and restaurants — including family favorites such as Kidstop Toys, Pottery Barn, The Container Store, Sauce Pizza and Shake Shack.
12. Childsplay Theatre Academy Open House (Oct. 20). Learn about Childsplay’s collaborative, fun and skill-focused training programs for ages 4-17. Tour classroom space, meet teaching artists and discover the skill-building activities that take place in music and theater classes. Plus popcorn, games and giveaways.
13. Celebrate Mesa (Oct. 20). This family event brings the community together to enjoy games, carnival rides, live entertainment and more at Red Mountain Soccer Complex.
14. Goodyear Ballpark Fall Festival (Oct. 20). The spring-training home of the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds is hosting its fall festival with costume contests, trick-or-treating, a pumpkin patch, inflatables, live entertainment and more.
NEXT WEEK:Markus Zusak at Changing Hands Bookstore (Oct. 22). The Australian author of the international young-adult bestseller “The Book Thief” visits Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe with his new release: “Bridge of Clay.” Five Dunbar brothers bring each other up by their own rules, only to discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.