Luxury Events 2015

If you’re traveling to the Southeastern Coast to get away from the cold, but also don’t want to lose that holiday feel, then you’re in luck. Arizona has plenty of events going on in the fall and winter, both for the holidays and just for fun. Phoenix Jet Charter knows the best places to stay and the fun things to do while you’re there, and we’ve rounded up the top events going on this year.

October 2015

17th Annual Vertuccio Farms Fall Festival

(Throughout October; Mesa)

A great way to spend some time with the family this month, come to the Vertuccio Farms in Mesa, AZ for their Fall Festival. There is a pumpkin patch, a miniature straw maze, farm animals to feed and pet, and a new jump pad, basically a 200 sq ft bounce house. There will be plenty of fair food – kettle corn, pizza, the usual works. It’s a nice way to spend a day with the kids, and the proceeds will be going towards charities for children.

Tucson Meet Yourself Festival

(October 9th – 11th, 2015; Tucson)

For three days in Tucson, AZ, come and celebrate the diverse ethnic communities with art, dance, music, and more. There will be special exhibits going on throughout the festival, some featuring folk art demonstrations, and others with live performances. If you want a more hands-on experience, there will be art demonstrators and activities for children and families to attend such as: calligraphy, body art, bracelets, and traditional paper arts such as lanterns, origami, and other forms.

43rd Annual Oktoberfest

(October 9th -11th, 2015; Tempe Town Lake)

It’s time for a real October tradition known globally as “Oktoberfest”! It’s usually, predominantly, a German themed event with beer, bratwurst, and strudel, as well as music and dance. However, at this festival, there will also be wines and spirits amongst six beer gardens, and salsa and Southwest foods. There will be games and entertainment to keep the kids busy as well, so it’s a nice way to have fun with family as well as friends. Of course, it wouldn’t be Oktoberfest with non-stop polka dancing. Join in and do a little dance, just for kicks.

55th Annual Greater Phoenix Greek Festival

(October 9th – 11th, 2015)

Going on 55 years, the Phoenix Greek Festival comes back to spice things up this October. Here you can find all things Greek – food, music and dance, culture, even a village market where you can buy some Greek ingredients for your own kitchen. Watch dancers perform folk dances, or join a class; go to the Hellenic Museum and check out the vintage photographs; take a tour of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Whatever you do, don’t skip on the loukoumades, they’re amazing donuts.

59th Annual Fort Verde Days

(October 9th – 11th, 2015; Camp Verde)

Here’s one for you history lovers. For a couple of days in Camp Verde, AZ, you can watch battle re-enactments, live artillery demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, and even an old-times vintage baseball game. What’s even better is that it’s all for free. You can’t put a price on knowledge, and the public is free to learn about what it was like living many years ago. It’s a step into the past, celebrating Camp Verde’s 150th Anniversary.

27th Annual Buckelew Farm Pumpkin Festival & Corn Maze

(October 10th – 31st, 2015; Tucson)

Another way to spend some time with the kids, this time in one of the major cities, is at the 27th Annual Buckelew Farm Pumpkin Festival & Corn Maze. Unlimited wagon rides, 3 corn mazes, a scavenger hunt, and other activities will be going on from mid-late October. It’s only on the weekends though, so keep that in mind if you want to make it a family day. There will also be a couple of things for the adults, such as the beer garden, zombie paintball, a mechanical bull, and on the 17th, there will be a few “terrifying” activities with Halloween coming up.

Arizona State Fair

(October 10th – November 2nd, 2015)

The Arizona State Fair is a huge event that goes on for nearly an entire month. There are exhibits, rides, fair food, concerts, and a lot more going on. There will also be plenty of attractions, all types of crazy things, from mazes and petting zoos to hypnosis shows and an alien encounter exhibit. The interests and types of entertainment range far and wide at this State Fair. It’ll be hard to not find something that piques your interest.

Sedona Arts Festival

(October 10th and 11th, 2015); Sedona)

The Sedona Arts Festival returns for its 25th year, where 125 artists from around the US gather to showcase works in ceramics, glass, photography, jewelry, wood, metal, and other mediums of art. There will also be activities for kids, like face painting and canvas painting. There is an admission fee, which sounds odd, paying to shop, but the festival is actually a fundraiser, where the proceeds go towards scholarships for arts education. To date, nearly $300,000 have been raised, which is a great achievement and should be continued for other aspiring artists.

Arizona Ultimate Women's Expo

(October 10th – 11th, 2015)

Alright, this one’s for the ladies, and it will become very clear why. There will be fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, a tea garden, seminars, a martini and nail bar, complimentary haircuts, massages, facials, makeovers, and shopping at over 500 booths. You can go there and treat yourself, or attend an empowering seminar about personal growth, your career, and other topics. There will also be gourmet tastings and many free beauty samples.

7th Annual Indian Art Market

(October 10th – 11th, 2015; Chandler)

For it’s 7th year in a row, come to Chandler to see some traditional and contemporary Native American artwork. There will be jewelry, ceramics, sculptures, paintings, and more. There will also be native food and live entertainment to enjoy. It’s a two-day event, in collaboration with the Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to young American Indian women. Come and learn a little more about their culture, and/or help a worthy cause.

Arizona Taco Festival

(October 17th & 18th, 2015; Scottsdale)

Do you love tacos? Then we found the event for you. The Arizona Taco Festival is coming to town, with a taco-eating competition and taco celebration. Restaurants will be serving $2 tacos, there will be live music, cooking classes, and of course events dedicated to tequila. People dress ups as Spanish wrestlers with fancy masks, some enter the pet Chihuahua into a dog pageant, and some just want to have a good time.

Terror in the Corn

(October 17th, 2015; Tucson)

Are you ready to get scared? Ever want to know what it would be like in a real Zombie Apocalypse? This event sounds like it may be just the thing. On the 17th, we have two horrifying events going on in Tucson. There will be a Zom-B BBQ, a horror-themed BBQ contest, and the only way to pick the winner is to try the dishes. On the same day, there will be a great way to work up an appetite – Run through the Zombie Dash obstacle course. If you “survive,” you get a prize. There will also be live entertainment during the events.

5th Annual Salt River Fields Balloon Spooktacular

(October 23rd – 24th, 2015)

For two days in late-October, check out a Halloween event like never before. It’s a great time to spend the day with family and friends, especially trick-or-treaters, given the 4,000 pounds of candy being given out. There will also be live musical entertainment, food and beverage, a haunted house, a vendor market, a fireworks show, and a lot more. Plus, there will be tethered hot air balloon rides, something that can make memories for years to come, or just something romantic to share with someone special.

November 2015

Dia de los Muertos and La Procesion

(November 1st – 2nd, 2015; Phoenix)

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is celebrating its 13th year of Dia de los Muertos. Many say it’s a day to honor the dead, some say it’s a time to celebrate their passing to a better world. Traditionally, it’s a two-day long celebration in an effort to help lost souls of the deceased find their way to the light. In Phoenix, AZ, you can learn all about this special holiday. There is music, dancing, storytelling about Dia de los Muertos, and a march throughout the garden that ends with the burning of troubles. There will also be artists and vendors selling painting, photos, sculptures, and pastries.

15th Annual Scottsdale International Film Festival

(November 5th – 9th, 2015; Scottsdale)

The Annual Scottsdale International Film Festival is always a big hit in Arizona amongst some of the other film festivals going on. Over 40 movies will be screened over the course of the festival, all of them highlighting different issues, presenting interesting stories, and covering topics both old and current. Basically, there’s something for everyone here, whether you’re a fan of historical fiction, thriller, drama, or a human rights activist. On the first night, there will be a reception, followed by the opening night film in the Virginia G. Piper Theater.

29th Annual Tucson Celtic Festival and Scottish Highland Games

(November 6th – 8th, 2015; Tucson)

For a party and a festival with the Scottish and those of Celtic tradition, this is the festival to experience. There will be all kinds of activities and entertainment going on for the young and the old – dancing, great food, competitions, and some humor as well. Friday night starts with a Pirate Pub party at Rillito Park with rum tastings, a competition for best legs in a kilt, and games for the kids. Saturday blows up with live performances, both musical and acrobatic, and then Sunday there’s a closing ceremony. It should be an enjoyable weekend for all.

Chiles and Chocolate

(November 6th – 8th, 2015; Phoenix)

At the Desert Botanical Garden, it’s time to taste something sweet and feel the heat. This is something a little different, giving you the chance to taste some gourmet chocolate as well as some zesty sauces. Your tastebuds won’t know what hit them! The best chiles and chocolate vendors will be offering samples of their goods, and of course if you find something you like, you can purchase the full product. There will be a DJ playing some smooth tunes, with performances and dances going on throughout the weekend.

16th Annual River Runner Film Festival

(November 7th, 2015; Flagstaff)

The youth almost never get credit for their personal accomplishments, rarely heralded for personal transformation, and it’s really a shame. Society will one day be made up of these people, and they need to know the changes they make, in themselves and their surroundings, are important. If you share this view, then you may be interested in coming to the Annual River Runner Film Festival, where you can watch films and hear stories of transformation that celebrate the positive power of youth and what they can do, or have done, to better their communities. There will also be a silent auction, food, and fun for all.

Celebration of Basketry and Native Foods Festival

(November 12th – 13th, 2015; Tucson)

For the first time ever, the Celebration of Basketry and Native Foods Festival & Symposium is being made open to the public. This is a festival dedicated to the indigenous people of Arizona, and gathers its people together. There will be cooks and chefs, scholars, artists, farmers, historians, and many others at this festival. There will be workshops, cooking demos and tastings, live musical and dance performances, a film showcase, and even a lunch prepared by guest chefs. Don’t miss this; it’s the first time, but it could be the last.

Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500

(November 12th – 15th, 2015; Phoenix)

For the top racing series of NASCAR, come to Phoenix, AZ to watch which racers will be eliminated and which will go to drive in the finals for the Sprint Cup. This is also a race with a little more heart than usual, with a race on the 14th between rookie and veteran drivers to honor America’s Veterans, tickets starting at $15. For the big NASCAR fans, you can rent an RV at the Geico Gecko Campgrounds and camp out at the Phoenix International Raceway during the race weekend.

11th Annual Certified Local Fall Festival

(November 14th, 2015; Phoenix)

It’s time to celebrate all things Arizona, and that means – food, music, games, and entertainment. This is a free, family-friendly event, and a great way to spend a Saturday. There will be over 100 vendors selling goods from local businesses, some who will be giving away food samples, and food trucks from the best Arizona restaurants will also show up. There will be a beer garden, also free, but there will be mostly tastings going on. There will be live musical entertainment and activities to get the kids involved as well. The main catch here is that to try any samples, you need to purchase “Food Tickets.” Think of it like a carnival where the amount of rides you can go on are limited to the number of tickets you have, but you can always buy more and they’re always cheap.

The 10th Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts (PAPA)

(November 14th, 2015; Phoenix)

This non-motorized parade is one everyone can enjoy. PAPA brings the community together to express oneself in downtown Phoenix every year, and this year being the 10th will commemorate the last ten years of fanfare. You don’t need to register to join the parade, but you have to check in at PAPA Headquarters. Aside from that, you can wear a suit and a cut-out cardboard helmet for all they care while you march alongside everyone else. Following the parade, there will be art, music, food, crafts, and lots of fun scheduled for the remainder of the day. There will also be several live shows and circus performers throughout the day/evening.

32nd Annual Arts & Crafts Fair

(November 21st, 2015; Scottsdale)

There are a lot of free and family-friendly festivals going on in Arizona, and the Annual Arts & Crafts Fair is another way to spend time with the family, find something unique, and let the kids have a blast. At the festival, there will be many vendors selling pottery, jewelry, leatherwork, paintings, clothing, and a lot more – all unique and handmade. For the kids, there will be art activities, and live entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

Pizza Festival

(November 21st, 2015; Phoenix)

Do you like pizza? What am I saying, who doesn’t like pizza? Okay, there are some people out there who don’t, and it’s understandable, it’s not for everyone. However, if you do like pizza, then come to Arizona for the Pizza Festival. Over 2500 people have been known to come to this Pizza Festival, where about 15 pizza makers will be baking cheesy tomato goodness for a great price. Pizzas start at $2 a slice, but you can buy an entire pie for yourself and friends if you wish to share. There will also be craft beer and wine tasting, lawn chair games, desert, live music, and a vendor marketplace to find that unique gift for someone in your life. Come and enjoy yourself with family, friends, whomever.


(November 23rd, 2015 – January 10th, 2015; Phoenix)

Every year the Phoenix Zoo lights up for the holidays, building 3D sculptures to light up the evening. There are millions of lights and hundreds of displays, and an ice sculpting show, all going on throughout the event. For exclusive members, you can go to ZooLights earlier than everyone else, during November 16th – 18th. This Phoenix Zoo event is a tradition and enjoyable show for the whole family, and is one of the largest holiday light shows in the entire country.

Arizona International Auto Show

(November 26th – 29th, 2015; Phoenix)

This auto show isn’t like a car show where classics and vintage cars are put under the spot light. No, this is a car show, where over 500 brand new models of cars, trucks, SUVS, crossovers, and alternative fuel vehicles take the stage – literally. Walk around and check out what’s heading to market soon. Take a test drive and find the car that suits you best. There will be multiple brands and drive centers on site during the show, so you’ll have a chance to see them all.

Ornament Marketplace

(November 27th – 29th, 2015; Phoenix)

Christmas is right around the corner and you know what that means. Time to set up the tree and put up the ornaments. What’s that you say? You don’t have any ornaments? Have no fear, the Ornament Marketplace in Phoenix is here. The shop opens up shop in late-November. Here, you can find a variety of ornaments handcrafted by Native American artists. The ornaments and their art forms also vary, but you’ll be sure to find something you can’t wait to hang from the tree.

Doggie Street Festival

(November 28th, 2015; Phoenix)

Do you love your pet? Do you not have a pet, but want one? At the Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, AZ, there will be a little celebration for animal companions, as well as an adopt-a-thon for dogs and cats. There will be vendors selling pet products and services, vets will be giving tips on keeping your furry friend healthy, and more. This is also an event where you can bring your pet to play, but make sure they’re people friendly, please. Musical entertainment will be provided, there will be an auction, and a kids area.

December 2015

Waterfront Fine Arts & Wine Festival

(December 5th – 7th, 2015; Scottsdale)

Ah, here come the holidays. It’s the time to be merry, very very merry. Now, we’re not saying you have to have a drink to feel that way, but there are festivals that will wet your lips if that’s what you seek. In Downtown Scottsdale, they have a Fine Arts & Wine Festival early on in the month. If you go, you will be surrounded by art, and not just the backdrop of the Scottsdale Waterfront, but paintings, sculptures, and more. Not to mention the accommodations of live music, wine, and chocolate- all forms of art on their own.

6th Annual Holiday Pet Festival

(December 5th, 2015; Scottsdale)

Here we have another great chance to bring home a furry friend. This Holiday Pet Festival has hundreds of animals looking for a great home – if you’ve been thinking about adopting a pet, this could be a great early holiday present. There will also be animal rescue groups, veterinarians, and others who can provide products and advice for how to care for your new pet. This is a free event to attend, so it can’t hurt.

8th Annual Christkindlmarket

(December 5th – 6th, 2015; Phoenix)

It’s that time of year again. Still a little early in the month, but that means plenty of time to still shop if you’re going to the Christkindlmarket. There will be German and Austrian cuisine, along with vendors and local artisans selling children’s toys and ornaments. Get in for free and stroll through the market while listening to traditional Christmas music, and get into the holiday spirit.

Asian Treasures - 20th Annual Arizona Asian Festival

(December 5th – 6th, 2015; Scottsdale)

Here you can find many of the goodies of Asian culture at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. Get a taste of culinary dishes, go to the marketplace to pick up a few items, or stop by a booth for something unique. There will also be cultural performances throughout the event. The overall goal is to create an awareness between Asian Americans and the people of Arizona, and this is a great way to do so.

4th Annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts

(December 11th – 13th, 2015; Phoenix)

It’s time for some fun for the whole family, and this is without a doubt the place to be. Not only will there be plenty of arts vendors, but there will be food trucks, and something for each age group to do. Like the sound of three days of live entertainment? They have a Kidz Korner to keep the little ones occupied. Does a beer and wine garden sound good? They have a milk bar to keep those young bones strong. There’s a lot more going on so don’t miss out.

45th Annual Fourth Avenue Fall Street Fair

(December 11th – 13th, 2015; Tucson)

This isn’t just another art fair where local artisans and vendors can show off their unique items to the public, oh no. Yes, you can make a few purchases if you find something you like, but at this Fall Street Fair, it’s also a bit of a carnival. Musicians and street performers will be there to provide free entertainment, and there will be an art area for kids to enjoy. Come on out in mid-December to enjoy a little fair fun.

37th Annual Las Noches de las Luminarias

(Various Dates in December, 2015; Phoenix)

During multiple days in December, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix lights up with the magic of thousands of luminarias. A luminaria is a small paper lantern, much like the sky lanterns seen on the other side of the world, however they are not left to float up into the air; they instead are used as a light source, and they light up the pathways of the garden for families and friends to stroll through. Listen to the music of talented musicians while you walk, or while enjoying a luminarian-lit dinner. The event lasts for 24 nights throughout December, with 18 open to the general public: the 10th – 13th, 16th – 23rd, and the 26th – 31st.

Arizona Balloon Classic 5th Anniversary

(December 18th – 20th, 2015; Phoenix)

Held at the Fear Farm Sports & Entertainment Complex, 25 hot-air balloons will be let into the skies, secured by tethers, to illuminate many events down below. Take part in a “Hare and Hound” race on the grassy fields, watch the inflation and lift off of the balloons, and watch the “Desert Glow” event where the hot air balloons glow in time to a set of music picked just for this event. On Saturday, the 19th, there will be a fireworks show. On Friday, the 18th, there will also be a showing of the movie “UP” to set the mood. Many other events will be going on, so don’t miss out.

Dog's Day in the Garden

(December 23rd, 2015; Phoenix)

It may sound a little convenient, but if you adopted a furry critter earlier this month, you now have a chance to let them stretch their paws and socialize with a bark. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix will be hosting a “Dog’s Day,” with many vendors of animal products, dog service providers, and other things dog-related. The usual rules apply – dogs on a leash, up-to-date on vaccinations and registrations, and please pick up after your pet. There will also be activities for children and dogs, to keep all of the little ones entertained.