Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Nightfall in Old Tucson

       Across the great State of Arizona each October there are some pretty incredible places and events where one can go to literally have the bejeebers scared out of you while enjoying the Halloween season.  And certainly, if you really like being scared and entertained, NIGHTFALL at Old Tucson just might be your perfect destination this October - that is, IF YOU DARE!
    NIGHTFALL at Old Tucson is back for its 25th year of haunting, magical and laughter filled shows.  This year’s “scarefest” presents live shows that entertain, amaze and frighten guests of all ages.  Both the family oriented shows, like the amazing Magic of the Macabre,  as well as the adult nerve-challenging experiences, like the walking nightmare of fear known as Fertile Ground,  are offered.
    If you are looking for some really scary experiences, NIGHTFALL offer you the chance to survive the characters of Terror Square,  the perpetual nightmare of Psychomania, the colorful tribute to the Day of the Dead known as the Creepy Crawly Cave and so much more.
    And if you want to spend a little more money, you can encounter the Twisted Circus which features creepy clowns and a town overrun by Zombies or join in the Zombie Shoot and rid the town from the undead terror.
    If you enjoy an old fashion hay ride, just dare to take NIGHTFALL’s Haunted Hay Ride for a trip through the hinterlands of fright.  Yes, all the thrills and excitement of a fabulous “All Hallows’ Evening!”
    It’s October and why not just plan to get out and spend an evening in Tucson and attend all the “happenings” of Nightfall at Old Tucson.  If you do, you will never forget the thrills and chills of this Halloween!  Boo!

Nightfall -

More scary places around Arizona…

    1.  Fear Farm - - near
        Loop 101 and I-10 Exchange

    2.  13th Floor Haunted House - - 2814 W. Bell Road

    3.  Halloween In Phoenix -

    4  Real Haunted Places In Arizona -

    5.  Day of the Dead Celebrations -

All pictures are from Marie Demarals who asked photo credit to be “Nightfall At Old Tucson”

Pumpkin Time

    Two great pumpkin festivals are now beginning in the cool autumn weather of northern Arizona.  The wonderful Mortimer Family Farms in Dewey begin their annual Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 2.  This “A-Maze-ing” farm opens their fields for the whole family to search the 15-acre Pumpkin Patch for that most special orange October gourd. 
    While at the farm, test your directional skills in the challenging 25-acre corn maze.  In addition, the whole family can enjoy the games, tractor pulls, barn dances, hayrides, arts and crafts shows and more that are found on this most special Arizona farm.
    Mortimer Family Farms continues the old and grand traditions of the American farm that once was so common everywhere.  Their Pumpkin Festival each October is a perfect way for every family to discover and share this most time-honored way of making a living.

    “The Train” from Williams, Arizona has certainly carried many famous as well as ordinary Arizona citizens over the steel rails that wind their way through the forests to the Grand Canyon since first opening  in 1901 .  But each October for the past four years when the conductor cries “All Aboard,” some of the most unique yet friendly ghouls, ghosts and goblins now climb into those historic train cars on their way to a secret Arizona Halloween pumpkin patch.  
    The Pumpkin Patch Train of the Grand Canyon Railway begins it fifth year of Halloween festivities during the first three weekends of October.  Those who dare to board this train full of costumed children will travel through the forest for some 40 minutes to a magical patch of pumpkins.
       Upon arriving the friendly ghouls, ghosts and goblins de-board the train and select their very own special Halloween pumpkin.  The pumpkin search lasts some 45 minutes and everyone also has the opportunity to explore the Haunted Train Car and a hay bale maze. 
    Upon returning to the Williams Depot, all passengers get the opportunity to paint/carve their special pumpkin and enjoy a special arts and crafts gallery.  Of course pumpkin pie and other Halloween treats are available for those friendly yet ghastly Halloween passengers.Last year nearly 3,000 passengers enjoyed the ride and the adventures so tickets can be in great demand. 
    So there are two great family-oriented events to kick-off this Halloween season.  Why not getting out and travel with your own group of trick-or-treaters to these two magical pumpkin patch adventures in northern Arizona?  Both will be “spook-tacular!”

Other Family Fun October/Halloween Adventures

    1.     Schnepf Farms, Queen Creek - Pumpkin & Chili Party - five weekends of fun in October -
    2.    Tolmachoff Farms - Glendale - Pumpkin Days & Corn Maze - throughout October -
    3.    Mossther Nature’s Farm - Gilbert - Halloween Pumpkin Patch - New Times Arizona’s Best - throughout October -

Changing Hands

     Bookstores all across America have sadly been closing their doors permanently, victims to the ways of the new digital age for obtaining information and leisure reading.  Yet, one Valley bookstore has successfully bucked that national, closing trend to not only survive but to thrive in this most competitive media world.
    “We strive to be nimble” is how co-owner Cindy Dach summarizes the key to a forty-one years of  business success for Tempe’s historic Changing Hands bookstore.  “We adapt with the times.  As the world changes, we do too!”
    And possibly the most wonderful change for those of us living in the north Valley is the opening of the second Changing Hands Bookstore/First Draft Book Bar on West Camelback Road in Phoenix.  Now we too are only a few miles from all the wonderful children and adult programs and author events along with the many great books and gifts for which the Changing Hands bookstore is known.
    Since 1974 the good people of the Changing Hands bookstore have “worked hard to make every experience a great one inside of our stores.  We concentrate on the community experience” with all the books, programs and gifts offered.
    The new book store/book bar is located in the historic Beefeaters Restaurant building, once a hot-spot of Phoenix nightlife.  The restaurant’s bar still remains now surrounded by bookshelves, gifts and presentation areas.  According to Dach, since the Camelback store is “only 15 months old, we are focusing on making the book bar a really unique experience.  There are less than 10 book bars in the country and we want ours to be a pride for Arizona.”
    The wonderful, yearlong author series, book clubs, workshops, classes and community events offered by the Changing Hands bookstores make for their charming uniqueness.    New York bestselling authors such as Sarah J. Maas, Dav Pilkey and Christopher Moore spoke here this summer, as too did former President Jimmy Carter.  On September 5 Adam Bray and Michael Kogge authors of Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion will do a book signing at the First Draft while featuring Star War themed activities. 
    Recent workshops dealing with comedy writing techniques, writing a mystery thriller, Opera 101, Printing Without A Press and Chanting The Chakras highlight the wide and eclectic offerings found at these two, family-friendly Valley bookstores.
    The Changing Hands bookstores in Tempe and now Phoenix feel like comfortable old time establishments that wisely have adapted to the modern digital age.  Their highly informative website, e-newsletters and community service projects makes for a digital connected establishment while still being a warm, friendly, repository of knowledge.  Go on, take the time to get out and enjoy these two marvelous Valley of the Sun bookstore treasures!  You will be delighted by what you discover!