September: 10 Top family events in Metro Phoenix and beyond

    Sept. 23-25: Slide Across America at Salt River Fields on the Salt River Reservation east of Scottsdale. Courtesy of Slide Across America.
    Sept. 23-25: Slide Across America at Salt River Fields on the Salt River Reservation east of Scottsdale. Courtesy of Slide Across America.

    From the Coconino County Fair in Flagstaff to a muddy, paint-splattered Messy Fest, September is great month for family fun. Bring a blanket to watch Ballet Under the Stars at area parks or celebrate the arts with free admission to several museums during Museum Day Live! We’re almost to that time of gloriously warm — but not blistering — weather, so get out and enjoy!

    Coconino County Fair. Experience four days of fun at the 67th annual fair. Enjoy community exhibits, fair food, carnival rides, livestock shows and live entertainment nightly. Sept. 2-5. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun. 446 Fort Tuthill Loop, Flagstaff.

    9/11 Heroes Run. Run, volunteer, donate and cheer. The 9/11 Heroes Run 5K + 1M fun run/walk welcomes runners and walkers of all ages to come out to thank Arizona veterans and their families in a fun, friendly environment. 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. Race registration prices vary. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe.

    Fiesta del Tlaquepaque. A celebration of Mexican Independence Day, the 44th annual fiesta  will include the heart-pounding beats of flamenco dancers, lively mariachis and the flanors of Mexico. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. Free. Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, 336 State Route 179, Sedona. 928-282-4838 or

    “Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook.” “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” right? Join feisty Junie B. as she learns important lessons about being yourself and doing the right thing. Sept. 11-Oct. 16; 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m. Sundays. $12-$26. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway.  480-350-2822 or

    Related: Onstage — Family-friendly performances to note in September.

    Messy Fest. Life is too short to play clean. Join the town of Queen Creek at Messy Fest, an outdoor event that guarantees good, messy, family fun. Participate in the mud course, food fights, large-scale finger painting and a mashed-potato tug-of-war. Proceeds from the event will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.  $25 in advance and $35 at the door; $5 for spectators; free for age 3 and younger. Schnepf Farms, 24610 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek.

    Ballet Under the Stars. Ballet Arizona gives the gift of beautiful ballet performed outdoors in parks in Goodyear, Fountain Hills, Phoenix, Tempe and Sun City West. Families can enjoy classical and contemporary dances, complete with a stage, lighting and costumes. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and one Saturday, Sept. 22-30. Free. 602-381-0184 or

    Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastic Champions 2016. Watch members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team perform. Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Nastia Liukun are among the stars expected to perform. VIP tickets include pre-show Olympic Chalk Talk and post-show autographs. 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. $25-$145. Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale.

    Tucson Greek Festival. The Tucson Greek Festival turns 40 this year, and everyone is encouraged to be Greek for a few days. The weekend will be filled with heritage, dancing, hospitality, food and music. Sept. 22-25; 5-10 p.m. Thursday; 3-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Prices vary. 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road. 1-520-888-0505 or

    Slide Across America is a traveling, family-friendly, water party. Enjoy food, drinks, music and the world’s tallest, biggest inflatable water slides. Choose between four sessions Sept. 23-25. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $25; free for age 2 and younger. Salt River Fields, 755 N. Pima Road, Salt River Reservation east of Scottsdale.

    Museum Day Live! This event is hosted by “Smithsonian” magazine and participating museums nationwide open their doors to anyone presenting a printed Museum Day Live! ticket, which gives two people free admission. Participating Arizona museums include: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Heard Museum, Pueblo Grande Museum, Tucson Botanical Gardens and DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. Times vary. Saturday, Sept. 24. Tickets are free; register and download in advance.

    Related: Find all day-by-day events at


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