10 Top family events in October

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    A baloon glow is part of the Salt River Fields Balloon Spooktacular on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29, on the Salt River Reservation near Scottsdale. Photo courtesy of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community.
    A baloon glow is part of the Salt River Fields Balloon Spooktacular on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29, on the Salt River Reservation near Scottsdale. Photo courtesy of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community.

    October always brings my family joy because we know we finally can spend time outside. The summer heat is behind us, and the fair and festival season is picking up steam. Grab a pencil and your calendar, because you’re going to want to take notes. Check out my list of top family-friendly events this month. No babysitter required.

    Iron Man is on display at the Arizona Science Center during its "Alien Worlds & Androids" exhibit.
    Iron Man is on display at the Arizona Science Center during its “Alien Worlds & Androids” exhibit.

    “Alien Worlds & Androids.” Join scientists in their search for alien life in and beyond our solar system. This exhibit brings visitors face-to-face with worlds far beyond our own and introduces the technology that could take us there. Get an up-close look at famous sci-fi robots from movies, including Iron Man, the T-800 from “Terminator” and C3PO from “Star Wars.” 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Monday, Jan. 16. $24; $19 for ages 3-17. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-716-2000 or azscience.org.

    Pumpkin and Chili Party. Every weekend this month, check out the rides, food and festivities at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek during its annual fall festival with hayrides, a petting zoo, roller coaster, corn mazes, marshmallow roasting, fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights, a zip line, live entertainment, pig races and more. Oct. 1-30. 10 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. $18; $15 in advance at Fry’s stores; free admission ages 2 and younger. 24610 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. schnepffarms.com.

    Here you can see a defocused carnival scene with a ferris wheel in the backround
    There’s plenty to do at the Arizona State Fair this month. iStock.

    Arizona State Fair. Make lifelong memories at this annual celebration, which has been held for more than a century. Fill up on fried treats, master your favorite carnival games or seek a thrill on rides that will test your true fear factor. Check the listings for grandstand events, special exhibits, petting zoos and this year’s concert series. Oct. 7-30. Noon to 9 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; noon to 10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. $10; $5 for ages 5-13 and 55 and older. Discounts available online. Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix. 602-252-6771 or azstatefair.com.

    Brick-or-Treat. Build up to Halloween at Legoland Discovery Center on weekends this month. Fall-themed activities include building masks and building your own pumpkin with Legos. Oct. 8-30: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Purchase tickets online to guarantee entry. $17; free admission ages 2 and younger. Legoland Discovery Center Arizona, 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Suite 135, Tempe. 877-526-3960 or legolanddiscoverycenter.com.

    Four Peaks Oktoberfest. Presented by Tempe Sister Cities, the 44th annual Four Peaks Oktoberfest is your one-stop-shop for such German fare as bratwursts with sauerkraut, German potato salad, pretzels and chocolate-covered fruit. Be sure to check out the Landings Credit Union Kinderfest area filled with games and fun activities for kiddos. Friday-Sunday, Oct. 7-9.  $10; free for age 12 and younger. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. tempeoktoberfest.com.

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    Catch a celebration of trains at Rail Fest this month. iStock.

    Rail Fair. All aboard! Celebrate all things choo-choo at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Take a tour of the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car and the Scottsdale Railroad Museum. You also can explore the park’s seldom-seen vintage railroad equipment on display. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 8-9. Free; $2 train and carousel rides. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend, Scottsdale. 480-312-2312 or therailroadpark.com.

    Monster Jam. For the first time ever, Monster Jam adds this fall event, featuring the ultimate collection of massive trucks, demolition, speed, power and stunts. The truck lineup includes Grave Digger, Max-D and Northern Nightmare. 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. $15; $10 for the Party in the Pits Pre-show tickets. University of Phoenix Stadium, 9000 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale. monsterjam.com.

    Arizona Taco Festival. Enter the world of taco-topia, where 40 to 50 restaurants will dish out tacos and beverages at this seventh annual event. The Kids Zone will feature a bungee trampoline, mechanical bull, hamster balls and several other attractions. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 15-16. $15; free for age 12 and younger. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Reservation. aztacofestival.com.

    “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!” Do you love Daniel Tiger? Join the PBS Kids star and all his friends as they hop aboard Trolley and take you on an interactive musical adventure through the world of their much-loved Neighborhood of Make-Believe. 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22. Ticket prices vary. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-379-2800 or danieltigerlive.com.

    Salt River Fields Balloon Spooktacular. Bring the family to a safe, fun-filled trick-or-treating Halloween festival. There will be more than 20 hot-air balloons on display, tethered balloon rides, live music, food, kid zone, petting zoo and a haunted house at this sixth annual event. 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 28-29. $15; $10 for ages 3-12; free for age 2 and younger. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Reservation. srfballoonfestivals.com.

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