[vc_custom_heading text=”2019 November Family Events” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:50px|text_align:center” use_theme_fonts=”yes”]

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Local First Arizona Fall Fest (Nov. 2).
From interactive art exhibits to outdoor festivals, storytimes to the start of holiday lights, there is no shortage of activities in the Valley this month. Some of the events we’re excited about: history reenactments, author appearances and fall festivals and anything that exposes children to the arts. NOTE: Because last-minute schedule changes can occur, please confirm dates and times on event websites. Find more extensive day-by-day event listings at raisingarizonakids.com/calendar

Nov. 1

An Evening with R.L. Stine. The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Phoenix Fan Fusion, Changing Hands Bookstore and Burton Barr Central Library present a talk with iconic children’s horror author R.L. Stine of the “Goosebumps” series at Burton Barr Central Library.

Nov. 1-Dec. 29

Candytopia. A family-friendly interactive art installation celebrating everything candy, Candytopia in Scottsdale features more than a dozen curated and crafted rooms, including a pool with 300,000 marshmallows.

Nov. 1-3

Rebels and Redcoats Encampment. Experience the battles and interesting details of the Revolutionary War during this weekend-long reenactment at Pioneer Living History Museum in Phoenix. Who knows, you just might bump into George Washington!
Tempe Book Festival (Nov. 2) brings together local authors, publishers and booksellers.

Nov. 2

Tempe Book Festival. Tempe’s annual event is intended to celebrate reading, writing and a love of books. The day brings together local authors, publishers and booksellers and offers panel discussions, youth activities and more at Tempe Public Library. Local First Arizona Fall Fest. Explore the 15th annual Local First Arizona Fall Fest with more than 40 food trucks and restaurants sampling local food, a kid zone with games, crafts and activities, three stages of live entertainment, a beer and wine garden and more. Costume Storytime: Where the Wild Things Are. Listen to Sendak’s classic tale, “Where the Wild Things Are,” meet Wild Thing and get a picture taken at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. Fashion Week for Kids. This weeklong annual event culminates with a full day of fashion shows, live entertainment, games, interactive activities and special retail discounts. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. fw4kids.com Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair. This local gift fair at Tempe High School sells unique gifts and handcrafted goods and benefits the Suzy Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing hope, help and support to families with special needs individuals.
Día de los Muertos (Nov. 2-3) at Desert Botanical Garden. Photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden.

Nov. 2-3

Día de los Muertos. Honor departed loved ones at the Desert Botanical Garden’s two-day traditional Día de los Muertos festival featuring music, dancing and storytelling. Experience the Ofrenda exhibition, authentic Mexican food, a mercado and activities. Shemer Arizona Arts Festival. Kick off holiday shopping at this festival to benefit the nonprofit Shemer Art Center in Arcadia. Shop dozens of Arizona artists’ one-of-a-kind works and see glass-blowing, flame-throwing and pottery demonstrations plus children’s art activities, live music, food and a silent auction.
Legends of Speed
The Phoenix Art Museum’s “Legends of Speed” exhibit (Nov. 3-March 15).

Nov. 3-March 15

Legends of Speed. Phoenix Art Museum’s first race car exhibit features more than 20 legendary cars driven by some of the greatest drivers in history. Iconic race-winning cars by Maserati, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Ford and more will be on display.

Nov. 7

Talking to Children about the Bad, the Ugly, and the Inevitable. Understanding societal ills such as oppression (racism, ageism, ableism, sexism), illness, violence, war and death can be difficult. It’s even more challenging when adults have to explain these tough topics to children. This event navigates these potentially difficult conversations at the ASU Poly campus. Noche para los Niños. This one-night benefit is for Kids in Focus, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering and equipping at-risk kids to shift from surviving to thriving through the restorative power of photography. The event features live music and experiential acts including contortionists, jugglers, stilt walkers, tarot card readers and other performers at Papago Park’s Arizona Heritage Center.

Nov. 8

Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown Storytime and Meet & Greet. Queer Eye star Karamo Brown and his son Jason “Rachel” Brown will present their picture book, “I Am Perfectly Designed” at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe.

Nov. 8-9

Chuck Wagon Cook-Off. Authentic 1880s chuck wagons from around the Southwest compete to cook the best meals using slow-cook, wood-fire methods of old. See which teams win prizes and get a taste of the Old West with a unique five-course meal from competitors at Tumbleweed Ranch in Chandler’s Tumbleweed Park.

Nov. 8-10

Chiles and Chocolate Festival. Enjoy a sweet and spicy weekend at the Desert Botanical Garden. Snack on samples from Arizona’s top chile and chocolate vendors, plus live performances of Brazilian, Caribbean and Latin music and dance. Wild West Days. Enjoy one of Arizona’s largest Western celebrations in Cave Creek. Merchants host mini events and activities including a dance, pancake breakfast, chili cook-off, a bike race, pig races, kids crafts and live music.
Canal Covergence Water + Art + Light (Nov. 8-17) at Scottsdale Waterfront.

Nov. 8-17

Canal Convergence Water + Art + Light. This immersive, interactive art installation features large-scale artworks positioned both in the Arizona Canal and along its banks. Additional attractions include family-friendly hands-on activities, art and dance workshops and live performances.

Nov. 9

ASU Veterans Day Pow Wow (Nov. 9). ASU’s west campus in Glendale hosts the annual Native American Heritage Festival, featuring the Veterans Day Weekend Traditional Pow Wow. Celebrate with dancers, drum groups, food and vendors. The ASU Teachers of the Future student club will host kids activities. AZ Children’s Business Fair. Kids (and adults) can do some early holiday shopping and learn about business from kid entrepreneurs at Arcadia Park. Sponsored by Acton Academy, the event has more than 125 booths for families to explore. Ages 6-13 develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy and then sell those products and services at this one-day marketplace that draws more than 700 visitors. Grand Avenue Festival. This festival celebrates its 11th anniversary along Historic Grand Avenue near downtown Phoenix. This family-friendly, art-centric, non-traditional walking festival highlights the arts, small businesses, adaptive reuse and recycling. Enjoy local music, art installations, vintage building tours, mural projects and pop-up galleries. Moonlight Walks: People and Plants. Enjoy a family-friendly stroll along the half-mile Judith Tunell Trail by the light of the moon, featuring South Mountain Storytellers and fun facts about the desert night! Costume Storytime: Where the Wild Things Are. Listen to Maurice Sendak’s classic tale “Where the Wild Things Are,” meet Wild Thing and get a picture taken at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix.

Nov. 10

Tutus and Tiaras. Once Upon a Tiara, a children’s party entertainment company, is hosting a special dance event with three princess characters. Activities include tutu making, dance lessons, photo opportunities, ballerina-makeovers, a royal performance and snack time at Chandler’s Starz In Motion Dance School.
Grand Canyon view from Toroweap overlook. iStock.

Nov. 11

Free Entrance Day in the National Parks. The National Park Service offers free admission to everyone entering national parks on Veterans Day. Arizona sites include the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, Canyon de Chelly, Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Montezuma Castle in Camp Verde and many more. City of Phoenix Veterans Day Parade. The City of Phoenix honors America’s heroes at its annual parade, which starts at Montebello Drive, heads south on Central Avenue, turns east on Camelback Road, then south on Seventh Street to Indian School Road.
Photo courtesy of American Girl.

Nov. 14

Holiday Crafting at American Girl. Girls ages 8 and older can embrace their inner crafter at this holiday-themed event. Stencil Studios, a local business, will bring supplies to create holiday crafts, along with ideas to get started. Cupcakes and pink lemonade follow.

Nov. 16

All Abilities Marketplace. Find fun holiday gifts at the first annual event sponsored by the nonprofit Something So Worth It. This kid craft fair features young entrepreneurs with disabilities showing off their marketing talents. Also enjoy food trucks, raffle tables and a special musical performance at Desert Springs Bible Church in Phoenix. Hot Dogs & Jazz at The Nash. Enjoy a fun program about jazz — the music born in America and found in hip-hop and other popular music. Accomplished musicians demonstrate different instruments and styles of jazz and give kids a chance to move and sing. Following the show, families can meet the band while everyone enjoys free hot dogs. Phoenix Pizza Festival. This event bills itself as an annual celebration of the most perfect food ever! More than 20 pizza makers will sell $2-$4 slices of all types of pizza in Margaret T. Hance Park. Enjoy live bands, lawn games, desserts, local vendors, a kids zone and more. A portion of the proceeds benefit Downtown Phoenix Inc., dedicated to creating a thriving downtown. Touch-A-Truck. Kids can spend the day in the driver’s seat of a firetruck, police cruiser, construction truck, helicopter and more when the Junior League of Phoenix hosts its annual Touch-a-Truck event at Aviano Community Park. Meet local men and women who build, protect and serve. Enjoy music, local mascots, educational games, bounce houses, slides, face painters and food trucks.

Nov. 16-17

Mac & Cheese Fest. Celebrate National Macaroni & Cheese Day with samples from more than 30 restaurants, a beer tent, a game area for kids and adults and a demo tent from American Beauty pasta at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale.

Nov. 17

Downtown Donut Festival. You “do-nut” want to miss a chance to devour donuts from more than 20 local donut shops. Plus: craft beer, mimosas, coffee, music and a kids zone at Margaret T. Hance Park. Young Musicians Fall Concert. Arizona’s brightest young classical musicians showcase their virtuosity, technique and musicianship at the Musical Instrument Museum.

Victoria the T-Rex

Nov. 17-May 25

Victoria the T. rex. Get a small glimpse of the Cretaceous period when Victoria, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton touring the world, comes to Arizona Science Center. The exhibition uses animation and immersive digital environments with the latest paleontological findings to create an educational, emotional experience.

Nov. 22-24

Civil War in the Southwest: Picacho Pass. Celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Picacho Pass, the western-most battle of the Civil War with battle reenactments from the 1862 battles at Valverde and Glorieta Pass at Pioneer Living History Museum in north Phoenix.

Nov. 23

Sesame Street Celebration. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street! Learn about different musical instruments and join a sing-a-long. Puppets, crafts, treats, plus a trivia raffle for nostalgic parents at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix.

Nov. 24

Harvest Festival. Fall is in the air at Enchanted Island Amusement Park in downtown Phoenix. Kids will love hayrides, bounce houses, a petting zoo, train rides and amusement park rides. Discounts with a canned-food donation to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Nov. 27-Jan. 19

Zoolights. Millions of lights shine throughout the Phoenix Zoo. Enjoy a holiday tree, carousel and camel rides, lakeside music-in-motion shows, nightly snowfall, photos with Santa Claus, a 200-foot-long Polar Slide, live reindeer and the new Wildlife Lantern Safari nightly (excluding Christmas).

Nov. 29-30

Glendale Glitters Spectacular Weekend. The 26th annual Glendale Glitters Spectacular Weekend kicks off when 16 blocks of downtown Glendale light up with 1.6 million twinkling lights. Enjoy holiday entertainment, food and crafts and play in a snowfield.
Desert Botanical Garden comes to life with more than 8,000 luminarias (Nov. 29-Dec. 31). Photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden.

Nov. 29-Dec. 31

Las Noches de las Luminarias. Desert Botanical Garden comes to life with more than 8,000 luminarias, thousands of twinkling lights and the sights and sounds of local entertainment ensembles. This year, Luminarias is even more spectacular with the backdrop of the Wild Rising exhibition.

Nov. 29-Jan. 3:

Merry Main Street. Mesa’s holiday festivities kick off with an evening of music, food and fun for everyone and a 5:45 p.m. tree lighting ceremony at Main Street and Macdonald. The Winter Wonderland Ice Rink opens, along with Mesa Christmas Market, Jack Frost Food Truck Forest, a nearly four-story tall Christmas Tree, Main Street Express trackless train, Santa’s sELFie stations and visits from Santa. Friday and Saturday nights feature arts, crafts and local vendors.

Nov. 30

Santa Express. Join Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves for a festive holiday storytime that includes photos with Santa, crafts and a hot-chocolate station for kids at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix. Following the in-store fun, it’s all aboard the light rail for CityScape’s tree lighting ceremony in downtown Phoenix. RELATED: