By Jill “MamaBug” Frier

November is the perfect time of year in Arizona for you and your family to get out and enjoy the weather and see the sights you can only see in the Sonoran Desert. Arizona offers plenty of fairs and festivals this month to get you outside and entertained while you gear up for the Holiday season in December. Here are a few fun festivals unique to the Valley of the Sun that you can check out this month.

Wild Country Festival
Fun at the zoo and a music festival – the best of outdoor fun! The one-of-a-kind Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park will host the Wild Country Festival, featuring four live bands, a beer garden, bounce houses, face painting, vendors, food and more. The festival is free with paid zoo admission the day of the event, so get the family out to see the animals, enjoy the rides and celebrate music and fun at the Wild Country Festival.
Location: Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium & Safari Park
Dates: November 3, 2018
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Cost: $15 General Admission (see website for pricing)

Shemer Arizona Arts Festival
The Shemer Art Center has been called one of the best kept secrets in the Valley and was named a Point of Pride for the City of Phoenix. Every year they host a two day event with more than 40 artists specially selected from all across Arizona to showcase one-of-a-kind works. The festival also hosts artist demonstrations and interactive opportunities to create your own glass, blacksmith or ceramic gifts. There will be an interactive Kids Zone, live music, food and beverage vendors, and a silent auction to get the holiday shopping season started with some beautiful artwork. The Shemer Arizona Arts Festival is a fun way to enjoy the art of Arizona and benefit the non-profit Shemer Art Center – take a peek at a Phoenix treasure and tackle some holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.
Location: Shemer Art Center, 5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018
Dates: November 3-4, 2018
Times: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Chiles and Chocolates Festival
Spice up your weekend with the annual Chiles & Chocolate Festival at the Desert Botanical Garden. Take the family to sample and shop your way through Arizona’s top chile and chocolate vendors, while taking in the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. This festival lets you indulge in gourmet chocolates, zesty sauces, fresh fire-roasted chiles and listen to live musical performances of Latin, Brazilian and Spanish dance in the Boppart Courtyard. This festival is a real treat and a great way to enjoy our beautiful fall weather in Phoenix.
Location: Desert Botanical Garden
Dates: November 9-11, 2018
Times: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost: Included with paid Garden admission

Mac and Cheese Fest AZ
The name of this festival says it all! For two days you can attend the Mac and Cheese Fest AZ at the Salt River Fields, where you can sample some of the best Mac & Cheese in the Valley. You can also enjoy various libations to compliment your mac & cheese cravings, and head to the Big Cheese Game Deck to enjoy a game of Ping Pong, Giant Jenga or Bags. If you go to this one, head over hungry (and forget about watching those carbs)!
Location: Salt River Fields
Dates: November 17 & 18
Times: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Cost: General Admission $15 (VIP Tickets also available)

The fairs and festivals listed here are just a few of the many happening around the Valley this month, but each will definitely make great memories while you celebrate the season. For information about other fun activities and events in Arizona, read Ladybug’s Blog (