• Event Highlights

Ten Days of Halloween Fun in the Desert

Event Schedule

October 19 – 28

The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden will be open daily October 19 – 28 from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. at the Carefree Desert Gardens in beautiful Carefree, AZ. FREE admission and FREE parking is available each day! Weekend events vary; additional fees for certain attractions and vendors apply.

Daily Schedule

Click day for details

Friday, October 19

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Haunted Happenings ($5 wristband), Autumnal Treats and Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden
– Haunted House hours: Noon–9 p.m.

10 a.m.– 8 p.m.
LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Harvest Market

3–7 p.m.
– Local musicians and performances on the Tech4Life Community Stage

4–8 p.m.
– “Adopt a Pumpkin” Patch by the Kiwanis Splash Pad/Sponsored by Bashas’ & Desert Foothills YMCA

7–9 p.m.
– Main Event Band on the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage

Saturday, October 20

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Haunted Happenings ($5 wristband), Autumnal Treats and Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden
– Haunted House hours: Noon–9 p.m.
– Petting Zoo/Pony Rides hours:  Noon–6 p.m.

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Pumpkin Carving Contest drop-off/voting at the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce

10 a.m.– 8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Harvest Market

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Local musicians and performances on the Tech4Life Community Stage

11 a.m–6 p.m.
– “Adopt a Pumpkin” Patch by the Kiwanis Splash Pad/Sponsored by Bashas’ & Desert Foothills YMCA

7–9 p.m.
– Joshua Stone Band on the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage

Sunday, October 21

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Haunted Happenings ($5 wristband), Autumnal Treats and Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden
– Haunted House hours: Noon–9 p.m.
– Petting Zoo/Pony Rides hours:  Noon–6 p.m.

10 a.m.– 8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Local musicians and performances on the Tech4Life Community Stage

10 a.m.–6 p.m.
– Harvest Market

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
 –Pumpkin Carving Contest drop-off (until noon)/voting at the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce

11 a.m–6 p.m.
– “Adopt a Pumpkin” Patch by the Kiwanis Splash Pad/Sponsored by Bashas’ & Desert Foothills YMCA

1–2 p.m.
– Pumpkin Pie Eating Competition (Kids 1 p.m./Adults 1:30 p.m.) at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, Sponsored by Venues Cafe

4:30 p.m.
Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners Announced at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage, Sponsored by the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce

Monday, October 22

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Stroll through four acres of beautiful desert garden, and enjoy the whimsical characters and carvings on display

10 a.m.–8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

Tuesday, October 23

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Stroll through four acres of beautiful desert garden, and enjoy the whimsical characters and carvings on display

10 a.m.–8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

Wednesday, October 24

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Stroll through four acres of beautiful desert garden, and enjoy the whimsical characters and carvings on display

10 a.m.–8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

6 p.m.–8 p.m.
– Family Carving Night with Ray Villafane in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, sponsored by Bashas’ and Desert Foothills YMCA (registration/fee required)

Thursday, October 25

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Stroll through four acres of beautiful desert garden, and enjoy the whimsical characters and carvings on display

10 a.m.–8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

6 p.m.–8 p.m.
– Family Carving Night with Ray Villafane in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, sponsored by Bashas’ and Desert Foothills YMCA (registration/fee required)

Friday, October 26

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Haunted Happenings ($5 wristband), Autumnal Treats and Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden
– Haunted House hours: Noon–9 p.m.

10 a.m.– 8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Harvest Market

4–8 p.m.
– “Adopt a Pumpkin” Patch by the Kiwanis Splash Pad/Sponsored by Bashas’ & Desert Foothills YMCA

3–7 p.m.
– Local musicians and performances on the Tech4Life Community Stage

7–9 p.m.
– Better Beat on the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage

Saturday, October 27

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Haunted Happenings ($5 wristband), Autumnal Treats and Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden
– Haunted House hours: Noon–9 p.m.
– Petting Zoo/Pony Rides hours:  Noon–6 p.m.

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Pumpkin Carving Contest drop-off/voting at the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce

10 a.m.– 8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Harvest Market

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Local musicians and performances on the Tech4Life Community Stage

10 a.m.–1 p.m.
– Turkey Toss (Cornhole) Tournament at the Carefree Sundial, hosted by the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce
– Benefits Foothills Food Bank

11 a.m–6 p.m.
– “Adopt a Pumpkin” Patch by the Kiwanis Splash Pad/Sponsored by Bashas’ & Desert Foothills YMCA

2–5 p.m.
– Costume Contests on the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage
– Kids–2 p.m. / Family/Group–3 p.m. / Adults–4 p.m.

7–9 p.m.
– Smoke and Mirrors on the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage

Sunday, October 28

10 a.m.–9 p.m.
– Haunted Happenings ($5 wristband), Autumnal Treats and Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden
– Haunted House hours: Noon–9 p.m.
– Petting Zoo/Pony Rides hours:  Noon–6 p.m.

10 a.m.– 8 p.m.
– LIVE pumpkin carving in the Gardens with Villafane Studios’ world-renowned carvers

10 a.m.–7 p.m.
– Local musicians and performances on the Tech4Life Community Stage

10 a.m.–6 p.m.
– Harvest Market

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Pumpkin Carving Contest drop-off (until noon)/voting at the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce

11 a.m–6 p.m.
– “Adopt a Pumpkin” Patch by the Kiwanis Splash Pad/Sponsored by Bashas’ & Desert Foothills YMCA

1–2 p.m.
– Pumpkin Pie Eating Competition (Kids 1 p.m./Adults 1:30 p.m.) at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, Sponsored by Venues Cafe

2 p.m.
– Pets Costume Contest at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage, Sponsored by Carefree Pet Resort

3 p.m.
– Kick-Out Carving Contest at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage featuring Ray Villafane and carvers

4:30 p.m.
– Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners Announced at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion Main Stage, Sponsored by the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce

Live Pumpkin Carving

Meet world-renowned carver and artist Ray Villafane and his team of professionals as they carve their whimsical characters and answer your questions about how they create these masterpieces! 

Villafane Studios Team Carvers will appear daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

3D Pumpkin Carvings

Skillfully positioned throughout the gardens, Ray and his team have sculpted saguaro cacti displays designed to blend in with the desert environment.

Every 3D carving is “pickled” in a special solution to aid in the preservation process. Each carving looks like new for up to a year! 

gourdy ghouligan

Pumpkin Vignettes

Stroll the four acres of gardens and revel in the humorous Carefree pumpkins frolicking in action and working in their Carefree Pumpkin Town. This year, Gourdy Gooligan and his Carefree Hooligans have moved to Town, leaving a trail of pumpkin havoc in their wake!

672 pound pumpkin

Colossal Pumpkin Photo Opportunity

Join us our second weekend, as Ray and his team of carvers tackle the carving duties of this year’s monstrous gourd!

Turkey Toss Tournament

 Test your cornhole skills at the Turkey Toss Tournament, hosted by the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce. The event is Saturday, Oct. 27th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Carefree Sundial.

Bring a frozen turkey or ham, a $10 grocery gift card or $10 cash to enter. All proceeds benefit Foothills Food Bank.

carefree cave creek chamber of commerce

Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden

Stop by the Jack O’ Lantern Beer Garden featuring local and popular brews both weekends, Friday–Sunday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Beer Garden volunteers are provided by Sonoran Arts League.

Not a beer drinker? We’ll also be offering a selection of red and white wine.

four peaks brewery
sonoran arts league

Autumnal Treats

In addition to Carefree’s local restaurant favorites, a variety of food trucks will be on hand to satisfy every craving, including Munch Box AZ (gourmet grilled cheese), Doughlicious (wood-fired pizza) and Tom’s BBQ Pig Rig (Chicago-style BBQ) both weekends; with Cousin’s Maine Lobster (gourmet Maine lobster creations) weekend two only.

Stay and Treat Yourself

After enjoying a day in the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden, plan a stay at CIVANA Carefree! CIVANA is grounded in the philosophy of wellness through oneness and believes in sustainable interconnection of the individual, community and natural environment.

Use promo code ENCHANTED to save 25% off their best available rate*.

For reservations, book now or call 480-653-9002.

*Rates do not include $25 Experience fee and taxes

Live Music Fridays & Saturdays

  • Main Event Band

  • Joshua Stone Band

  • Better Beat

  • Smoke and Mirrors

Main Event Band

Friday, October 19th
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

This 9-member band plays horns and rhythm, with both male and female vocals, and plays music for all occasions. Genre: Standards, Rock, R&B, Swing and Pop.

Visit their website

Joshua Stone Band

Saturday, October 20th
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

They have over a 40-year history here in the Phoenix metro area. With guitars, stand-up bass, banjo and mandolin, they play Bluegrass, Country, Blues and Rock. Genre: Americana

Visit their website

Better Beat Band

Friday, October 26th
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Vibrant and professional musicians playing a wide range of songs from the 50’s through today. Genre: Rock and Pop.

Visit their Facebook page

Smoke and Mirrors

Saturday, October 27th
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Based out of Prescott, AZ, these five professional, seasoned musicians cover many different genres of music. Genre: Southern Rock, Country, Blues, Rock and Country.

Visit their Facebook page

The Community Stage, located next to Historic Spanish Village, will feature a variety of local bands and performers: Friday, Oct. 19 and 26 from 3–7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 20 and 27 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 28 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Event FAQs

Are tickets required to attend the event?

No. This is a FREE, exclusive fall exhibit sponsored by the Town of Carefree and other generous donors. We encourage you to please donate if you feel the exhibit has exceeded your expectations. Your support will keep the arts coming to Carefree. There are donation boxes throughout the Garden and the Town of Carefree thanks you in advanced for helping fund this one-of-a-kind event.

Can I attend multiple events?

Yes! We encourage visitors to return more than once during the 10-day event. We guarantee you will see more the second time around! The Carefree Desert Gardens are open to the public 24/7, 365 days a year.

Where will I be able to park?

Parking is available in multiple areas of the Town unless otherwise designated. Handicap Parking is designated and available all around Carefree and the Desert Gardens. The most adjacent drop-off for handicap visitors is along Easy street in front of the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion at 101 Easy Street at the Carefree Desert Gardens.

May I come earlier than the listed events?

Why of course! The Carefree Desert Gardens are open to the public 24/7.

Can I meet Ray Villafane?

Yes. Ray will be tending the pumpkins in the Carefree Desert Gardens throughout our 10 day event. He may be spotted during the weekdays working in the Garden but we do not have specific times scheduled. Please call during the week at 480-488-3686 for detailed information.

Can I take pictures of the carved pumpkins?

Yes indeed! Capture the artistry and enchantment. Just be careful not to disturb any of the pumpkin exhibits throughout the Carefree Desert Gardens.

Will I be able to purchase a carved pumpkin?

Ray Villafane is hired exclusively by the Town of Carefree for the dates listed. If you would like to order a pumpkin during dates outside of this exhibit, please contact Ray directly at Villafane Studios 888.592.3337.

Will there be food vendors at the event?

The Town of Carefree has multiple restaurants to service visitors and can be found on the Town of Carefree website. Weekends will highlight craft beer, beer and wine along with autumnal treats. To learn more, click here.

Is this a family-friendly event?

Yes! This is an enchanted garden full of frolicking pumpkins building and cultivating their new home in the Carefree Desert Gardens. We encourage kids to count how many pumpkins are currently living in the Gardens and to spot the different pumpkins and Hubbard squashes working in this organic environment.

Are dogs allowed at the event?

Yes indeed! We welcome dogs up to 30 pounds. Larger dogs are not suitable for this event. All dogs must be on a leash and well-trained for safe interactions with adults, children and other dogs. The Carefree Desert Gardens provides a 4-acre walking path and dog/pet waste bags are available onsite.

Other Halloween Activities

Adopt a Pumpkin
Haunted Happenings
Family Carving Nights
Pumpkin Carving Contest
Costume Contests
Beer Garden & Autumnal Treats
Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest
Trunk or Treat

Have questions? Call the Town of Carefree today at 480.488.3686 or send us an email.

Town of Carefree’s
Enchanted Pumpkin Garden

October 19 – October 28, 2018
101 Easy Street, Carefree AZ 85377
480.488.3686
info@carefreepumpkingarden.com
VisitCarefree.com

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