Trick-or-treat yourself to Desert Botanical Garden’s most spooktacular event of the year

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PHOENIX (Desert Botanical Garden) – Ghosts, goblins, witches, and other mysterious beings are gathering for a hair-raising experience at a place that only appears in the mortal realm once a year. It’s called Strange Garden, and it’s a spooky spectacle.

Strange Garden is Friday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 22, at Desert Botanical Garden.
Strange Garden is Friday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 22, at Desert Botanical Garden.(Desert Botanical Garden)

You probably know Strange Garden by its everyday name. You might even have been there on more than one occasion. But it’s possible you’ve never seen this side of Desert Botanical. Boo-tiful and tranquil during the day, the atmosphere at the Garden turns slightly ominous two nights every year. There’s no telling what might happen once the sun sets and the fog rolls in on Friday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 22.

“It’s Garden-wide, so it will definitely be a place to explore,” said Alicia Hyatt, one of the not-so-evil masterminds behind Strange Garden.

“Itch-it-a-cop-it-a Mel-a-ka-mys-ti-ca”

The Salem Witches have already RSVP’d and are hoping you’ll stop in for a spell. We dare not print their names, but we will tell you that the “sistahs” especially adore children. They could just eat them up! They’d love for you to bring the entire family and let the little ones run amok at the Haunted Kids Clubhouse.

The Salem Witches are eager to cast their spells at Strange Garden.
The Salem Witches are eager to cast their spells at Strange Garden.(Desert Botanical Garden)

The accidentally raised-from-the-dead Salem Witches are not the only ones attending this most auspicious of Halloween events. Other creepy characters will be out and about, including a mummy whose name and age are unknown. He keeps them under wraps. Nevertheless, he loves posing for pictures and will be more than happy to snap a selfie with you.

Speaking of pictures, you’ll for sure want to check out the MISGIF photo booth. Pictures or it didn’t happen, right?

“You’ll be able to take pictures for free with a fun little filter and those will be sent to you free of charge,” Hyatt explained.

Peculiar plants and creepy-crawlies

Strange Garden is also the perfect time to meet the Garden’s Mad Botanists and Buggy Entomologists. They’ll be out communing with their favorite creepy-crawlies and showing off some of the more peculiar plants in the Garden’s collection. There’s more to them than meets the eye, which you’ll see when you peer through the botanists’ microscope.

“That’s not something you’ll want to miss,” Hyatt said.

Looking for The Great Pumpkin?

No fall garden would be complete without a pumpkin patch. The Garden, naturally, has an epic one. You never know what might lurk in there, but it’s always fun to find out. Kids 12 and younger can take home a pumpkin for free – if the ghouls and goblins let them leave their lair.

Kids 12 and younger can take home a pumpkin for free.
Kids 12 and younger can take home a pumpkin for free.(Desert Botanical Garden)

If they’re feeling particularly mischievous, they might make you dance for your lives at the Monster Bash. With food trucks and vendors peddling peculiar eats, a glow bar, and a DJ spinning sick beats, it should be an easy - dare we say fun – toll to pay.

Family-friendly fun - with a dash of eye of newt and toe of frog

Strange Garden is spooky to be sure, but it’s not scary. Well, not too scary. Let’s just say there are no clowns or Demogorgons, and neither Jason nor Freddy is attending. Michael Meyers won’t be there either. Strange Garden is just scary enough for everyone in the family to have a frightfully good time - without needing to form a calming circle.

“It’s definitely family-friendly and kid-friendly,” Hyatt said.

Strange Garden is included with regular Garden admission or membership.

Strange Garden at Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden | 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix