As summer temps begin to transition into autumn ones, it’s time to start thinking about all those fun and festive things you can get out and do with your beloved pooch. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorites in and around the Tucson area we think you’ll both really enjoy.
1. Downtown Donut Festival
Who doesn’t love a good donut? At the 2019 Downtown Donut Fest, you can devour a wide variety of them (and other items) from over 20 establishments. Thirsty, too? No problem! Enjoy a glass of wine, mimosa, or local brew. A great outing for kids, adults, and even leashed dogs (only service dogs and dogs under 25 lbs allowed). Head on out November 17th from 10 AM to 3 PM. Roughly an hour and a half drive from Tucson.
2. Tucson Botanical Gardens
If you and your dog enjoy taking a pause to stop and smell the roses then head on over to the Tucson Botanical Gardens for a nice walk. They welcome leashed-canine friends every day during the months of June-September only. Admission for your dog will be $3 per dog for a day pass or your pet can enjoy unlimited access to the Gardens with a dog membership ($20). But hurry--it all ends September 30th!
3. Artfest of Scottsdale
The annual ArtFest of Scottsdale is one of the valley’s most popular traditions that’s both kid- and dog-friendly. Come on out November 23rd and/or 24th from 10 AM to 5 PM to enjoy fine art from 150 artists, live music, kid’s activities, and a variety of tasty foods in a beautiful sculpture garden setting. Admission and parking are free. Just under a two-hour drive from the Tucson area.
With a name like Pet-a-Palooza, it’s no surprise that it’s been dubbed “The Social Event Of The Year For Dogs And Their People.” With more than 60 exhibitors and events such as dog racing, puppy stampedes, dock diving, and yoga, you and your pooch are sure to have a blast! The festival takes over 2nd street (between Goldwater and Marshall Way) in Old Town Scottsdale on November 23 & 24 from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM on Saturday and 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM on Sunday.
5. Charron Vineyards & Winery
Only 30 minutes from downtown Tucson, Charron Vineyards is one of southern Arizona's oldest vineyards. Bring your pup for company as you sample some wines in the tasting room or rent our location for a special event. The tasting room is open from 10 AM to 6 PM Thursday through Sunday.
6. Arizona Harvest Fest and Farmers Market
The Arizona Harvest Fest & Open Air Market is the perfect fall event for you and the entire family, including members of the four-legged variety, to enjoy. With live music, recreational fun for all ages, and more than 100 merchants offering a huge selection of products and services, there’s something for everyone. This year’s festival is set for November 10 from 9 AM to 4 PM and is located in downtown Chandler, about an hour and a half drive from Tucson. Admission is free.
7. Strut Your Mutt
Lace-Up. Leash Up. Save Lives. That’s the motto for Strut Your Mutt, a series of charity dog walks that brings communities together to raise money and save the lives of homeless pets. Come join the cause in Phoenix on October 19th and donate the funds you raise to Best Friends Animal Society or to your favorite participating local animal welfare organization.
8. Barks and Brews
If you’re up for a bit of a road trip, consider joining hundreds of other craft beer & dog lovers for the original doggie pub crawl for charity in Flagstaff. Tickets include goodies for your dog and beers for you from every brewery in the area. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to humane and rescue organizations in Northern Arizona. This event is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th, from 12 PM to 4 PM.
9. Walk to Save Animals
Walk to Save Animals, hosted by the Arizona Animal Welfare League, is an annual fundraiser located in Tempe (close to a 2-hour drive from Tucson). Each year, more than 3,000 people and dogs walk to raise funds for the thousands of homeless and medically in-need animals AAWL rescues. This year’s walk begins at 8 AM on Saturday, November 2nd.
BARKtoberfest, hosted by Friends for Life Animal Rescue, is a party in the park for dogs and the humans that love them. Join in on all the fun -- raffles, shopping, Gilbert PD K9 demonstrations, lure course, and adoptions! Admission is free! This event is scheduled for October and is located approximately 2 hours from Tucson in the town of Gilbert. Follow the BARKtoberfest Facebook page for additional event information.