Temperatures are dropping and pumpkin spice lattes are back in season around the country and while the weather is still toasty in Phoenix, many festive fall activities are being planned in North Central.

Last year many festivals and other events were canceled out of concerns for safety due to the global healthcare crisis, but there are many exciting activities planned this year as the COVID-19 vaccines have become widely available.

Sunnyslope Community Center will host a “Trunk-or-Treat” event from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 802 E. Vogel Ave. Also on Oct. 23, the East Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association & Block Watch’s G.A.I.N. (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) Event will be held. This gathering of food, a candy scavenger hunt and other activities will start at 7 p.m. at Winifred Green Park at 1608 W. Peoria Ave. There will be masks and hand sanitizer stations available while social distancing will be encouraged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeff Tisot, president of the East Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association & Block Watch, is excited to bring back the event at Winifred Green Park this year.

“The Sunnyslope community has come together in a big way over the last few years making a positive impact,” Tisot said. “These are great events to safely get out and have a great time. (I) hope to see all our neighbors there.”

Check out the Fall Festival at Uptown Plaza from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 100 E. Camelback Road. Participants can trick-or-treat and enjoy face painting and balloon artistry. Attendees will not be required to wear masks at this outdoor festival.

Morgan Domaracki, head of marketing for Uptown Plaza, said there was a successful trick-or-treating event in the shopping center last year. This year’s festival will be “great for the community to come together but still be able to distance as they see fit,” Domaracki added.

Families in North Central and around the Valley can visit their neighborhood Bashas’ stores for their annual Halloween celebrations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 30. Children of all ages are encouraged to dress up and participate in costume contests with a chance to win prizes of $25 and a dozen doughnuts each. Participants also can buy a Halloween-themed cake, taffy apple or cookie to decorate in the stores at socially distanced stations or at home with decorating kits. There are several Bashas’ in the area including one at 5555 N. Seventh St.

You can take a short trip downtown to explore the “Spooky Science” activities at the Arizona Science Center from Oct. 23 to 31 at 600 E. Washington St. Visitors can celebrate Halloween with spine-tingling activities and frightfully festive demonstrations that aim to educate, inspire and entertain people of all ages about the science behind Halloween. Anyone older than 24 months is required to wear a mask, regardless of whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccines.

Children under age 3 can enter the museum for free. The “Spooky Science” exhibit and other activities are always free of charge for those with an Arizona Science Center membership or general admission ticket. A limited number of guests are allowed to come into the science center every day so residents are urged to reserve tickets ahead of time at http://azscience.org.

Alwun House is planning a provocative, uncensored art exhibit geared toward adults called “Monsters Menagerie” Oct. 1-30 at 1204 E. Roosevelt St. Expect grotesque and profane artwork in different media from area artists including images of satirical political demons, blood-curdling creations and monstrous pieces.

Alwun House also is producing Halloween-style shows including “Step Right Up For Murder” from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16. In this circus “whodunit” show, The Gaslight Circus will involve the audience in trying to solve a murder-mystery with a traditional circus twist. Silver String Circus will present “Inferno,” a wicked circus show for audiences 21 and older, from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Alwun House. The Monsters Ball will feature a quartet called the Blood Feud Family Singers playing music, as well as VaVaVoom Productions taking the stage for a burlesque performance from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct 30. For tickets and information, visit http://alwunhouse.org.