You don’t need frigid winter weather to get in the spirit of the season. Enjoy holiday events in Phoenix, including concerts and performances, outdoor ice-skating rinks, open air shopping markets and festivals, twinkling light displays and even a few places to watch it snow in the desert.

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Activities

 

Las Noches de las Luminarias

December 1-23, 26-31

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Eight thousand hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights will set the Desert Botanical Garden aglow for 21 magical evenings. Join a Southwest holiday tradition that features the sights and sounds of nine entertainment ensembles.

 

Holiday Bricktacular at Legoland Discovery Center

December 1-23, Saturdays and Sundays

With holiday décor around every corner and something special for every girl and boy to enjoy, there’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than by building memories at Legoland Discovery Center. On the roster are an array of festive and seasonally themed activities.

 

CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink

November 23 - January 6

 

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Get into the spirit of winter by skating on a real ice rink in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Central Avenue is transformed into an ice skater’s dream, decorated with a massive holiday tree and thousands of twinkling lights.

 

Christmas in the Rainforest at Butterfly Wonderland

November 23 - December 28, Select dates

As the chilly winter season approaches, families can celebrate the holidays, “Rainforest-style,” in the warm, enchanting environment of a beautiful rainforest amidst 3,000 colorful butterflies fluttering freely in the magnificent glass atrium. 

 

Undersea Holiday Celebrations at Sea Life Arizona Aquarium

December 1-23, Saturdays and Sundays

Expect a water wonderland at Sea Life aquarium this holiday season. 

 

Skate Westgate

November 15- January 13


Partake in the timeless holiday tradition of ice skating on Westgate’s real ice rink. Back again this year is the ever-popular, horse-drawn carriage rides that are free to all guests. Adding even more magic to the holidays, snowfall happens twice nightly and Santa Claus is on-hand to listen to Christmas wishes.

 

Peoria's Old Town Holiday Festival

November 30

Experience a snow day in Peoria at their annual holiday festival this December. Highlights include real snow, an appearance from Santa Claus himself, and a kids zone. Listen to live entertainment. participate in the tree lighting ceremony, and decorate cookies to get in the holiday spirit.

 

F.Q. Story Holiday Home Tour & Street Fair

December 1-2

Come enjoy a stroll through one of Phoenix’s oldest and most desirable historic neighborhoods, decorated for the holidays. This year’s tour features homes on Lynwood Street. Saturday night event features a holiday-inspired evening with carolers and beautiful streets lined with luminarias. Sunday’s event features a holiday street market and food vendors.

 

12k’s of Christmas

December 8

This family festival celebrates health, fitness and the joy of Christmas, while supporting local animal rescue groups. The event includes a 12k run, 6k run/walk and a 1.2k Santa “Sled Run”, plus a Christmas Bazaar, Santa’s Pet Village with pet adoptions, and live Christmas entertainment in the park and along the race course.

 

Story Time with Mrs. Claus at The Farm

December 7

Grab your chairs or picnic blankets and relax on the lawn as Mrs. Claus shares her favorite Christmas stories. Order a picnic lunch to munch on while listening and bring your camera for a photo op after story time.

 

Hometown Christmas Parade in Glendale

December 8

The Hometown Christmas Parade is an old-fashioned event for the whole family to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and all its glory. 

 

Enchanted Island’s Winter Wonderland Express

December 15-16

Hop aboard the Winter Wonderland Express Train to a snow-filled Enchanted Island with tons of fresh snow and sled riding. Visit Santa Claus at the north pole each day and receive free hot cocoa and candy canes.

 

'Tis the Season: Holidays at MIM

December 15-16

Join the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) for their annual holiday program featuring musical performances and holiday-themed activities. The weekend will also highlight a special menu at Café Allegro, gifts for purchase in the Museum Store, face painting, and much more.

 

Holidays at the Heard

December 26-30

Enjoy the holiday season with music from valley musicians, daily Indigenous dance performances, artist demonstrations, and more. Embrace a unique Southwest winter wonderland at the Heard Museum with fun for the whole family.

 

Snow Week at the Arizona Science Center

December 26 - January 1

Snow Week is back this December at Arizona Science Center for seven days of science wonder. Over 60 tons of snow will blanket Heritage and Science Park’s grassy hill in white. The Center will have daily demos including special ‘explosive’ demonstrations and kid-friendly activities throughout the the week.

 

 

Holiday Lights

 

Illumination

November 14 - January 5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Illumination is Arizona’s largest holiday drive-thru light show that is fully synchronized to your favorite music. This 1-mile long driving attraction will feature millions of holiday lights synchronized to holiday music throughout 14 acres of the newest state of the art holiday lights and displays.

 

ZooLights

November 22 - January 14

 

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When the sun goes down and the animals go to sleep, the Phoenix Zoo magically transforms into one of the largest holiday lighting events in the Southwest. Enjoy millions of lights, hundreds of displays and performances throughout the zoo.

 

Fantasy of Lights Parade

November 23

This Tempe holiday tradition features floats, balloons, clowns, novelty units, marching bands, and the arrival of Santa Claus. The parade proceeds through Downtown Tempe and concludes with a tree lighting ceremony.

 

Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

December 8


Light up the night and be dazzled at the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, featuring as many as 50 festive boats of all sizes. Get your holiday shopping done as 6th Street Market vendors will fill up Tempe Beach Park. Browse through hundreds of hand-crafted items. Fireworks will illuminate the night, too. Special guest, Santa Claus, will listen to children’s gift requests in Tempe Beach Park. 

 

Glendale Glitters

November 23 - January 12


Glendale’s award-winning holiday lighting event has become a family tradition across the state. The stunning display of 1.5 million lights illuminates 16 blocks of Historic Downtown Glendale, making it the largest free holiday light display in Arizona. 

 

Festival of Lights

November 24 - January 1

The incredible desert landscape on Chandler Boulevard from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway is decked out with more than 1 million miniature white lights.

 

Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

November 30 - January 6 (excluding December 3, 24, 25, and 31)

The event’s centerpiece is a train ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through a winter wonderland of lights and displays. Take a ride on the historic Charros Carousel and visit the park’s one-of-a-kind Model Railroad Building. Kids can also experience a one-of-a-kind visit with Santa in a historic train car December 7 through 23.

 

Holiday Nights in Lights at The Wigwam

December 7, 14, and 21

All aboard! Enjoy a train ride through a festive holiday lit path, opportunities to take pictures with Santa, entertainment by local bands, choirs, and dance teams and sweet treats available for purchase.

 

Performances

 

Holiday Pops with the Phoenix Symphony

November 30 - December 2

Join The Phoenix Symphony and The Phoenix Symphony Chorus to experience this festive concert of seasonal favorites and the ever-popular Holiday Sing-Along.

 

A Christmas Carol at Hale Centre Theatre

November 29 - December 24, Excluding Sundays

A Hale Centre Theatre holiday classic, the heart-warming version of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption, is magically brought to life on stage. This production is rich with traditional carols, stunning costumes, and memorable characters that are guaranteed to enrich the holiday season for you and your family.

 

Frances Smith Cohen’s Snow Queen

December 1-16, Saturdays and Sundays

Performed at the Herberger Theater, this Hans Christian Andersen classic to music by Sergei Prokofiev has become a local holiday tradition for the entire family.

 

Home for the Holidays with James D. Gish

December 21, 23

Head to the Phoenix Theatre on December 21 and 23 for a cabaret holiday show, staring James D. Gish, back by popular demand. 

 

DRUMLine Live Holiday Spectacular

December 21

Embark on an unforgettable musical journey through the most beloved chart topping holiday classics. Imagine the festive sounds of holiday cheer combining Gospel, Jazz, Soul, Motown rhythms and The Nutcracker Suite mixed with a hip-hop beat.

 

Celebration of Christmas at Dream City Church

December 6-9, 13-19

Celebration of Christmas is an extraordinary Broadway-style performance featuring a full live orchestra, exciting dance numbers, awe-inspiring aerial stunts, flying angels, and so much more.

 

A Christmas Carol

December 9-10, 14-17, 19-24, 26-28

 

 

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Travel back in time with Ebenezer Scrooge as he journeys through his past, present and future to find the importance of family, friendship and love. Brimming with rousing musical numbers, splendid costumes and side-splitting Bah Humbugs, A Christmas Carol will have you and yours wrapped in the spirit of the holidays.

 

The Nutcracker

December 14-16, 20-23

Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they embark on a thrilling adventure of dancing toys, mischievous mice, waltzing flowers, and sparkling snowflakes. Ballet Arizona rings in the season with Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker, creating memories to cherish forever. 

 

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

December 27

Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting.

 

Shopping

 

Heard Museum's Ornament Marketplace

November 24-26

Enhance your holidays with wonderful Native-themed ornaments hand-crafted by American Indian artists from the Heard Museum Shops during this annual event.

 

Mesa Arts Festival

December 8-9

Shop for the holidays at this event featuring original works of art for sale from regional and national artists in various mediums; live entertainment showcasing on two stages; live artist demonstrations; family activity area and culinary delights.

 

Sip, Shop, and Socialize at Hotel Valley Ho

December 9

This holiday shopping event will feature 15 local boutiques, drinks, food, live music, a photo booth, face painting and a visit from Santa. Tickets for those 21 and over are $15 and include a drink, a $10 voucher, Champagne and spirit samples, and bites from top local chefs; those 20 and under can attend for free.

 

Phoestivus Open Air Market

December 14 and 21

Give the gift of local, handmade goods for the holidays this year. Phoenix Public Market hosts this annual holiday market in downtown Phoenix, which focuses on locally grown and produced goods.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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