HomeArticlesMagical Holiday Events Happening All Throughout Tempe

Magical Holiday Events Happening All Throughout Tempe


The holidays bring about many opportunities to make lasting memories with your family that you can cherish forever. Whether you are yearning to see the holiday cheer on your child’s face as they take in the dazzling lights or you are looking for ways to make this time of year a little more magical, the City of Tempe has a variety of events and activities to get your whole family feeling festive. tempeholiday.com

Check out the listings below for all the holiday fun that awaits…

Tempe Diablo Stadium
2200 W. Alameda Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282

This mile-long journey gives you the opportunity to see millions of colorful lights while listening to enchanting holiday music without ever leaving your car! Known as “the world’s largest animated drive-through light show”, the World of Illumination is perfect for little ones and will surely make them light up with wonder!

Downtown Tempe
Located between College Ave. and Farmer Ave., University Dr. and Tempe Town Lake • 480-355-6060

This bustling college town will be transformed during the holiday season. With already plenty to do between its many restaurants, bars, gift shops, specialty stores, and more, you’ll also get to take in the holiday scenery and admire all trees strung with lights. For all there is to see and do this holiday season, visit the Downtown Tempe Holiday website. 

Second Sundays on Mill is a local market featuring a wide selection of Arizona-made goods. The event includes street performances, live music, outdoor fitness classes and outdoor games. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab locally made gifts for everyone on your list!

This event kicks off the magic of the season with a street parade, featuring a tree lighting ceremony, holiday market, live entertainment, Santa photos and so much more!‘ Enjoy an afternoon exploring all that downtown Tempe has to offer while taking in the festive sights, sounds, and smells at the Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade.

Bring a blanket, sit on the grass and enjoy your favorite holiday movie, Elf on the big screen at Movies on the Field on December 2nd. Sip on some hot chocolate—don’t forget the marshmallows—and get in the holiday spirit with this family-friendly movie.

The Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts returns to Downtown Tempe, December 2nd through December 4th. This popular community event is full of unique and hand-made artwork from more than 350 artists. Enjoy live entertainment, street performers, vendors, and sponsor exhibits over the three day event.

Little ones will light up at Tempe Town Lake on December 10th as they watch the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade. This well-loved holiday event and tradition features holiday shopping, a variety of tasty treats, a dazzling boat parade, and a spectacular fireworks show.

Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 966-9338

Packed with plenty of shops, restaurants, and entertainment, Tempe Marketplace is a popular Tempe destination to meet up with friends and family. And this year, there are lots of holiday festivities to check out there, too! tempemarketplace.com/holiday

  • Holiday Tree Lighting and First Snowfall
    Nov. 23, 2022

Kick off the holiday season with this official tree lighting ceremony on the 60-foot holiday tree complete with a wintery snowfall, take photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and watch as professional ice-skaters put on a mesmerizing performance! The event is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Holiday Skating
    Nov. 25-27, 2022 

Enjoy FREE holiday skating near Dave & Buster’s for children 5 and older. Skates are provided, all you need are some socks!

  • Nightly Snowfall
    Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 2022

Watch as snow magically falls from the sky, transforming Tempe Marketplace into a winter wonderland – Every night at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. (except Christmas Day) near the District Stage. Christmas Eve there will be snowfalls every hour from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The show runs for approximately 10 minutes and is set to fun holiday music, perfect for the entire family to enjoy a touch of magical winter weather all without leaving the desert!

  • Story Time with Mrs. Claus
    Dec. 3 & 10, 2022

Little ones can partake in story time with Mrs. Claus outside Barnes & Noble (near the fireplace) from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Arizona Mills
5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 491-9700

Arizona Mills is the state’s largest family entertainment and outlet shopping destination featuring more than 185 stores, plus a variety of dining and entertainment options. It’s the perfect destination for great shopping deals on Black Friday (November 25th) beginning at 6 a.m. where you can find discounted merchandise at popular name brand stores including Nike Clearance Store, Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret/PINK, Adidas Clearance Store, Bath & Body Works Outlet, Nautica Factory Store and more! simon.com/mall/arizona-mills/news-and-events

‘Tis the Season for giving! Stop by one of the Christmas Angel trees near H&M to grab a tag to shop for a child in need. Arizona Mills has partnered with the Salvation Army and Arizona’s Family to provide Christmas gifts to families in need. Simply take a tag off a tree, find a gift from one of the 185 retailers in the mall, and return the gift to the volunteers – they’ll take care of the rest. Last year, shoppers purchased gifts for more than 2,800 local children.

  • National Cookie Day
    December 4, 2022

There’s nothing like a warm cookie to get you in the holiday spirit. Arizona Mills is hosting a Cookie Giveaway at the Santa set on National Cookie Day, December 4th, starting at 12 p.m. (while supplies last).

  • Musical Performances
    December 4, 2022

Celebrate the holiday season with musical performances by local school children the week of December 4th. An updated performance schedule will be available on the Arizona Mills website by mid-November.

Desert Botanical Garden
1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | 480-941-1225

This luscious 140-acre outdoor garden highlights the beauty of the desert with more than 50,000 plants. The Desert Botanical Garden also helps support artists and hosts many activities and festivals throughout the year, including during the holiday season. dbg.org

  • Las Noches de las Luminarias
    Dec. 1-31, 2022 (select dates). Member’s only weekend: Dec. 1 – 4. Additional Dates: 9 -11, 15 – 18, 20 – 23, 26 -31

Experience the simplicity and beauty of Las Noches de las Luminarias this holiday season with 8,000 flickering luminarias and twinkling lights all throughout the Desert Botanical Garden. Enjoy an evening filled with sparkling luminarias, musical performances, entertainment, and holiday delights that line the Garden’s scenic trails for a picture-perfect holiday night.

Phoenix Zoo
455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | 602-286-3800

One of the nation’s largest non-profit zoos, Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals. phoenixzoo.org

ZooLights at The Phoenix Zoo, a cherished holiday tradition for many Valley families, is back with millions of twinkling lights, all new animal lanterns and light displays, a thrilling Santa experience, and a brand new music and light show! PLUS, your admission to ZooLights also gets you access to the Dinosaurs in the Desert exhibit, the not-to-be-missed dino-mite experience!



Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.