Last updated: November 20, 2023.
Celebrate the upcoming holidays with some of these local events and experiences. Start a new tradition with a performance, tree or menorah lighting, Santa pictures, drive through light shows, or ice skating! Make the most of this holiday season. No matter where you live we’ve done our best to include holiday events from Northern Arizona, Southern Arizona, and the Metro-Phoenix areas!
It’s the most wonderful time of year for cozy sweaters, hot cocoa, twinkling lights and beloved holiday and Christmas events in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe Tourism invites visitors and residents to enjoy the holiday season with festive fun. Christmas shopping excursions, outdoor patio dining and magical events are all happening in Tempe.
To see all the family friendly holiday events in Tempe this year click here!
Nov 16 – Dec 24. Outlets at Anthem. For the 21st consecutive year, Outlets at Anthem will be home to Arizona’s tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree! Plus, visit Santa in his cottage on the north side of the Food Court. Santa is available for visits and photos from 11am-7pm daily with a break from 2:30-3:30pm. Christmas Eve hours are 10am-4pm with a break from 1-1:45pm. Santa Paw Mondays are back this year, which is a special day that you can bring your domesticated dogs and cats to meet and capture a photo with Santa! Reservations are strongly recommended for photos but not required.
Dec 2. Holiday Program and Light Parade. Join the City of Apache Junction Parks & Recreation on Saturday, December 2nd for this award winning, FREE downtown event! The event will take place at Flatiron Park from 3pm-6:30pm. There will be lots of activities throughout the evening for the whole family! Activities include: Santa, vendor booths, arts and crafts, games, music, inflatables, food, Tree lighting at the Focal point and will conclude with the Annual Holiday Light Parade. Most of the youth activities will be free but there will be vendors and food options. The tree lighting will begin around 6:30pm. Afterward, stick around and join us for the light parade! 100 N Apache Trail, Apache Junction.
Dec 2. Kiwanis Christmas For The Kids will take place from 10am-4pm in downtown Carefree. This is a free event with puppies, games, face painting, carriage rides, Santa Claus AND kids can enter to win free bikes! There’s also going to be free hot dogs, popcorn, cookies and hot chocolate.
Dec 2. Carefree Lights Up! Tree Lighting Ceremony. From 4-6pm join Carefree as they light up the Town for the holidays in the Carefree Gardens! Desert Hills Presbyterian Church Carolers, Kevin Glenn, and special guest The Cactus Killers will delight guests with the sounds of Christmas.
Dec 7-14. Chanukah in Carefree is hosting its annual Chanukah event daily starting at 5:30pm. Enjoy presentations and the menorah lighting led by community leaders each night under the stars. This is an outdoor event that is also being live streamed every night. Each year, Chanukah in Carefree selects a local charity to support through charitable giving. This year’s charity is Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation. Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. 101 Easy Street, Carefree.
Dec 8-10. Western Holidays at Stagecoach. Western Holidays was created to offer the community a family friendly Holiday Celebration. Free Admission with toy or food donation to Operation Santa Claus. The Yuletide Market will feature local artists, handcrafted holiday wares and other items perfect for the gift – giving season. Children’s activities will include singing, dancing, face painting, ornament making and many other activities.There will be live music Friday and Saturday night, a tractor parade Friday and Saturday night and the balloon glow Saturday at 5:30pm. BALLOON EVENTS ARE DEPENDENT UPON WEATHER CONDITIONS. But wait, that’s not it! Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus will be on hand for pictures and storytelling. Plus, a beer and wine garden will be present for the the adults. Friday 2 p.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 7100 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek. Be sure to bring your friends and family. 480-282-4370 or click here.
Nov. 10-Dec. 24. Photos with Santa. The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland. Santa will be here starting November 10th and is located on the lower level, Macy’s Court. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase. Reservations recommended. Chandler Fashion Center, 3111 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler.
Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Pratt Brothers Christmas is Arizona’s premier light show and family experience. This BRAND-NEW experience will feature over 6 million lights, a dazzling light show, a magical train ride, nightly parades, jaw-dropping stunt shows, holiday shopping, live entertainment, and much more
Nov. 25-Jan.1. Prancer’s Pajama Party is kicking off the holiday season in Downtown Chandler on Saturday, November 25th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West. Cozy up in your favorite pajamas and bring the family to this FREE community event; Prancer’s Pajama Party! Enjoy children’s performances, reindeer games, story time with Mrs. Clause, cookies and hot chocolate, and the newly refreshed Sugarland display.
Nov. 25-27 & Dec. 2-4. Ballet Etudes “The Nutcracker” Let Clara’s magical journey surround you as she encounters life-size mice, swirling snowflakes, dancing confections, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. A feast for the eyes and ears with colorful costumes paired with Tchaikovsky’s original score, Ballet Etudes’ Nutcracker is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with the entire family. $23 and up. Check for times. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. 480-782-2680 or chandlercenter.org
Nov. 29-Dec. 20. Polar PJ Party. Wear your favorite holiday PJ’s and join us at 10:30AM for a FREE party every Tuesday just outside of Wildflower and Dillard’s. To find out themes or more information click here.
Dec. 22. 8th Day Chanukah Concert for Families. Join Chabad of the East valley to welcome 8TH DAY to Chandler for a very special Chanukah family concert on December 22nd. Tickets are on sale now at chabadcenter.com/8thday. 1825 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe. 480-855-4333 or chabadcenter.com
Awaiting details. Dec. 4. Santa Saturday. Crossroads Towne Marketplace welcomes your family to a holiday celebration on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.! Meet Santa, get a free photo, play fun and festive holiday games with Funergy, and make a new ornament for the tree. 3757 S Gilbert Rd, Chandler. shopcrossroadsstc.com
Nov 25 – Dec 18. A Christmas Carol: A Twisted Musical by Charles Dickens and adapted by Alistair Clinton will be performed from Nov 24 – Dec 17 at the Theatrikos Theatre Company, 11 West Cherry Ave., Flagstaff. (928)774-1662 or visit here for tickets.
Dec 2. Winter Wonderland and Tree Lighting. Kick off your holiday season in Downtown Flagstaff – home of Arizona’s Winter Wonderland! 2-6pm. Free, family friendly. Beginning at 3pm there will be hot cocoa, s’mores, crafts, performances from members of the Flagstaff Community Band and more! The Tree Lighting takes place at 6:15pm. Make sure to stick around and grab a selfie with Santa! Presented by the Flagstaff Downtown Business Alliance & Flagstaff Parks and Recreation.
Dec 2, 9, 16. Breakfast with Santa. Join the Flagstaff Downtown Business Alliance and The Weatherford Hotel for a magical morning! Enjoy a hot breakfast buffet, holiday crafts, and Christmas tunes! Santa, the guest of honor, will lead in a Christmas story and sing-a-long! Guests are encouraged to dress up in holiday attire or wear their coziest pajamas to look festive for their selfies with Santa! To purchase tickets click here.
Dec 2, 9, 16. Winter Movies Series. Winter Movie Series is back! Enjoy some of your favorite holiday movies (Home Alone, Elf, The Polar Express) at this FREE, family friendly event! Doors at 9:30am, with winter crafts to entertain until the movie starts at 10:00am! This free event does not require tickets, but if you would like to reserve your spot, click here. Orpheum Theater, 5 W Aspen Ave, Flagstaff.
Dec 9. Snowflake Festival. FREE event at the Flagstaff Visitor Center – Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus (take your own or pay $1 for a polaroid), games and crafts, law enforcement toy drive (new, packaged toys only), and free goodie bags (while supplies last). 12-4 p.m.
Through Dec 24. The North Pole Experience. Delight in the magic of the holiday season at Santa’s enchanting, 400-year-old workshop. Join us for an unforgettable North Pole experience inside the toy factory, Mrs. Claus’s bakery, Elf University, Santa’s Sleigh Hanger, and family time and photos with St. Nick himself. Santa’s massive workshop is one impressive sight to see. Take a peek at the place before you arrive, we won’t tell the elves. 480-779-9679 or northpoleexperience.com
Nov 18 – Dec 9. Holiday Mart at the River of Time Museum. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum & Exploration Center. The annual Holiday Mart is open for business, and the merchandise is eclectic, rare, vintage, fun, serious and displayed in such a way that shoppers will have a hard time making decisions on their purchases. 12901 N La Montana Dr., Fountain Hills. 602-652-3261 or riveroftime.center
Dec 2. Stroll in the Glow. This traditional local event is the perfect place to celebrate the festivities of the holidays. Join Mayor Ginny Dickey as thousands of twinkling lights are illuminated; The Stroll will feature the traditional “lighting of the Avenue” around 5:45, on the Avenue of the Fountains – including the official Town of Fountain Hills Christmas Tree! In addition to the lighting of the Avenue, the Stroll in the Glow will also feature the man in the big red suit…Santa Claus himself in a big red fire truck! Santa will arrive just about 6:00 PM for free photos, provided by the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce.
Dec. 8-17. “Elf the Musical Jr.”at the Fountain Hills Theater. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and that his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas! 11445 N Saguaro Blvd. Fountain Hills.
Nov 16 – Dec 24. Photos with Santa. The magic of the holiday season comes alive at San Tan Village with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland. Santa will be here starting November 17th and is located on Desert Breeze Drive between SALT Tacos and Thirsty Lion. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase. Reservations recommended.
Nov 30 – Dec 23. A Christmas Carol. This spectacular, heart-warming version of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption is magically brought to life on the Hale 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. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. 480-497-1181 or haletheatrearizona.com
Nov 4 – Dec 24. Santa’s Wonderland. Starting Nov. 4th Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland at your local Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s! 9380 W Glendale Ave, Glendale. Reservations recommended.
Nov 9 – Dec 24. Photos with Santa. The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland. Santa will be here starting November 10 and is located at JCPenney Court. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase. Reservations recommended. Arrowhead Mall. 7700 W. Arrowhead Towne Center, Glendale.
Nov 18 – Jan 1. World of Illumination is the worlds largest drive-through animated light show. Gear up for one wild holiday adventure. Trek over land, sea and air to hear the jingle of the jungle. A host of exotic animals will be there to greet you from peacocks to piranhas. Soar among the clouds as you fly with reindeer then outrun a T-Rex as you whiz past a land lost in time. Come face to face with the King of the Jungle and beware of the Tunnel of Tentacles where you’ll fend off sharks and jellyfish trying to steal your holiday spirit. Your journey ends at Santa’s Bazaar, where all your new animal friends will be decking the halls! Be sure to buckle up — it’s a jungle out there. This mile-long journey features millions of colorful lights and enchanting holiday music— a must see treat for the entire family. 6 to 10 p.m. daily. Tickets start at $39.99 per vehicle. Desert Diamond Casino: 9431 W. Northern Ave., Glendale. worldofillumination.com
Nov 24 – Jan 7. 30th Anniversary of Glendale Glitters. 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. each evening. Celebrate this milestone with Glendale’s special two day event featuring an extravagant light display with never before seen features! Enjoy all the normal Glendale Glitter activities too like music, shopping, food and Santa as you stroll through Downtown. The lighting ceremony will take place Nov 24th at 5:45pm in front of the Glendale Civic Center.
Nov 24 – Jan 7. Glendale Glitters. 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. each evening. The excitement of Glendale Glitters includes the Murphy Park lights and displays, performances in the amphitheater, the Hometown Christmas Parade, Movies by Moonlight, and additional events held by the downtown merchants. FREE parking all season long is available at the City Hall Parking Garage and the Bank of America Parking Garage.
Nov 25 – Dec 23. Christmas Trees on the Farm. There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut pine trees and a cold snap in the air to let you know that Christmas is near. Come pick out your family’s Christmas tree! Tolmachoff Farms, 5726 N. 75th Ave., Glendale.
Nov 30. Join Desert Valley Pediatric Dentistry for “Cookies with Santa!” This FREE event will be at their Arrowhead location in Glendale. It’s going to be a jolly good time filled with delicious treats and festive fun. Santa will be there to spread holiday cheer and take photos with your little ones! Come & enjoy free photos with Santa, a cookie station, face painting, ornament craft station, letters to Santa, train rides, and more. A guaranteed fun afternoon for the whole family! Tickets are free but RSVP is required. Plus, the first 250 kids will get a FREE Santa Hat!
Dec 9. Hometown Christmas Parade. 11 a.m. Glendale’s Hometown Christmas parade is an opportunity to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by gathering together as a community of families, businesses, churches, organizations, including schools to encourage each other with a great parade experience. The parade not only shares the reason for the season but also facilitates a canned food drive supporting Hope for Hunger. Visit HERE for more information on the parade.
Nov 4 – Dec 24. Santa’s Wonderland. Starting Nov. 5th Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland at your local Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s! Bass Pro Shops.133 N Dobson Rd, Mesa. Reservations recommended.
Nov. 22-Dec. 31. AZ Lights in the Night. The Arizona Lights in the Night drive-thru holiday light show welcomes Valley families to experience the magic of more than 1 million lights synchronized to holiday music. NEW this year is a one-of-a-kind VIP train ride experience, available through pre-purchased tickets online. Families can hop on this trackless train, which provides a one-of-a-kind ride through the light show. Thompson Event Center, 1901 N. Alma School Road, Mesa. From $26.95 per vehicle, available online and at the gate. VIP Train tickets are available for an additional fee depending on the night and must be pre-purchased online
Nov 24 – Jan 6. Mesa’s Merry Main Street is a spectacular celebration of the holiday season in downtown Mesa. The festivities include music, food and fun for everyone. A nearly four-story tall Christmas Tree, with a lighting ceremony at 5:00 p.m on opening night (Nov 24). Other key attractions are local crafters and artisans, Mesa’s Polar Express, Jack Frost Food Truck Forest, Santa’s sELFie stations with visits from Santa on Friday and Saturday evenings and much more. Free. City Plaza, 20 E. Main St., Mesa. merrymainst.com
Dec 1 – Dec. 30. Lights at the Farm features 2 million dazzling lights and displays synchronized to a variety of Christmas classics. Lights at the Farm and Vertuccio Farms have partnered together to bring Arizona’s Largest Walk-Thru Synchronized Light Show. Come on out and unwrap new traditions and make memories with your family and friends as you make your way through the dazzling lights, larger-than-life lighted displays, mesmerizing tunnel of lights and so much more. Tickets are $18 per person but are discounted to $12 until Oct 31. There’s also an ice-skating rink for an additional cost. 4011 S. Power Road, Mesa. 480-882 1482. Advanced purchase and skating reservations are recommended at www.lightsatthefarm.com.
Dec 9. Self-Guided Reindeer Roll & Stroll. 4-8 p.m. Join the City of Mesa’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program for the second annual sELF-guided Reindeer Roll and Stroll! Explore Downtown Mesa in this FREE and festive scavenger hunt for a chance to win great prizes, including a bicycle. Participants can enjoy the sounds of holiday carolers, a FREE treat from Novel Ice Cream, and a FREE bicycle helmet while supplies last. Team costumes are encouraged – Wear your favorite holiday sweater or dress up as a reindeer or elf to spread extra holiday cheer! mesaaz.gov/bikeped
Nov 24. Annual Swiss Village Christmas Lighting. Bring the Family for FREE Crafts, Music by DJ Craig, Pictures with Mr. & Mrs. Clause, Food and Craft Vendors, Face Painting, Raffle Drawings, Balloon Twisters, Train Rides, Bounce Houses, and Holiday Deals throughout the Swiss Village Shops. Fun for the whole family and a great way to spend your holiday weekend. FREE. 602-558-7943.
Nov 24 – Dec 18. Santa’s Workshop at The Rusty Pine Cone. Santa & Mrs. Clause, FREE hot Cocoa, Photo Opp, Special shopping area for kids – guided by Santa’s helpers. Every Saturday 11AM-3PM & every Sunday. 12-2. 3788 N AZ HWY 87, Pine. For more details call 612-467-9959 or click here.
Dec 3. Electric Light Parade. This Annual Main Street Parade will transform Historic Main Street into a magical holiday wonderland! Winter Wonderland takes place from 1-5pm with the Christmas Tree lighting at 5:30pm and the electric light parade starts at 6 p.m. See lights floats, and celebrate the season with this year’s theme: The ’73 Jubilee.
Nov 17 – Dec 30. White Christmas. Bob and Phil, a military veteran song-and dance duo, fall head-over-heels for a stunning sister act en route to a Christmas stage show. Their romantic pursuits land them in a magical Vermont inn owned by their former commander, General Waverly. As the inn falls on hard times, it’s up to Bob and Phil to bring business in, but will their yearning hearts pull them in another direction? Featuring songs from Irving Berlin, White Christmas sparkles with holiday cheer, dancing, and laughter. When planning your holiday season, this is a must-see! Check for ticket prices and times. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W Paradise Ln., Peoria. 623-776-8400 or azbroadway.org
Dec 8-24. A Christmas Carol. Dickens’ cherished characters Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim come to life on the TheaterWorks stage. Watch as valley-renowned actor, Louis Farber portrays Scrooge, the eternal curmudgeon with wit, charm and just the right amount of humor. Spend your holidays with family and friends at this classic Christmas production that reminds all of us of the true meaning of Christmas. Delight in extraordinary visuals, gorgeous costumes and eye-popping effects bringing to life the story of generosity’s triumph over greed in the best Christmas tale ever told. Adapted by Richard Powers Hardt. 623-815-1791 or theaterworks.org
Dec 9. Old Town Holiday Festival. The City of Peoria invites the community out to enjoy the annual Old Town Holiday Festival. Take a stroll through Old Town Peoria and enjoy the festive and fun holiday activities, including the following: Live entertainment, horse drawn carriage and wagon rides, local merchants and vendors, gingerbread house display, food trucks, Santa Claus, roaming high school choirs, tree lighting ceremony at 7:15 p.m. The festival will take place south of Peoria and Grand Avenues, including Osuna Park and the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. Parking and admission are free. 5 p.m. to 9.p.m. Old Town Peoria: Johnny E. Osuna Memorial Park. Crossroads of Peoria Ave. and Grand Ave. peoriaaz.gov
Nov 18 – Dec 24. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. The holiday classic soars off the screen in this musical adaptation of the beloved television special. Because of his shiny nose, Rudolph doesn’t feel like he belongs in Christmastown and sets off to find a place that accepts him. Along his journey, he encounters fellow misfits, only to realize that home is where he has belonged the whole time. When a storm threatens to keep Santa’s sleigh from taking flight, what makes Rudolph different turns out to be what helps him save Christmas. Most enjoyed by ages 4 and older. Tickets starts at $13. Check for times. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E Monroe St., Phoenix. childsplayaz.org
Nov. 22-Dec.30. Elf the Musical at the Phoenix Theatre Company. When Buddy, a stowaway orphan turned would-be elf, realizes he’s a larger-than-average human, a journey unfolds to find his birth father and true identity. Although New York City and his family reveal some harsh realities, Buddy’s heartfelt determination proves to everyone the real meaning of Christmas. Based on the beloved 2003 film, and making a merry return to The Phoenix Theatre Company, this musical adaptation is a sugary treat the whole family will enjoy during the holiday season.
Nov 22 – Jan 14. Walk-Thru ZooLights. Experience millions of twinkling lights, dazzling animal sculptures and two Music-in-Motion Light Shows on our main lake. You’ll find adventure EVERYWHERE at the Valley’s favorite holiday tradition, ZooLights! This season promises to be bigger and brighter than ever before, with all new animal lanterns and light displays, an enhanced Santa experience and our brand-new music and light show that will take you around the world! PLUS, guest entry to ZooLights includes admission to Dinosaurs in the Desert, the not-to-be-missed dino-mite experience! Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 602-286-3800 or phoenixzoo.org
Nov 24 – Dec 25. Photos with Santa. Celebrate the season with a visit with Santa Claus. Whether it’s a visit for a child to share their wish or capture the moment with a traditional photo with the “big guy”, he will be there with a jolly spirit of fun! Hours vary. Find Santa near the Food Court. Christown Specrum Mall, West Bethany Home Road & 19th Avenue, Phoenix.
Nov 24 – Dec 30. Las Noches de la Luminarias. The Garden shines bright during the holiday season! Enter a desert wonderland this holiday season at Desert Botanical Garden with Las Noches de las Luminarias. Enjoy an evening filled with sparkling luminarias and twinkling holiday lights. Musical performances, entertainment and holiday delights line the Garden’s iconic trails for a picture-perfect night. Plus, experience Fernando Botero: El Maestro in the Garden and in Dorrance Hall, where a harmony of color and beauty come together in paintings, drawings and monumental sculpture. Select nights only, please verify event details. Dbg.org
Dec 2-3, 9-10, 16-17. Christown Cringle’s Workshop and Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen. These whimsical and charming events will include interactive Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, Be Merry Elves Storytime, a holiday craft, playful photo backdrops, music and more. The first 75 children to attend each Saturday event will receive a $5 gift card to Harkins Theatres (while supplies last). This event is free and open to the public; no pre-registration is required. During the event, guests are encouraged to donate a canned good or packaged food item that will be collected throughout the season for St. Mary’s Food Bank. Noon-3 p.m at Christown Specrum Mall, West Bethany Home Road & 19th Avenue, Phoenix. christtownspectrum.com
Dec 4. Sensory Friendly Zoo Lights. During this special evening on Dec 4 you can expect the same great ZooLights with some modifications to make it more sensory friendly, including smaller crowds , quieter music, reduced flashing lights and more.Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 602-286-3800 or phoenixzoo.org
Dec 6-24. The Night Before Christmas. Performed with large rod puppets, this is a holiday experience for the whole family to enjoy! Showtimes are 10 a.m. Wednesday-Fridays, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. $15 for adults ($13 for members), $10 for ages 12 and younger ($8 for members). Tickets must be purchased in advance. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix. 602-262-2050 or visit azpuppets.org
Dec 8-9. Holidays at the Heard. A Phoenix tradition, Holidays at the Heard is a must-see event for your family, friends and out-of-town guests. To find out event schedules for this holiday season call 602-252-8840 or visit this heardmuseum.org
Dec 8-24. The Nutcracker at Ballet Arizona. Ballet Arizona takes the Symphony Hall stage in grand fashion with this holiday classic. Celebrate the joy and wonder of the season with Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker as Tchaikovsky’s cherished score is masterfully performed by The Phoenix Symphony. Follow Clara’s wintry adventures as she battles mischievous mice and charms the Sugar Plum Fairy. Whether this is your first Nutcracker or your 101st, this heartwarming tradition never fails to enchant and draw smiles from all! Symphony Hall,75 North Second St., Phoenix. 602-381-1096 or purchase tickets here.
Dec 16-17. The Arizona Nutcracker. Come enjoy the magic of The Arizona Nutcracker! See the magic as Dolls & Clowns come to life, a Christmas tree grows through the roof, snow inside the theater, watch the Nutcracker defend himself and Clara against the Mouse King and army of mice, see Angels dance on clouds, and the Sugarplum Fairy as she welcomes Clara and her Prince into the Land of Sweets…1 p.m and 6 p.m December 16 or 1 p.m December 17. Madison Center for the Arts, 5601 North 16th St., Phoenix. 602-664-7777 or themadison.org
Nov 24 – Dec 30. Wildlights and Animal Sights. The holiday light display will be open to the public every Friday & Saturday evening from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, beginning on November 24th and 25th and running through December 30th 2023. The park will be filled with festive holiday decorations, music, and spectacular light displays. We’ll have light concessions available with items such as hot cocoa and cookies. This also makes a great time to visit the Gift Shop for those special holiday gifts! For more information call 928-778-4242 or visit heritageparkzoo.org
Nov 25. Prescott’s Holiday Light Parade & Bonfire Festival. Kick off the holiday season in Arizona’s Christmas City when 35-40 festively illuminated floats light up the evening with Prescott’s Holiday Light Parade, on Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday. Historic Downtown Prescott, 120 S. Cortez Street, Prescott.
Nov 25 – Dec 24. Christmas at Mortimer Farms. Rediscover the magic of Christmas this winter as the Farm transforms into an enchanting holiday wonderland with festive decorations, shows, entertainment, and more. Savor the splendor of the season and discover the place where Christmas cheer lives all season long. There are even Breakfasts with Santa and Christmas Dinner Concerts for an additional cost.
Dec 2. Annual Christmas Parade. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce and presenting sponsor, Findlay Auto Group proudly present the 40th Annual Christmas Parade in downtown Prescott. This year’s theme is “A Superhero Christmas”. Kick in our Holiday Season with over 100 entries for the whole family to enjoy! Starts at 1 p.m. At 6 p.m watch the courthouse light up in the Annual Courthouse Lighting Event.
Dec 16. The Nutcracker A girl’s curiosity sets an enchanted world in motion on a magical Christmas Eve. Ballet Victoria returns with its charming and innovative approach to Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday tale. The performance starts at 7pm at Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center.
Nov 24-26, Nov 30-Dec 3, 7-10, 14-24. Christmas at Schnepf Farms. Experience the wonder of Christmas at Schnepf Farms, a special kind of holiday magic for the entire family. Featuring the Illumination Express train ride, a Christmas carousel, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, hayrides to reindeer, pictures with Santa, snow globe mini golf, a beer and wine garden, and the world’s largest inflatable Christmas-themed obstacle course. 5-10 p.m. nightly. Purchase tickets in advance. Admission is $18.95-$22.95, online reservations strongly encourage. Schnepf Farms, 24610 E Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. 480-987-3100 or schnepfchristmas.com
Dec 2. Holiday Festival and Parade Benefiting the Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek and the Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce, this family-friendly event runs from 2PM to 7 PM. The event will have arts & crafts, food & drink vendors, live local entertainment, activities, photos with Santa…and so much more! The festival opens at 2pm, parade at 3:30pm and tree lighting at 6:15. Queencreekchamber.com
Nov 16 – Dec 24. Photos with Santa. The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland. Santa will be here starting November 17 and is located at Palm Court. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase. Reservations recommended. Scottsdale Fashion Center, 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale.
Nov 16 – Dec 25. Photos With Santa Come visit Santa before he has to return to the North Pole to deliver presents. Schedule varies, so click here to view the full calendar. Scottsdale Quarter-5059 N Scottsdale Rd., The Quad, Scottsdale.
Nov 17 – Jan 6. Christmas at the Princess. Every winter, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort becomes a twinkling holiday wonderland for both hotel guests and the public. Their outdoor holiday celebration offers ice skating, light shows, s’mores, pictures with Santa Claus, water lantern ceremonies and more. Mon-Thurs from 5-10pm and Fri-Sat from 4-11pm. Check website for details. 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale. 480-585-4848 or scottsdaleprincess.com
Nov 24 – Jan 7. Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. More than 100,000 lights will adorn trees and displays during McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park’s Holiday Lights program. Festivities kick off at 6:00 p.m. with a tree lighting ceremony, entertainment and a visit from a special guest – Santa! Holiday Lights will run from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Train and carousel rides will be available for a nominal fee. For more information call or visit the website. Daily except Christmas Eve and Day and New Years Eve. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Phoenix. 480-312-2312 or therailroadpark.com
Nov 24 – Dec 31. Enchant Scottsdale, presented by Hallmark Channel. Stroll through lighted tunnels, discover larger-than-life displays, find your way to our epic 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, and look for special surprises along the way. Then lace up your skates and hit the trail on real ice (additional cost). Explore a village of tiny shops with vendors, crafts, and boutiques. Plus, holiday treats! Meet Santa, do your holiday shopping, grab a Merry Cocktail, and more! Tickets start at $31 for adults and $23 for children. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale. enchantchristmas.com
Nov 25. Santa Social. Kick off the holiday season with the annual Santa Social and a full day of holiday cheer! Enjoy kids’ entertainment, photos with Santa (cost applies), caricature artists, face painters, puppy adoptions, special Christmas character appearances, and end the day with our annual tree lighting ceremony and a holiday feature film! 2-8 p.m. Free. Scottsdale Quarter-5059 N Scottsdale Rd., The Quad, Scottsdale.
Nov. 25 Small Business Saturday. A day dedicated to supporting small businesses, holiday shoppers are encouraged to shop ‘til they drop at the many local retailers and businesses throughout Old Town, which will feature seasonal merchandise and holiday offers. Old Town Scottsdale
Nov 25. Sing Along & Tree Lighting Ceremony Scottsdazzle’s signature event features jubilant holiday music, live entertainment, seasonal sips and snacks and more to ignite the spirit of the season. Guests are invited to sing along to joyous classic and modern holiday tunes and watch in awe as Scottsdazzle’s signature tree is set aglow with the assistance of Santa, lighting up Old Town for the remainder of the season. Attendance is free.The event goes from 7-9pm at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 & 16 Meet Santa At The Market. Scottsdale’s beloved farmers market comes to life with holiday spirit thanks to the guest of honor — Santa! Saturdays throughout Scottsdazzle kids and kids at heart can visit with Jolly St. Nick as they shop, sip and snack their way through the aisles lined with vendor booths, many of which will be stocked with holiday gifts and provisions. Visits and photos with Santa are free.The market is 8am – 1pm with Santa being present from 9am – 12pm. Located at Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market – 1st St and Brown Ave.
Nov 25 – Dec 31. Scottsdazzle is a holiday extravaganza that brings a variety of festive activities and fun events to residents and visitors alike. Activities and events take place at various locations around Old Town through Dec 31st. Local retailers and restaurants also join in on the festivities, offering guests incentives to dine, drink and shop throughout the season. scottsdazzle.com
Dec. 2, 9 & 16. Scottsdazzle Stroll. Wander through Old Town Scottsdale’s own winter wonderland! Get enveloped in the spirit of the season while strolling along the canal banks of the Scottsdale Waterfront, which is illuminated with holiday lights and décor. Stop by the stunning 40-foot Scottsdazzle Tree for a selfie or a family photo, enjoy musical entertainment and warm up with hot cocoa, coffee and sweet seasonal treats from local food vendors. Attendance is free. 6-9pm at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
Dec 7. Gold Palette ArtWalk. The Scottsdale Arts District gets into the festive spirit with this Scottsdazzle-themed ArtWalk featuring holiday and seasonal artwork by locally and nationally renowned artists. Enjoy live holiday entertainment from strolling carolers while staying warm with hot cocoa. Attendance is free. 6:30-9pm at the Scottsdale Arts District.
Dec 9. Sugar Plum Tea Party. This magical tea party (with two times throughout the day) invites guests to sip and snack on holiday-themed treats while enjoying heaps of whimsical winter-themed fun and entertainment. Registration is required. Located at the Marshall Way Bridge from 10-11am and 1-2pm.
Dec 9. Ultimate Family Play Date & Concert. This all-new event, hosted by Scottsdale Public Library in partnership with the Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library, is sure to stir up some holiday spirit! Bring the whole family to this free, winter-themed play date extravaganza featuring interactive art, science, sports, and more fun activities followed by a family-friendly concert for all ages. Attendance is free. 9am-1:30pm at the Scottsdale Civic Center.
Dec 9-10. Dazzling Magic Shows. Delight in the awe of these merry magic shows that will leave guests believing in more than just Santa Claus! Master Magician Craig Davis reveals the magic of the season through entertaining and interactive performances designed for all ages. Attendance is free. Marshall Way Bridge.
Dec 10. Sparkle & Spin Bicycle Scavenger Hunt. Discover Old Town in a whole new way! This holiday-head scratcher invites guests to hop on their bikes and spin around Old Town for a seasonal scavenger hunt. Puzzles and riddles lead participants from clue to clue, culminating in one final challenge to earn a unique holiday keepsake. Participants are encouraged to level up the festive fun by decorating their bikes and dressing in their best (or worst) holiday attire. Registration is required. Time and starting location are TBD.
Dec 9. Shop with your pet. Get your fur babies ready for a day out at The Quarter! From 12 – 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 9th, you and your pup can shop at all of our pet-friendly retailers as well as enjoy some doggone fun. Get a complimentary holiday photo taken with the meanest & greenest grouch in Santa City! Dress your pups to impress for the Ugly Sweater Contest for a chance to win a great prize. Plus: pet adoptions available! Scottsdale Quarter-5059 N Scottsdale Rd., The Quad, Scottsdale. scottsdalequarter.com
Dec 9-10. Holidays at the MIM. Ring in the holidays with MIM as we celebrate the merry melodies and seasonal traditions of global wintertime celebrations. Make a festive tambourine, listen to live music, tour the museum, and more! 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. Phoenix. MIM.org
Dec 9-10. Scottsdale Sparkle Christmas. Wounded Women Warriors presents Scottsdale Sparkle Christmas. Shop their very talented vendors for all your Holiday gift items while the kids enjoy face painting, glitter tattoos, and more. Free Outdoor Event! No Admission or Activity Fees Required! FREE. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Arizona Boardwalk Courtyard, 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale.
Dec 10. Sensory Santa While holidays are magical times for all children, holiday traditions can be overwhelming for some on the autism spectrum due to sensory differences, communication styles, and other environmental elements. This is why Scottsdale Fashion Square presents a Sensory Santa event in collaboration with Autism Speaks. The sensory-friendly experience includes limited scheduling to lessen crowds and wait times, reduced music volume or no music at all, and ensure lighting is comfortable for all guests. Additionally, all guests can donate to Autism Speaks at the checkout by “keeping the change” with the purchase of a photo package, or adding $1, $3, $5 or $10 to their purchase. Reservations recommended. Scottsdale Fashion Center, 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale.
Dec 14-17. Assisted Living The Musical: The Home For The Holidays Christmas and retirement will never be the same in this all-new, hysterical holiday sequel to Assisted Living: The Musical, the runaway hit about the nursing home and beyond. Standard tickets are $37. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts | Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E 2nd St, Scottsdale. 480-499-8587 or purchase tickets here.
Dec 16-17. Family Fun Holiday Fair & Marketplace. Take professional photos with SANTA CLAUS, play in a SNOW BLIZZARD, enjoy live entertainment on center stage, bounce houses and slides, face painting, coloring contests, and much more! Free Outdoor Event – No Admission Required. 10 am – 2 pm. Arizona Boardwalk Courtyard, 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale.
Dec 15, 21, 22. Candlelight Open Air Holiday Special. Candlelight concerts brings a NEW Holiday inspired concert to Arizona Boardwalk! Experience the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience under the gentle glow of candlelight during the most wonderful time of the year! Ticket’s start at just $25. Showtimes are at 6:30pm and 9:00pm. Arizona Boardwalk Courtyard, 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale. Purchase tickets here.
Nov 24-Dec. 24. The Magical Christmas Journey. Verde Canyon Railroad’s storybook adventure, The Magical Christmas Journey™, travels Santa’s secret tracks to the North Pole and back at various times from Nov 24 through Dec 24 (4pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7pm). The festively decorated depot is home to the miniature “Bird’s Eye Village”, a live bald eagle and a beautiful princess. Upon the illuminated train’s arrival at the brilliantly decorated North Pole, Santa Claus hops aboard for the return trip to Clarkdale, interacting with every child, presenting each with a small gift.
Dec 1. Sedona’s Tree Lighting and Santa Visit. 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Enjoy traditional tree-lighting, refreshments, local holiday entertainment and Santa visits with children. This free event takes place at Tlaquepaque North and is presented by Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Tlaquepaque and the City of Sedona. Free Admission
Dec 2. Breakfast with Santa. 8-10a.m. Join Sedona Parks & Recreation for the 14th annual Breakfast with Santa. This free event includes pancakes, holiday caroling, Santa’s Stable of reindeer and a visit with St. Nick at the Hub, 525-B Posse Ground Rd. Breakfast will be served 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Some activities will be conducted outdoors, please dress accordingly.
Dec 7. Chanukah Menorah Lighting. Enjoy the miracle of the Menorah on the first night of Channukah at Tlaquepaque in Patio Del Norte. Enjoy scrumptious latkes, donuts and hot chocolate while listening to festive music. Kids will have the opportunity to meet Judah The Maccabbee – take a photo and even receive some gelt. Hosted by Chabad of Sedona and Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Dec 9. Christmas in the Park. Christmas in the Park is the Museum’s annual gift to the community and visitors. Be greeted by our traditional tumbleweed snowman. Enjoy hot cider and cookies, vintage holiday decorations, a fire in the fireplace and ‘make & take’ a cornhusk doll. There’ll be holiday entertainment. Throughout the Museum there will be old-timers telling stories and local authors signing their books. Check out the sale in the Museum Gift Shop. We hope to see you. Bring your family and friends. 11 a.m-3 p.m.
Dec 9. The Festival of Lights. A 49 – year-old tradition, Tlaquepaque’s Festival of Lights is its signature winter event. Stop by for an afternoon of holiday music, entertainment, and the lighting of over 6,000 luminarias at the tolling of the 5:00pm chapel bell. The free trolley shuttle will run from 3:30pm – 8:30pm from the Uptown municipal parking at 260 Schnebly Road. Talented musicians will be performing throughout the day. The American Cancer Society will sell specially designated luminarias to honor cancer survivors in Patio del Norte. Santa, and free cider awaits, making it the perfect outing for families and friends.
Nov 17 – Dec 31. Desert Farm Lights. West Valley’s Largest WALK-THRU Christmas Experience! The experience is a half-of-a-million-dollar grass-roots project with a passion behind the idea that West Valley families deserve incredible Christmas experiences too! There is nothing like the Desert Farm Lights Experience for over 40 miles in any direction. Justice Brothers Ranch, 14629 W. Peoria Ave, Waddell. Tickets can be purchased here.
Nov 25. Artisan Treasures 2023 Christmas Market. Located at Mark Coronado Park, this market takes place from 10am – 4pm and costs $5 for entry. There will be over 150 vendors to shop from where you can get handmade items, delicious food, visit the beer and wine garden, listen to music and more!
Nov 25. Christmas in Killarney. Christmas in Killarney is a show that combines the excitement of Irish dance with the harmonies of Christmas. General seating starts at $45 with premium seating being $60. The show takes place at the Vista Center for the Arts at 7pm.
Dec 2-3. Joy to the Herd. Visits with Roxie and Santa? Of course! A unique holiday event that combines a glimpse into a working dairy farm with festive and fun activities, Shamrock Farms transforms its large Welcome Center Barn into a winter wonderland with holiday crafts, face painting and more! Of course, no holiday celebration would be complete without a special visit from Santa and Shamrock Farms’ own jolly spokescow – Roxie! The holiday cheer continues with festive décor added to the cow-spotted tram as visitors take our fun and educational guided Farm Tour where they can get up close and personal with 10,000 cows and learn about how our pure and fresh milk gets from the farm to table! Other tour highlights include a visit to our milking barn that accommodates 1,600 cows (milking 200 at a time) plus a visit to our interactive play zone. Tickets are $15 for adults and children and include all activities. Children under 2 are free. Lunch will be available for an additional cost. Reservations and pre-payment are required. 602-477-2462 or visit here.
Nov. 2 – Dec. 30. Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden. Experience the beauty of Las Noches de las Luminarias this holiday season with 8,000 flickering luminarias and twinkling lights throughout the Desert Botanical Garden.
Nov 15 – Dec 31. World of Illumination. Drive through millions of lights at the holiday event of the year! World of Illumination is returning to Tempe Diablo Stadium. Grab your sled and join World of Illumination for a supersonic holiday road trip.
Nov 17. Tree Painting Workshop. Purchase your holiday tree light up and join Tempe Marketplace for their annual painting workshop! Admission is $12. This is a free-paint workshop where staff give painting tips and answer questions you have about your project.
Nov. 18 – Dec. 24. Childsplay presents “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at Herberger Theater Center. The holiday classic soars off the screen in this musical adaptation of the beloved television special. Filled with holiday hits like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Holly Jolly Christmas,” Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer™ features all of your favorite characters including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.
Nov 22 – Dec 24. Santa Photo Experience. Make your appointment now for a photo with Santa! Let your kids tell Santa what they want for Christmas and then do some shopping at the stores! Reservations recommended. Arizona Mills, 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir, Tempe.
Nov. 22 – January 14. ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo. ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo, the Valley’s most cherished holiday tradition, is back with millions of twinkling lights, all new animal lanterns and light displays, an enhanced Santa experience and a brand new music and light show!
Nov 24. Clay Hand Impression Ornament. Capture your child’s hand impression in clay and create a special holiday keepsake you’ll cherish for years to come!
Nov 24. Holiday Street Parade + Tree Lighting. Bring your family and friends to an event that kicks off the magic of the season with a street parade, tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment, Santa photos, and so much more! Event goes from 4pm-9pm. Find out where to park here.
Nov 24 – Dec 30. Tempe Marketplace will transform into a living snow globe with its Nightly Snowfall every evening at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. near the District Stage (excluding Christmas Day). Plus, enjoy snowfall every hour on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Take advantage of the fun photo ops at Tempe Marketplace, travel through the beautiful life-sized Starry + Bright Star Tunnel, then step into Candy Cane Lane, a delicious holiday dreamland filled with giant gumdrops, larger-than-life lollipops, colossal chocolates, gigantic gingerbread men, and a hot cocoa pond, complete with massive marshmallows. Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe. Tempemarketplace.com
Dec 1-3. Festival of the Arts. Tempe Festival of the Arts has a 50+ year history in Tempe and takes place in early December and late March each year. It is one of the oldest festivals in the Southwest. The festival has grown to become a Tempe point of pride and a favorite of our residents and visitors. Guests enjoy artists from around the country, local music, a Kids Block and many great food options – all located on the streets of historic Mill Avenue.
Dec. 5 – 10. LES MISÉRABLES at ASU Gammage. Cameron Mackintosh presents the acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, LES MISÉRABLES
Dec 7. Menorah Lighting. Downtown Tempe’s second Menorah Lighting at 6th Street Park (Ragsdale-MLK Park). 5:30-7:30 p.m. Lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m.
Dec 9. Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade. The Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade at Tempe Town Lake is the Valley’s most unique holiday event and celebrated tradition. Enjoy holiday shopping, festive eats and treats, a dazzling boat parade.
Dec. 9 – 30, 2023. Scrooge! The Musical at Tempe Center for the Arts. Adapted from the Oscar nominated film “Scrooge” comes a Christmas musical spectacular by Oscar-winning, Grammy-winning, and Tony-nominated composer Leslie Bricusse. “Scrooge!” The Musical is a ground-breaking adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” filled with songs that are as impressive as the ones Bricusse wrote for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The story follows the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as he goes on a fantastical journey through his life over the course of a single Christmas Eve night. After a warning from the ghost of his business partner Jacob Marley, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future take Scrooge on a musical adventure that leads him towards his hopeful redemption. In a new version created uniquely for ATC, “Scrooge” will be the perfect holiday fare for families and audiences age 7 and older.
Dec 10. Tempe Holiday Market. Outdoor market, live music and entertainment, snack vendors, and plenty of fun for the whole family. The outdoor market lines Mill Avenue between 3rd St. and University, and features homemade goods and gifts from Arizona local artisans, crafters, and makers. The event is FREE admission, family-friendly, and dog friendly.
Dec 16. Movies on the Field: The Polar Express. Bring a blanket, sit on the grass and enjoy your favorite holiday movie The Polar Express on the big screen at Movies on the Field. Sip on some hot chocolate—don’t forget the marshmallows—and get in the holiday spirit with this family-friendly movie. ASU Sun Devil Stadium,500 E Veterans Way, Tempe.
TUCSON AND SOUTHERN ARIZONA
Nov 7 – Dec 2. Scrooge. Adapted from the film “Scrooge” comes this Christmas musical spectacular by Leslie Bricusse. The musical is an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” filled with impressive songs as we follow the story of Ebenezer Scrooge as he goes on a journey through his life over the course of Christmas Eve. Times vary, please check website. Arizona Theatre Company,330 S Scott Ave, Tucson. 520-662-2823 or purchase tickets here.
Nov 13 – Dec 24. Photos with Santa. The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland. Santa will be here starting November 17 and is located at Palm Court. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase. Reservations recommended. Tucson Mall, 4500 N. Oracle Road, Tucson.
Nov 20 – Jan 8. Tucson Holiday Ice. Pima Pain Center, the City of Tucson, and Rio Nuevo invite you to skate on Tucson’s outdoor ice rink this holiday season. Tickets can be purchased online (skates included), and there are no additional fees. Skates begin at size 8 for children and run as large as size 15 for adult men. Socks are required, and gloves are highly recommended. Find more information on admission and hours online.
Nov 24 – Jan 7. LightsUp! A Festival of Illumination. Tucson Botanical Gardens has been a holiday destination for over 30 years with our famous installation of over 3,000 luminarias. This tradition has evolved and grown, and this year we invite you to join us for a new holiday show unlike any other in Tucson! Designed by nationally known public garden landscape architect Tres Fromme, a carefully curated and artfully sequenced series of illuminated experiences will transform the Gardens into a glittering wonderland of lights. Six distinct but meticulously connected thematic zones with their own unique color palettes lead visitors through more than a million lights, custom-built oversized installations, and pieces created by local artisans. Be dazzled by a 50′ light tunnel, choreographed cypress trees, and experience the golden world of luminarias like never before! 6-9:30pm. Tickets are $16-$18 for non-members. 520-326-9687 or purchase tickets here. 2150 North Alvernon Way, Tucson.
Dec 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24. Tanque Verde Holiday Market. The Holiday Market is the perfect place to shop for the entire family. Great deals on new, used, and handmade items. You are sure to find something for everyone. You can always bring your family and friends to the Swap Meet for a great day of family fun! 4100 S. Palo Verde Rd Tucson.
Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16. Holiday Nights. An illuminated desert wonderland! Holiday Nights is a timeless tradition, for children, students, couples, whole families, and everyone in between! Overflowing with holiday cheer are the wonders that await you at Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul! Walk down illuminated pathways, enjoy live entertainment, and be dazzled by twinkling lights while musicians and artists perform throughout the gardens. You’re sure to enjoy the many distinct experiences located throughout the grounds while you sip hot chocolate and enjoy festive treats! Not finished with your holiday shopping? Peruse the Museum Shops where you are sure to find a unique gift for that special someone or purchase the gift of a membership to Tohono Chul. Join us for a night bursting with excitement and take part in the magic! 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets prices are $20 for general public, kids 3-12 are $6. Tickets must be redeemed for a certain night. 7366 Paseo del Norte, Tucson. 520-742-6455 or purchase tickets here.
Dec 6-7. Patronato’s Christmas at San Xavier. Patronato San Xavier presents Southern Arizona’s most enduring winter tradition, a very special concert of sacred and holiday Christmas music. Celebrate the joy of the holiday season immersed in the spectacular Spanish Colonial-Era beauty of Mission San Xavier del Bac. 1950 W. San Xavier Rd., Tucson. 520-407-6130 or click here for tickets and concert times.
Dec 7. Chanukah at Downtown Tucson. Annual Chanukah lighting ceremony of Tucson’s tallest Menorah at El Presidio Park, with light show performance by Cirque Roots, kosher pizza truck, music, holiday treats and crafts. Free admission.
Dec 8-10, 15-17, 22-23. Marana Christmas Express. Meet Santa, enjoy holiday treats, ride the Christmas Train, play area, farm animals, jumping pillows, holiday lights, and more. 5-9 p.m. Admission is $20 (2 and under free).
Dec 9-10. Holiday Magic With Cirque De La Symphonie. The dazzle of circus arts meets the excitement of the holiday season in this special performance. International cirque stars tumble, soar, and delight while your TSO performs holiday and symphonic classics. The concert will last appox two hours. Tickets vary from $12-$79 and takes place at the Linda Ronstadt Music Hall. Tucson Symphony Orchestra, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., Tucson. 520-882-8585 or visit here.
Dec 9-25. Winterhaven Festival of Lights. Tour these amazing holiday lights on a hayride wagon, a bus trolley, a pedal-powered group bike! You can also see the lights on foot. The rides are popular ways to see the lights, so reservations are recommended. Make your reservation by directly contacting the ride company. FREE, but food donations are requested. Find out more here.
Dec 10. An Irish Christmas. A celebration of family and community that showcases some of the great Irish holiday traditions and features award-winning dancers from Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Celtic Wings. All the holiday carols you know and love plus the high energy display of Irish Dancing at its best. Doors open at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm. Rialto Theater, 318 E Congress St, Tucson. 520-740-1000 or purchase tickets here.
Dec 15-16. The Nutcracker. Based on the beloved tale by E.T.A. Hoffman, set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score, The Nutcracker has become synonymous with winter holiday season. Ballet Rincon’s production features renowned guest artists, dancers from the Ballet Rincon Ensemble Program, and Academy students. Presented in two acts, The Nutcracker tells the magical story of a young girl in which young Clara Silberhaus’s godfather Herr Drosselmeyer gifts her a Nutcracker for Christmas. The Nutcracker comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks Clara away to his magical kingdom of sweets, where she meets the Sugar Plum fairy and entourage. Tickets are $16-$24. Call 520-574-2804 for ticket information or purchase tickets here. Vail Theater of the Arts, 10701 E Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Tucson.
Dec 16. 17th Annual Holiday Express. Photos with Santa, write a letter to Santa, new exhibits, reading of The Polar Express, holiday music, arts and crafts show, and more. 10 a.m-3 p.m. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N Toole Ave., Tucson. For rates and more details call 520-623-2223 or visit tucsonhistoricdepot.org.
Dec 16. Downtown Parade of Lights. Join the fun and celebrate the holidays with the 29th annual Parade of Lights. Lighted floats, holiday music, performers, and more. The festival runs 4-6:30 pm and the parade of lights takes place at 6:30 pm. All ages welcome. Armory Park, 222 S 5th Ave., Tucson.
Dec 21. SnOV: An Oro Valley Holiday Event. The SnOV event will take place at the Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center from 5-10pm. The event will feature games, crafts, a photo booth, food and drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) available for purchase, real snow and Santa! The town is asking visitors to park at the Oro Valley Town Hall parking lot due to limited space.
Dec 21-23. Ballet Tucson’s The Nutcracker. The magical holiday tale of The Nutcracker comes to life with Tucson’s professional ballet company. For the first time ever, the TSO will perform the score live for their award-winning production, forging a new and vibrant artistic partnership. The Linda Ronstadt Music Hall, 260 S Church Ave., Tucson. 520-791-4101. You can purchase tickets here or contact Ballet Tucson.
Nov 25. Winterfest. Celebrate the holidays with a bonfire, photos with Santa, chili and hotdogs, cocoa with marshmallows, and more. 5-7p.m. Tall Timbers Park, 2798 AZ-260, Overgaard.
Dec 1. Snowflake Town Lighting. Snowflake kicks off the holiday season with a traditional Town Lighting Ceremony, arrival of Santa, entertainment and free cocoa to be enjoyed by all.
Dec 1-2. Santa At The Shoppes. Shop local businesses while visiting Santa Claus with the kids. Get holiday items for gifts, listen to music, eat and enjoy treats! The event takes place 10am-4pm with Santa being present at noon on Saturday. Show Low Elks Lodge, 805 E Whipple St. Free admission and candy canes for the kids!
Dec 2. Show Low Shines Christmas Parade. 6:00 P.M. Join us along the Deuce of Clubs from Central to White Mountain Road to enjoy the floats with their beautiful light displays depicting this year’s theme, “Snow Much Fun.” Don’t miss Santa! For those who wish to participate, applications are available at Show Low Family Aquatic Center 1100 W. Deuce of Clubs or online at www.showlowaz.gov. For more information, please call (928)532-4141.
Dec 9. Pinedale Bridge Lighting and Santa’s Visit. Bridge lighting will be about 6pm followed with Santa’s visit at the Pinedale Arizona Community Center. Hot chocolate and cider will be served with cookies. 1264 Pinedale Rd, Pinedale. 928-739-1717 or visit pinedaleheritage.org.
Nov 9 – Dec 30. The Polar Express. Experience storybook magic when you ride the Polar Express in Williams this holiday season. The Grand Canyon Railway transforms the train into the Polar Express, based on the Chris Van Allsburg classic. Families will also snack on cookies and sip on hot chocolate and sing carols. 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. train departures (3:30 p.m. on select dates). Packages available for meals and hotel stay. Grand Canyon Railway, 233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams. 800-222-6966. thetrain.com
Christmas Tree Permit. A memorable experience, cutting a holiday tree is a special tradition to share with family and friends while helping to maintain a healthy forest. For many families, venturing into the forest to cut a Christmas tree for the holidays is a treasured tradition carried on for generations, while others may just be discovering the thrill of searching for the perfect holiday centerpiece. For every tree that is found, cut and carried home as a holiday fixture, you’re also contributing to the overall forest health. Christmas tree permits are a unique opportunity for citizens to help thin densely populated stands of small-diameter trees – the perfect size for a Christmas tree.
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