Holiday Season Events in Phoenix
As Arizona transitions into crisp, cool winter weather, it’s the perfect time to check out these holiday season happenings around the Valley. For more ideas, be sure to check out our website at Visit Phoenix.
This year, ZooLights celebrates with 3.6 million lights and more than 700 glimmering light displays. Don’t miss the new “Music in Motion” show in and around the lake—a dazzling light show like no other in the Valley. “Music in Motion” features the music by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and is synchronized to more than 15,000 lights. Other magical moments in store for this year include: three 10-foot tall wizards that create electric “snow” with a wave of their wands; a gigantic praying mantis that can only be seen on the exclusive wagon route; and old favorites like Jengo the talking giraffe, the Polar Slide, and Stingray Bay.
Where: The Phoenix Zoo – 455 N. Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008
When: November 22 – January 6, 6-10 p.m.
Cost: $11 ($9 for members) Sunday – Thursday; $14 ($13 for members) Friday and Saturday
Christmas at the Princess Festival
Magical and enchanting, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess transforms into a winter wonderland in the desert with the all-new Desert Ice HolidayRink, lagoon lights, Princess Express train, hot cocoa, carolers, a gingerbread village, visits from Santa, and a four-story musical Christmas tree shimmering with snowflakes. The public is invited to the 3rd annual “Christmas at the Princess” holiday tree lighting, with the ceremony starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 27 in Princess Plaza. The evening includes musical performances, Santa Claus, carolers, complimentary sugar cookies, and spiced cider on the plaza. Following the ceremony, the Desert Ice Holiday Rink is christened with demonstrations by professional skaters and is then opened to the public.
Where: Fairmont Princess Scottsdale – 7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85255
When: November 27-January 6
Cost: Ice skating is open to the public daily and is $15 for adults and $10 for children with $5 skate rental. Holiday vacation packages are also available at their website.
CitySkate at CityScape
The festive holiday season kicks off at CityScape Phoenix on November 24 with a tree lighting event and the opening of the CityScape Phoenix Ice Rink, the largest and only real outdoor ice rink in the Valley. This year, the rink will become a prominent fixture in Downtown Phoenix, as it will be dramatically placed in the center of Central Avenue. Opening night will feature a special live musical performance, a visit from Santa Claus, a performance by the Phoenix Symphony Brass Quintet, Christmas carols from the ASU Gospel Choir, a figure skating show, face painters, free cookies and hot chocolate, and much more. All season long, Chloe’s Corner is offering a free hot chocolate with every skate rental.
Where: CityScape Phoenix, between First Ave. and First St. and between Washington and Jefferson streets
When: November 24 – January 6, 5-11 p.m. (Monday through Friday), 3-11 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
Cost: $12 per person (this includes skate rental)
Las Noches de Las Luminarias
Now in its 35th year, Las Noches de Las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden is one of the Valley’s longest running and most unique holiday events. Each night of Luminaria, the Garden comes to life with the soft glow from more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights. Carolers ringing handbells and cups of warm cider help remind visitors what the holiday season is all about. A variety of entertainment and dining options are available, and guests can honor a loved one by sponsoring a luminaria bag. More information can be found at the Garden’s website.
Where: Desert Botanical Garden – 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008
When: Select nights throughout December, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for children
Winter Wonderland at Westgate
Westgate Entertainment District transforms into a winter wonderland starting November 20 with the opening of the holiday ice rink, the lighting of the 33-foot holiday tree with over 3,180 sparkling lights, photos with Santa, and nightly snowfall. All of the fun can be enjoyed throughout December, and guests can enjoy free ice skating for children 5 years and older—skates included; just bring socks. On Saturday, November 24, the Coyotes are taking over the ice. Stop by and meet Howler and the Coyotes Cheerleaders from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Westgate Entertainment District – 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., Glendale, AZ 85305
When: November 20-December 24 (except for Thanksgiving), 11 a.m.-7 p.m.