Seasonal Fun & Special Events
2021 Holiday Events Around Arizona
World of Illumination
*Candy Rush at Desert Diamond Casino
9431 W. Northern Ave., Glendale
*Reindeer Road at Tempe Diablo Stadium
2200 W. Alameda Dr., Tempe
Nov 17 to Jan 2: World of Illumination, the producer of the world’s largest drive-through animated light show, presents two all-new theme parks in the Phoenix-metro area. Guests can choose to visit Reindeer Road at Tempe Diablo Stadium or Candy Rush at Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale. Both shows open November 17 and operate nightly from 6:00-10:00 PM through January 2. Tickets start at $39 per vehicle and are available at worldofillumination.com
CitySkate at CityScape
11 E. Washington St., Phoenix
Nov 26 to Jan 5: Downtown Phoenix’s most popular, real outdoor ice-skating rink has a new look and location this year due to Valley Metro Light Rail construction along Central Avenue. Located at Patriot’s Park in the center of CityScape Phoenix, the CitySkate rink is different in design and size than in years past, but will still offer freshly surfaced ice, twinkling holiday lights and festive décor, all set within the heart of the city.
General admission is $18 per person; Military Members, Seniors and Children under 8 are $13 per person (kids under 3 are free) and includes skate rental and 90 minutes of skate time during designated sessions. Receive $2 off for brining your own skates.
Hours are 5-11pm, Nov 26 thru Dec 16; 3-11pm, Dec 17 thru Jan 5. For special event information, a parking map and directions visit cityskatephx.com
Lights at The Farm
4011 S. Power Rd., Mesa
Nov 19 to Jan 2: It is always Christmastime at Lights at the Farm. Lights at the farm is Arizona’s largest walk-thru synchronized Christmas light show you will ever experience! There are over 2 million led lights and displays, driven by over 12,000 computer channels, synchronized to your favorite Christmas songs. Bring your friends and family to enjoy the show as you begin a new Christmas tradition. Lights at the farm has created a 4,000 sq. ft. outdoor skating surface made with the worlds the fastest synthetic panels. This skating rink provides attendees to experience a winter activity at the farm under the desert starry nights without the snow and ice! Come on out and get your skates on! Mon.-Thurs 5:30-9:30pm, Fri.-Sat. 5:30-10pm
Christmas in Color
Desert Ridge Marketplace
21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix
First Snow Fall & Holiday Kickoff, Nov 20: Desert Ridge Marketplace lights up for the first time this season with ultimate holiday celebration in The District. Enjoy live entertainment & giveaways at The District Stage, the first snowfall of the season, photos with Santa, favorite holiday characters, crafts and so much more! 6PM to 8PM
Christmas in Color & Nightly Snowfall, Nov 20 to Dec 31: The District is decked out with vibrant 3D photo ops this holiday season for Christmas in Color! Experience a 20’ long illuminated star tunnel, massive multi-colored nutcrackers, our holiday tree and more! Plus, every night Desert Ridge Marketplace transforms into a living snow globe with Nightly Snowfall every evening at 7PM and 8PM. Enjoy snowfall every hour on Christmas Eve (excludes Thanksgiving & Christmas Day).
455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix
Walk-Thru ZooLights – Select Nights Nov 24 to Jan 15: The Valley’s most cherished holiday tradition, ZooLights presented by SRP, is back featuring millions of twinkling lights, dazzling animal sculptures and two Music-in-Motion Light shows on our lake. Walk-Thru tickets are not valid for any Cruise ZooLights nights and are not valid on Nov 29th & 30th, or Dec 6th,7th,13th,14th, or Jan 3rd,4th,10th,11th. Please see website for daily schedule. $16 per person for zoo members and $20 per person for general admission. Children two and under are free. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 5:30-10:30pm.
Cruise ZooLights – Select Nights Nov 29 & 30th, Dec 6 & 7: Experience magic of the holidays from your car! Cruise ZooLights is our drive-thru experience that is not to be missed! Enjoy millions of twinkling lights, dazzling animal sculptures, Music-in-Motion on our main lake from the comfort of your own vehicle. Please see website for this year’s full schedule. Price Per Vehicle: $60 per vehicle for members; and $75 per vehicle general admission. Tickets and add-ons must be pre-purchased in advance online. All tickets are date specific and subject to availability. Cruise times are from 5:30 to 9:30pm.
Christmas at Schnepf Farms
24610 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek
Nov 24 to Dec 31: 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. 5:30-10pm. Tickets are $12 to $17 at the door, or $10 to $15 if purchased online; children under 3 years old are free. Tickets for train and obstacle course can be purchased for $10 each.
Holiday Fun at Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe
Holiday Tree Lighting & First Snow Fall, Nov 24: Join us for our annual 60-foot tree. Enjoy ice skating performances, entertainment and more. 6PM to 8PM!
Nightly Snow Fall, Nov 24 to Dec 31: Watch as Tempe Marketplace transforms into a winter wonderful dream filled with holiday cheer! Every night at 7PM & 8PM. On Christmas Eve take a peep at snowfall every hour on the hour! (Excludes for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Candy Cane Lane, Nov 24 to Dec 31: Visit a life-sized candy land experience and get the perfect holiday shot! Candy Cane Lane is making its way back to The District. Enjoy a whimsical wonder of treats + sweets. 7PM to 8PM
Starry + Bright Star Tunnel, Nov 24 to Dec 31: Snap Starry nights with sparking lights at the Starry+ Bright Star Tunnel – step into a super-sized, star-shaped tunnel to mark the season with merry moments and dazzling shots. 7PM to 8PM
Arizona Lights in the Night
Thompson Events Center
1901 N. Alma School Rd., Mesa
Nov 25 to Jan 17: Fill your car with family & friends. Enjoy the festivities and this will surely become your new favorite holiday light show. Embark on a journey through endless lights. This interactive, drive-thru attraction features more than one million lights, candy canes, snowmen, and Christmas trees galore. November hours: Sundays through Thursdays 6-8pm; Friday and Saturdays 6-9pm. December hours: Sundays through Thursdays 6-9pm; Friday and Saturdays 6-10pm. Please visit website for pricing and to purchase tickets.
Holidays in Downtown Tempe
Fantasy of Lights Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, Nov 26: Nothing says the holidays quite like the sights of thousands of colorful sparkly lights illuminating the night sky. The Fantasy of Lights Street Parade and Tree Lighting officially kicks off the holiday season between 4pm and 9pm. Families can cuddle up, enjoy some holiday eats and treats, and even a stroll through a special holiday market before the street parade beginning at Mill Ave. and 3rd St. and ceremonial tree lighting of the 40-foot holiday tree at Centerpoint Plaza on 7th St. just west of Mill Ave at 7 p.m. For more event details, visit downtowntempe.com/StreetParade
Second Sundays on Mill, Holiday Market, Dec 12: Meet us on Mill Avenue starting at 10 a.m. for a special holiday market featuring art, handmade crafts, baked goods, and unique gifts. Plus, enjoy festive street performances, live music, community programming, outdoor games, and family-friendly fun until 3 p.m. For additional details, please visit downtowntempe.com/SecondSundays
Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Dec 11: One of the Valleys’ most unique holiday events and celebrated traditions returns beginning at 4 p.m. as Tempe Town Lake hosts a festive boat parade at 6 p.m. and is capped off by a one-of-a-kind fireworks show at 8 p.m. The free event also features live music, and local shopping and dining opportunities for those strolling through the park. For additional details and schedule of events, please visit: downtowntempe.com/BoatParade
Holiday Lights at the Railroad Park
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale
Nov 26 to Jan 2: Hop on board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and experience a winter wonderland of holiday lights and displays. No trip to the park is complete without a spin on the historic Charros Carousel or a cup of hot cocoa from Hartley’s General Store. Santa will also be at the park nightly through December 23 to visit and take photos with. No holiday lights Dec. 24, 25, 31. Nightly from 6-9:30pm. $15 per person, ages 2 and under are free. Tickets can only be purchased online via Active Net beginning Nov. 1.
Photos with Santa
Give your child the joy and magic of the holiday season with a visit to Santa at your local Macerich Shopping Center. Whether you want to sit with Santa or talk with him from afar, you choose your experience and reservations are available to make the most of your busy days. Visit the website below to see hours, reserve a spot and to plan your experience.
Arrowhead Towne Center: Nov 12 to Dec 24
Biltmore Fashion Park: Dec 2 to Dec 24
Chandler Fashion Center: Nov 12 to Dec 24
Desert Sky Mall: Dec 2 to 24
Kierland Commons: Dec 2 to 24
SanTan Village: Nov 19 to Dec 8 to 24
Scottsdale Fashion Square: Nov 12 to Dec 24
Superstition Springs Center: Nov 18 to Dec 24
Merry Main Street
N. Center St. & W. Main St.
Merry Main Street Tree Lighting and Kick-off, Nov 26: Join us for the lighting of the Christmas Tree and official kick-off of Merry Main Street holiday celebration! Tree Lighting program, visits with Santa, opening of the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, vendors, live music and more! 5 to 10:00pm. Mesa Christmas Tree is located at 1 N. Macdonald, Mesa
Mesa’s Menorah Lighting, Nov 28: NEW this year! Join us in lighting the first light of our 12ft. menorah as part of the Merry Main Street celebration. The large menorah will have a light added nightly beginning Nov. 28 through Dec. 6. Make plans to take part in the new tradition. 6-7pm at Mesa’s Menorah is located at 1 N. Macdonald, Mesa
Santa’s Merry Makers Marketplace, Nov 26 & 27, Dec 17 & 18: Located right next to Mesa’s Christmas Tree and Mesa’s Menorrah in off of Macdonald and Main, this market is the perfect place to shop local for gifts and goodies during the holiday season! Find gifts for every member of the family at the market and enjoy other Merry Main Street Activations throughout the season, including the brand new ice rink right outside the Mesa City Plaza. 5-9pm,
Park West Shopping Center
9744 W. Northern Ave., Peoria
Time for Santa Claus, Nov 27: Get into the spirit of the holidays with a visit from Santa himself. Santa will be onsite for photos with a holly jolly backdrop featuring a classic airstream camper and Christmas trees, all beautifully decked out for the season. DJ Pulse will be spinning classic and retro holiday tunes for guests to enjoy as they await their turn with Jolly Old Saint Nick. Photos with Santa are complimentary. 11am to 3pm.
Holiday Kids’ Craft Club, Dec 4, 11, 18: This December, Park West is getting into the holiday spirit — and encouraging kids to do the same with crafts! Kids and their families are invited to get crafty during three free, fun, and festive craft sessions taking place December 4th (Milk for Santa bottle craft), 11th (Ugly Sweater necktie craft) and 18th (Mouse Candy Cane craft) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be a different holiday-themed craft for kids to create during each event and all craft supplies are included.
Prescott Holiday Light Parade
Historic Downtown Prescott
120 S. Cortez St., Prescott
Nov 27: 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 Thanksgiving holiday. The parade takes place on the streets surrounding the Yavapai County Courthouse, main event is the corner of Gurley St. and Cortez. 6-7:30pm
Prescott’s Annual Gingerbread Village
Prescott Resort & Conference Center
1500 E. State Rte. 69, Prescott
29th Annual Gingerbread Village, Nov 27 to Jan 1: The Prescott Resort & Conference Center invites you to join us for the 29th Annual Gingerbread Village. Get in the holiday spirit this year and make plans now with your co-workers, family and friends and build a cottage, a bungalow or estate!
Old Town Scottsdale
Nov 27 to Dec 31: Now in its 6th year, Scottsdazzle kicks off Saturday, November 27 with the signature Sing-Along & Tree Lighting Ceremony, during which an all new “dazzling” 40-foot holiday tree will be unveiled, bringing even more beauty and light to the season! This signature seasonal celebration serves as the kickoff to more than a month of festivities. Amble along the Scottsdale Waterfront among beautifully lit holiday décor and sing along to classic Christmas tunes led by MusicaNova Orchestra and local celebrities. Sip on a hot coffee or cocoa, nibble on light bites inspired by the season, and engage in general merriment sure to put you in the mood for a happy holiday indeed. Local retailers and restaurants are also getting in on the festive spirit by offering guests incentives to shop, sip, and nibble throughout the season.
Mother Nature’s Farm
1663 E. Baseline Rd., Gilbert
Dec 1 to 24: The farm will have fresh cut Douglas Firs and Noble Firs for sale. Bring the family for the hunt for the perfect tree for your holidays!
Snow Day at the Farm, Dec 11: Our annual snow day returns for one day only from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Bring your mittens and a snow tube, grab your friends and neighbors to come join the fun at Mother Nature’s Farm. $10.00 and includes the snow hill all day, the hayride, spider web crawl, maze, and the animals.
5601 N. 16th St., Phoenix
Dec 2 to 5: Performing for the first time in Arizona, enjoy a brand new, spectacular Christmas-themed cirque-style production beautifully decorated to capture the essence of Christmas. See acrobats, trapeze acts, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, quick-change artists and more. Meet and greet your favorite Christmas characters and write your own letter to Santa with the help of Mrs. Claus. Celebrate the wonder and joy of a traditional Christmas with lasting memories of fun, laughter, and special family time.
APS Electric Light Parade “Peace on Earth”
Dec 4: For more than three decades, the APS Electric Light Parade has been an event where families, neighborhood groups and businesses from across the city come together to celebrate the joy of the holiday season. The parade starts at 7pm beginning at Central and Montebello Avenues and travel south on Central Avenue, then east on Camelback Road, then south on 7th Street ending at Indian School Road
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
215 N. 7th St., Phoenix
Snow Much Fun Day, Dec 4: The cold, snowy annual event returns once again. Kids and adults can make snowmen, snowballs and just enjoy playing in 40 tons of snow on our front lawn area. Snow play is free with paid Museum admission of $16.00 per person. Members and children under the age of 1 are free. 9am to 4pm. Check website for Covid safety protocols.
Sock Skating, Dec 18 to Feb 6: Slip, slide and glide into fun at this annual event at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Kids and adults alike have a blast skating on white, slippery tiles reminiscent of ice but without the cold! This year Sock Skating is bigger and better than ever as it moves into the Museum’s interior spaces. Sock skating is free with paid Museum admission of $16.00 per person. Members and children under the age of 1 are free. Check website for Covid safety protocols.
Happy Noon Year, Dec 31: Ring in 2022 early with music, dancing and balloon drop in the Museum’s first floor atrium space. Visitors will also enjoy sparkling cider plus other festive activities. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and space is very limited. Admission price for this special event is $10 for members and $26 for non-members, with two times to choose from: 9am to noon OR 1pm to 4pm. Check website for Covid safety protocols.
Breakfast with Santa
10 S. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert
Dec 4: Fourth annual “Breakfast with Santa” fundraising event. This special morning will be held in-person on December 4 from 8:30am–11:00am. The morning will feature a delicious hot breakfast as well as holiday themed crafts and activities which includes story time, ornament making, cookie decorating and face painting just to name a few. And of course, we’ll have a visit from Santa himself!
Prescott Christmas Parade
Downtown Prescott, AZ
117 W. Goodwin St., Prescott
39th Annual Christmas Parade & Courthouse Lighting, Dec 4: Arizona’s Christmas City Annual Holiday Parade will be from 1-3pm. The Annual Courthouse Lighting Event will be held following parade at 6pm.
Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting
6 W. Aspen Ave., Flagstaff
Dec 4: Kick off your holiday season in Downtown Flagstaff – home of Arizona’s Winter Wonderland!
Beginning at 3pm there will be hot cocoa, a s’mores bar, performance from members of the Flagstaff Community Band and MORE! The Tree Lighting takes place at 5:30pm. Make sure to stick around and grab a selfie with Santa! Admission is free. 3-8pm. Presented by the Flagstaff Downtown Business Alliance & Flagstaff Parks and Recreation.
’Tis the Season: Holidays at MIM
4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
Dec 18 and 19: Get in the holiday spirit at this merry event as MIM transforms into a musical “Winter Wonderland” with seasonal songs and musical traditions from around the world. 9am-5pm. Included with paid admission to the museum, free for members.
Christmas in the Rainforest
9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
Nov 26 to Dec 25: Bring family and friends to a seasonal holiday experience, “Christmas in the Rainforest,” featuring an abundance of butterflies from the rainforests of Costa Rica, Africa, and Asia. See Butterfly Wonderland decked in festive décor and enjoy live music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the butterfly conservatory by violinist Jonathan Levingston on Nov. 28, Dec. 5, and Dec. 12. Don’t miss the weekly holiday specials in the Butterfly Treasures gift shop, the perfect place to find unique holiday gifts. Butterfly Treasures features fine jewelry, apparel, plush animals, and special holiday decorations to fill everyone’s wish-list. Included with admission to Butterfly Wonderland. Open 9am-5pm.
Deck The Halls
Avondale Civic Center Complex
11465 W. Civic Center Dr., Avondale
Dec 11: Join in for Avondale’s new family fun night that includes Christmas short movies, food trucks, and holiday themed activities like an ugly sweater contest, a letters to Santa workshop, cheerful scavenger hunt and gingerbread decorating. Admission is free. 6:30-8:30pm
Avondale Civic Center Complex
11465 W. Civic Center Dr., Avondale
Dec 4: Bring the family and make some memories! Avondale turns into a winter wonderland with a visit from Santa, a winter snow zone, holiday light show, entertainment, annual tree lighting, food, sweet treats and more. Free admission. 5-9pm
Winter Waterland® at OdySea Aquarium
9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
Nov. 26 through Jan. 2: Be part of the wonder and magic at OdySea Aquarium as it transforms into an enchanting Winter Waterland® amidst incredible holiday décor and festive music. Visit Arizona’s only SeaTREK Santa who takes center stage, interacting with Guests as he appears underwater in the Deep Ocean exhibit. Pose with family and friends for professional photos that feature this jolly sea-loving Santa for the perfect holiday keepsake! Participate in a SeaTREK Santa Scavenger Hunt and send him an adoring letter right from the OdySea Aquarium Discovery Desk (and he’ll write back!)! Don’t miss a very special trip on SeaTREK Santa’s sleigh to hear his entertaining, enchanted holiday sea-life narration while riding Voyager as it becomes an oceanic Christmas cruise full of yuletide lights and songs! See website for hours and admission prices.
*Due the COVID-19 virus we recommend visiting websites for current status of all events as well as any changes that may happen due to extreme weather.
Please check event websites for pricing and special information.