Seasonal Fun & Special Events

Seasonal Fun & Special Events


Phoenix Zoo ZooLights – Photo by Dave Seibert


2019 Holiday Happenings

Zoo Lights – Glow Wild: 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix.

Nov 27 to Jan 19: The Valley’s most anticipated holiday tradition: Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo! Millions of lights and a 200-foot-long Polar Slide™ and live reindeer.  New this year – Wildlife Lantern Safari featuring more than 60 creatures aglow! 5:30-10:30pm.

Lights at The Farm: 4011 S. Power Rd., Mesa.

Nov 22 to Jan 10:  Our unique Christmas Light Show will dazzle with over 2 million lights! Each display synchronized to a variety of Christmas classics that will have you singing along. Stretched out over 10 acres, this dazzling light walk along will take you through a spectacular interactive journey that will delight your senses and put you in the perfect Holiday mood. Take photos with giant holiday ornaments a dazzling Christmas Tree. Watch the kiddos light up with joy as they are showered with snow like flakes when they visit our Illuminated Barnyard Animal Friends Display. And for the more adventurous, we have an 80 ft length skating rink available to top off your night. Nightly from 5:30-10pm.

Desert Ridge Marketplace: 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix

  • Inaugural Tree Lighting and First Snowfall – Nov 25: Guests are invited to take a journey to the North Pole as Desert Ridge Marketplace transforms into a winter wonderland filled with living snowflakes, stilt walking princesses, life-size toys, and holiday favorites, including joyful elves and Frosty the Snowman. Experience a cirque-style show leading up to the magical tree lighting by Santa. Free. 6-8pm
  • Nightly Shows & Snow – Nov 25 to Dec 31: Desert Ridge Marketplace is transformed into a living snow globe with nightly snowfall at 7 and 8pm every evening. Plus, enjoy holiday shows featuring local community groups throughout the season. (Excludes for Thanksgiving and Christmas).
  • Elf Academy – Dec 14: Back by popular demand, Meet Jingles, Snowflake, Buttons, Tinsel, and more of the North Pole’s friendliest elves as they lead young and old through a variety of the Workshop’s favorite games and activities. Free. 11am-1pm. The District at Desert Ridge Marketplace

 Tempe Marketplace: 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe.

  • Holiday Tree Lighting and First Snowfall – Nov 27: Get in the spirit of the holiday season with a professional ice-skating performance, followed by the official lighting of our 60-foot holiday tree and the first magical snowfall of the season. 6:30pm-8pm.
  • Nightly Snow Fall – Nov 27 to Dec 31: Watch as snow magically falls from the sky, transforming Tempe Marketplace into a winter wonderland. Every night at 7 & 8pm. Plus, on Christmas Eve watch it snow every hour on the hour! (Excludes for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Holiday Skating from Nov 29 to Dec 1: Enjoy free holiday skating near Dave & Buster’s for children 5 and older. Skates are provided, just bring socks! 11am-9pm Friday & Saturday; 11am-6pm Sunday.
  • Candy Cane Lane from Dec 2 to 31:  Step into a delicious holiday dreamland by H&M and CPK that’s filled with larger-than-life lollipops, giant gingerbread men, candy canes, gumdrops, chocolate kisses and more. 

Winter Wonderland at OdySea Aquarium: 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale.

  • Mermaid Magic welcomes SeaTREK Santa, Nov 29 to Dec 1: The holiday season at OdySea Aquarium kicks-off on Black Friday with an exclusive appearance by gorgeous mermaids as they welcome another special guest to join in the fun: SeaTREK underwater Santa! Mermaid appearances will take place throughout the Aquarium featuring special opportunities to meet and interact with these sea-dwelling beauties.
  • Santa Walks the Deep Ocean Floor: Nov 29 to Dec 25: A jolly ol’ helmet-diving SeaTREK Santa makes three appearances per weekend day, November 29—December 20, interacting with guests through the SeaTREK exhibit windows! SeaTREK Santa makes three appearances daily December 20 — 25 so be on the lookout for him. 9am-6pm.
  • Elsa & Anna Return – Dec 20 to Jan 5: Elsa & Anna take a vacation from Arendelle and head to the warmer climate in Scottsdale, to their favorite place: OdySea Aquarium!  Every day they are at OdySea Aquarium, these popular sisters will meet all their Arizona friends. Complimentary hair and face painting will be available December 20 and 21 for children under 12 (no appearances on December 24 or 25).
  • Santa Meet & Greet and Photo Opp with the Penguins – Dec 7 to Dec 23: When Santa is not walking the Deep Ocean Floor, he is visiting children on dry land with his favorite feathered friends – penguins!! Don’t miss this unique photo opportunity. **Professional photographer will be taking these photos, and all will include Santa and a penguin; separate ticket price.
  • New Year’s Evening at OdySea Aquarium – Dec 31: Rock-out at this kid-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration that will end before bedtime – perfect for the pint-sized partiers in the group! The celebration includes a countdown to the New Year in Deep Ocean Theater, a family dance party and more!

 Butterfly Wonderland: 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale.

  • Christmas in the Rainforest- Nov 29-Dec 28: Christmas in the Rainforest combines festive holiday elements with thousands of colorful butterflies from around the world in the largest glass conservatory in the country. Don’t miss seeing the spectacular glowing noble fir Christmas tree dressed in shimmering ornaments in shades of blue, silver and white inspired by the brilliant blue morpho butterfly. On weekends, see a 7 ft. Living Angel adorned in head-to-toe silver with glittering wings of her own as she stands majestically in the garden for photo opportunities. Enjoy sounds of the season every weekend by live musicians, a hand-blown glass art exhibit and a visit from Butterfly Princess Leslie Camp.

Downtown Mesa: Main Street, Mesa.

  • Merry Main Kick-off and Tree Lighting – Nov 29: Merry Main Street will kick-off with an evening of music, food, vendors and fun for everyone. Beginning with a program and tree lighting, you can spend the evening strolling through downtown enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. 5-10pm.
  • Merry Main Street – Nov 29 to Jan 4: Get into the holiday spirit at Merry Main St! Enjoy a winter wonderland ice rink at City Plaza, Food Truck Forest at Pioneer park, holiday happenings at the Mesa Arts Center and Mesa Christmas Market on Macdonald with a four-story holiday tree!
  • Gingerbread Rock – Dec 7: Rock around the Downtown Mesa Christmas Tree with your friends and family this holiday season at the Gingerbread Rock. This free event features gingerbread house making, Santa, vendors, food, Frozen Princesses, bounce houses, games with prizes and more. 5-9pm. Main St & Macdonald in Downtown Mesa.

Shamrock Farms: 40034 W. Clayton Rd.,

Joy to the Herd – Dec 7 & 8: To celebrate the holidays during your one-hour guided tour through the farm, Shamrock Farms will transform its Welcome Barn into a winter wonderland with snow shipped directly from the North Pole, 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 spokes cow – Roxie!

Tanger Outlets Westgate: 6800 N. 95th Ave.,

Mommy & Me North Pole Party – Dec 7: Ho! Ho! Ho! Join us for a North Pole Party full of fun and joy. Enjoy a Funergy Show, games, holiday music, contest, treats, giveaways and selfies with the man of the season – Santa! 12-2pm.

Holiday Lights at the Railroad Park: 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd.,

Nov 29 to Jan 5: Experience the magic of the holidays on board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad at the most unique holiday event in the Valley, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park’s Holiday Lights. The park’s historic steam locomotives will take you through a winter wonderland of holiday lights and displays that will leave children and adults alike grinning from ear to ear. Opening Night festivities on Nov 29 include a tree lighting ceremony with Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, a sing a long and live entertainment. Nightly from 6:30-9pm. Tickets and fast passes on sale November 1. See website for special nights and Santa’s schedule.


Please check event websites for pricing and special information.




Join our monthly eNewsletter to get Arizona Parenting delivered straight to your inbox!

You rock! Thanks for signing up to receive our monthly eNewsletter! Check your inbox for confirmation!