Visit These Top Holiday Events Around Phoenix

We at Arizona Pain hope you’re finding warm and cozy joy with your loved ones on this cold, merry winter day. Thank you so much for your continued support. Everything we do, we do it with the hope of improving your life, even if in some small way. We’re so grateful to be a part of the wonderful Arizona community and look forward to serving you in new and better ways over the coming year. If you’re in the Phoenix area, here’s our picks for some fun post-holiday stuff things to do!

Phoenix holiday events

Winter weather in Phoenix is far from frightful, and the holiday season brings with it wonderful celebrations, many of them outdoors. From festive light displays to music to other kinds of celebrations punctuated by winter cheer, options abound for holiday fun in Phoenix. Here are a few popular events.

1. Zoo Lights

Every year during the holiday season, the Phoenix Zoo welcomes visitors after dark for a magnificent light display that illuminates other attractions. With millions of lights, you’ve likely not seen anything like it. Zoo staff members work for months to set up the displays. Zoo Lights ranks as one of the Southwest’s largest and most anticipated light shows.

The event typically runs from late November through mid-January, leaving plenty of opportunities to visit the grounds and wander through the magical winter wonderland. On-site entertainment also includes a carousel, and wagon or camel rides for an added fee.

New in 2018, the zoo brought in live reindeer, a Stingray Bay, and a 4D theatre.

2. Desert Botanical Garden

The beautiful grounds at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden transform into an epicenter of celebration during the winter months, with a light festival and live music performances taking place.

The light festival, Las Noches de las Luminarias, runs throughout the holidays until December 31. During the celebration, 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags complement thousands more lights that set the Desert Botanical Garden aglow.

While meandering through the grounds, guests will be entertained by a variety of ensembles, ranging from a mariachi group to indie bands to hand bell troupes. Storytellers will also be on hand to lend their expertise and deepen the experience of the evening.

Wine is available for purchase and several different dining options are offered. Reservations are accepted at Gertrude’s, the on-site restaurant, or guests can opt for more casual options such as a café or buffet.

3. Christmas at the Princess

For more kid-friendly light festival fun, visit the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale through December 31. Attractions include an ice-skating rink, 3D light shows, a Christmas carousel, and s’mores land.

The crowning jewel of this beautifully lit extravaganza is a four-story Christmas tree featuring 67,000 lights that twinkle along to holiday music.

4. CitySkate

If you’re pining for Rockefeller Center or just want to experience wintry magic in the desert, head to downtown Phoenix for the ice skating rink in CityScape. The rink, known as CitySkate, welcomes skaters from across the Valley.

Be sure to check the events calendar and celebrate the holidays all December long with activities like Skate it Forward.

5. The Nutcracker

Slip away from reality and into the enchanting world of The Nutcracker, the classic ballet chronicling a young girl’s Christmas adventures in a land of fantasy. Expect beautiful costumes and mesmerizing music.

Several Valley venues are performing this classic piece. Ballet Arizona has performances scheduled from Dec. 13 through 24. Find all other performances here.

6. Christmas light hunting adventure

There’s nothing quite like twinkling Christmas lights to brighten long winter nights. And the Valley has some very impressive displays that make driving around to look at them well worth your while. Not sure where to find the best houses?

The Arizona Republic has made it easy, with its annual map of houses with amazing holiday light displays. The map comes as a downloadable .pdf. This means all you have to do is save it on your phone or print it off, and head out for a fun night cruising while searching for eye candy delight.

The online map is interactive, which means you can click on the little red dots marking houses or commercial properties to read a description of what you can expect to find.

How do you plan to celebrate the holidays in Phoenix this year? From all of us at Arizona Pain, we’re wishing you a beautiful and cozy holiday!