You can celebrate 25 days of Christmas in Phoenix with lots of fun events like Santa sightings, snow days, holiday light displays, live performances and much more. Many of these events are held on multiple occasions so if you can’t make it on the date below, check their website for additional times.
Saturday, December 1
APS Electric Light Parade in Downtown Phoenix
Location: The parade travels down Central Avenue from Montebello, then heads east on Camelback to 7th Street, then south to end at Indian School Road.
Come and see the lighted floats in this festive parade. This year’s theme is Toys, Treasures and Traditions. Bring blankets and chairs. Coolers are okay but alcohol is not permitted.
This family-friendly festival will have live performances, holiday crafts, a snow area with sledding, and more! The Mayor’s tree lighting ceremony begins at 6:15 pm.
Come and enjoy this annual holiday concert now in its 38th season.
Holiday events at the Scottsdale Princess are open to the public and resort guests. Their four-story tree with five-foot snowflake topper is adorned with 65,000 LED lights that twinkle and dance to ten holiday songs. The music show runs nightly from 6pm to 10pm. More than 500,000 lights illuminate the lagoons with whimsical displays and throughout the resort grounds more than 75 trees are wrapped in lights. Other holiday activities for guests and locals vary during the season.
Various activities include a Nite Lite show and snowfall in the children’s play area and horse and carriage rides.
You can bring the kids but you might want to get a babysitter instead. This event is more on the romantic side. Each night of Luminaria the Garden is brought to life with the soft glow from thousands of luminaria bags and white twinkle lights. While sipping on warm apple cider you can stroll through the paths with your sweetheart as you listen to the sounds of handbells ringing and Dickens Carolers singing. The Patio Café will be open with nightly specials or you can purchase a ticket for the delicious catered meal for $17.50 per adult and $9.50 per child 12 years and under. It is recommended to buy a meal ticket in advance but you can also purchase them at the Admissions Box Office. Check online for additional dates.
With admission you can: get cozy around the bonfires, make S’mores, sip hot chocolate, decorate cookies, take unlimited Christmas-lighted hayrides around the dairy, listen to holiday music, shop local vendors for Christmas gifts, and visit the petting zoo. Also available for purchase: dinner, horse rides, animal feed, and photos with Santa on a 1950s tractor. Moo’ey Christmas will also take place on December 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
Bring your mittens and a snow tube and slide down the snow hill! For the price of admission, enjoy the snow hill, hayride, maze, air bounce and petting zoo. Also available for purchase are hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy, chips, soda and hot drinks.
“The Petersen House Museum will be filled with Danish Christmas decorations and traditions for the holiday season. The theme this year will be based on the Danish story, Peter’s Christmas, written by J. Krohn. It is the story of a young boy’s Christmas in Denmark during the late 1800s. The story begins with holiday preparations in early December and follows Peter and his family through their Christmas celebration to the Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the Danish Christmas season. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to visit the Petersen House and see it at its holiday best.”
Returning to the stage for their annual holiday concert, Jeffrey Hattrick and Nicole Pesce present a music ensemble from jazz to classical that is sure to warm your heart.
Presented by Actor’s Youth Theatre, this is a musical story about life-size toys who live in a vintage toy store and magically come to life after hours.
Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen and story time readings of holiday classics. There will be dancing and exercises by The Little Gym and the Super Why! characters presented by PBS Channel 8. Curious George will appear Wednesday, December 19th from 5pm to 7pm.
See the Music in Motion light show around the lake with 15,000 synchronized lights set to music by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. There’s some new additions this year, including two 10-feet tall wizards creating an electric “snow” with a wave of their wands. Note: Buy tickets at Fry’s for $13 that are valid any night, which is only a savings if you go on Friday or Saturday.
Enjoy The Holiday, part of Biltmore Fashion Park’s Movies in the Park series, on the Center Lawn. Bring blankets and chairs. Supervised children and pets are welcome. Picnicking is allowed and several of the restaurants will provide to-go service.
Enjoy a breakfast of pancakes or lunch of burgers/hot dogs and chips. Take train rides and a hay ride to feed the reindeer. Kids can play in the snow area and sled down the hill, and visit the petting zoo and play yard. Santa will mingle with the children and be available for photos. *Make your reservation HERE.
This holiday SEAson the aquarium transforms into an underwater winter wonderland with festive décor and visits from Sharky Santa. Kids can do a holiday craft in the play area and hear a holiday storybook reading followed by light snow flurries at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm each day of the event.
Monday, December 17
CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS at Phoenix First Church
Location: 13613 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix 85022
Time: 7:00 pm
Cost: $15 for reserved seating, no ticket for free general admission seating required
Experience the tradition of one of America’s largest Christmas musicals. As always, there will be live circus animals and this year a special feature looks back on the music and dance of the 1940’s. The show culminates with a live nativity, flying angels, and a 30 piece orchestra.
Bring the kids to the Phoenix Children’s Museum for holiday craft making. This week’s Art Studio Projects are holiday wreaths and gingerbread men. Note: you can bring your own food to the museum provided you eat it in the designated areas.
Take a train ride through hundreds of thousands of lights and see this beloved park transformed into its winter wonderland. Santa will also be at the park until December 23rd.
Each year Ballet Arizona presents this classic tale of a young girl who receives a nutcracker for Christmas. Many other showtimes are scheduled. Check their website for dates and times available.
This is the Valley’s largest, real outdoor ice skating rink. Proceeds go to various charities and you can present your skate rental wristband to many CityScape locations for special deals (details at kiosk).
This show is custom tailored to each audience. Arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain call and choose your favorite songs among more than 100 holiday selections in the giant jukebox. Votes will be tallied and the cast will bring to life the most requested music on stage.
You get to enjoy Arizona’s largest display of lights from the comfort of your vehicle. You’ll drive about a mile through five tunnels and see more than 7,000,000 lights and 300 animated and still displays. This event runs daily from November 16, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
If these 25 days of activities aren’t enough for you, there is also pottery painting at As You Wish, entertainment at the Musical Instrument Museum, performances at the Orpheum Theater and Phoenix Theatre, Winter Wonderland Express at Enchanted Island Amusement Park, and Glendale Glitters in Historic Downtown Glendale. There’s something for everyone to enjoy! However you choose to celebrate, have a wonderful and safe holiday.