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Phoenix Christmas Events To Fill Your 2017 Holiday Calendar
Despite its desert setting, the Christmas holiday spirit permeates the Phoenix area with festivals, holiday bazaars, crafts for kids, ice skating, tree lighting ceremonies, and of course, Santa sightings. Many events are free, but there may be parking fees, or fees for certain activities at an event.
All dates, times, prices, and offerings are subject to change without notice.
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess kicks off the Eighth Annual Christmas at the Princess festival on November 22 with the lighting of the musical tree. The 45-foot tree holds 67,000 LED lights that “twinkle and dance” to holiday songs. Santa arrives on opening night, and music, refreshments, ice skating, and activities entertain the whole family nightly throughout the holiday season.
In 2017: November 22 to December 31
The Westgate Entertainment District spreads holiday cheer with a professional ice skating performance, public skating sessions, a tree lighting ceremony, visits from Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, nightly snowfall, and a menorah lighting.
Westgate Entertainment District, Glendale
In 2017: November 21 to December 31
Each year the Phoenix Zoo puts up a display of holiday lights, Because ZooLights takes place in the evening, you won't see many live animals, but you will see lighted animal sculptures.
In 2017: November 22 to January 14, 2018
Join Santa for the nightly snowfall and a tree-lighting ceremony on Main Street. Lights, entertainment, holiday stunt shows, and Santa are all part of the celebration. Drop off your letter to Santa at Rawhide’s “Delivery to the SW Pole” mailbox. Photos with Santa. Regular admission prices apply, $5 parking charge.
In 2017: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, November 23 to December 23
The Polimene family tradition goes back 37 years. Visitors control a homemade 1/6 scale train as it travels over 80 feet of track, activating several features along the way: a crossing gate, erupting volcano, Ferris wheel, light bridge, carousel, candy cane factory, and candy cane dispenser. Free candy canes are presented to all young visitors until 9 p.m. via one of cars. Donations for Phoenix Children’s Hospital are accepted.
541 E. Mountain Sky Ave., Phoenix (Ahwatukee)
In 2017: Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day, dusk to 11 p.m.
Butterfly Wonderland transforms into a Winter Wonderland to kick off the holiday season with tranquil blue, white, and silver décor. Guests enjoy 7-foot living angels with expansive wings that add an ethereal aura to the Conservatory, while musical groups including Scottsdale Strings, Nouveau Papillon, harpist Adrienne Bridgewater, and others fill the air with the serene sounds of the season. Regular admission applies.
In 2017: Variable days and hours from November 24 to December 29
Each year during the holiday season, the Desert Botanical Garden lines the paths of this extraordinary desert garden with thousands of luminarias.
In 2017: select dates from November 24 to December 30
The annual Mesa Temple Garden Christmas Lights display conveys peace and goodwill of the season with a unique and spectacular exhibit of hundreds of thousands of lights that serve as a backdrop for the sounds of the holidays. Open nightly from 5 to 10 p.m., November 24 to December 31. Free concerts take place nightly from December 1 to Christmas Day.
In 2017: November 24 to December 31
The Resort transforms into a winter wonderland as the walls of the Westin Kierland come alive with PaintScaping, themed 3-D images, and animations set to holiday music. Shows at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. Free admission.
In 2017: Variable nights throughout December
The Phoenician continues a time-honored tradition of breakfast with Santa, along with cookie decorating. Guests of the resort can join a one-hour guided exploration of the 250 varieties of cacti on the 2-acre desert retreat, which are adorned with holidays lights during the season.
In 2017: December 9 for breakfast with Santa; every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday in December for the garden tour.
The festivities begin in downtown Mesa with an evening of music, food, and fun for everyone. Beginning with a tree-lighting ceremony, you can spend the evening strolling through downtown enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Merry Main Street features the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink of more than 4,000 square feet. Other key attractions at Merry Main Street include the Jack Frost Food Truck Forest and numerous sELFie photo stations. Friday and Saturday evenings feature arts, crafts, and local vendors along Main Street.
Take advantage of the Merry Main Express Free Fare Zone. You can ride the light rail for free during Merry Main Street between Country Club Drive and Mesa Drivefrom 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on select weekends.
In 2017: November 24 to January 5, 2018
Join this annual holiday event at the Wigwam at Litchfield Park with a tree lighting, Santa, snow slide, and holiday ice skating.
In 2017: December 8, 15, and 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Scottsdazzle transforms downtown Scottsdale into a holiday extravaganza. Highlights of the month-long event include a Christmas tree lighting, the Gold Palette ArtWalk, Cowboy Christmas, holiday culinary tours, free concerts, a fashion show, farmer's market, and blacksmith demonstration, among other activities and events.
In 2017: November 25 to January 1, 2018
Downtown Glendale presents themed events on various weekends throughout the holidays. On opening night, the Glendale Glitters Spectacular Weekend features holiday entertainment, food, hand-crafted holiday gifts, a children’s winter wonderland, shopping, and visits with Santa. The stage show counts down to the lighting ceremony on the opening Friday evening. The grand finale, called the Glitter & Glow Block Party, takes place in January. Free admission to all events, though there may be a charge for some activities.
In 2017: November 24 to January 6, 2018
Visit Ahwatukee for carnival rides, community entertainment, a beer garden, Marketplace Street Fair, and the Harley Parade. In south Phoenix, Chandler Boulevard from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway is illuminated with more than a million white LED lights and can be seen nightly, from November 24 through January 8, 2018 from 6 to 11 p.m.
In 2017: November 25 from 12 to 8 p.m. (Opening Day); lights through January 1, 2018
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