Holiday Activities » Phoenix, AZ

Holiday Activities in Phoenix, AZ

Each year, those in the Valley of the Sun celebrate the holidays while enjoying the sunshine and mild temperatures. Whether you live in the Phoenix area or you are escaping the East Coast chill for a holiday vacation, there is plenty to do and see...without the icy roads, snow shovels or chilly winter wind! What more could you ask for?
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Whether you are a child or a parent, zoos continue to be a place of admiration and interest. Combine the twinkle and glow of more than 3 million holiday lights with the excitement of seeing exotic animals only inches away and you have captured all the wonder of ZooLights. This annual event attracts families from all over the state and is not only an awe-inspiring experience for kids but also a great date night out. The valley nights are chilly enough in the winter to give you a reason to hold your loved one a bit closer. Aside from the spectacular light shows, you can also expect to see live animals, hear great music and even see 3D presentations. If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, you will get the opportunity to go sledding on the huge polar slide! It captures the thrill of sledding...without the frostbite! 

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Holiday Lights

For those who are looking for something out of the ordinary to try this holiday season, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park offers an amazing opportunity. What better way to experience the holiday lights than on a train! During the spring, summer and fall, the railroad park is a common place for many sightsee-ers but once the holiday season arrives, the park takes on a whole new life. With lights decorating as far as the eye can see and holiday music creating smiles as it chugs along, this historic train makes children and adults alike feel the wonder of the Christmas spirit. And if you get chilly on the ride, you have a cup of hot chocolate awaiting you when you get back. 

Glendale Glitters

Glendale Glitters is perhaps one of the most appropriate names for an event. Not sure what we mean? Imagine 16 city blocks of shining holiday lights. This is the largest of all Arizona free light displays and if you can tear yourself away from all the glitter and shine, you will find yourself in one of Arizona’s most delightful shopping districts. For those with last minute holiday shopping to do, this is perhaps the best location to get into the spirit of the season. Horse drawn carriages ride up and down the streets and can make the evening even more special and definitely romantic for those special date nights. After seeing the light displays, cozy up in one of the local pubs and enjoy the festivities with the ones you love. 

Snow What Fun at Desert Ridge Marketplace

The thought of celebrating the holidays without snow can be a hard one to accept, especially for many of Arizona’s residents who have moved from colder climates. While shoveling snow and battling ice may not be missed, watching those perfect snowflakes come down on a chilly December evening is a scene that represents the holidays to many. Fortunately, you can get this experience without leaving the valley and heading north. Desert Ridge Marketplace brings the thrill of the season to holiday shoppers each evening. While strolling along the many shops and restaurants, suddenly you will see the snow globe-like magic happening all around you. Through the magic of modern technology, the Marketplace becomes a winter wonderland. The best part, for those who have dealt with winter’s deep chill, is that the flakes magically melt away as quickly as they came!

Las Noches de las Luminaries

Get the authentic Southwest holiday experience with the Las Noches de las Luminaries celebration at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Walk the lighted luminaire paths and see the beauty of a winter night in the desert. Gorgeous artistic sculptures and more than 8,000 hand lit luminaire bags provide a truly phenomenal backdrop for a night of holiday fun. Aside from the scenery, there is plenty to see and do. Each night there are multiple live bands setting the holiday mood throughout the garden. Walk through and see the amazing cacti and desert life lit by the glowing candles along the path.