Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide

Phoenix Zoo LightsDon’t miss the BEST Arizona Holiday Events, Light Displays, Concerts, Parades, Santa Visits and more in our 2016 Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide.  Grab your family and friends and check out what’s going on all the state! We’ve got it broken down by area for you.  Happy Holidays!

Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide: Phoenix & Valley

The Valley of the Sun during the Holiday Season features an amazing variety of Holiday events and colorful light displays. From Glendale Glitters to Carefree’s Christmas Festival, you can find snow in the Phoenix Area as well as tons of holiday fun! Be sure to check back often as we will continue to add more to our Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide to help you plan your perfect Holiday adventure!

NOV 12 2016
Anthem Tree Lighting (ANTHEM) Bring the family to the Outlets at Anthem for the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in the state! Special guests and live performances, 5pm, 623-465-9500.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

NOV 23 2016 – JAN 8 2017
ZooLights (PHOENIX) Join the Phoenix Zoo at the Valley’s brightest holiday tradition: ZooLights presented by SRP! Celebrating 25 years, ZooLights shines with millions of lights, a three-story-high holiday tree, lakeside music-in-motion shows and much more, 5:30-10:30pm nightly, phoenixzoo.org, 602-286-3800. Visit Website 
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

NOV 24 2016
Thanksgiving Day Parade (FOUNTAIN HILLS) “Hollywood Holidays” themed parade featuring classic cars, marching bands, animals and more. Parade starts at 9am at the corners of Saguaro and El Lago Boulevards, 480-837-1654.

NOV 25 – 26 2016
Glendale Glitters Spectacular Weekend (GLENDALE) The stunning display of 1.5 million lights will illuminate sixteen blocks of Historic Downtown Glendale. Enjoy holiday entertainment, food, crafts, children’s wonderland and snow, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more. Murphy Park, free, 5-10 pm, 623-930-2299. The lights are on through January 7th, 2017 with special events on select weekends.  Click here for the best holiday events in Glendale.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

NOV 26 2016
Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade (TEMPE) This festive event brings over 35,000 people to enjoy the parade, tree lighting ceremony, and a visit with Santa. Mill Avenue District, 6 pm, 480-894-8158.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 2 2016
Old Town Holiday Festival (PEORIA) Take a stroll through Old Town Peoria and enjoy all the holiday activities featuring live entertainment, a visit from Santa, 20 tons of snow, crafters market, kid zone and a choral contest. South of Peoria and Grand avenues, 5-10pm, 623-773-7000.

DEC 2 – 3 2016
Cowboy Christmas Poetry Gathering (WICKENBURG) Cowboy reception on Dec 2 at Desert Caballeros Western Museum with some of the featured cowboys, limited tickets. Main performance on Dec 3 at 7pm at the Wickenburg Community Center. Tickets 928-684-5479, outwickenburgway.com.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 2 – 3 2016
15th Annual Surprise Party (SURPRISE) Enjoy a tree lighting ceremony, balloon glow and live entertainment on Friday night. Saturday, features a full day of activities including an arts & crafts show, classic car show, pony and camel rides, petting zoo, great food and more. Surprise Recreation Campus, free, 623-222-2000.

DEC 2 – 3 2016
Glendale’s Jingle Bell Rockin’ Nights (GLENDALE) Bring your dancin’ shoes to Murphy Park, and dance to holiday music and oldies. The park will be packed with music, lights, kids’ crafts and entertainment. Murphy Park, free, 6 – 10pm, 623-930-2299.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 2 – 4 2016
Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts (TEMPE) As many as 400 artist booths line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets presenting unique, and hand-made artwork that offers visitors a distinctive shopping experience. Live entertainment, street performers, food, Arizona Wine Festival, kids station and more. Mill Avenue District, free, 10-5:30pm, 480-967-4877.

DEC 3 2016
APS Electric Light Parade (PHOENIX) Spectacular display of lighted floats, marching bands, and performance groups. Central Ave. from Montebello to Camelback, east on Camelback to 7th St., 7th St. south to Indian School, 7 pm, 602-262-6437.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 3 2016
Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony & Parade of Lights (CHANDLER) Since 1957 Chandler has been the only city in the southwestern United States to have a tumbleweed Christmas tree!  Enjoy live entertainment, food, crafts, games & Santa. A.J. Chandler Park, free, 4:30 pm – 9pm, parade at 7pm, 480-782-2735.

DEC 8 2016
Holiday Event at SHOPS Gainey Village (SCOTTSDALE) Guests will enjoy live holiday music, pictures with Santa Claus, horse and carriage rides around the shopping center, entertainment, a trackless train for children, and more! The SHOPS Gainey Village, 5pm-8pm.

DEC 9 2016
Christmas Parade of Lights (WICKENBURG) Watch the illuminated entries and have the opportunity to visit with Santa Claus after the parade at the awards ceremonies in front of the Garcia Little Red Schoolhouse. Parade starts at 6:30pm on Yavapai Street, 928-684-0977, outwickenburgway.com.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 9 – 10 2016
Winter Wonderland Weekend (GLENDALE) Features a children’s snow field, so don’t forget to bring the mittens! Sip hot cocoa while basking in delightful winter fun, right here, in Arizona! The snowfield offers kids the opportunity to build their own Frosty the Snowman plus other fun activities. Historic Downtown Glendale, 6pm – 10pm, free, 623-930-2299.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 9 – 11 2016
Carefree Christmas Festival (CAREFREE) Three days and two nights of FREE holiday festivities and live entertainment. Enjoy visits with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, 40 tons of REAL snow, holiday food and gift market, music, dance and more! Electric Light Parade on Saturday at 6pm, Pet Day and Parade on Sunday. Carefree Desert Gardens and the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, Fri & Sat: 10-9pm, Sun: 10-5pm, 480-488-3686, carefreechristmasfestival.com for event schedule.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 9 2016 – JAN 1 2017
Holiday Lights (SCOTTSDALE) Take a train ride through many festive holiday lights and displays turning the Railroad Park into a winter wonderland. Santa will be at the park through December 23. (Park Closed Dec 24th, 25th & 31st). McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 6:30 pm – 9 pm, 480-312-2312.

DEC 10 2016
Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade (TEMPE) Features as many as 50 festively lighted boats of all sizes, selfies with Santa, live music, food, and a top notch fireworks show. Tempe Beach Park & Town Lake, 4pm, free, 480-355-6060.

DEC 10 2016
Christmas in the Park (LITCHFIELD PARK) Enjoy a fun-filled day of activities and entertainment. The event opens at 9am with an arts and crafts show. The Christmas parade begins at 10am and concludes with the arrival of Santa. From 11am until 3:30 pm, event goers will enjoy Elf’s Alley, kids’ crafts in Santa’s Workshop, pictures with Santa, pony and train rides, local stage acts, and snow! Litchfield Park Town Center, 9 – 4 pm, free, 623-935-9040.

DEC 16 – 17 2016
Spirit of Giving Weekend (GLENDALE) Celebrates and showcases the numerous community organizations and non-profits which continue to make a positive impact in the lives of Valley residents. Plus enjoy 1.5 million holiday lights! Historic Downtown Glendale, 6pm – 10pm, free, 623-930-2299.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 17 2016
Cruisin’ with Santa Holiday Car Show (PHOENIX) It’s not often you see Santa Claus driving into town sitting in a little red corvette. Shoppers at The Shops at Norterra at I-17 and Happy Valley Road in North Phoenix will not want to miss Jolly Old Saint Nick’s grand entrance at 6 p.m. sharp during the shopping center’s annual Cruisin’ with Santa event. Norterra’s Main Street will be packed with the classic cars and families enjoying the holiday season. Enjoy live music, giveaways. prizes and more! 623-582-9599

Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide: Sedona, Prescott

As you travel north in Arizona, the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona offer a unique holiday experience. And of course, a visit to Arizona wouldn’t be complete without spending the holidays in Arizona’s Christmas City – Prescott! Be sure to check back often as we will continue to add more to our Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide to help you plan your perfect Holiday adventure!

ALL DECEMBER
Holiday Central Sedona 2016 (SEDONA) This year’s Holiday Central Sedona affair is set to be the biggest yet, with the return of the historic Red Rock Fantasy, in addition to larger scales of the classic events Tinsel Town, Be the Peace Meditation Retreat, Festival of Lights, Sweet Stroll and so much more! Visit website for a complete list of events – holidaycentralsedona.com.

NOV 19 2016 – JAN 2 2017
World’s Largest Gingerbread Village (PRESCOTT) Enjoy a fantastical village of more than 100 delicious structures in the lobby of the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, free for viewing 24/7 through Jan 2nd. Pictures with Santa on Nov 26th, 800-266-7534.

NOV 26 2016
Light up the Mountain (JEROME) Jerome Lights up the Mountain and Luminaria, 7pm-9pm, 928-634-2900.

DEC 1 2016 – JAN 1 2017
Red Rock Fantasy (SEDONA) New location, new lights, same great community event! From dusk to 9pm spectators can stroll through the beautiful grounds of Tlaquepaque and enjoy light displays created by local businesses/organizations, 928-282-4838.

DEC 2 2016
Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa Visit (SEDONA) Come watch the lighting of the 20’ tree and Santa’s arrival. Hear seasonal favorites from local carolers and youth music groups, and enjoy hot cocoa or cider and cookies, 5-7pm, 928-204-2390.

DEC 3 2016
Parade & Courthouse Christmas Lighting (PRESCOTT) Ring in the holiday season in Arizona’s Christmas City with the 34th Annual parade at 1pm, which is followed by the 62nd Annual Courthouse Lighting Ceremony at 6pm. Musical groups at 5pm. Prescott Courthouse Plaza, free, 800-266-7534.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 3 2016
23rd Annual Chocolate Walk (COTTONWOOD) The merriment begins with the 62nd Annual Cottonwood Christmas Parade at 11am. After the parade, get a bite to eat or do a little Christmas shopping. Beginning at 3pm, you can collect your bag, map and ticket at the Old Town Civic Center and begin collecting chocolates at more than 30 shops up and down Main Street! 928-649-3038.

DEC 3 2016
Breakfast with Santa (SEDONA) After a pancake breakfast, children can enjoy making winter crafts, as well as sitting on Santa’s lap. Don’t forget to bring your camera! The Hub at Posse Grounds Park, 8-10am, 928-282-7098.

DEC 9 2016
Acker Musical Showcase (PRESCOTT) Enjoy over 100 musicians performing all around downtown area shops, 5:30-8:30 pm, free, 800-266-7534.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 10 2016
Festival of Lights (SEDONA) A cherished tradition which involves the lighting of six thousand luminarias in Tlaquepaque’s courtyards and walkways at 5 pm. Entertainment abounds with carolers, choirs and musicians. Specially designated Luminarias honoring cancer survivors can be purchased in advance call 928-282-4838. Tlaquepaque, free, 3-8pm.

DEC 17 2016
Holiday Sweet Stroll (SEDONA) Discover unique gifts, enjoy sparkling lights, strolling carolers, sweet treats, special give-a-ways and more. Tlaquepaque, 3-7pm, 928-282-4838.

 

Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide: Flagstaff, Williams

Flagstaff is truly Arizona’s Winter Wonderland. From Holiday events to places to ski, Flagstaff is your place to celebrate the Holiday season. And while you are in Northern Arizona, don’t miss out a truly unique adventure at Bearizona in Williams. Home to an incredible array of wildlife, Bearizona turns into a magical attraction for the holidays. Be sure to check back often as we will continue to add more to our Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide to help you plan your perfect Holiday adventure!

NOV 11 2016 – JAN 6 2016
Polar Express Train Rides (WILLIAMS) Experience the magic of the Polar Express, the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, as the train departs Williams Depot to the “North Pole” with a visit from Santa. Grand Canyon Railway, reservations 800-THE TRAIN.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

NOV 11 – DEC 3 2016 (Weekends)
Festival of Trees (FLAGSTAFF) A magical festival showcasing trees, lights, wreaths and other beautiful displays created by the local Flagstaff community. The Arboretum, Fridays & Saturdays 3-8pm, Sundays 4-7pm, 928-774-1442.

NOV 26 2016
Tree Lighting Ceremony (WILLIAMS) Kick off the holiday season in Williams with a colorful tree lighting ceremony! Historic Route 66, 6-8pm, ExperienceWilliams.com.

DEC 2 – DEC 31 2016
Wild Wonderland at Bearizona (WILLIAMS) Enjoy the magic of Bearizona at night! Visitors will enter the park after normal operating hours and stroll among the beautifully lit pine trees that are synchronized to traditional Christmas music. Runs Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights from Dec 2 – Dec 18, then nightly from Dec 19 – 31. Bearizona, 928-635-2289. 
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 10 2016
Santas World of Wonders (WILLIAMS) Kids will have a chance to get in the holiday spirit with games, crafts and a visit with St. Nick at the Williams Recreation Center from 10am – 1:30pm, 928-635-6784.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

 

Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide: Tucson & S. AZ

Southern Arizona is loaded with fun and festive holiday events from art festivals to zoolights and special Luminarias. Be sure to check back often as we will continue to add more to our Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Guide to help you plan your perfect Holiday adventure!

NOV 18 – 20 2016
Holiday Artisans Market (TUCSON) Over 100 of the Southwest’s finest artisans display their wares and help you find perfect holiday gifts in the courtyard of Tucson Museum of Art, free, 10–5pm, 520-624-2333.

NOV 26 – 27 2016
TSO SuperPops! Holiday Special: Home Alone in Concert (TUCSON) The Tucson Symphony Orchestra presents “Home Alone,” a beloved comedy classic movie featuring renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed by the TSO and chorus live with images projected on the “big screen.” Tickets 520-882-8585.
* Arizona Holiday Lights and Events Favorite!

DEC 2 – 3 2016
Luminaria Nights (TUBAC) The streets are lined with luminaries and the stores are open until 9 pm. Enjoy great homemade food, music and Santa Claus! Tubac Village, 520-398-2704.

DEC 2 – 4 & 9 – 11 2016
Luminaria Nights (TUCSON) Take a stroll down a path lit with traditional luminarias and delight in the trees and decorations lit with thousands of twinkling lights. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 5:30pm – 8:30pm, 520-326-9686.

DEC 9 – 11 2016
4th Avenue Winter Street Fair (TUCSON) 400+ arts and crafts booths, 35+ food vendors, two stages, street musicians, jugglers, carnival food, a kids’ art area, face painting and more. Between Ninth St. and University Blvd. along Fourth Ave., 10 am to dusk, free, 520-624-5004.

DEC 10 2016
Courthouse Luminaires & Parade (TOMBSTONE) Once a year the courthouse is illuminated by candlelight. Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Christmas Light Parade starts at 6th Street at 6:30pm, 888-457-3929.

DEC 17 2016
22nd Annual Downtown Parade of Lights (TUCSON) Holiday-theme street parade with decorated floats, vehicles, and entertainers. Visit Santa Claus at the Historic Train Depot. Armory Park in Downtown Tucson, 4pm-9pm, free, 520- 268-9030.

DEC 17 – 18 2016
Magic of Christmas: Tucson Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Special (TUCSON) See and hear the TSO play favorite Christmas carols and holiday masterpieces, dance, sing, tell the story of Christmas, and welcome Santa too, at Tucson Music Hall. Tickets 520-882-8585.

DEC 22 – 24 2016
The Nutcracker Ballet (TUCSON) Ballet Tucson’s wonderful, traditional version of the holiday classic features swirling snowflakes, marching toy soldiers, giant mice, and candy confections. Tucson Music Hall, tickets 800-745-3000.

ALL TIMES/DATES/COSTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

On the Cover

It’s Not Just a Bar, it’s a Destination

Surrounded by the glitz and glamour of Old Town Scottsdale’s tourist destinations, the Rusty Spur brings some sorely needed honky-tonk authenticity to the “West’s Most Western Town.”