Arizona’s largest real outdoor ice rink is back this year, taking over Central Avenue right along CityScape Phoenix. Start your winter off right and revel in the joy the season brings by ice skating in the heart of Downtown Phoenix—under the twinkling night sky. The rink opens on Nov. 21 and the grand opening party takes place on Black Friday, Nov. 23. The party is free and will include a professional figure skating routine, a tree lighting ceremony, Downtown Phoenix history tours and—new this year—a public art instillation inspired by a Christmas tree. The rink will be open until Jan. 6 with tickets ranging from $10 to $30 (skate rental included). phxicerink.com.
Illumination: Symphony of Light (pictured)
The world’s largest animated holiday drive-through light spectacular is back for a second year in North Phoenix—and is adding a second location. Illumination: Symphony of Light will return to its original location off the I-17 and Jomax Road (opening Nov. 14) as well as make its debut at Tempe’s Diablo Stadium (opening Nov. 16). The Phoenix outpost also features an expanded Holiday Boulevard Marketplace with snacking, sips and gifts from local vendors. Illumination will dazzle and delight guests with nearly two million glittering lights, including dancing candy canes, twirling gingerbread men and giant fluttering snowflakes synchronized to holiday tunes and festive hits played over cars’ FM dials. The drive-through portion is 25 minutes long; due to popular demand, it is recommended that guests reserve a date and time for either experience through the Web site. Tickets are $29 in advance; $35 per car at the door. worldofillumination.com.
The North Phoenix location hosts the world’s largest Christmas-themed inflatable obstacle course at its Holiday Boulevard Marketplace. Measuring 350 linear feet, the U-shaped, 19-ft.-tall inflatable behemoth can accommodate four racers at one time and provides obstacles from pillars, tunnels and slides to climbing walls, a maze and carousel for children to run, jump, crawl and bounce their way to the finish line.
GPGLCC's 10th Annual Festival of Trees
Step into the season with serious style. Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce's 10th Annual Festival of Trees takes place at Ballet Arizona on Dec. 1 from 7 to 10 p.m. The evening will include a showcase of decked-out holiday trees, wreaths, menorahs and other displays—all up for auction and sale. Plus, there is one special travel tree, which is raffled off and includes an all-expense paid trip to Amsterdam. Tickets are $75 for general admission; $100 for VIP tickets. festivaloftreesphoenix.org.