The Best Places for a Holiday Date Night in the Valley

photo: Nadia Baxter @nadiabphoto
photo: Nadia Baxter @nadiabphoto

‘Tis the season to snuggle up together like two birds of a feather. Whether you’re looking for some festive first-date fun or want to spice things up with your long-time love, get ready to break out the mistletoe with these holiday date night ideas.

Omni Montelucia

Treat you and your SO to a ‘Spa Day for Two’ at the resorts award-winning, Joya Spa. Rent a luxury suite for the day and book a couples massage or try two 50-min services plus lunch for two. Enjoy some seasonal sips and snacks post spa with their Saturday Tapas Tour at Prado. For $60 per person guests will begin with a glass of house-made sangria, then taste the entire tapas menu and end with a chef’s choice of a sweet dessert tapa.

Float Balloon Tours

Are you an adventure-seeking duo? Book a scenic sunset or sunrise flight over the Sonoran Desert with this award-winning, boutique hot air balloon company. Each flight comes complete with an epic three-course meal set amongst the mountain and cacti (literally, they set up a whole dining experience right where you land). Meals feature local farm and food producers along with Arizona wineries to showcase the state’s best purveyors.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

The resort’s annual ‘Christmas at the Princess‘ festival is a winter wonderland must for couples from one to ninety-two. Stroll through thousands of holiday lights that adorn the property, hold hands on the festive ferris wheel and make your honey a special gift at the interactive Build-A-Bear Workshop. Or cuddle up at one of the VIP luxury fire pit tables complete with s’mores and blankets. Located next to the Desert Ice Skating Rink means you can also take a slow jam spin on the 6,000-square-foot arena. Stay for dinner and drinks at one of the resorts on-site restaurants including newly remodeled La Hacienda or Bourbon Steak.

Hanny’s + “The Nutcracker”

Rock around the glass Christmas tree at the iconic department store turned downtown eatery. A couple of their classic $5 martinis and pizza featuring house-cut meats is the perfect pre-show pairing for sharing. Next, hit up Phoenix Symphony Hall for Ballet Arizona‘s performance of quintessential holiday tradition, “The Nutcracker”.  The holiday stage spectacular comes alive with 30 world-class professional ballet dancers, 150 children performing as angels, dancers, and soldiers – alongside larger-than-life dancing mice. Performances run Thursday – Sunday until Christmas Eve. Snag your tickets here.

Fox Restaurant Concepts

We couldn’t just list one of FRC’s extremely popular dining destinations since they’re all equally amazing. Make it a brunch date at Arcadia favorite, The Henry, and order a seasonal coffee drink like the Après Ski (espresso, peppermint and white chocolate). Enjoy our mild Arizona winter under the twinkling lights on Olive & Ivy‘s patio or challenge your sweetie to some lawn games at Culinary Dropout. Of course you can never go wrong splitting a basket of chips and gauc with a side of margs at Blanco or going ‘Lady and the Tramp’ over a bowl of pasta at North Italia.

Coach House + Scottsdazzle

Is it really even Christmas if you don’t make a stop at Coach House? Each year the old town Scottsdale dive bar transforms into a dazzling (borderline seizure-inducing) display of lights both inside and out making for a holiday must see. We recommend visiting early in the evening to avoid the massive line that tends to form. Treat your date to a couple cheap cocktails and then walk down to Scottsdale Waterfront for Scottsdazzle. The month-long celebration features live music and entertainers each weekend as well as glittering art installations like a massive tree ornament, iceberg tunnel and towering tree with one million customized colors.


Take a trip for two down a candy-caned lane at downtown Phoenix’s CityScape shopping center. Start your night out at the Valley’s first Miracle Bar hosted inside Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. The Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar features a crop of holiday favorites from classic movie references to hundreds of Elf on a Shelf dolls plus 12 craft Christmas cocktail creations like Jingle Balls Nog, Snowball Old Fashioned and Gingerbread Flip. After getting your fill of Christmas Miracle bar cheer, burn some cals while getting close on the center’s huge ice rink or get some adult-rated laughs in at Stand Up Live.

Scottsdale Quarter

Pack a plush picnic blanket and some hot cocoa for Christmas Movies at the Quarter, featuring a free holiday flick each Saturday shown outside at the Quad. Titles include classics like “Polar Express”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and more. Not into an outdoors viewing? Take the movie going experience inside at luxury theatre, iPic where you can cozy up with pillows and blankets in their reclining loungers while enjoying seat-side food and beverage service with the push of a button.

Mountain Shadows

Make some mid-century modern memories with one of the resorts many special experiences like Cocktails Under the Cosmos, where you’ll can enjoy stargazing and sweeping views on the romantic Camelback Overlook rooftop deck while sipping cozy cocktails. Or get your knowledge on December 29 at a Spirited Sipping Seminar featuring an alcohol-related history lesson worth savoring, plus tastings.

Octane Raceway

Get in the (competitive) Christmas spirit carving up the track at Scottsdale’s high-speed race kart experience. Karts go up to 45 MPH on a challenging 1/3-mile road course, which is the only full time indoor/outdoor track in the entire US. The venue also offers a virtual reality gaming room, arcade, mini bowling and on-site eatery with full bar (just don’t drink and drive). Octane Raceway will even be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for couples looking to do a little seasonal ‘shake n bake’.

Check out more places to eat, drink and be merry this season.

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