The Valley won’t have snow for the holidays, but it does have many events and festivities that are celebrating the season with brilliant light shows, classic traditions, winter wonderlands and more. Here are some of the very best holiday events happening in the greater Phoenix area this winter.
APS Electric Light Parade, Phoenix
The 35th annual APS Electric Light Parade will light up the streets of Phoenix on Saturday, December 3 beginning at 7 p.m. Families, neighborhood groups and businesses gather to watch the brightly illuminated floats, marching bands, Santa and festive performances bring Holiday cheer to the city’s downtown. The parade begins at Central Ave. and Montebello Ave. and ends at 7th St. and Indian School Rd.
Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker, Phoenix
The heartwarming Holiday classic masterly performed by Ballet Arizona and The Phoenix Symphony returns to Symphony Hall with performances from December 9 through December 24. Tickets to Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker are available here.
Christmas at Schnepf Farms, Queen Creek
Step inside a winter wonderland at Schnepf Farms complete with Santa’s workshop, outdoor ice skating, Christmas bonfires, the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course, glow-in-the-dark Snow Globe mini golf, holiday treats and more. Families can climb aboard the Illumination Express and experience the magic of a reindeer hayride with snow. Purchase tickets here.
The world’s largest holiday-themed light event brings over 4 million sparkling lights to Scottsdale at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, located within the Talking Stick Entertainment District, for the very first time this holiday season. The one-of-a-kind attraction features over 10 acres of exciting, themed fun, including: an immersive walk-thru light maze; a unique ice-skating trail; live entertainment; Santa visits; and a holiday shopping marketplace with crafts, gifts and culinary treats including festive holiday beverages and cocktails, surrounding one of the largest Christmas trees in the world, a spectacular 100-foot-tall tree unlike any other. Guests 21 and over can enjoy a Polar Ice Bar with parkas provided by Enchant. Purchase tickets here.
Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Tempe
The Valley’s favorite dazzling holiday tradition returns to Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park on December 10 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring a lighted boat parade, holiday shopping, festive treats and a spectacular firework show.
Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Christmas in the Southwest is celebrated at the Desert Botanical Garden all month long with twinkling lights and luminarias that line the trails and desert gardens, musical performances, entertainment and large-scale sculptures of Playing with Stars by Rotraut. Las Noches de las Luminarias are held from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Purchase tickets here.
Lights at the Farm at Vertuccio Farms, Mesa
Arizona’s largest walk-thru synchronized light show takes place at Vertuccio Farms from November 23 to December 30, with visits from Santa on December 10 and 11 and December 16-23. Guests can enjoy the spectacular lights plus the outdoor synthetic ice skating rink and Candy Cane Lane Boutique. Weekday and weekend tickets are available here.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Holiday Lights, Scottsdale
Holiday Lights at McCormick Railroad Park features a train ride aboard the Paradise & Pacific Railroad past holiday lights and displays, a spin on the historic Charros Carousel, hot cocoa from Harley’s General Store and visits from Santa on select dates. Holiday Lights runs from November 25 through December 30. Purchase tickets here.
Glendale Glitters, Downtown Glendale
Murphy Park in Historic Downtown Glendale will glitter with a glamorous light display each evening from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. from now until January 7. The six-week celebration also includes free festive holiday events at Murphy Park like the annual Hometown Christmas Parade, various performances at the park amphitheater, Movies by Moonlight and more.
Prescott Courthouse Square Christmas Celebration, Downtown Prescott
Winter Waterland at OdySea Aquarium, Scottsdale
Dive into an underwater winter wonderland at OdySea Aquarium featuring a VIP SeaTrek Holiday Experience that includes a meet and greet with SeaTrek Santa, a festive holiday ride past custom aquarium exhibits, a Santa scavenger hunt, photos and more. Book your VIP experience here.
World of Illumination Drive-Through Animated Light Show, Tempe
World of Illumination, the world’s largest animated drive-thru light show, comes to Tempe this season from November 16 through January 1. The Tempe Diablo Stadium will be transformed into a mile-long journey featuring millions of colorful lights, giant Christmas characters and holiday music. Online reservations are required.