Holiday Happenings in Phoenix

Holiday Happenings in PhoenixHere come the holidays!  To help you make the most of your holiday season and to encourage you to take time to make memorable moments, here is a list of holiday happenings in and around Phoenix.



Hallelujah! Joys of the Season with the Phoenix Opera

Get into the spirit of the season with the Phoenix Opera’s holiday presentation.  The show features portions of Handel’s Messiah, Silent Night, Hallelujah, and other traditional holiday scores.  Call 480-478-6000 or visit their website for details. 

Handel’s “Messiah” At Grand Canyon University Arena

Join the Phoenix Symphony this holiday season as they present Handel’s Messiah.  This one of a kind performance will be held on December 8thand features more than 500 students from local high schools, Grand Canyon University, and local community colleges.  For more information, visit Grand Canyon University Arena’s website.



A Christmas Carol

See Phoenix’s own production of the traditional Charles Dicken’s story at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.  Shows run through Christmas day, call 480-325-6700 or visit their website for more information.

The Elves and the Shoemaker

Experience this classic put on by the puppets of the Greater Phoenix Puppet Theater.  This version includes a holiday twist which features Santa and his elves.  The show runs through Christmas Eve. Call 602-262-2050 or visit their website for more information.

A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tale

Join the Valley Youth Theatre as they celebrate the holiday season by performing in this delightful holiday show.  All the classic Winnie the Pooh characters will be there to tell this tale about caring and sharing.  The show runs through December 23.  Call 602-253-8188 or visit their website for more information.



Festivals and Fairs

Holiday in the Park in Anthem

Join the fun as Anthem celebrates the season with crafts, holiday games, caroling, train rides, and Santa’s story time.  The fun starts at 5pm on December 8th.  For more information, visit their website. 

Christmas Mariachi Festival

Spice up your holiday season and see some of the greatest Mariachis in the world at this year’s festival.  The event will be held on December 10thand features multiple performances including hundreds of dancers, Youth Mariachis, and a tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Call 480-558-1122 or visit the website for more information.

Carefree 4th Annual Christmas Festival

Celebrate the season with Carefree’s community festival featuring a light parade, fireworks, snow, Santa, a festival of trees, special activities for kids, and much more.  The festival runs Dec 10th thru the 12th.  Call 480-488-4812 or visit the website for information.


Great for Kids and Families


Plan a trip to the Phoenix Zoo and stay after the sun goes down to experience the magic created by more than 3 million lights.  See the animals in a whole different ways as you encounter the 600 light sculptures celebrating the animals in the zoo.  This special holiday presentation runs through January 8th and tickets can be purchased at the zoo.  For more information, call the zoo at 602 273-1341or visit their website.

Polar Express Train

Take a ride on the polar express and help bring the book to life for your children this Christmas.  The train leaves from the depot in Williams and makes a magical journey to the North Pole where Santa awaits with his reindeer.  Each child will get a small gift from Santa during the train’s stop at the North Pole.  Trains depart at 6:30 and 8:00 most nights.  Call 1-888-848-3511 for more information or visit them online.

Arizona Celebration of Lights

This is the 14th season of this spectacular drive-thru experience that features more than 7 million lights and offers a trip to Santa’s village.   Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa for free.  Open through January 1stevery night of the week.  Call 1-888-926-7404 or visit their website for additional information.

Holiday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park

Take a train ride a through the railroad park and be transported to a winter wonderland full of holiday lights.   This low-cost event will run nightly from December 9th through the 30th.  Santa will be on hand through the 23rd.  Call 480-312-2312 or visit their website for information.  


Other Events

CityScape Outdoor Ice Rink

Experience outdoor ice skating on real ice at the CityScape rink which will be twice the size it was last year.  The rink will be open through early January and will feature visits from Santa and fun holiday entertainment.  Skate rentals are available as part of the admission fee.  Call 602-772-3900 or visit their website for the daily schedule and other information. 

Las Noches de las Luminarias

Come see Desert Botanical Gardens as they show off their holiday spirit.  Featuring more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags and a wide array of musical performances, this exhibition is great for everyone.  Check their website or call 480-481-8188 for more information.

Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

Sure to be the most unique event of the season, you won’t want to miss the festive boats covered in lights as they travel the parade route on Tempe Town Lake on December 10th.  Don’t forget to stop by Tempe Beach Park to see Santa.  For information, call 480-921-2300 ext. 19 or visit the website.

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