It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Enjoy the winter holidays with some of these festive activities around the Valley.
Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess turns into an enchanting winter wonderland during the fifth annual Christmas at the Princess festival November 20, 2014 through January 4, 2015. Christmas at the Princess festival events and activities are open to the public and include a 6,000 square foot Desert Ice Holiday Rink, four-story Christmas tree with 67,000 lights that twinkle to holiday songs, Princess Express Train rides, Christmas carousel, photos with Santa in Santa’s Workshop, Menorah lighting and latkes with applesauce for Hanukkah and more.
For more information and schedule of activities, visit scottsdaleprincess.com.
Winter Wonderland at Westgate
Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale turns into a winter wonderland starting November 25th with the opening of the holiday skating rink, the lighting of the 33-foot holiday tree, Santa’s arrival, horse-drawn carriage rides and nightly snowfall. All activities are free and open to the public.
For more information about the holiday season at Westgate Entertainment District, visit westgateaz.com.
CitySkate at CityScape
For the fifth year in a row, CityScape Phoenix will host 10 weeks of CitySkate, the largest and only real outdoor ice rink in the Valley. The ice rink this year has been significantly upgraded to a 30 percent larger rink than last year with 5,442 square-feet of real ice, a Christmas tree placed in the center of the rink and hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Also new this year is a complimentary photo booth for skaters to capture their CitySkate memories. The rink, presented by APS, will be open daily from Nov. 22 through Feb. 2 with special events happening many days of the week.
For hours, admission pricing and more information, visit cityskatephx.com.
Glendale’s award-winning holiday lighting event has become a family tradition across the Valley and Arizona, and this year the celebration kicks off on Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29, from 5-10 p.m. each evening. The stunning display of 1.5 million lights will illuminate sixteen blocks of Historic Downtown Glendale, making it the largest free holiday light display in Arizona. With free admission and free shuttles, enjoy holiday entertainment, delectable food, hand-crafted holiday gifts, a children’s snow field and petting zoo, shopping and visits with Jolly Ol’ St. Nick. The glittering magic of Glendale’s holiday display remains lit nightly through January 10, 5-11 p.m. every evening.
For more information visit glendaleaz.com/glitters.
Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo
ZooLights, powered by SRP EarthWise Energy, is a magical experience with animal shaped light displays. Enjoy two new Music in Motion shows featuring music from the movie Polar Express and Carol of the Bells by Arctic Express, experience Polar Express in the Zoo’s new 4-D theater with multi-sensory effects including snow, fog and gusts of wind, and watch as an ice sculptor carve an animal out of a 300 pound block of ice. Zoolights is open November 24 to January 11, 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary.
For more information and ticket prices, visit phoenixzoo.org.
Largest Gingerbread Village at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
The glitz of the season has arrived at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa with its Frozen Holiday Gingerbread Village. Debuting on Dec. 1, it features a five-foot tall sugar castle, ornate chocolate sled, train, frozen lake, igloo and Santa Shop. The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort’s pastry team, consisting of 13 pastry chefs, spent three months crafting this year’s grandiose village. The magnificent display includes 1,500 square feet of confectionary indulgence with 4,000 pounds of gingerbread cookie dough, 3,240 pounds of gingerbread, 2,000 pounds of icing and 750 pounds of sugar. Children can meet the village’s ice princess and Santa’s elves will make special live character appearances at the Santa’s Christmas Village display through Dec. 28.
For more information about the Frozen Holiday Gingerbread Village, call 480.293.5000 or visit jwdesertridge.com.
Holiday Wonderland Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel
Helping to set the mood for Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel’s holiday wonderland is more than a dozen festively decorated Christmas trees. Serving as the centerpiece for all the décor is a magnificent 12-foot tree in the hotel’s Park Lounge. The king-size tree is surrounded by a winding train display, carrying the entries into the hotel’s gingerbread house contest. All the gingerbread houses from the contest will be on display beginning Nov. 28 and will remain on view throughout the holiday season.