The Valley is brimming with winter activities sure to make this holiday season a memorable one. Create new traditions this year with these festive family offerings in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.
ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo
One of the largest holiday light shows in the country, ZooLights, powered by SRP EarthWise Energy, boasts hundreds of sparkling animal shaped light displays, millions of lights and two new Music in Motion shows featuring music from The Polar Express and Winter Palace by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Experience the thrills and chills of the The Polar Express in 4-D at the zoo’s multi-sensory theatre, along with carousel and camel rides, an ice sculptor and special appearances by Santa Claus. ZooLights is open November 23 – Jan 10, 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. For more information, visit phoenixzoo.org.
City Skate at CityScape
Gather for the 6th consecutive year at CityScape’s magical outdoor ice rink in Downtown Phoenix. Holiday revelers are invited to the Grand Opening and Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Saturday, November 28. This festive holiday rink contains 5,442 square-feet of real ice, Christmas tree and hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. City Skate will be open daily from November 28 – January 11 with special events throughout the week. For hours, pricing and more information, visit cityskatephx.com.
Christmas At The Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess transforms into an enchanting winter wonderland during the sixth annual Christmas at the Princess festival, November 19 – January 3. Christmas at the Princess festival events and activities are open to the public and include a 6,000 square foot desert ice skating rink, four-story Christmas tree with 70,000 LED lights that twinkle and dance to your favorite holiday songs, Princess Express Train and pictures with Santa at Santa’s Workshop. New offerings include Princess Holiday Character Appearances, Christmas Petting Zoo, Breakfast with Santa & Friends, S’mores Land and Christmas Carousel. For information and schedule of activities, visit scottsdaleprincess.com.
Glendale’s award-winning holiday festival has become a family tradition across the valley and state, and this year the 22nd annual celebration kicks off on Friday, November 27 and Saturday, November 28, from 5-10 p.m. each evening. The stunning display of 1.5 million LED lights and 30 foot Christmas tree will illuminate sixteen blocks of Historic Downtown Glendale, making it the largest free holiday light display in Arizona. Horse-drawn carriage rides are the perfect way to explore the areas acclaimed restaurants and artisan shops. Glendale’s glittering nightly display remains lit through December 19. For more information, visit glendaleaz.com/glitters.
A Season of Giving at Omni Montelucia
Omni Montelucia’s holiday offerings kick off November 25 with the resort’s Thanksgiving Eve Celebration, featuring Tito’s and Wild Turkey culinary creations and live entertainment, benefiting Careers through Culinary Arts Program. The Annual Holiday Tree Lighting is another community favorite, happening on Tuesday, December 1, with cookie decorating, pictures with Santa, holiday bites, specialty boutique shopping and on-site pet adoptions benefiting Arizona Animal Welfare League. The season of giving continues with the Merry Montelucia Ho Ho Ho Hike and the Joya Spa Giving Tree. For more information, visit omnihotels.com/monteluciaholidays.
PaintScaping at Westin Kierland
Watch with wonder as the walls of The Westin Kierland come alive with PaintScaping, themed 3D images and animations festively set to holiday music. This year’s newly enhanced and longer 3D show includes brand new characters, animations and music. PaintScaping uses The Westin Kierland Resort as a canvas, integrating the features of the 11-storty main building and adding emotion and context with computer-generated holiday characters, snow, and cheer. The shows are free and open to the public, showing nightly from November 21 – December 31. For more information, visit kierlandresort.com.
Rawhide’s Snowy Christmas at Wild Horse Pass
Snow, lights, entertainment, holiday stunt shows and Santa are all part of this year’s celebration at Rawhide Western Town. Santa will lead the official tree lighting ceremony every Friday – Sunday and kids and adults alike will enjoy the nightly snowfall down Main Street. Visitors can drop off letters to Santa at Rawhide’s Delivery to the SW Pole Post Office, and receive a letter back from Ol’ Saint Nick. Rawhide will be decked out with holiday décor and thousands of lights, featuring holiday activities and shopping from November 26 – January 3. For more information and schedule of activities, visit rawhide.com.
Ballet Arizona – The Nutcracker
A holiday celebration to share with the whole family! Pirouetting toys, mischievous mice, waltzing flowers and sparkling snowflakes dance to Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score performed by The Phoenix Symphony. This Christmas classic tells the story of Clara and her magical Nutcracker Prince as they embark on a thrilling adventure. Ring in the season with LB Andersen’s, The Nutcracker, December 11-27. For show times and ticket prices, visit phoenix-theater.com.
Winter at Westgate
Sleigh bells ring at Westgate Entertainment District 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 through Christmas Eve. For more information, visit westgateaz.com.
Holiday Tea at The Phoenician
Delight in the magic of the holidays at The Phoenician. A favorite among the resort’s time-honored traditions is Holiday Tea (Nov 29-Dec 30), featuring specialty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Devonshire cream and preserves, pastries, unlimited champagne and a diverse selection of premium tea blends. Santa’s Workshop (Thurs-Sat in Dec) is also highly anticipated each year, offering festive games, crafts and culinary activities with a surprise visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus. For additional information on these and other activities happening throughout November and December, visit thephoenician.com.
Hotel and resort holiday offerings and information provided straight from the source without translation.