The Phoenix area may not be a winter wonderland, but there are plenty of activities to get you in the holiday spirit. Check out these fun, family-friendly things to do this holiday season in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.
Breakfast with Santa at Omni Scottsdale Resort
Come to Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia in Paradise Valley and enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Castillo Lucena on Saturday, December 14 and 21, seatings available 8am to 11:30am. Breakfast is $55 per adult, $40 per child (ages 5 and under are free) and includes photos with Santa and activities for the kids.
For reservations, call 480.627.3039. For more information, visit omnihotels.com.
Christmas At The Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort transforms into a winter wonderland in the desert during its annual Christmas at the Princess festival through December 31. Christmas at the Princess features a four-story musical tree, Desert Ice Skating Rink, a Build-a-Bear Workshop, Princess Express Trains, Lagoon Lights, Santa’s Secret Headquarters, S’mores Land and more. Christmas at the Princess is open to the public. General admission is complimentary for hotel guests. General admission/parking for non-hotel guests is $55 per vehicle for self-parking valid up to six people. Valet/general admission is complimentary when dining at any of the resort restaurants (Bourbon Steak, La Hacienda, Ironwood American Kitchen or Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar) with a $75 spend, up to six people. General admission includes access to Enchanted Plaza with the four-story musical tree, Enchanted Plaza video show, a walk-through experience of 4.5 million Lagoon Lights, the Nativity Garden, S’mores Land and the Copper Canyon Village Light Show. For guests not staying at the resort, ride sharing or walking in, wristbands are $30 per person and provide access to the Princess Express, S’mores Land, the Polar Glide Ice Slide, Christmas Carousel, Enchanted Plaza Experience, Holiday Lights and the Nativity Garden. Skating, photos with Santa, shopping, dining, and spa are priced separately. Wristbands can be purchased at convenient kiosks throughout the resort.
For more information about Christmas at the Princess, visit scottsdaleprincess.com.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park’s Holiday Lights
Experience the magic of the holidays on board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park’s Holiday Lights. The park’s historic steam locomotives will take you through a winter wonderland of holiday lights and displays that will leave children and adults alike grinning from ear to ear. No trip to Holiday Lights is complete without a ride on the historic Charros Carousel. Holiday Lights takes place nightly 6:30pm to 9pm, November 29 through January 5, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $5 for the Holiday Lights Train Ride, $3 for the Charros Carousel Ride and children 2 and under are free with a paying adult. Fast passes for the Train Ride are $15 (limited availability).
Visit therailroadpark.com for additional information about specialty nights, pricing and Santa’s schedule.
The City of Scottsdale brings Scottsdazzle back to the Scottsdale Waterfront. Scottsdazzle is a month-long celebration and will incorporate several signature events scattered throughout December as well as other ongoing festivities and specialty artwork. From Saturday, November 30 through Saturday, December 7, a special mailbox will be stationed at the Main Street and Brown Avenue Christmas tree, where parents (or their children) can drop letters to Santa, and in turn arrange to have their children receive a letter from Jolly Old St. Nick himself.
For more information and to see the schedule of signature events, visit scottsdazzle.com.
World of Illumination
World of Illumination, the world’s largest animated holiday drive-thru light spectacular, has two locations in the Valley – one in Tempe, one in Glendale. Featuring more than two million LED lights animated and synchronized to the tunes of holiday classics, both locations have their own unique attractions as well. Open through January 5th, Illumination tours start at 6pm daily. If you buy tickets in advance online, the cost is $32.99 for Friday – Sunday and Holidays and $22.99 for weekdays. The cost at the gate is $40 per vehicle.
Get more information and purchase tickets online at worldofillumination.com.
Glendale Glitters offers free admission and free parking shuttles. Visitors will find their traditional festival favorites, including holiday entertainment, food, seasonal gifts, a children’s snowfield, holiday storytelling, a Home Depot Kids Workshop and, the big guy himself, Santa Claus. The glittering magic of Glendale’s holiday light display remains lit nightly through January 11, 5-10pm each evening.
For more information about Glendale Glitters, visit glendaleaz.com.
The Phoenix Zoo will host its annual Zoolights display through January 19th, 5:30 – 10:30 pm nightly. ZooLights shines with millions of lights, a 200-foot-long polar slide, and featured attractions like live reindeer, and the newest attraction – the Wildlife Lantern Safari, featuring more than 60 creatures. Pricing varies depending on the night, starting at $12.95 for members.
Get more information and purchase tickets at phoenixzoo.org.
For the tenth year in a row, CityScape Phoenix will host the Valley’s largest and most popular real outdoor ice rink. Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix transforms into an ice skater’s dream with a beautiful holiday tree dramatically placed in the center of the rink along with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, holiday happenings and Santa appearances every Saturday and Sunday from 2-6pm. Adults and kids are $15 per person for all sessions (available to purchase on-site only). Military, seniors and children 8 and under are $10 per person and children under 3 years old are free.
For a list of special happenings, holiday hours and more information, visit phxicerink.com.
Arizona’s own Emmy award-winning writer, Karen Schaler, who wrote the Netflix sensation, A Christmas Prince, is now bringing her next Hallmark movie, Christmas Camp, to life at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. Relax, reset and rejuvenate so you can embrace the true meaning and magic of Christmas with Karen Schaler’s exclusive Christmas Camp® for grown-ups at The Phoenician. Christmas Camp activities with Karen include: Holiday Culinary, Baking, Cocktail and Wine Classes; Christmas Decorating and Craft Classes; Holiday Movie Screenings; Behind-the-Scenes Movie & Book Stories, Giveaways… and much more! Packages start at just $259 per night. December 8th and December 15th are still available to book.
Reserve online or find more information at thephoenician.com.
Kids & adults are invited to partake in the timeless holiday tradition of outdoor ice skating on our real ice rink. Make magical memories with your loved ones as you glide through an unforgettable winter wonderland. All skill levels are welcome, whether you’re performing pirouettes or strapping on skates for the first time. Daily sessions run until January 12th. Adults and children are $16 with skate rental, $13 without skate rental.
For more information, hours and all pricing, visit westgateaz.com.
Las Noches de las Luminarias
Celebrate the spirit of the season with Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. Stroll the Garden’s trails lined with 8,000 flickering luminaria bags, gaze at twinkling lights and admire the enchanting glow of Wild Rising creatures. Happen upon tunes from eclectic entertainment groups and cherish the time spent with friends and family during the holiday season. Las Noches de las Luminarias will be open December 6-8, 13-15, 17-23, 26-31, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm. The cost for members is $29.95 for adults, $10.95 for kids; non-member pricing is $34.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit dbg.org.