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Holiday Activities

Check out the best holiday events and attractions of 2021.

What Central Arizona lacks in snow and cold during the winter months, it makes up for with an extensive list of ways to celebrate the holiday season. For some festive yuletide cheer, these holiday events that run throughout the season in Phoenix and Scottsdale will get you in the spirit.

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 15 and 22, 8am to 11am. Breakfast is $55 per adult, $30 per child (ages 5 and under are free) and includes photos with Santa and activities for the kids.

For more information visit omnihotels.com, for reservations, call 480.627.3111.

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 who also receive VIP early entrance to the festival. 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 $5 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.

Scottsdazzle

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. There will be Canal Concerts with various artists performing live music on Soleri Bridge each Saturday night starting Dec 1 and continuing Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

For more information and to see the schedule of signature events, visit scottsdazzle.com.

Illumination, Symphony of Light

Following an extremely successful inaugural year, Illumination: Symphony of Light, the world’s largest animated holiday drive-thru light spectacular in North Phoenix, has added a second location at Diablo Stadium in Tempe and the original location remains off the I-17 and Jomax Road. Each 25-minute spectacular drive-thru attraction will showcase unforgettable holiday icons and breathtaking illuminated drive-thru tunnels. Both locations have their own unique attractions as well. Illumination is open nightly at 6pm. The cost is $29 online or $35 at the gate per vehicle for up to 8 people and Illumination runs nightly through December at both locations, and January 5 in North Phoenix.

Get more information and purchase tickets online at illuminationaz.com.

Glendale Glitters

This award-winning festival is one of the best-loved events for Arizona families year after year! Visitors of all ages will delight in holiday entertainment, delectable food, hand-crafted holiday gifts, a children’s snow field and petting zoo, shopping and, of course, visits with Santa Claus. The glittering magic of Glendale’s holiday light display remains lit nightly through January 12, 5-11pm each evening.

For more information about Glendale Glitters, visit glendaleaz.com.

Zoolights

The Phoenix Zoo will host its annual Zoolights display through January 13th, 5:30 – 10:30 pm nightly. ZooLights shines with millions of lights, a 200-foot-long polar slide, and featured attractions like live reindeer, Stingray Bay and 4-D theater. Pricing varies depending on the night, starting at $12.95.

Get more information and purchase tickets at phoenixzoo.org.

CitySkate

The Valley’s largest and most visited outdoor holiday ice rink, CitySkate at CityScape Phoenix, returns through January 6. 2019. This year, CityScape features a new tree-shaped installation in the center of the ice rink. The 30-foot Unity Tree will be a tensile sculpture made up of more than 100 interlocking panels and illuminated with thousands of individually programmed LED lights. The tree will be copper in color and topped with a Phoenix rising celebrating the beauty and resilience of the city. Multiple interactive kiosks will be placed at the base of the tree where holiday revelers can light up different patterns and sections of the sculpture at a press of a button.

CitySkate will also bring back a number of popular traditions introduced during last year’s season including the “Skate it Forward” series, where every Wednesday during the ice-skating season, CitySkate will team up with a local organization to raise funds and awareness for their cause. The community is invited to come out and skate from 5-11pm where $5 of every general admission ticket will be “skated” back to one of many local charities.

Tickets can be purchased on-site at the ice rink and admission includes skate rental and skating for one hour. The ice rink is available for private parties and events by calling 602-772-3900. Ample and convenient underground parking is available.

For a list of special happenings, holiday hours and more information, visit phxicerink.com.

Christmas Camp

Christmas Camp, the new novel and holiday movie by author and screenwriter Karen Schaler, comes to life at The Phoenician!

This exclusive Christmas Camp experience of holiday renewal will be available throughout the week of December 7-15, and will feature daily activities, including a reception and book signing with the author/screenwriter; mixology, culinary and décor classes and demos, special Phoenician Spa and Drybar offerings, as well as gift-making for charity. Book your Christmas Camp Package now and receive AAA Five Diamond accommodations for two, a complimentary Christmas Camp book, complimentary glass of champagne for two, daily breakfast for two and more.

Reserve online or find more information at thephoenician.com.

Skate Westgate

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 daily until January 13 and tickets start at $12.

For more information, visit westgateaz.com.

Las Noches De Las Luminarias

Visit Desert Botanical Garden and be a part of this Southwestern holiday tradition. This year will be more vibrant in sound and light than ever, as Electric Desert | A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective sets the stage for holiday magic at the Garden for 29 nights. Each evening will feature more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights, and the pulse of Electric Desert. At almost every turn, be greeted by the sights and sounds of nine entertainment ensembles and engaging experiences. Las Noches De Las Luminarias will be open 5:30 – 9:30pm through December 23 and December 26-31. The cost for adults is $29.95 for members, $34.95 for non-members.

For more information, visit dbg.org.

Undersea Holiday Celebrations

Expect a water wonderland at Sea Life Arizona Aquarium at Arizona Mills this holiday season, as the undersea attraction’s festive Fishmas celebration is set for weekends now through December 24.

On the roster are an array of sea-themed seasonal activities, from Holiday Scavenger Hunts and Ornament Decorating to the creation of Wish for Fish Christmas lists. Santa will also forgo the rooftop in favor of some underwater scuba diving this season, with opportunities to catch him in the act, taking place at 1 p.m.
With elaborate décor, endless activities for the little ones and a chance to check out Scuba Santa in the flesh, there’s no better place to feel festive this season than within the walls of Sea Life Aquarium.

For more information, visit visitsealife.com/arizona.

Jurassic Winter Wonderland

For the first time ever, Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs will be showcasing a Christmas-themed showcase by transforming their indoor dinosaur exhibit into a Jurassic Winter Wonderland. This prehistoric holiday event will run throughout the holiday season and will feature thousands of multicolored lights, a real snow entrance, kids caroling classes, writing letters to Santa, snowman building contests with prizes on the weekends and meet & greets with the first ever Dino “Santa Claws” and his companion Rudolph “The Red Nose” Raptor.

Adults will receive a $5 off voucher to the Pangaea Dino Grill which will also feature holiday decor and free hot cocoa.

Pangaea will also be hosting a food drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank for the duration of Jurassic Winter Wonderland. Guests who bring in a non-perishable item will receive $1.00 off admission per person. The Winter Wonderland runs through January 6, 2019.

For more information, visit pangaealandofthedinosaurs.com.

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