Celebrate the Season

Twinkling Lights and Holiday Delights Across Arizona

Whether you have family in town for the holidays, you're visiting Arizona or you're looking for something to keep the kids occupied during winter break — these unique seasonal events are sure to delight.

With the holiday season upon us and temperatures cooling down, the Grand Canyon State offers countless family-friendly activities and events throughout November, December and January. Check out some of our favorite events you won't want to miss this holiday season!

Greater Phoenix

Twinkling Lights and Holiday Delights Across Arizona
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo.

Skate Westgate | November 3 – January 15
Ice skating? In Arizona? You bet! Kids and adults of all ages can enjoy this timeless holiday tradition at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale on a real outdoor ice rink. Make memories with your loved ones as you glide through an unforgettable winter wonderland. Visit Westgate's website to learn more.

Glendale Glitters | November 21 – January 7
Visit Historic Downtown Glendale for their annual holiday light display that is illuminated every evening. Visit the City of Glendale's website for more information.

Scottsdazzle | November 25 – December 31
Enjoy a month-long holiday extravaganza in Old Town Scottsdale featuring spectacular decor, dining and shopping and more than 45 seasonal events. Visit the Scottsdazzle website to learn more.

ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo | November 22 – January 14
This quintessential holiday event is one that every family enjoys annually. This year, ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo will shine bigger and brighter than ever with nearly four million lights, hundreds of dazzling displays and the return of the tallest floating tree in North America showcasing original music and a synchronized light show. Visit the Phoenix Zoo website to plan your visit.

Las Noches de Las Luminarias | November 24, 25 – December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 19-23 and 26-30
Stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden after dark and take in an evening filled with sparkling luminaria-lit trails and twinkling holiday lights. Musical performances, entertainment and festive food and drinks are available. Learn more at Desert Botanical Garden's website.

World of Illumination | November 15 – December 31
Enjoy innovative holiday light displays in either Glendale or Tempe from the comfort of your car at World of Illumination. Explore uniquely themed experiences that are paired with music during this drive-thru experience. Visit the World of Illumination website to plan your visit.

Northern Arizona

Twinkling Lights and Holiday Delights Across Arizona
North Pole Experience at Little America, Flagstaff.

North Pole Experience at Little America | November 24 – December 24
Voted “Best Holiday Experience for Children” by Arizona Foothills Magazine for seven consecutive years, the North Pole Experience is the perfect holiday tradition for families. Hop aboard for a trolley ride at Flagstaff's Little America Hotel and travel through the magic portal to Santa’s massive workshop. Families work side-by-side with the elves in Santa's workshop, building toys and more. The one hour and 40 minute experience ends with a private visit with Santa himself. Visit the North Pole Experience website to learn more.

The Great Pinecone Drop | December 31
You've heard of the Times Square Ball Drop, but have you heard of the Great Pinecone Drop? Since 1999, Flagstaff has welcomed the new year with the dropping of the pinecone. Gather in the street outside of the historic Weatherford Hotel for a countdown to the new year at either noon, 10 p.m. or midnight. Learn more at Discover Flagstaff's website.

Payson Winter Wonderland and Electric Light Parade | December 9
Get into the holiday spirit with ice skating, a tree lighting and an electric light parade! Enjoy a blast from the past, as this years parade theme is "The ’73 Jubilee-Bringing retro 70’s Christmas back in style." Snag a photo with Santa, or grab a tasty treat from one of the food vendors. To plan your visit, check out Payson's website.

Polar Express at the Grand Canyon Railway | November 10 – December 30
Travel to Williams, Arizona to board the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express — a truly magical holiday tradition for kids and adults alike. Based on the classic children’s book, passengers will make their way to "the North Pole”— where Santa Claus and his reindeer are waiting with a jingle bell for every good boy and girl. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies during this hour-long journey. Plan your visit at the Grand Canyon Railway website.

Sedona and The Verde Valley

Twinkling Lights and Holiday Delights Across Arizona
Tlaquepaque Festival of Lights. Credit: Visit Sedona.

Prescott Courthouse Lighting | December 2
Prescott, also known as Arizona's Christmas City, presents its 69th Annual Courthouse Lighting. You won't want to miss this spectacular time-honored tradition. The event includes live music, a ceremony, a parade and more. Learn more by visiting Experience Prescott's website.

Chanukah Menorah Lighting in Sedona | December 10
Enjoy the miracle of the Menorah, which honors Channukah at Tlaquepaque. Enjoy scrumptious treats including latkes, donuts and hot chocolate while listening to festive music. Kids can meet Judah The Maccabee, take a photo and even receive some gelt. Learn more at Tlaquepaque's website.

Verde Canyon Railroad Magical Christmas Journey | November 24 – December 24
The Magical Christmas Journey to "the North Pole" begins at the Verde Canyon Railroad depot in Clarkdale. The passenger coaches and open-air viewing cars are fully decked out in holiday decor for passengers to enjoy on their ride. The train is met by Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and elves along with an exquisite collection of spirited buildings. Visit the Verde Canyon Railroad website to plan your visit.

Prescott Boot Drop | December 31
What're you doing New Years Eve? How about Prescott's 13th Annual Boot Drop! Ring in the new year on Whiskey Row at 10 p.m. and midnight as an illuminated boot is lowered from The Palace building’s flagpole. Check out the live music, carnival games, rides, food trucks, vendors and more! Visit Prescott's Boot Drop website to learn more.

Tucson and Southern Arizona

Twinkling Lights and Holiday Delights Across Arizona
LightsUp! A Festival of Illumination, Tucson. Credit: tucsonbotanical.org

ZooLights Holiday Magic | December 2 — January 7
Experience thousands of enchanting lights, mesmerizing displays and more at the Reid Park Zoo of Tucson. Visit with St. Nick who will be hearing wishes every evening through December 23. Have a blast in the falling snow in the Arctic Zone, listen to festive music or savor a cup of hot cocoa at this Tucson holiday tradition. Learn more at the Reid Park Zoo website.

Tubac Luminaria Nights | December 1-2
Explore the historic village of Tubac during Luminaria Nights de Tubac. Enjoy the luminarias, treats, shopping, music and more. Get your holiday shopping on, as stores will be open late, and stop by the Tubac Center of the Arts, where Mrs. Claus will be collecting letters for Santa! Learn more at Tubac's website.

LightsUp! A Festival of Illumination | November 24 – January 7
Make your way to the Tucson Botanical Gardens this holiday season for the second annual festival of illumination: LightsUp! Stroll through six themed light areas and be dazzled by over one million lights, dancing sculptures and awe-inspiring luminaria displays. Visit the Tucson Botanical Garden's website to plan your visit.

Enchanted Snowfall | November 24 – December 23
La Encantada, Tucson's premier open-air shopping center located in the Catalina Foothills, hosts this special event every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the holiday season. Visitors will enjoy live entertainment, complimentary hot chocolate and an enchanted snowfall. Learn more at La Encantada's website.

Western Arizona

Twinkling Lights and Holiday Delights Across Arizona
Festival of Lights, Lake Havasu City. Credit: @visitlakehavasucity.

Lake Havasu 28th Annual Festival of Lights | November 24 — January 7
Celebrate the season at the London Bridge Resort's 28th annual Festival of Lights. Stroll under the London Bridge along the walkway, or take your boat on a night cruise through the Bridgewater Channel as over 500,000 lights set the water aglow. Learn more at Go Lake Havasu's website.

Somerton Tamale Festival | December 16
Taste a beloved seasonal specialty at the 16th annual Somerton Tamale Festival. The event features a variety of tamales ranging from beef, pork, chicken, sweet, to traditional white corn and green chili. Check out the Tamale Festival's app or website to easily access the schedule, map and more.

Historic Old Yuma Christmas | December 2
Stop by Historic Old Yuma to kick off the holiday season with twinkle lights on wreaths, light poles, Christmas music, festive food and the lighting of the Main Street Christmas tree. Grab sweet treats and a free photo with Santa, or enjoy live performances. Learn more at the City of Yuma's website.

Christmas on the Colorado | December 10
Colorado River State Historic Park is bringing the merriment with family fun including face painting, train rides, photos with Santa, crafts, hot chocolate and more. Stay for a holiday movie that will be played on the lawn in the evening. Learn more on the event page here.

Dates of events are subject to change, please check individual event websites for the most up-to-date information.

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These articles are brought to you by the staff of the Arizona Office of Tourism, and occasionally local tourism organizations around the state.

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