Christmas at the Princess - A Magical Scottsdale Getaway!

Desert Ice Skating Rink Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Christmas at the Princess is a magical holiday resort experience at the AAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. In fact, we would argue that Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is the BEST resort for a Christmas getaway!

Each year, the luxury resort in North Scottsdale pulls out all of the stops to help families get in the Christmas spirit. With sparkling lights, festive music, character appearances, carnival rides, and thoughtfully curated signature experiences, Christmas at the Princess is an experience you (and your kids!) won't soon forget.

This year's Christmas at the Princess event will run from November 17, 2023 to January 6, 2024.

Activities & Amenities for 2023 include -

  • 6 Million Dazzling Lights
  • NEW: Aurora Ice
  • Chateau Champagne
  • Desert Ice Skating Rink
  • Enchanted Plaza Shows
  • Holiday Character Appearances
  • Ice Maze
  • Nativity Garden Narrated Light Show
  • Photos With Santa
  • Princess Express Train
  • S'mores Land at The Village
  • Snow Mountain
  • The Chair Lift
  • Ultimate Santa Experience

Guest Rooms

Guest Room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess | Christmas at the Princess - A Magical Scottsdale Getaway!

Standard guestrooms feature warm, earthy color tones and sophisticated touches, such as stone walk-in showers, private patios, and a work desk in every room. Most standard guest rooms have either a king or two queens and sleep up to 4 people.

If you have a bigger family or are traveling with a group, you'll want to book a spacious casita, which sleep 6. Another option for a bigger family would be to book two connecting rooms in the Sunset Beach wing.

Hotel Activities

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has plenty of activities for people of all ages and stages. On the expansive property you will find six heated swimming pools, five restaurants, two fitness centers, two golf courses, a spa, three boutiques, and a kid's club.

The Sonoran Splash Pool is a particular favorite for families since it has a beach-entrance pool, a splash pad, and two big waterslides. Kids must be 42" or taller to ride the slides.

The Sunset Beach Pool also holds big appeal since there is white beach sand to play in. With palm trees swaying and plentiful lounge chairs, you'll feel like you made a trip to the coast.


There are five restaurants at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess:

  • Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina ($40-$185+ entrees)
  • La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval ($26-$46 entrees)
  • Ironwood American Kitchen ($15-$50 entrees)
  • Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar ($18-$48 entrees)
  • The Plaza Bar ($20-$32 entrees)

Kids 5 and under eat free at all Fairmont restaurants (one child per paying adult).

Breakfast and Lunch are only available at Ironwood American Kitchen and Toro. Dinner is available at all restaurants, dependent on the season. Call ahead to confirm hours.

Children's menus are available at all resort restaurants. Children's entrees range in price from $10-$16. Kids (12 and under) who dine at Bourbon also have the option of ordering off the adult menu for 1/2 price.

Fairmont Gold

Fairmont Gold is an upgraded room category in the Fairmont system. In most Fairmont properties, it is a wing or floor of rooms (similar to a concierge floor or club level at other places). Because Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort is a sprawling property, Gold is its own section in the northeast part of the property.

The Fairmont Gold Lounge at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a luxurious add-on that will make your trip even more comfortable and stress-free. The Lounge features deluxe complimentary breakfast every morning (7:00am-10:30am), complimentary coffee and beverages all day long, complimentary evening canapes every afternoon (4:00pm-6:00pm) as well as complimentary desserts (4:00pm-8:00pm). The Lounge is elegantly decorated for the Christmas season and the service is top-notch. The Gold Lounge and all its benefits are available to anyone staying in a Gold room. We highly recommend that you upgrade to Gold if you are able.

Christmas at the Princess Highlights

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess does a truly phenomenal job in transforming the resort into a winter wonderland.

Holiday Lights

Families will enjoy wandering through 6 million dazzling lights - which include graceful swans floating on the water, an illuminated pirate ship, a candy cane forest, singing trees, and Nessie the Loch Ness Monster. You can also enjoy these sights by climbing aboard the Princess Express Train, nightly between 5-9pm.

An animated holiday light show is also projected on to the resort's facade every night. The show lasts 5 minutes and is accompanied by 18 cheerful holiday songs.

For a quiet and reflective experience that will prepare your hearts for the reason for the season, you can walk over to the Nativity Garden. Bleacher seating is provided for the 10-minute narrated light and music show.

The Village

If you have young children (10 and under), The Village is bound to be where you'll spend most of your time! Fly high on The Chair Lift, wander through the Ice Maze, or slide 120 feet down Snow Mountain. Blazing fires are situated throughout the amusement area, where you can get warm or toast marshmallows (s'mores kits are available for purchase).

Character Appearances

Meet and greet with Graham, Shivers, Princess Noel, Selfie Elfie, Twinkles, and Peppermint Penguin as you stroll through the property. Also - Rumor has it that they star in a dance performance every evening at 5:00pm and 9:00pm in the Enchanted Plaza (This is *NEW* for 2022!).

If you have your heart set on seeing a particular character, visit one of the information booths and they will happily provide you with a map, which will show you the exact location of all characters.

Desert Ice Skating Rink

The Desert Ice Skating Rink is another popular attraction. It's a 6,000 square foot rink made with real ice! A desert dweller's dream! There's probably no need to bundle up too tightly though. This is still Arizona, after all.

Photo Spots

One of the best parts of Christmas at the Princess is all of the fantastic photo spots, positioned throughout the property. You're sure to come home with some amazing shots that will help you remember the trip forever!

Santa Claus & Mrs. Claus

If your children are hoping to have a chance to meet up with Santa this year, Christmas at the Princess is exactly the right place! You can book the Ultimate Santa Experience where your children will be able to meet Mrs. Claus, experience the Elf Academy, partake of milk and specialty cookies, and enjoy story time with Santa. Plus, you will walk away with up to 10 digital photos. Alternatively, you can schedule a photo session with Santa where you will receive one digital photo.

Chateau Champagne

Follow a trail through the romantic setting of Winterland to a candlelit path that leads you to an ultra-luxe retreat—the perfect getaway for the 21+ crowd amidst the magic of the holiday festivities. Set against a backdrop of an Alpine Chalet, fire pits are nestled waterside under Tivoli lights with sweeping views of Lagoon Lights and nightly live entertainment.

Book a semi-private fire pit with an all-inclusive menu, including: your own bottle of Moet Imperial Brut, festive cocktails, truffle Gouda fondue, shellfish tower, assorted artisanal petit fours and artisanal s'mores board—complete with ginger snaps and chocolate-stuffed, vanilla-infused marshmallows.

NEW FOR 2023: Aurora Ice

Step into Scottsdale’s only glacier - Aurora Ice - a one-of-a-kind game and lounge experience where everything is made of real ice! Slip into an ultra-warm faux fur parka and leave the desert heat behind, venturing to an Arctic wonderland. Chilled to a brisk zero degrees and bathed in the soft glow reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights, Aurora Ice is the coolest new
place to chill out.

  • Immerse yourself in the Arctic's magnificence, brought to life through hand-chiseled ice sculptures and picture perfect photo opps.
  • Enjoy a range of seasonal "reindeer games" inspired by the playful spirit of woodland caribou, offering fun-filled competition.
  • Cozy up to your favorite someone and savor hot craft cocktails worth melting for at the ice bar.

Romance at Christmas at The Princess

Christmas at the Princess isn't just for families! On the contrary, the resort is a romantic space for couples to escape for a date night or a weekend. Hold hands while ice skating, cuddle up in a private chateau (see above), or dine amidst twinkling lights at one of the on-property restaurants.

FAQs About Christmas at the Princess

Do you have to stay overnight at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess to attend Christmas at the Princess?

No. Christmas at the Princess is open to the public each afternoon/evening from November 17 to January 6 (see hours below). Note, however, that this event is ticketed (no free admission).

How much is general admission?

Admission tickets are $35/person which includes access to:

  • Twinkle Town: Saddle Up Ride, Train Station Ride, Alpine Slide Ride, Lolli Swings Ride, Deck the Halls Ride
  • The Village: The Chair Lift Ferris Wheel, Polar Putt Putt, Snow Mountain Real Ice Slide
  • Complimentary Fire Pits at S’mores Land, Twinkle Town, and Winterland
  • Lagoon Lights
  • Princess Express Trains
  • Enchanted Plaza Shows
  • A Christmas Wish
  • Letters to Santa
  • 50+ Photo ops
  • Narrated Nativity Show

Of Note:

  • Ages 3 and under receive complimentary admission.
  • Ice skating passes are $40/person.
  • Santa Photo Experience is $65.
  • Ultimate Santa Experience is $500.
  • Aurora Ice is $30/adult and $15/child.
  • General admission tickets do not include parking. Self parking is $35/vehicle. Valet parking is $120/vehicle.

When are all of the rides and attractions open?

Most of the festivities run on weekdays from 5:00-10:00pm and on weekends from 4:00pm-11:00pm. Between December 14 and January 2, the fun runs from 4:00pm-11:00pm daily.

Can I see Santa with a general admission wristband?

No. Santa is a separate ticketed event which includes the Elf Academy, Mrs. Claus Christmas Carols, one digital photo with Santa, and the option to take photos/videos with your personal phone.

Which items are included with general admission to Christmas at the Princess?

  • Photo Spots
  • Light Displays
  • Character Meet & Greets
  • Rides and Attractions in The Village (ferris wheel, ice maze, snow mountain, etc)
  • Train Rides on the Princess Express

What items are NOT included with general admission to Christmas at the Princess?

  • Aurora Ice ($30/adult, $15/child)
  • Dining
  • Ice Skating ($40 for unlimited skating)
  • S'mores kits
  • Santa Photo Experience ($65)
  • Shopping
  • Ultimate Santa Experience ($500)
  • VIP Fire Pit & Igloo Rentals

Are babies/toddlers free at Christmas at the Princess?

Children 3 years of age and younger receive complimentary entry into Christmas at the Princess.

Early Bird Special at Christmas at the Princess

Be sure to take advantage of the early bird offers for 2023. Book before October 31 to receive:

  • 40% off overnight stays
  • 30% off admission tickets
  • 40% off NEW Aurora Ice Lounge + Chill Experience
  • 30% off Ultimate Santa Experience
  • $50 off fire pits for 4 - $100 off fire pits or igloos for 8

5 Tips for Christmas at the Princess

Christmas at the Princess is a magical, upscale, and enchanting experience. Many families return every year to kick off their holiday celebrations.

Here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of Christmas at the Princess in 2023 -

  1. Bring your camera! One of the best things about Christmas at the Princess is that there are dozens of photo spots throughout the resort. Be on the lookout for Graham the S'more, Shivers the Yeti, Princesses Noel & Angelica, Selfie Elfie, Peppermint Penguin, and Santa's Secret Elf Squad. Don't be shy about asking for a photo! They're all friendly and ready to strike a pose. During our recent visit, the lines were super short for character meet-and-greets. The trick is to finding each of the characters. The princesses are typically located near the lobby, Graham is most often in S'mores Land (of course!), and Santa's Secret Elf Squad can be found at Santa's Secret Headquarters.
  2. Arrive early. Wander the property and you'll find tons of photo opps! Put your face in an elf cutout, snap a family photo in the lobby, or explore the rose gardens.
  3. Hire a photographer. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is gorgeous this time of year. Invite a photographer to capture some family memories on-property. Your holiday photo card? Done!
  4. Stay at the resort for added amenities. Overnight guests receive complimentary admission to Christmas at the Princess, as well as VIP Express Lane wristbands to use throughout their stay.
  5. Upgrade to Gold if you can (see above). The Lounge is absolutely magnificent this time of year and the food is quite good. The complimentary breakfast is filling and delicious, the canapes are enough for a light dinner, and there are plenty of included drink options (sparkling water, soda, fruit juice, coffee, tea). Alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase.
  6. BONUS TIP: Bring your own s'mores if you have allergies or prefer certain fillers (like peanut butter cups, for instance). You can pull them out and roast them over an open fire for a memorable and delicious experience.

Resort Snapshot

  • Address: 7575 East Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
  • Phone: 480-585-4848
  • Distance from Tucson: approximately 2 to 2.5 hours
  • Social Media: Follow Fairmont Scottsdale Princess on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Use hashtag #atthechristmas.
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