Best Holiday Events in Phoenix 2023

Holiday Events Phoenix Scottsdale | Best Holiday Events in Phoenix 2023

Every year, we have readers ask us about holiday events in Phoenix. Since Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the USA, there are a plethora of holiday-related festivities...and many Tucson residents enjoy making the drive up to the Valley for a short day trip or staycation.

We've tried to narrow down the picks on this page to holiday events that are worth driving for. These events include concerts, plays, light displays, breakfasts and brunches, and hotel packages.

Events are organized alphabetically by city within the Phoenix metro area. Depending on where you live in Tucson and where are you are heading in Phoenix, you're looking at a drive between 90 minutes and 2.5 hours.


Glendale is a suburb slightly northwest of Phoenix. The population is just shy of 250,000 and holiday events within Glendale tend to be of a smaller scale. Glendale Glitters, however, makes our list for a fun, free light display in a charming downtown area.

Glendale Glitters in Downtown Glendale

  • Location: Downtown Glendale
  • Dates: November 24, 2023 - January 1, 2024
  • Hours: 5:00pm-10:00pm Nightly
  • Parking: FREE Parking all season long is available at the City Hall Parking Garage and the Bank of America Parking Garage.
  • Cost: Free.

Glendale Glitters is celebrating 30 years of joy and tradition with lights illuminating downtown Glendale, now through January 1. The lights can be seen around the Glendale Civic Center.


Mesa is the 35th largest city in the United States (right behind Tucson at #33). As such, you'll find several larger-scale holiday events to go to.

Arizona Lights in the Night Drive-Thru Event

Arizona Lights Night Drive Thru Mesa | Best Holiday Events in Phoenix 2023
  • Location: 1901 N. Alma School Road, Mesa, Arizona
  • Dates: December 7-30, 2023
  • Hours: November: Sun-Thurs 6:00pm-8:00pm, Fri-Sat 6:00pm-9:00pm | December: Sun-Thurs 6:00pm-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 6:00pm-10:00pm
  • Cost: $28.95-37.95+ per vehicle

Grab your family and friends and bring the holiday spirit to life. Embark on a 15-20-minute journey through endless lights and life-sized candy canes, snowmen, and Christmas trees.

Lights at the Farm at Vertuccio Farms

Lights at the Farm Skating Rink Vertuccio Farms Mesa | Best Holiday Events in Phoenix 2023
  • Location: Vertuccio Farms, 4011 S Power Rd, Mesa, Arizona
  • Dates: December 1-30, 2023
  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 5:30-9:30pm | Fri-Sat 5:30-10:00pm
  • Parking: Parking is free.
  • Cost: Admission is $15-$18+ per person; Skating (synthetic surface) is $8+ per person/session, including skate rental

Lights at the Farm at Vertuccio Farms is Arizona’s largest walk-through synchronized Christmas light show, featuring 10 acres of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Christmas displays. The larger-than-life displays are covered in more than 3 million LED and RGB lights, synchronized with popular holiday music. The entire light show is lit with energy efficient RGB/LED lights, keeping power consumption to a minimum.

In addition to holiday lights and music, Lights at the Farm offers family fun, including skating on an outdoor NHL-grade synthetic skating rink, a miniature golf course, a pallet maze, games for the family, a petting zoo, and pony rides. Premium local food and beverage vendors are on-site with delicious holiday treats for purchase, including cocoa, fudge, cookies, pancakes, and popcorn. A rotation of local food trucks will also be on the property with different meal options served nightly.

Be sure to snap a photo next to the cornstalk Christmas tree, which is more than 30 feet tall and is the first and only of its kind in the world. It is a rendition of a traditional Christmas tree with an agricultural twist. The eye-popping display is constructed with a custom steel frame, covered with more than 5,000 live corn stalks, and illuminated by 13,000 LED lamps.

Merry Main Street in Downtown Mesa

  • Location: Downtown Mesa
  • Dates: Nov 24, 2023 thru Jan 6, 2024
  • Hours: See website for complete calendar.
  • Parking: FREE parking is available in all open lots and on-street parking areas throughout downtown Mesa.
  • Cost: Free admission and parking. Some activities are fee-based.

Merry Main Street activities will be in full swing in downtown Mesa, Nov. 25 through Jan. 7. There are numerous opportunities for all to shop, eat, and play!

  • The Winter Wonderland Ice Rink in Downtown Mesa features a 6,005 square-foot ice skating rink at the Plaza at Mesa City Center, 56 E. Main St.
  • Mesa’s giant Christmas Tree, nearly four-story tall tree, is located on Macdonald at Main Street and serves as the perfect backdrop to take holiday photos.
  • Jolly ‘Ol Saint Nick will be available for free visits on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 4:00pm to 8:30pm. Bring your cell phone or camera for pictures.
  • Live entertainment at Mesa’s Christmas Tree on Fridays and Saturdays, beginning Nov. 25, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
  • The Holiday Sunset Market brings original and tasty gifts to Merry Main Street, Thursdays from 4:00pm p.m. to 8:00pm between Nov. 30 and Dec. 21.
  • New this year, Holiday Movies at the Plaza brings free festive movies to the Plaza at Mesa City Center, 56 E. Main St., every Saturday in December.
  • Gnome on the Roam and one of Santa’s favorite helpers, Bingles, will be roaming Downtown Mesa.
  • Jack Frost’s Food Truck Forest at Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main St., on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00pm to 9:30pm.
  • Mesa Temple Christmas Lights is open nightly from Nov. 24 through Dec. 31 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Hundreds of thousands of colorful lights! Free!
  • Mesa Santa Express in the Light Rail car. Sing songs, enjoy cookies and meet Santa! Wear your pajamas and enjoy this childlike tradition, which runs Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. While rides are free, a commemorative ticket is required.


Most Tucson people think of "Phoenix" as all of the suburbs on this page combined into one because you can seamlessly drive between cities without even knowing it. The below events, however, are in Phoenix proper.

Arizona’s Grand Christmas Spectacular: Celebration of Christmas

  • Location: Dream City Church, Phoenix Campus, 13613 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85022
  • Dates: December 7-10, 2023 and December 12-17, 2023
  • Hours: See website for performance times.
  • Cost: $12-30/person. There is limited free seating at each show as well.

Step into the world of Christmas wonder at the Celebration of Christmas, a special holiday experience for all generations. Get ready to be captivated by an all-new first act, showcasing a Broadway-style performance featuring live animals, a full orchestra, a breathtaking live nativity scene, awe-inspiring silk artists, and aerial acrobatic stunts that will leave you in awe.

ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo

  • Location: Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Dates: November 22, 2023 through January 14, 2024
  • Hours: 5:30pm-10:30pm
  • Parking: Free parking is available at the Phoenix Zoo in the main Papago Park parking lot off of Galvin Parkway. If the main lot is full, additional free parking is available at Sun Devil Municipal Stadium, located at the southwest corner of Van Buren and Priest.
  • Cost: $30-$35 at gate and $25-$30 online. Ages 2 and under are free.

It’s the Valley’s favorite holiday tradition – ZooLights! Shining bigger and brighter than ever with nearly four million lights, hundreds of dazzling displays, brand new Wildlife Lanterns, and the return of the tallest floating tree in North America, showcasing ORIGINAL music and a synchronized light show!

The adventure doesn’t stop there – visit the enhanced s’mores station, swing into the season in the interactive Glow Garden, and wind your way through the immersive 200-foot-long light tunnel! Santa will make his way to the Zoo for photo opportunities as well!


Queen Creek, which is just southeast of Chandler and Gilbert, is a smaller community with a population of 68,500.

Christmas at Schnepf Farms

  • Location: Schnepf Farms, 24810 E Rittenhouse, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
  • Date: November 24th-26th, November 30th-December 3rd, December 7th-10th, December 14th-24th.
  • Hours: 5:00pm-10:00pm.
  • Cost: $22.95/person

Christmas has come to Schnepf Farms! Experience a winter wonderland like no other with seasonal food, fun and festivities for the whole family. Catch a ride on the World of Illumination Express, hop on a hayride to visit Rudolph or journey through Santa’s magic workshop.


Scottsdale is known for its pristine streets, lush landscaping, and luxurious resorts. Unsurprisingly, Scottsdale's holiday events are among the best in the state.

Christmas at the Princess

  • Location: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Dates: November 17, 2023 through January 6, 2024
  • Average Nightly Rate: Overnight stays begin at $679+/night. Alternatively, guests can also opt to visit for the day ($35 for a General Admission Ticket).

Christmas at the Princess is arguably the best Christmas event in the state of Arizona! Beginning in mid-November, the resort transforms into a winter wonderland with festive decorations, an ice skating rink, Santa’s Secret Headquarters, The Princess Express Train, The Village, Snow Mountain, Alpine Skate Trail, The Chair Lift, S'mores Land, Holiday Character Experiences, Twinkle Town, Nativity Garden Narrated Light Show, and over 6 million twinkling lights!

ENCHANT: The Mischievous Elf at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

  • Location: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Dates: November 24, 2023 through December 31, 2023
  • Hours: 6:00pm-10:00pm Nightly
  • Cost: $34+/adult (ages 18-64); $25.50+/child (ages 3-17); $30.60+ for military and seniors

Experience a world of adventure with awe-inspiring animated light sculptures, and a charming Village, offering ice-skating, live entertainment, interactive games, dining, holiday shopping, and Santa & Mrs. Claus.

Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

  • Location: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Dates: November 24, 2023 through January 7, 2024
  • Hours: 6:00pm-9:30pm
  • Closed: December 7th, 24th, 25th, 31st
  • Cost: $15 per person; FREE admission for children 2 years old and younger. Ticket includes unlimited train and carousel rides.

Hop on board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and experience a winter wonderland of holiday lights and displays. No trip to the park is complete without a spin on the historic Charros Carousel or a cup of hot cocoa from Hartley’s General Store.

Scottsdazzle Holiday Extravaganza in Old Town Scottsdale

  • Location: Old Town Scottsdale
  • Dates: November 25, 2023 through December 31, 2023
  • Hours: See website for complete calendar.
  • Parking: Parking in Old Town is free! On-street parking has no meters or fees, just time limitations.
  • Cost: Several Scottsdazzle events are free and family-friendly! See the calendar for pricing of specific events.

Enjoy a month-long holiday extravaganza featuring stunning décor, the best in dining and shopping, and more than 45 incredible events, including the signature Scottsdazzle Strolls. Families will enjoy the Sugar Plum Tea Parties, trivia buffs will take on Spin & Cycle Scavenger Hunts, and those looking to get crafty should head to the beautifully-decorated Marshall Way Bridge for cookie decorating and centerpiece making.

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge

The fireplace is crackling, lights are aglow in the lobby, and the smell of hot cocoa fills the air as Great Wolf Lodge gears up for its annual Snowland celebration! From Nov. 24 through Jan. 8, families will be immersed in a winter wonderland, with daily snow showers, visits from Santa, seasonally themed crafts, holiday stories and songs, and, new this year at select lodges, Snow Globes!


Home to Arizona State University, Tempe is a hip and walkable town adjacent to Phoenix.

Holidays at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace Holidays Gingerbread Gwendolyn Hanlon | Best Holiday Events in Phoenix 2023
  • Location: 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, Arizona
  • Date: November 21, 2023 - January 1, 2024
  • Hours: See the website for full calendar and hours.
  • Parking: Free.
  • Cost: Free admission.

Naughty or Nice Pop-Up Displays: Strike a pose and capture the magic of the holiday season at festive pop-up displays located by Barnes & Noble and The District Street.

Free Photos with Santa: Santa Claus is coming to town! Bring your family & friends for a festive photo session with Santa himself—all at no cost! You will receive complimentary digital photos with Santa while using a festive backdrop.

12 Days of Snowfall: A mesmerizing experience as the night comes alive with glistening snowflakes!

Which holiday events are you looking forward to in Phoenix?

TucsonTopia contains both paid and non-paid mentions of businesses and organizations in and around Tucson, Arizona. Any reference made here to local businesses, services, classes, etc. is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement. We encourage you to do your own research before participating in an event or engaging with a local business or organization. The intent of TucsonTopia is to provide ideas for family-friendly activities, events, and resources. Participants assume all risks for any activities they engage in. TucsonTopia is not responsible for any injuries or problems that may arise from partaking in any of these events and activities.
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