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.
The excitement of Glendale Glitters includes the Murphy Park lights and displays, performances in the amphitheater, the Hometown Christmas Parade, Movies by Moonlight, and additional events held by the downtown merchants.
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.
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 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 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!
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.
All-new animal lanterns and light displays, an enhanced Santa experience and a brand-new music and light show that will take you around the world! PLUS, guest entry to ZooLights includes admission to Dinosaurs in the Desert, the not-to-be-missed dino-mite experience!
Queen Creek, which is just southeast of Chandler and Gilbert, is a smaller community with a population of 68,500.
Queen Creek’s hometown holiday event features a parade, carnival, tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment by talented locals, free photos with Santa, a kid’s zone, food and commercial vendors! Bring the whole family and start the holiday season off right!
Scottsdale is know 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 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!
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.
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. Santa will also be at the park on select nights.
Enjoy a month-long holiday celebration with festivals, concerts, unique events, stunning decor, dining, shopping, and drinks.
Home to Arizona State University, Tempe is a hip and walkable town adjacent to Phoenix.
Nightly Snowfall: Experience snowfall every night at 7:00pm and 8:00pm near The District Stage at Tempe Marketplace, starting November 24th! Watch as snow magically falls from the sky, turning Tempe Marketplace into a living snow globe. Plus, enjoy snowfalls every hour from 11am-8pm on Christmas Eve.
Candy Cane Lane: Step into a delicious holiday dreamland filled with giant gumdrops, larger-than-life lollipops, colossal chocolates, gigantic gingerbread men, and a hot cocoa pond, complete with massive marshmallows. Capture sweet holiday moments at this edible-inspired art installation with nearly 100 treats, towering four-feet to eight-feet tall.
Holiday Skating: Enjoy free holiday skating near Dave & Buster’s for children 5 and older. Skates are provided, just bring socks.
Starry & Bright Star Tunnel: Cozy up this holiday season and venture through the beautiful life-sized Starry + Bright Star Tunnel!
Which holiday events are you looking forward to in Phoenix?