While the Valley of the Sun may be lacking in some stereotypical holiday signatures, such as snowfall and reindeer sightings, the Valley does not disappoint when it comes to an abundance and variety of holiday activities for all to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some exciting family fun or a more relaxing stroll to enjoy some festive lights — there are plenty of events and gatherings to fulfill your merriest desires. Here are our top five happenings in the Valley that will be sure to get you into the holiday spirit:
Nov. 22 – Jan. 12
Arizona State Fairgrounds
1826 W. McDowell Rd.
Travel the world without even having to leave the Valley! The Lights of the World lantern festival will take you on an exciting journey through staple landmarks across the globe. By combining the beauty of paper lanterns with modern technology, this family-friendly event creates a truly unique holiday experience. With over 10 million colorful lights to guide you through the various cultures and civilizations, you’ll never grow tired of admiring the seemingly endless displays. To top it off, the event also features a variety of entertainment, including carnival rides as well as acrobatic and sea lion shows.
Nov. 29 – 30, Dec. 6 – 8, 13 – 15, 17 – 23, 26 – 31
Desert Botanical Garden
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
For a relaxing yet festive evening out, take a stroll through the illuminated trails at the Desert Botanical Garden during Las Noches De Las Luminarias. Admire the beauty of the gardens in a different light as 8,000 flickering luminaria bags guide your way among the Wild Rising creatures throughout the trails. As you wander throughout the space, you’ll happen upon eclectic entertainment that will be sure to boost your holiday cheer.
Nov. 29 – Jan. 11
58th and Glendale Ave.
For a free and fun family-friendly event, head over to Downtown Glendale to enjoy the 1.6 million twinkling lights that make up Glendale Glitters. The festive lights stretch across 16 blocks which offers you and your family the perfect opportunity to stroll down the streets while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and window shopping at all the local shops and boutiques.
Nov. 23 – Jan. 5
1 E. Washington St.
Although we can’t ice skate on lakes here in the Valley, we can ice skate in the middle of the street in the bustling Downtown Phoenix at CitySkate. CityScape turns into a winter wonderland as part of 1st Street is shut down to create this icey oasis. With a large and festive tree placed strategically in the middle of the rink, you and your family can skate the night away under the dozens of twinkling lights.
Nov. 27 – Jan. 19
455 N. Galvin Parkway Papago Park
When it comes to spreading holiday cheer, the Phoenix Zoo does not disappoint. ZooLights features millions of lights, live reindeer, a 200-foot polar slide, music-in-motion shows over the lake, light displays of all of your favorite animals and insects, plus a festive tree that reaches a whopping three stories high. Plus, this year the zoo is also offering a Wildlife Lantern Safari to add to the excitement.
With the holiday season upon us, the Valley has an abundance of fun, family-friendly events to choose from to get your fill of holiday cheer. Whether you’re looking for a casual stroll under the twinkling lights or an exciting skate around the city, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy!