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2018 Holiday Events in Scottsdale

Heather Tawes Nelson

Heather holds an MBA as well as a Masters in International Management...

Heather holds an MBA as well as a Masters in International Management...

Nov 28 5 minutes read

Now that the holiday season is now in full swing, which means there are tons of holiday events going on in and around Scottsdale.

Here are some noteworthy celebrations and events going on over the next month:

  • The Polar Express- Now through January 5th - The Polar Express has been a family favorite for years. Starting in Williams, take a magical train ride to the North Pole.
  • Illumination Symphony of Light - November 14th - January 5th -  Come experience this magical drive-through light extravaganza. Millions of lights will be on displays that are synchronized to holiday music. This year, there are two locations - one in North Phoenix and one in Tempe. (The Tempe location is open November 16th- December 31st.) In North Phoenix, once you are done, feel free to park and play or grab a bite to eat.
  • Desert Ridge Holiday Events - November 19th - December 28th - Desert Ridge has a large number of events planned over the next month. The kickoff is the Tree Lighting on November 19th. There will be Cirque-like performers, elves, and more. Santa himself will light the tree and sbow will fall. From there, experience nightly snowfall, readings from Mrs. Claus, holiday movie screenings, live music and so much more.
  • Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess - November 20th -  December 31st - The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is going all in again on its Christmas celebration. There are rides, light displays, ice skating, S'moresland, visits from Santa and character appearances and more! Both young and old will be amazed and entertained. Click here for more information.
  • Phoenix Zoo's Zoolights - November 21st - January 13th - Zoolights is one of the most popular holiday events in the Phoenix area. Millions of lights bring hundreds of displays to life nightly and music in motion shows by the lake are sure to delight. There is a 200 foot long Polar Slide and live entertainment almost every night.
  • Scottsdale's Scottsdazzle - November 24th - December 22nd - Downtown Scottsdale is bringing back Scottsdazzle.  On November 24th, there will be a tree lighting ceremony and sing along. Scottsdazzle includes over a month of exciting events, concerts and dazzling lights.
  • Christmas in Carefree- November 30th - December 9th - Downtown Carefree will kick off the season with a tree lighting, performances and screening of The Polar Express on November 30th. And from December 2nd- December 9th, there will be a nightly menorah lighting. The weekend of December 7th - 9th will feature lots of events and family fun.
  • The Holiday Show with Southwest Shakespeare - November 30th - December 2nd - These talented actors will present a musical revue and variety show with special guests at Taliesen West.
  • Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden - December 1st - December 31st - 8,000 luminaria lanterns will be hand-lit each evening and provide a beautiful glow all through the Desert Botanical Garden. Live entertainment and cocoa or cider will add to the fun. (Event will not take place on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.)
  • Hanukkah Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Celebration - December 3rd - The Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix is hosting a Hanukkah party that will include latkes and kosher Brooklyn beer.
  • Holiday Lights at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park - November 30th - January 6th - This annual event is a favorite for folks all over the Valley. The event kicks off on November 30th with a tree lighting hosted by Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. And, for you, Family Circus cartoon fans, Jeff Keane (the co-creator) will be handing out autographed calendars. From there, almost every evening the park will come alive with thousands of lighted displays. Hop on the train for a magical tour of the exhibits. This year, the park is offering a select number of fast passes for the train ride each evening for an additional fee.
  • Phoestivus - December 13th and 20th - Fans of Seinfeld will love this event that takes place twice in December, benefitting the Phoenix Open Air Market. Seinfeld references will abound - "Pheats" of Strength anyone? Local vendors in the holiday market will be selling food, beverages and gifts. Don't miss Hipster Santa!
  • The Nutcracker with the Phoenix Ballet - December 14th - 16th and 20th -23rd - This beloved holiday tradition lives on. People of all ages will delight as they watch the Sugar Plum Fairy and her entourage entertain and delight. And, if you cannot make the Phoenix performances, you can also catch the Nutcracker at the Chandler Center of the Arts and the Mesa Arts Center.


Originally posted on Live Better in Scottsdale

Disclaimer: Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Event subject to change. Some events are free, while others have an admission fee or items for purchase.

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