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Things to Do in Scottsdale - Holiday Edition

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 27 6 minutes read

The holidays are here and this is a super fun time to live in Scottsdale and the Valley. There are so many events going on, it can be hard to choose which ones to attend!

Below is a collection of events going on now and in December.

  • Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess - November 20th -  December 31st - The celebration at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is back and bigger than ever. You will find ice skating, rides, light displays, train rides, s'mores and that is just a fraction of what to expect. Here is a calendar of events so that you can plan your visit.
  • Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden - Weekends November 29th - December 31st - 8,000 hand-lit luminaria lanterns will come alive each evening. Stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden enjoying the glow and enjoy live entertainment along the way.
  • Holiday Lights at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park - November 29th - January 5th - This annual event is a favorite for folks all over the Valley and one of our personal favorites. It begins with a tree lighting hosted by Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and a special visit from Santa. Hop on the train and marvel at all of the gorgeous lights. This year, you have a chance to win a gift card by participating in the Ugly Sweater competition that ends on December 15th.
  • Scottsdale's Scottsdazzle - November 30th - December 31st - Scottsdazzle officially kicks off on November 30th with the tree lighting ceremony and sing-a-long.  Scottsdazzle has events for all ages as well as some fun ones for the adult crowd. Here is a calendar of everything going on
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  • The Santa Social at Scottsdale Quarter - November 30th - Scottsdale Quarter has a full day's and evening's worth of family-friendly events. There will be kids' activities, face painting and entertainment, puppy adoptions, photos with Santa and so much more. Cap off the afternoon with the tree lighting at 6PM and a screening of Home Alone.
  • Christmas in Carefree- December 6th - 8th - Downtown Carefree will kick off the season with a tree lighting, musical performances, screening of Elf and more!
  • Foothills Christmas PageantDecember 7th - 8th - A reenactment of the Christmas story will take place in Cave Creek both nights under the stars. Bring a blanket and flashlight and enjoy the show!
  • Menorah Workshop - December 8th- The Chabad of Scottsdale has partnered with Home Depot to provide Build-Your-Own menorahs. In addition, there will be snacks, music, a raffle and more.
  • Phoestivus - December 12th and 19th - Seinfeld fans will love this play on the spelling of the infamous Festivus. Over 200 vendors will be selling their wares at the Phoenix Open Air Market. The holiday market will feature food, beverages and gifts. There will also be live entertainment.
  • The Nutcracker with the Phoenix Ballet - December 13th - 24 - This holiday tradition lives on and we make sure to attend every year. This classic holiday ballet will please all ages as they watch Clara and her adventures.
  • Light Up the Night at DC Ranch Hanukkah Celebration - December 22nd - Come kick off the eight nights of Hanukkah at DC Ranch Market Place. The menorah will be lit, plus there will be music and treats.
  • Chanukah Menorah Lighting in Carefree - December 22nd - 29th - The menorah will be lit every night in downtown Carefree at the Sanderson Pavillion. There will be a celebration on the 22nd to get the celebration started.
  • Kierland Commons Holiday Events - Now through December 24th - Kierland has lots of holiday events on tap. Get a photo with Santa, enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus and play around at a Holiday Bubble Party.
  • The North Pole Experience in Flagstaff - Now through December 26th - Visit Santa's workshop and help make some toys. Then head over for hot chocolate and treats at Mrs. Claus' bakery. From there, you can see Santa's sleigh, write a letter to Santa and so much more!
  • Desert Ridge Holiday Events - Now through December 31st - Desert Ridge has a packed schedule of events for the holidays. There will be nightly snowfall, free family movies, performances and so much more.
  • The Polar Express- Now through January 4th - This beloved event is back again for people of all ages. Hop on the Polar Express train in Williams and then take a magical ride to the North Pole.
  • World of Illumination - Now through January 5th -  Experience over 2 million lights synchronized to music at this drive-through light extravaganza. There are two locations to visit, North Phoenix and Tempe. You pay by the carload and be sure to buy tickets online to save some money. Snacks and refreshments for sale.
  • Phoenix Zoo's Zoolights - Now through January 19th - Zoolights is a local favorite. The zoo comes alive with millions of lights nightly and the music in motion shows by the lake are sure crowd-pleasers. Ride on the Polar Slide and enjoy live entertainment almost every night.


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.

Originally posted on Live Better in Scottsdale

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