December Holiday Events in Phoenix, AZ

The Holiday Season’s Most Exciting Events in Phoenix

Posted on 05 Dec, 2018

You’ve got the decorations. You’ve got the gifts (okay, most of them). But no holiday to-do list in Phoenix is complete without at least a few of the many fun holiday events the area has to offer. And because Avance is all about adventure, we’ve compiled a list of events and activities just perfect for the explorers and experience-hunters in your life. Go forth and enjoy the magic!

Light Shows.
Phoenix is aglow.

Short days make for more time to marvel at the stunning light shows all around. Here are our tips for getting your eyes in the holiday mood.

Lights of the World
December 6, 2018 – February 3, 2019

Lanterns, lights, culture and more: Like the name indicates, the epic “Lights of the World” festival is a celebration of all things global that goes far beyond “just” the holiday time. It also proudly carries the title of being among USA Today’s list of Top 5 Over-the-Top Holiday Lights. Unmissable!

Address: 1826 W McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Price: General Admission Tickets $24.99, children 3 & under free admission, Military and Senior discounted admission $19.99

ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo
November 21, 2018, – January 13, 2019. Open from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

This is your chance to see even more animals at The Phoenix Zoo, with ZooLight’s lighted animal sculptures. Add to that heartwarming holiday lights and music, and you’ve got yourself a holiday dream come zoo!

Address: 455 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Price: Any Night: $19.95, Value Night: $14.95.

Las Noches de las Luminarias
December 1 – 23 and 26 – 31, 2018. Daily from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Where natural beauty shines: Walk the Desert Botanical Garden along paths illuminated by thousands of Luminarias, the region’s traditional holiday lanterns. Stop by the Patio Café for a snack and glass of wine. Enjoy the atmospheric live music. Get enlightened. Just don’t forget to book in advance, as you will need a ticket to enter this event.

Address: 1201 N Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Price: Members – $29.95-$34.95, General Public – $34.95-$39.95


 Ice Skating. 
Dancing on frozen ground.

There’s no winter without getting your skates on, grabbing a friendly hand and venturing out onto the great Land of the Zamboni.

CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink
November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019.

It’s the frozen heart of Downtown Phoenix during the Holidays: with a real ice skating rink and special events like free movie nights—and Avance! Yes, your favorite South Mountain community will be there on December 14 to enjoy showings of holiday favorite movies, Home Alone and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We hope to see you there!

Price of admission: $15
Skating tickets are available online or at the rink. Skate rental is included.
Address: One Washington Street, #300, Phoenix, AZ 85004


Live Entertainment.
Sit back and enjoy the show.

Even adventurers need to take a break sometimes and let others do the work. Clear the stage for these holiday themed shows, most of which are family friendly.

Phoenix Theatre Presents Elf the Musical
December 5 – 9, Dec. 12 – 16, Dec. 18 – 24, Dec. 26 – 30, 2018

The Mainstage Theatre presents a holiday story of a different kind. Kids and grown-ups alike will love the musical retelling of Buddy the elf…who’s not really an elf. But still jolly.

Address: 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Price: See website for details

Handel’s Messiah at The Phoenix Symphony
December 3, 2018 – December 16, 2018

Hallelujah! The Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Symphony Chorus are back for another year of holiday concerts across churches and venues of our hometown. Locations change yearly, so make sure you’re at the right church at the right time.

Address: See website for locations.
Price: General Admission: $70

A Winnie The Pooh Christmas Tail
December 8 – 9, Dec. 15 – 16, Dec. 22 – 23, 2018

Join the Valley Youth Theatre for one of the sweetest stories ever told—and not just because of Winnie’s love for honey. A 20-year tradition in Phoenix, “A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail” is your chance to mingle with friends old and new, and warm up your favorite memories from the 100 Acre Wood.

Address: 525 N First Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Price: $20

Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker
December 13 – 24, 2018

Grand jetés and Arabesques, Tchaikovsky’s magical score played by The Phoenix Symphony orchestra, fairies, love and lots of sweets. Those are the ingredients for a perfect family night out at the acclaimed Ballet Arizona. Enjoy this beloved holiday classic and the Ballet’s special holiday events like the family festival, holiday brunch and seasonal shopping all month long.

Address: 2835 E Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034
Price: $33-$167

Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding
December 8th, 2017

Alice Cooper does Christmas? Sounds like one heck of a holiday party. The Phoenix native legend shows off his hospitable and charitable side during his annual rock event benefitting Solid Rock and The Rock Teen Center. Joining the lineup this year is Cooper himself headlining along with the Hollywood Vampires, a supergroup that features Johnny Depp and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. Country singer Gretchen Wilson; Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult; Sebastian Bach of Skid Row; Larry the Cable Guy; and Beasto Blanco featuring Calico Cooper, the legend’s daughter, as well as Chuck Garric, his touring bassist, on lead vocals. This pudding will rock your stockings off!

Address: 440 N 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85008
Price: Ticket prices range from $120-$225


More Holiday Events Around the Valley.

Glendale Glitters
December 3, 2018 – January 12, 2019

Twelve blocks, 1.5 million (wow!) colorful holiday lights, approximately a billion snowflakes, lots of animals, even more delicious treats, all in one place: Historic Downtown Glendale. Come on foot or in your car, but don’t miss it!

Address: N 58th Avenue & W Glendale Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85301
Price: Free

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Holiday Lights
December 4 – 23, Dec. 26 – 30, 2018, Jan. 1 – 6, 2019

It doesn’t get any winter wonderland-ier than the Railroad Park in Scottsdale during the holiday time. Hop on a train and let holiday lights and displays pass you by or meet Santa Claus himself for an on-track audience.

Address: 7301 E Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Price: Train ride $5; carousel ride $2

Holiday Festivities at Westgate Entertainment District
December 3 –31, 2018

Enjoy a holiday show palooza with more spectacles than should be able to fit into one location: ice skating performances, public skating sessions, a tree lighting ceremony, visits from Santa Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides, nightly snowfall AND a menorah lighting.

The Skate Westgate rink opens November 3, 2018 ¬– January 13, 2019.

Address: 6751 N Sunset Boulevard, Glendale, AZ 85305
Price: Varies per activity

Christmas at the Princess
December 3 – 31, 2018

Ho ho ho, it’s a resort-sized winter extravaganza at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess! With holiday lights, ice skating and a Christmas tree light show, Ferris wheel rides, a Build-a-Bear Workshop, DIY s’mores and Princess Express Train rides to the beautiful lagoon’s light display, all your holiday dreams should be covered.

Address: 7575 E Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Price: $55 general admission per car. Ride/attraction wristbands additional.