Since much of Arizona lacks the white, wintry blanket that helps many get into the festive spirit, it could take some extra effort to turn that holiday humbug’s frown upside-down. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of fun, family-friendly activities sure to bring out the smiles in everyone.
If you love classic stories and theater, head out to a show:
- The Tucson Regional Ballet will present, A Southwest Nutcracker, featuring the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, December 13 and 14.
- The Tucson Symphony Orchestra also has a selection of holiday concerts that will put some jingle in your step.
- In you’re in the Phoenix area, check out Irving Berlin’s classic, White Christmas, playing at the Phoenix Theatre.
- Or check out Fountain Hills Theater’s musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, running through December 21.
Holiday lights are always a sparkling spectacle. Did you know that Spanish colonists brought luminaries to Arizona? While stores stock strings of plastic ones, only the real thing – a lighted candle nestled in sand inside a paper bag – will do for proper holiday celebrations. Fortunately, you can see lights and luminaries all over Arizona:
- Celebrate the holiday season at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The resort turns into an enchanted wonderland of lights, trees, and season merriment. The festival runs through January 4.
- Visit the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson and you’ll be taking part in an honored tradition. Sip hot chocolate while you bask in the glow of thousands of luminaries.
- Head to Las Noches de las Luminarias to see 8,000 hand-lit luminarias line the paths of the Desert Botanical Garden. Stroll the garden with a warm cup of cider or cocoa and enjoy the vibrant sounds and sights of 10 entertainment groups.
- With the big Glendale Glitters Festival, you can visit with Santa, enjoy live entertainment and – for the finale in January – a spectacular hot air balloon glow.