8 Arizona Holiday Events Guaranteed to Turn Scrooge into Santa

Celebrate the season Arizona style.

‘Tis the season for Arizona holiday fun!

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.


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