Phoenix City Handbooks 📙

2023 ULTIMATE Holiday Family Events!

Written by:

Courtney Mance

2023 Ultimate Holiday Event Guide!

List is in no particular order.


Winter in the Park Anthem Community Council
The ACC is thrilled to announce a new holiday event! Anthem residents are invited to join us for a cozy, holiday themed event in the park. Winter in the Park will be in the upper park (northwest grass) and will feature live music, North Pole Pass, food trucks and holiday gifts for purchase. We are excited to celebrate with our community! Event details can be found below.


Avondale Civic Center Complex Winter Fest

Bring the family and make some memories at this FREE event! Avondale turns into a winter wonderland with a visit from Santa, activities and entertainment, the premier of the holiday light show, annual tree lighting, food, and sweet treats.


Kiwanis Christmas For The Kids

This FREE event will again feature Kiwanis giving away bicycles to the kids of three different age groups every hour.  Kids and parents have to be there to win!

Cave Creek

Western Holidays Stagecoach Village

Holiday market, holiday carolers, balloon glow, festival food, children’s axtivies and more!


Pratt Brothers Christmas

Pratt Brothers Christmas at Rawhide is Arizona’s BRAND-NEW premier light show and family experience during the holidays. This magical experience will feature over 6 million lights, a dazzling light show, a magical train ride, a nightly parade, jaw-dropping stunt shows, holiday shopping, live entertainment, and so much more

Deer Valley

Holiday Family Jubilee at Deer Valley
Deer Valley Community Center

Have a cup of hot cocoa with peppermint candy canes, enjoy special holiday snacks, take a family pic with Santa, get creative making holiday cookies and holiday crafts, play family friendly games.

Fountain Hills

Stroll in the Glow

This traditional local event is the perfect place to celebrate the festivities of the holidays. Join Mayor Ginny Dickey as thousands of twinkling lights are illuminated; The Stroll will feature the traditional "lighting of the Avenue" around 5:45, on the Avenue of the Fountains - including the official Town of Fountain Hills Christmas Tree!


SanTan Village

Story time with Mrs. Claus
Join Mrs. Claus for Christmas stories, magic, songs, holiday giveaways and treats for the littles.

Mother Nature Farms

Christmas at the Farm

Hayride, Spider Web Crawl, Straw Bale Maze, Bounce House, Pedal Cars, Picture Boards, Bull Roping Area, Corn Pit, Slide, Tire Mountain, Play Houses, Outdoor Games, Santa and the animals. Maneau's Munchies will be open on the weekends for snack food, etc hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy, chips, soda and hot drinks. We have fresh cut Douglas Firs and Noble Firs for sale. Bring the family for the hunt for the perfect tree for your holidays!

Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa is a heartwarming holiday tradition and annual fundraiser to benefit HD SOUTH – Home of the Gilbert Historical Museum. This enchanting morning typically sells out year after year with attendance near 300. Guests of all ages are treated to a breakfast, and a variety of activities, including cookie decorating, face painting, ornament making, gingerbread house decorating, and of course a visit and photo opportunity with Santa. Breakfast with Santa at HD SOUTH is more than an event; it’s an embodiment of community, joy, and the true essence of giving back during this special time of year.


The True Star Hometown Christmas Parade
Hometown Christmas Parade will take place in downtown Glendale, AZ. Staging will be located at 51st Avenue south of Glendale Ave. The route proceeds west on Glendale to 58th Avenue where it turns south to the de-staging area.

West Valley Wonderland
More than 100 vendors offering up everything from handmade crafts and jewelry to home goods, holiday, ornaments, and apparel.

There will be live performances by local musicians and dance teams, a human claw machine, bumper boats on ice, and you can even ride a mechanical reindeer!

It’s going to be decked out in holiday ornaments and picture worthy backdrops, so make sure you’re looking NICE for Santa! He’ll be there making an appearance for the littles (and grownups!) for family photos.

World of Illumination
Reindeer Road, Glendale
World of Illumination’s mission is to generate memorable, innovative, top-quality entertainment through our premier drive-through audio-visual immersive experiences. Our work pairs creativity with leading technology and establishes deep, supportive connections with local communities nationwide.


The Rinq Holidays on The Square Goodyear

Glide into the holiday season on our synthetic ice skating rink from December 1 to December 30 at Goodyear Civic Square!


Peoria's Annual Old Town Holiday Festival
The City of Peoria invites the community out to enjoy the annual Old Town Holiday Festival. Take a stroll through Old Town Peoria and enjoy the festive and fun holiday activities for the whole family including live music, meet-and-greets with Santa, a variety of interactive activities and entertainment, food trucks, local artisan vendors, and a tree lighting ceremony. The festival will take place south of Peoria and Grand Avenues, including Osuna Park. Parking and admission are free.


Vertuccio Farms
Lights at the Farm and Vertuccio Farms have partnered together to bring Arizona’s Largest Walk-Thru Synchronized Light Show. Come on out and unwrap new traditions and make memories with your family and friends as you make your way through the dazzling lights, larger-than-life lighted displays, mesmerizing tunnel of lights and so much more. Welcome to Lights at the Farm!

Downtown Mesa

sELF-guided Reindeer Roll and Stroll
Explore Downtown Mesa during this festive scavenger hunt for a chance to win great prizes, including a NEW bicycle. Enjoy the sounds of holiday carolers, a treat from Novel Ice Cream, and more!

Merry Main Street, Mesa
5 p.m. on Friday, November 24 in downtown Mesa at Main and Macdonald. We'll have the official tree lighting ceremony, visits with Santa, ice skating at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink and so much more.

Mesa Drive-Thru Light Show
Arizona Lights in the Night
Grab your family and your friends and bring the Holiday spirit to life with this holiday light show.


Phoenix Zoo


You’ll find adventure EVERYWHERE at the Valley’s favorite holiday tradition, ZooLights!
Sensory Friendly ZooLights


Expect the same great ZooLights with some modifications to make it more sensory friendly, including smaller crowds, reduced flashing lights and more.

Butterfly Wonderland
Glistening Gardens
This holiday season, step into the enchanting ‘Glistening Gardens’ at Butterfly Wonderland. This seasonal escape transports guests to the rainforest as they leisurely stroll with family and friends through an all-new illuminated holiday display inside the Conservatory. Thousands of lights line the garden paths in this cozy, lush indoor setting. Fluttering butterflies take center stage, surrounded by sparkling meadow grass, firefly lights, fairy-lit birch trees, and festive decorations. The glistening Butterfly Conservatory is sure to ignite the holiday spirit in everyone. It’s the perfect holiday experience for all!

Desert Botanical Garden
Las Noches De Las Luminarias
Garden lights on winter nights is a must this holiday season at Desert Botanical Garden’s Las Noches de las Luminarias. Enjoy an evening filled with sparkling luminaria-lit trails and twinkling holiday lights. Musical performances, entertainment and festive food and drinks available for a picture-perfect night.

Queen Creek

Schnepf Farms
Christmas at Schnepf Farms, A World of Illumination

2023 Queen Creek Holiday Festival and Parade
The highlight of the festival is the parade which starts at 3:30 PM and heads north on Ellsworth Road, ending near the Hampton Inn. More than 10,000 guests are expected to attend and will enjoy arts & crafts, food & drink vendors, live local entertainment, activities, photos with Santa…and so much more.


Old Town Scottsdale
Developed by city of Scottsdale officials as a way to bring the community together in a fun and magical way, Scottsdazzle serves as the area’s signature holiday event spanning two months and offering something for everyone when it comes to celebrating, shopping and dining.

McCormick Stillman Railroad Park
Holiday Lights 2023
Join us, as we transform into a mesmerizing winter wonderland illuminated with holiday lights and enchanting displays. Step aboard the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and embark on a journey through this captivating seasonal spectacle. Don’t miss your chance to create cherished memories with loved ones

Enchant Christmas
The Mischievous Elf
Enchant is an immersive experience weaving magic into its every corner, perfect for joyful seasonal celebrations. Adventure through The Mischievous Elf, a captivating, larger-than-life light maze that is the cornerstone to the Enchant experience.
Visit their website for more attractions such as ice skating and The Little Elves Play Space!

Scottsdale Quarter
Holiday Headquarters
The Santa Social, Photos with Santa and more!
Enjoy kids’ entertainment, photos with Santa (cost applies), caricature artists, face painters, special Christmas character appearances, and puppy adoptions with AAWL. Then end the day with our annual tree lighting ceremony and a holiday feature film: Home Alone.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Christmas at The Princess
The grandest of holidays awaits at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess' annual Christmas at The Princess. Watch Santa return to the North Pole's sister city for another year of holiday magic.

AZ Boardwalk

FREE Family Fun Holiday Fair & Marketplace

Take professional photos with SANTA CLAUS, play in a SNOW BLIZZARD, enjoy live entertainment on center stage, bounce houses and slides, face painting, coloring contests, and much more! Free Outdoor Event – No Admission Required

AZ Boardwalk
FREE Scottsdale Sparkle Christmas Market
Enjoy beautiful holiday decor and great shopping from over 80 talented vendors! Kids will enjoy music, face painting, glitter tattoos, and special character appearances! Free Outdoor Event! No Admission or Activity Fees Required!


Desert Farm Lights

Desert Farm Lights located in Surprise, Arizona is Phoenix West Valley’s Premier Walk-Thru Christmas Experience!


World of Illumination
Cosmic Sleighride, Tempe
World of Illumination’s mission is to generate memorable, innovative, top-quality entertainment through our premier drive-through audio-visual immersive experiences. Our work pairs creativity with leading technology and establishes deep, supportive connections with local communities nationwide.

Movies on the Field at Mountain America Stadium
ASU’s Movies on the Field series is back for fall at Mountain America Stadium (formerly Sun Devil Stadium). Bring a blanket, find a seat on the grassy gridiron and enjoy your favorite films on the big screen — under the stars — this season. Events are presented by ASU 365 Community Union and are open to ASU students and the public.
Polar Express December 16th

Tempe Marketplace

Experience snowfall every night at 7pm and 8pm near The District Stage! Watch as snow magically falls from the sky, turning Tempe Marketplace into a living snow globe. Plus, enjoy snowfalls every hour from 11am-8pm on Christmas Eve.

*Excludes Christmas Day

Tempe Festival of the Arts
Tempe Festival of the Arts has a 50+ year history in Tempe and takes place in early December and late March each year.  It is one of the oldest festivals in the Southwest.   The festival has grown to become a Tempe point of pride and a favorite of our residents and visitors. Guests enjoy artists from around the country, local music, a Kids Block and many great food options - all located on the streets of historic Mill Avenue.

Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade
The Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade is the Valley's most unique holiday event and celebrated tradition. Enjoy holiday shopping, festive eats and treats, a dazzling boat parade featuring boats of all shapes and sizes, and a spectacular fireworks show. This event is free and family-friendly. See you at the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade in December 2023!


Herberger Theater Center
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer returns — but, this year the show is moving to the beautiful Center Stage theater!

The Great Arizona Puppet Theatre
A joyful celebration of Christmas with multiple stories, lots of music, and an amazing array of puppets. Recommended for ages 3 and up. *Please note: the theater will be closed on Christmas Day*

Ballet Arizona
Ballet Arizona returns to Symphony Hall in grand fashion with this holiday classic. Celebrate the joy and wonder of the season with Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker as Tchaikovsky’s cherished score is masterfully performed by The Phoenix Symphony.

The Madison Center for the Arts
Now Showing: Seasons of the City - A Holiday Ballet, and two showings of Arizona Nutcracker.

Hale Centre Theatre
A Hale Holiday Classic! Our spectacular, heart-warming version of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption is magically brought to life. This production is rich with traditional carols, stunning costumes, and memorable characters that are guaranteed to enrich the holiday season for you and your family. Now celebrating its 21st year in Gilbert!

North Valley Symphony Orchestra

Holidays Around the World
Join NVSO as we celebrate holidays from around the world, including globally known Christmas carols and musical celebrations of Chanukah, New Year's Eve, and the Lunar New Year.

Fountain Hills Theatre
Elf The Musical Jr.
Raised by Christmas elves, Buddy always felt a little…different. When Santa reveals to him that he’s actually a human being, Buddy goes on an adventure to the magical realm of New York City to find his father and learn what it means to be a human. This jolly musical is a must for any fan of Buddy the Elf, Santa Claus, and all things Christmas!

Arizona Broadway Theatre
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical
Bob and Phil, a military veteran song-anddance duo, fall head-over-heels for a stunning sister act en route to a Christmas stage show. Their romantic pursuits land them in a magical Vermont inn owned by their former commander, General Waverly. As the inn falls on hard times, it’s up to Bob and Phil to bring business in, but will their yearning hearts pull them in another direction? Featuring songs from Irving Berlin, White Christmas sparkles with holiday cheer, dancing, and laughter.

Highley Center for the Performing Arts
The Nutcracker, The Holiday Classic with live music by the Chandler Symphony Orchestra presented by Southwest Youth Ballet Theatre

Phoenix Children’s Chorus
See website for locations and dates.

Valley Youth Theatre
A Winnie The Pooh Christmas Tail
A Valley Holiday tradition for over 26 years is back as Valley Youth Theatre brings Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and all of our favorite Woodland Friends to life on the stage for this special musical performance about the importance of teamwork, friendship and family. A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail is made possible by support from Ann and Dan Nahom.

You can check out The Play District Phoenix’s event calendar for other events!

*All short desciptions are from respective website. Please visit website for full details, ticket availability and pricing.

Courtney Mance
Courtney Mance
November 22, 2023
min read
🌵Keep Up With Phoenix

We Update our Family Guide, City Handbooks and Events frequently, so don't miss out!

🌟Featured Businesses:
Nothing found.