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The beautiful weather makes Arizona an ideal winter destination. But how do you get in the Christmas spirit without all the typical winter wonderland landscapes? We’ve got you covered!
Christmas in Arizona offers everything from snow-covered pine forests in Flagstaff to a tumbleweed Christmas tree in Phoenix. Families can snuggle by the fire in Prescott or lounge by the pool with Santa Claus in Tucson. Get in the holiday mood and enjoy Christmas Arizona style with these Christmas Events in Arizona. Updated for 2020!
Christmas in Arizona- Phoenix
Who needs snow for Christmas in Arizona? Well, some of us…but don’t worry, you can find it in temporary locations around the Phoenix area and still enjoy the perfect 75 degree weather. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Enchanted Island, and Arizona Science Center all have festivals with real snow to play in. *The various venues have not yet updated Christmas event statuses, but all are subject to change.
Experience a uniquely Phoenix holiday tradition of Las Noches de Las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden where 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags line garden paths. Find more holiday light displays at The Phoenix Zoo’s Zoolights.
Phoenix offers many Christmas performances at venues around the valley, including The Nutcracker by Ballet Arizona and The Phoenix Ballet. *This event will be digital for 2020.
You won’t want to miss all the holiday events going on at Phoenix resorts! The Wigwam and Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort each host a festive Breakfast with Santa. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and Westin Kierland Resort & Spa provide winter festivals complete with a spectacular animated light show every evening throughout the holiday season.
Find details on the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Phoenix.
Christmas Arizona Style in Tucson
Experience the peaceful serenity of Christmas in the desert by strolling through Tohono Chul Park during their Holiday Nights event. Gaze at the stars while surrounded by over a million twinkling Christmas lights and the sounds of holiday music. Find even more holiday desert beauty by visiting Tucson’s Botanical Garden’s Luminaria Nights, where you may even get a visit from Santa. *This event is cancelled for 2020.
Tucson hosts three unique variations of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, including a southwest version performed by Tucson’s Regional Ballet. *Although Tucson’s Regional Ballet has cancelled their 2020 performance, the Moscow Ballet will be streaming its performance of The Great Russian Nutcracker.
Whether you choose to bask in the glow of lighted animal sculptures during Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo or revel in the many live nativity performances throughout the city, Tucson is sure to get you in the holiday mood. *As of 11/7/20 his event has not yet updated its status for 2020.
Here are even more Christmas Events in Tucson to explore.
Classic Christmas Fun in Flagstaff
If you’re looking for a classic white Christmas in Arizona, head north to Flagstaff. The pine-covered mountainsides of the Arizona Snowbowl are the perfect place to get in some holiday skiing. You can also take historic, holiday-themed tours at the Riordan Mansion and Lowell Observatory.
Want a real North Pole Experience? From the beautifully decorated Little America Hotel, your family can take a trolley ride to visit elves at the workshop and get photos with Santa. *This event has been cancelled for 2020.
Or head just 30 miles west to Williams to hop a ride on the Polar Express. The Grand Canyon Railway delivers passengers to Santa where he is waiting with his reindeer.
Use this guide to find the Top 5 Holiday Events for Families near Flagstaff
Prescott, Christmas City
The town of Prescott is known as Arizona’s Christmas City. A festive parade kicks-off the season. The city center plaza sparkles with over 1 million holiday lights wrapped around trees and lampposts. More lights decorate the grounds at Heritage Park Zoo during Wild Lights. The Valley of Lights drive-thru holiday spectacular at Fain Park offers yet another dazzling light display.
Delight your senses at Prescott Resort and Conference Center where you’ll find the world’s largest gingerbread village. Prescott also offers various Christmas plays, weekend carriage rides, holiday crafts boutiques, and much more.
We’ve got you covered with the best deals on hotels in Prescott, Arizona.
A Relaxing Sedona Holiday
Imagine the beauty of red rocks dusted with white snow. Sedona’s breathtaking landscape and relaxing atmosphere make it a great place to spend the holidays. 6000 luminarias line the pathways of Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village during the Festival of Lights. On this special night, visitors sip cider and hot chocolate while enjoying live music and a visit from Santa. *This event has been cancelled for 2020.
Enjoy more live holiday performances at the Blazin’ M Ranch Christmas Show and The Nutcracker at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. And don’t miss bringing the kids to the annual free Breakfast with Santa at Sedona Hub in Posse Grounds Park. This event includes pancakes, entertainment, and of course, visiting Santa. *It appears all these events has been postponed for the year 2020.
Want to see all the work that goes into Christmas Day? Head over to nearby Clarksdale and take a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad. The Magical Christmas Journey brings families on a one hour train ride to the North Pole to pick up Santa.
Plan your trip with our article about Family Fun in Sedona.
Check for great deals on hotels in Sedona.
Christmas Events in Arizona – Lake Havasu City
Over 500,000 lights reflect over the waters of Lake Havasu during the city’s annual Festival of Lights. View the lights by boat as you cruise through the Bridgewater Channel, or stroll under the glittering London Bridge. At the Annual Boat Parade, snuggle up on the shore with your family as you watch brightly decorated boats float over the water. *This event has been cancelled for 2020.
Try out some outdoor ice skating at London Bridge Resort, complete with twinkle lights overhead and a pine tree backdrop. Make sure to stick around English Village on weekends. Santa usually stops by to visit in the evenings.
Check out Trekaroo’s favorite hotels in Lake Havasu City.
Lead image by Bigstock/ Maglara
Find more Christmas events near you! Trekaroo has guides for dozens of cities across the country.