The Best Tucson Christmas Events in 2019

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You’re one of the lucky ones if you have the good fortune of spending Christmas in Tucson, Arizona. With plenty of sunshine and daytime temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees, you’ll quickly discover why families travel from all over the country to experience the peaceful serenity of Christmas in southern Arizona. Here are some suggestions for family-friendly Christmas Tucson Events. Updated for 2019!

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Christmas in Tucson- Dazzling Light Displays

tucson christmas events zoo lights
Reid Park Zoo Lights | Photo by flickr/Bill Morrow 

Stroll through Tohono Chul Park during the annual Holiday Nights event. Be dazzled by nearly a million twinkling lights, sip hot mocha, enjoy tasty holiday treats. You’ll also be joyfully entertained by music and dance performances throughout the evening. 

For a wild good time, get your tickets for Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo. The holiday festivities offer jingle bells, falling snow, Santa Claus, animal-theme light sculptures, hot cocoa, and free cookies in addition to thousands of sparkling bulbs.

Similarly, the Tucson Botanical Garden also hosts Luminaria Nights. Luminarias, twinkling lights, and decorated trees adorn the property. You can also expect a visits from Santa, along with festive live entertainment throughout the evening.

Looking for a festive neighborhood? The Winterhaven Festival of Lights is one of the longest-running Tucson Christmas Events. This neighborhood of lights is free to visit, but they ask that families bring some food or money to donate to the local food bank.

Christmas Parades in Tucson

downtown tucson parade of lights
Parade of Lights | Photo by flickr/Shylan Erskin

Bask in the glow of lighted floats, performers, and holiday music during the annual Downtown Parade of Lights. This one-night event usually takes place in Downtown Tucson around mid-December. But be sure to check their website for exact dates and times.

Tucson Christmas Events & Festivals

 oro valley festival by saaca.org
Oro Valley Holiday Festival of the Arts | Photo courtesy of SAACA

In conjunction with their annual performance of Dicken’s classic, A Christmas Carol, Art Express hosts the Dickens Festival. You will feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Ebeneezer Scrooge as you join in caroling and visit with Victorian dressed character.

Every year, Oro Valley hosts the Holiday Festival of the Arts & Tree Lighting Celebration. This two-day event brings holiday cheer through live performances, family art activities, and artisan vendors. But the main is event is the lighting of the glorious 35-foot tall Christmas tree.

Holiday Concerts and Plays

christmas in tuscon gaslight theater
Gaslight Theater | Photo by Gaslight Theater

Enjoy good food and comedic performances at Tucson’s dinner theater. The theater offers complimentary popcorn with the ticket price. After you’re seated, you can choose to purchase dinner or dessert from a provided menu. Gaslight Theatre’s holiday shows often sell out. Be sure to get your tickets fast for their latest holiday comedy.

Experience the Magic of Christmas at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra annual holiday concert. Families love to sing along with their holiday favorites and visit with Santa. In contrast, a more classical experience can be found at the Christmas at San Xavier Annual Concert. Here you’ll enjoy Bach, Schubert & Fauré, along with some holiday season favorites.

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See The Nutcracker

tuscon christmas events Southwest nutcrackert ballet
Tucson Regional Ballet’s Southwest Nutcracker | Photo by Guy Atchley

For many families, December wouldn’t feel like December without tickets to the famous ballet about Clara and her Nutcracker. Traditionalists will appreciate the professional elegance of Ballet Rincon’s production as it presents its annual Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Ballet.

The Moscow Ballet presents the Great Russian Nutcracker at the UA Centennial Hall. New and exclusive additions different from this timeless classic include life-sized Matrushka Dolls and the Dove of Peace, two dancers creating one character with wings that span 20 feet.

For a regional version, check out Tucson Regional Ballet. Instead of the original setting,  A Southwest Nutcracker which brings the traditional story to Tucson in the 1800’s.

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Christmas Races for Kids

christmas-events-in-tucson-race
Photo by flickr/Paisley Scotland

Sign up for the Vail Jingle Trail 5K and Santa’s Little Helper 1K . Once there, you’ll be greeted with jingle bells for your shoelaces at the registration tables. Afterward, enjoy complimentary refreshments. 

Live Nativity Christmas Events in Tucson

live-nativity-photo-by-flickr-tommy-lee-kreger
Live Nativity | Photo by flickr/Tommy Lee Kreger

The Path to Bethlehem at Sunrise Chapel invites community members to take a guided tour through five biblical scenes. Live actors and music help visitors reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. This event is free but monetary donations and food items for the local food bank are welcome.

Redeemer Lutheran also offers a live nativity. This annual drive through nativity leads visitor on a journey through the Christmas story. See scenes depicting the foretelling of Christ’s birth, shepherds, and Jesus in the manger. At the end, listen to, or participate in singing carols and hymns.

Visit TucsonTopia for more ideas about Christmas in Tucson.

Find more Christmas events near you! Trekaroo has guides for dozens of cities across the country.

Pin this to bookmark all the holiday fun; we update it yearly:

Christmas-and-Holiday-fun-for-families-Tucson

Special thanks to Stephanie Sheaffer who wrote the original version of this post. 

Featured photo by: Shutterstock

 

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About the author

Tiffany Vaughn is the one of Trekaroo's Travel Experts located in Arizona. She is also an avid explorer of local and remote destinations. She and her five kids enjoy tagging along with Dad on business trips to find new adventures. She believes that there are always new experiences to discover, even in your home town.

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