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The Best Tucson Christmas Events in 2020

The Best Tucson Christmas Events in 2020

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 2020!

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.  *This event has been cancelled for 2020. 

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. *As of 11/7/20, this event has not yet updated its status for 2020.

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. *As of 11/7/20, this event has not yet updated its status for 2020.

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. *This event has been cancelled for 2020. 

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. *This event has been cancelled for 2020. 

Tucson Christmas Events & Festivals

 oro valley festival by

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. *This event has been cancelled for 2020. 

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. *The show will go on for 2020, the location will just be move to outdoors to the theatres Front Porch stage.

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. *This event is not showing on their 2020 calendar, so is most likely cancelled.

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. *This event has been cancelled for 2020. 

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. *This performance will be available to stream from home for 2020

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. *This event has been cancelled for 2020. 

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Christmas Races for Kids


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. *This event has not yet updated its status for 2020.

Live Nativity Christmas Events in Tucson


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. *As of 11/7/20, this event has not yet updated its status for 2020.

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. *As of 11/7/20, this event has not yet updated its status for 2020.

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.

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

Featured photo by: Shutterstock