PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It's the most wonderful time of the year! Get into the holiday spirit with these fun Christmas events happening all around the Valley.
Holiday Cheer at the Arizona Center
The Arizona Center, located at 455 N. 3rd Street in the heart of downtown Phoenix, is decked out with festive holiday decor including a 30-foot Christmas tree, giant ornaments and gift boxes, a 20-foot LED snowman and thousands of holiday lights.
For more information go to arizonacenter.com
Illuminations: Symphony of Light in Phoenix
Load up the car and drive through the Illumination: Symphony of Light, Arizona’s largest holiday drive-thru light spectacular. This year, there are two locations, one in Phoenix and one in Tempe and are said to provide two different experiences. The light displays are about a mile long with lights and video synchronized to holiday classics played over the FM radio.
With more than 1.7 million lights in the display, it takes approximately 25 minutes to drive through. At the end of the light display, guests can choose to enter Holiday Boulevard. It is filled with everything from visits with Santa, arts and crafts and plenty of holiday sweets, treats and eats.
Phoenix Location: I-17 & Jomax
Tempe: Diablo Stadium
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo
Phoenix's favorite animal-themed light show is back for the holiday season! ZooLights will shine bright every night starting Nov. 21 and going until Jan. 13. The lights turn on every night from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
New this year at ZooLights there will be entrance into Stingray Bay’s touch pool and the 4-D Theater to see Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer – both included with admission into ZooLights! Also new this year – real reindeer! Visit Frosty, Velvet, and Snowflake and the yet-to-be named baby reindeer in their holiday home.
Get tickets online at phoenixzoo.org
CitySkate at CityScape
There's nothing that brings Christmas cheer like ice skating in the desert. CitySkate will open for the season in downtown Phoenix on Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. The rink is open every day until Jan. 6 at CityScape on 1 E. Washington Street.
Find hours and pricing at phxicerink.com
Nightly Snowfall at Desert Ridge
Experience snowfall in the desert while getting the holiday shopping done with Desert Ridge Marketplace's nightly snowfall. The snow starts falling on Nov. 19 and goes nightly through Dec. 31 from 7 to 8 p.m. on the AMC lawn.
For more details and other holiday events at Desert Ridge, go to shopdesertridge.com/event/holiday/
Lights of the World at Arizona State Fairgrounds
Lights of the World is a sprawling international lantern arts festival that showcases different cultures and civilizations from around the world with 65 displays and over ten million lights. The festival is held at the Arizona State Fairgrounds from Dec. 6 to Feb. 3 and is the largest light festival in North America. The festival also has over 20 carnival rides that are free with admission.
For more details and to purchase tickets go to phoenix.lightsoftheworldus.com
Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden lights up with luminaries for the holidays. Each evening features more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and the pulse of the garden's latest show, Electric Desert. The luminarias start on Dec. 1 and go until Dec. 23. They will light up again after Christmas on Dec. 26 until Dec. 31.
For more information go to dbg.org
Skate Westgate - Glendale
Get your outdoor ice skating fix in the west Valley at Westgate! The ice rink opened on Nov. 3 and will be open until Jan. 13. All skill levels are welcome.
Go to westgateaz.com/skate for details on hours and pricing.
Glendale Glitters - Glendale
The Glendale Glitters festival lights up on Nov. 23 with entertainment, food, gifts, a petting zoo and of course, Santa! The festival spans across 16 blocks of historic downtown Glendale with 1.6 million lights, making it the largest free light festival in Arizona. The holiday light display remains lit nightly from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. until Jan. 12.
For details on events go to glendaleaz.com/glitters
The Santa Experience - Peoria
Visit Santa at Peoria's Park West shopping center. He will be there from Nov. 23 to Dec. 24. Visits with Santa are always free and photo packages are available for purchase. Also look for the sensory-friendly Santa experience, where Santa will meet with kids and adults with special needs of all kinds. Schedule a time with Santa in a sensory-safe, quiet and inviting environment on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For more holiday events at Park West go to shopparkwest.com/events
Christmas in Color - Goodyear
This drive-thru Christmas light display is animated and set to the beat of Christmas songs near Goodyear Ballpark. The event is open from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31.
For details on pricing and to buy tickets click here.
Home Plate for the Holidays - Goodyear
This one day event is totally free and is also held at Goodyear Ballpark. See the City of Goodyear's tree lighting, meet Santa and play in the 40 tons of snow! The event is on Dec. 1 and goes from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Find more information on the event's Facebook page.
Holiday Nights in Lights - Litchfield Park
Every Friday in December the front lawn of the Wigwam Hotel in Litchfield Park will be a winter wonderland. There will be train rides, s'mores around the fire and pictures with Santa from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. United Goodyear Firefighter Charities will be there accepting donations of new and unwrapped toys.
For details go to wigwamarizona.com
Rawhide Snowy Christmas - Chandler
The western town will kick off its holiday celebration on Nov. 22. The town will be decked out with holiday décor and thousands of lights through Dec. 23. Rawhide will feature holiday festivities nightly during general public hours 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free with a $5 parking charge.
For more details go to rawhide.com
Merry Main Street - Mesa
Merry Main Street begins Nov. 23 with an ice show at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink with AZ Ice at 4 p.m. and a tree lighting ceremony with the arrival of Santa Claus at 5:45 p.m. at Main Street and Macdonald. Enjoy an evening of music, food and fun throughout downtown Mesa from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Merry Main Street continues on through Jan. 4
For details on all the things to do, go to merrymainst.com
Scottsdazzle - Scottsdale
Scottsdazzle begins on Nov. 24 with the official holiday tree lighting and sing-along event from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Scottsdale Waterfront’s Soleri Bridge. The tree will be lit up nightly along with themed activities, entertainment and festivities as well as two major art installations throughout December.
For more details go to scottsdazzle.com
Holiday Lights at the Railroad Park - Scottsdale
This event’s centerpiece is a train ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through a winter wonderland of lights and displays. The event starts on Nov. 30 and goes to Jan. 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information go to therailroadpark.com
Illuminations: Symphony of Light in Tempe
This year, there are two locations for Illumination: Symphony of Light, one in Phoenix and the other in Tempe.
Each one offers a different experience. So who knows, maybe you have time to try out both locations this year.
The Tempe location is near Diablo Stadium.
2200 West Alameda Dr
Tempe, AZ 85282
Nightly Snowfall at Tempe Marketplace - Tempe
Another place to shop in a winter wonderland! The snow will fall nightly at Tempe Marketplace at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The holiday fun starts with the tree lighting on Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. It will also snow every hour from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Find more holiday events at tempemarketplace.com/holiday
Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade - Tempe Town Lake
One of the most unique holiday light events in the Valley is the boat parade at Tempe Town Lake. Lighted boats enter Tempe Town Lake at the Tempe Town Lake Marina and make their way to the north shore. The parade begins promptly at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8.
For more information go to downtowntempe.com
Enjoy the holiday season with events in your area or branch out to the other side of the Valley! There are plenty of things to do bring on the cheer! Happy Holidays!