Best Holiday Events in Arizona

    While there are few spots in Arizona where you can enjoy landscapes blanketed in snow, there are plenty that offer some fantastic holiday events. If you’re looking to experience some of the best of the best, check out one or more of these options this season.

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    Festival of Lights, Lake Havasu City (Nearby Hotels)

    During the annual six-week Festival of Lights in Havasu City, from Thanksgiving weekend to New Year’s Day, London Bridge and its adjacent English Village are all decked out with an array of holiday lights.The reflection off the lake provides an especially striking look, and it’s easy to get in the winter spirit by gliding around the ice rink and enjoying a visit with Santa Claus. The festival also includes the Boat Parade of Lights on the first Saturday night in December, when over 50 boats, adorned with dazzling lights and holiday decor, pass through the channel and underneath London Bridge.

    Grand Canyon Railway Polar Express

    Grand Canyon Railway Polar Express

    Polar Express (Nearby Hotels)

    Many consider the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express to be the kickoff to the holiday season, as it all begins in mid-November, November 10 in 2017, at Williams Depot near the Grand Canyon. Similar to the book and the movie, guests can expect lively elves, chefs and other characters for constant entertainment. Everyone is encouraged to dance and act out old fashioned holiday tunes as well as to read along to the popular Polar Express tale. Treats are included too, allowing passengers to get their fill of tasty chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate, all provided by Santa’s chefs just before arriving to the North Pole. This is when Santa Claus himself comes aboard to present excited young passengers with the story’s iconic bell.

    Phoenix ZooLights

    Credit: Phoenix Zoo

    Phoenix ZooLights

    Phoenix ZooLights (Nearby Hotels)

    A number of zoos around the country offer the popular ZooLights events, including the Phoenix Zoo. This is when the zoo is lit up with millions of dazzling holiday lights. This massive display takes 14 weeks to install, so work begins in July in order for it to be ready on opening day in late November, November 22 in 2017. It continues all the way through January 14, 2018. It also features a three-story-high Christmas tree, a 4D theater, lakeside music-in-motion shows, photos with Santa Claus, a nightly snowfall,festive food and drink, and more.

    Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden

    Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden

    Las Noches de Las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden (Nearby Hotels)

    Las Noches de Las Luminarias, which translates to The Nights of Luminaries, is held for 21 nights at the Desert Botanical Garden, from the Friday after Thanksgiving through December 30. The park glows from the candlelight of over 8,000 luminarias, which can be see while you stroll among the cactus at night, sipping hot cider or hot cocoa. Entertainment is provided too, with holiday songs performed by choirs, along with live reggae, flamenco, rock, mariachi and classic music. If you’re into stargazing, you can star at the stars from the large telescopes provided by the Phoenix Astronomical Society too.

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    Prescott 'Christmas City'

    Prescott ‘Christmas City’

    Arizona’s Own Christmas City, Prescott (Nearby Hotels)

    Prescott is officially designated as “Arizona’s Christmas City,” named by Governor Rose Mofford in 1989. The festivities typically start on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, kicking off with the Holiday Light Parade that winds around the Courthouse Plaza, followed by the longtime tradition of the Courthouse lighting, something that was established over six decades ago. Enjoy live seasonal music, a roaring fire, historic buildings decked out in holiday decor, a Christmas tree with vintage decorations, and living history re-enactors that tell tales of what Christmas was like in the state’s territorial days. As Prescott enjoys a four-season climate along with grand Victorian-style homes, it offers a true postcard-perfect Christmas town atmosphere.

    Article courtesy of Trip To Discover.

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