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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, maybe not for those of you who loathe the cold weather, busy holidays and burned toungues from too much hot cocoa. But in all seriousness, there is a lot going on this month across Arizona including some great annual traditions. Finally, we can actually enjoy going outside while wearing light jackets! Can someone say #ThankYouArizona?

 Check out some of the Arizona holiday traditions happening near you:

For more information on a particular event, click on the title of any holiday tradition.  

Christmas in Color

  • Location: Goodyear Ballpark
  • Admission: $25 a car Monday–Thursday, $30 a car Saturday–Sunday

Experience a winter wonderland in the desert! This drive-through is a 1.5 million light holiday display synchronized to music you’ll hear on your car radio.

22nd Annual Glendale Glitters     

  • Location: Historic Downtown Glendale
  • Admission: Free

Each weekend of Glendale Glitters features a different theme, so residents enjoy returning throughout the month of December for different events including ugly sweater contents, ice skating and free holiday shows and movies on the outdoor stage.

CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink 

  • Location: 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
  • Admission: $12; $8 seniors, military members, students and ages 4-8; children 3 and younger skate free  (fee includes skate rental).

Outdoor ice skating is definitely one of the newer traditions here in Arizona, and residents can try it out on the approximately 7,000 square-foot rink in Phoenix at the CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink. Some special nights will even feature holiday movies on the ice and visits from Santa!

Las Noches de Las Luminarias 

  • Location:  1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008
  • Admission: $30 for adults; $12.50 for ages 3-12. Members: $25; $10 for ages 3-12.

Arizona has arguably one of the most beautiful sunsets on a daily basis. After the sun goes down, another tradition lights up the night each weekend in December. For nearly 40 years residents, have been in awe of the eight thousand luminaries, cultural music and desert inspired nature walk through the grounds at the Desert Botanical Gardens.

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting

  • Location: Downtown Chandler
  • Admission: Free

Towering over the heads of those who take in the Arizona-inspired tradition, prickly lit tree made entirely from tumbleweeds has made a comeback each season for 59 years. Be sure to make a visit and take a picture to show everyone you know that we know how to celebrate the holidays even if we don’t have snow or evergreens!


  • Location: 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
  • Admission: $10-16

Each holiday season, after the sun goes down, the Phoenix Zoo comes to life with the ZooLights’ light display. The evening is fun for attendees of all ages and an Arizona family favorite. Residents can always expect to see something new in the forms of displays, characters and performances!

Cherry Lane

  • Location: Alma School & Guadalupe. Mesa, AZ 85212. View map here.
  • Admission: Free

While driving around looking for neighborhood light decorations, be sure to stop by Cherry Lane! Tucked away in a Mesa neighborhood, this little cul-de-sac lights up the night with its brilliant holiday decorations. Grab a hot cocoa, park your car and come out and see this neighborhood’s spectacular display.

Pecan Creek South Loop of Lights

  • Location: South Pecan Creek neighborhood, San Tan Valley, AZ 85140.
  • Admission: Free

For our students further east, Pecan Creek in San Tan Valley is the place to go check out holiday lights! This neighborhood does not shy away from decorations. There is often a ton of traffic driving through to see this spectacular.

  • What is your favorite Arizona holiday tradition? Share with us in the comments below!
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