As the holiday season unfolds, the Valley comes alive with a dazzling array of festive events, each offering a unique way to celebrate.
WORLD OF ILLUMINATION REINDEER ROAD
When: Through Jan. 1
Where: Desert Diamond Casino, 9431 W. Northern Ave., Glendale
What: Embark on a wild holiday adventure, crossing land, sea, and air, where you’ll encounter exotic animals, from peacocks to piranhas. Soar through the skies alongside reindeer and race past dinosaurs in a time-forgotten land. Meet the King of the Jungle, brave the Tunnel of Tentacles against sharks and jellyfish, and conclude your journey at Santa’s Bazaar, festively decorated by your animal pals. Buckle up starting at 6 p.m. for this mile-long adventure with millions of twinkling lights and holiday tunes.
LAS NOCHES DE LAS LUMINARIAS
When: Through Dec. 30
Where: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix
What: Experience the simplicity and beauty of Las Noches de las Luminarias this holiday season with 8,000 flickering luminarias and twinkling lights throughout the Desert Botanical Garden. Enjoy an evening filled with sparkling luminarias, musical performances, entertainment, and holiday delights that line the garden’s iconic trails for a picture-perfect night.
CHRISTMAS ON THE FARM
When: Through Dec. 23
Where: Tolmachoff Farms, 5726 N. 75th Ave., Glendale
What: There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut pine trees and a cold snap in the air to let you know that Christmas is near. Pick out a Christmas tree with the family. After picking out a tree, spend time on the farm and take in the sights, sounds, and have a hot chocolate or two, while enjoying fire pits, train rides, a two-story playhouse, and more!
When: Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23
Where: The Shops at Norterra, 2460 W. Happy Valley Rd., Phoenix
What: Head to Elevate Coffee at The Shops at Norterra for a free professional photo of your children with Santa while you enjoy a warm, delicious drink.
GET CANDID WITH THE CLAUS
When: Weekends through Dec. 24
Where: Westgate Entertainment District, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., Glendale
What: Mr. Kringle is making his rounds throughout the Westgate Entertainment District. Pose for a free picture a designated Santa stop with a luminous Christmas tree backdrop on select days.
Holiday lights at McCormick Railroad Park
When: Through Jan. 7
Where: 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale
What: This holiday spectacular is a great spot to bring the whole family each holiday season. The train is adorned with lights, and you take a special ride through displays created to showcase a winter wonderland. There is also the Charros Carousel and a cup of hot cocoa to help make the event feel like the holidays.
When: Through Jan. 7
Where: OdySea Aquarium, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, A100, Scottsdale
What: SeaTREK Santa is back, making underwater appearances. Get a digital photo package with SeaTREK Santa for keepsakes or holiday cards. Enjoy the SeaTREK Santa Scavenger Hunt to win prizes by finding hidden images. Kids can send their wish lists to SeaTREK Santa in our Kids Cove (and he’ll write back!). Hop on the OdySea Voyager’s saltwater sleigh, featuring rotating festive exhibits full of lights, holiday music, and décor, all while narrated by SeaTREK Santa himself as he highlights his sea-fairing friends including stingrays, sea turtles, sea lions, and sharks.
When: Through Jan. 14
Where: Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix
What: ZooLights at The Phoenix Zoo, one of the Valley’s most cherished holiday traditions, is back with millions of twinkling lights, all-new animal lanterns and light displays, an enhanced Santa experience, and a brand new music and light show! Plus, guest entry to ZooLights includes admission to Dinosaurs in the Desert, the not-to-be-missed dino-mite experience!
Each event is a testament to the spirit of the holiday season. Make sure to check event websites for the latest updates and confirm all the exciting details.