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Two women holding hands and ice skating at an outdoor ice rink.



Just because there are no frigid temps or snow in Phoenix, that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the spirit of the holiday season! Gather all your friends and head out to one of these five can’t-miss holiday events in the Phoenix area. From festive lights to a parade, they’ll have you feeling the cheer in no time. 

Phoenix Zoo ZooLights

Walk the zoo while taking in a dazzling light display at the Phoenix Zoo ZooLights event held on select nights in December through Jan. 15. The zoo turns into one of the largest holiday lighting events in the Southwest, with millions of lights, hundreds of displays, and performances throughout the zoo. You can choose to do a walk-thru when the sun goes down and the animals go to sleep, or you have the option of driving through in the comfort of your own car during Cruise ZooLights.

CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink

Pretend it’s extra cold outside at Phoenix’s only real outdoor ice skating rink, located at Patriot’s Park, inside CityScape. Guests can skate under the stars on freshly surfaced ice through Jan. 5. With twinkling lights and holiday decor surrounding the rink, the CitySkate experience is truly magical.

Las Noches de las Luminarias

The Desert Botanical Garden shines bright during the holiday season thanks to live music performances, entertainment, and thousands of dazzling hand-lit luminarias at Las Noches de las Luminarias. There’s something about the garden’s pathways lit up at night, and this year you can see the stunning Chihuly in the Desert exhibition.

Annual Winter Wonderland Express

Enchanted Island is so much more than an amusement park during the holiday season. On select days in December, the park turns into a Winter Wonderland Express, filled with all of the holiday fun you can imagine. Ride the holiday train to the snow-filled enchanted island, go sledding, enjoy Christmas decor, and visit Santa, all in a day’s fun!

Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade

Mark your calendar for Dec. 18, the day of the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade. Admission is free, but you’ll have to make sure to arrive early to check out all of the floats – this is the state’s highest attended single-day event!

Get into the holiday spirit this year with these five can’t-miss events in the Phoenix area. For more events and happenings, check out The Tessera’s blog.


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