Christmas in Phoenix 2019

I do not know how it happened, but somehow the Christmas Season has arrived! There are many that hold that the season has not started until after Thanksgiving. Yet, there is enough evidence in the stores, on streaming providers, and the radio to suggest otherwise. I will confess that while I purposely carve out time to honor and enjoy Thanksgiving, I also know that if I do not get my ducks in a row quickly, the New Year will be here and I will be saying “What happened?”
So, for all of you that are looking for something new or exciting for this Christmas Season, here is a small collection of what I found that looks interesting. A full description and listing can be found at I hope you find something to enjoy!
Oldies but Goodies- Here is a listing of some tradition activities:
Lights of the World at Arizona State Fairground (ongoing until January 12th)

This is a BEAUTIFUL spectical to behold! In honesty, I stopped doing the traditional fair when my kids stopped asking to go. This event has given me an adult reason to visit this landmark on my terms. Great outing for the family, with friends, or just for some me time.
Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo (ongoing until January 19th)

Zoolights is an opportunity to get everyone involved in a physical activity. The lights, sounds, and smells will make you forget that you are actually exercising! Take your Fit Bit or you pedometer and (in the words of Martin Lawrence) “GET TO STEPIN!”


Las Noches de las Luminarias at The Desert Botanical Garden (ongoing until December 31)

My family and I attend this event every year during one of the nights reserved for members. I am sure that they do special things on these nights to make it extra special. If they are, it works because we return every year! Music! Dancing! Food! Performances! Atmosphere! If you have never been, I encourge you to check this event out.
The APS Electric Light Parade (December 7th)

Growing up on the east coast, we always had a Thanksgiving Day Parade. When I moved to Arizona about 20 years ago, I was exceedingly sad to discover that there was not one on the Valley (I later found one in Fountain Hills…went once). So, when I learned about the Electric Day Parade, it was happy days again! The best (or worst) part is that the weather is usually mild enough to not nead a jacket. That is still weird to me, but hey. The parade starts at North Phoenix Batist Church. Go early so you can figure out parking. Check the route because it might make sense to use the light rail, but don’t quote me on that.
The Nutracker (Herberger Theater)
The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Princess
The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Wigwam
Glendale Glitters
The play “The Worst (Best) Christmas Pageant Ever”
Movies at Harkins Theater
The Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz Carlton (no longer available, but I wish it would come back)
Knott’s Berry Farm (in California, but my hubby loves Peanuts and the decorations are beautiful)
Window shopping
Ice Skating in Downtown Phoenix (not me…the kids)
Fun activities at Westgate Mall (or the one closest to you)
Visit Santa at Macy’s
Last but not least, the no-nostalgia event that I will try this year for the first time is The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting in downtown Chandler on December 7th. This is a truly Phoenician celebration. Based on what I read, the collective goal is to gather enough tumbleweed to assemble a Christmas tree. At the end of the event, the Christmas Tree is lit (with lights, not fire).
I hope you found at least one event that brought back fond memories or inspired you to take on a new adventure. If so, please share your experiences with a post. Also, I would love to hear about celebrations that are not listed. If you know of one, send a post. Maybe I will see you there!
Merry Christmas!


Yolanda Wheelington

Yolanda Wheelington

Phoenix, Arizona

Yolanda has taught for the past 7 years in the Phoenix Elementary School District. Her passion for developing and supporting the human potential is evident in the cross-curricular work done her classroom. She is a member of the Association Montessori International and is a RODEL Scholar. Yolanda earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Education (Special Education) from Arizona State University, and a diploma in Lower Elementary Education for ages 6-12 from the Montessori Institute of North Texas.

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