What to Do on Christmas Day 2019 in Phoenix

Whether you don't celebrate Christmas or are looking for an alternative way to celebrate the holiday, there's still plenty to do in Phoenix on Christmas Day–even if it seems like everything is closed.

01 of 06

Go Skating

CitySkate in Downtown Phoenix
Courtesy of CityScape Phoenix

If Santa is bringing you ice skates this year, CitySkate in Downtown Phoenix will be open on Christmas Day. It's an outdoor skating rink on real ice, rare in the middle of the desert. There are also several synthetic ice skating rinks set up just for the holidays. Check the holiday events schedule to find these rinks, which are typically located at shopping malls or local resorts. To skate indoors on Christmas Day, visit AZ Ice.

02 of 06

Visit OdySea Aquarium

Odysea Aquarium in Scottsdale, AZ
© Judy Hedding

See the beautiful fish, sharks, and more at the newest aquarium in the Valley of the Sun. It's located in Scottsdale, right off the Loop 101, and happens to be open on Christmas Day. This is also a great family-friendly activity if the kids get bored after opening presents on Christmas morning.

03 of 06

Go to ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix ZooLights
Courtesy of Phoenix Zoo

From 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., the Phoenix Zoo is open for ZooLights, with about 3.8 million lights in about 700 arrangements. The lights are inspired by the zoo's residents animals, which you'll recognize from a daytime visit. You won't be able to see many animals at night, but it's really all about the lights.

04 of 06

Visit MIM

Musical Instrument Museum, Arizona

TripSavvy / Jackson Vance 

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in north Phoenix is open on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's a stunning museum, suitable for all ages and musical tastes. Everyone, from the occasional kazoo players to professional musicians, will enjoy their time spent here.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Take a Hike

View of famous Camelback Mountain with cactus, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Danita Delimont / Getty Images

You'll find a variety of hiking trails, nature trails, and picnic facilities all over the central Arizona area, many of which are open on Christmas Day. Check online or call before you go. If you got new hiking boots, a GPS, or a camera this holiday season, these are great spots to test them out. A few hiking trails that should be open are Camelback MountainPiestewa PeakSouth Mountain, Cave Creek Regional Park, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, and McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

06 of 06

Drive Race Karts

Race Kart at Octane Raceway
Courtesy of Octane Raceway

Thrill-seeking drivers can get a true taste of performance racing in state-of-the-art karts that reach speeds of up to 45 mph at Octane Raceway in Scottsdale. The raceway is open on Christmas Day from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m.For more info, check out our guide to Octane Raceway.

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