It wouldn't be the winter holidays without loads of sparkling lights to brighten up the long, dark nights. These Phoenix-area holiday light displays run through December and sometimes even into January. So choose one or more for some glittering holiday cheer during the holiday season.
Lights of the World
While there is a Christmas zone, this isn't just about Christmas. This huge festival of lanterns and lights celebrates regions and cultures of the world near downtown Phoenix at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Billed as the largest holiday light show in the country, this is a must-see event for anyone in the Phoenix area during the holidays. Apart from the 10 million lights on display, other hit activities include a puppet rock concert and a sea lion show.
Lights of the World opens November 21, 2019, and runs until January 12, 2020. It's open evenings every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They also open on December 24-25, December 30-31, and January 1.
Each year the Phoenix Zoo puts up an amazing holiday display called ZooLights. This event is about holiday lights, music, and lighted animal sculptures. This show is mostly about the lights, not the live animals, although there are some daytime enclosures open during ZooLights, such as the zebras, flamingos, Komodo dragons, otters, and a special reindeer exhibit just for the holidays.
This year ZooLights opens on November 27, 2019, and runs nightly until January 19, 2020.
Christmas at the Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess puts on its holiday dress and transforms itself into a sparkling winter wonderland for this event. Skate on real ice on the resort's Desert Ice Skating Rink and check out the Christmas tree light show against the resort's facade. And who wouldn't love to make a furry friend at Build-a-Bear Workshop?
Christmas at the Princess kicks off on November 26, 2019, with the annual tree lighting ceremony and you can enjoy the festivities daily through December 31, 2019.
Las Noches de las Luminarias
Each year during the holiday season the Desert Botanical Garden lines the paths of its extraordinary landscape with thousands of luminarias, special Christmastime lanterns. You can get a bite to eat at the Patio Cafe and get a glass, bottle, or flight of wine. And there will be live entertainment every night as a soundtrack for this one-of-a-kind experience. This is a ticketed event, and it is smart to book in advance.
Las Noches de las Luminarias debuts for the season on Black Friday, November 29, 2019. It will also be open November 30, December 6-8, December 13-15, December 17-23, and December 26-31.
Historic Downtown Glendale comes to life each holiday season with about 1.6 million multi-colored twinkling holiday lights throughout a 12-block area that includes the Old Towne and Catlin Court districts. You can walk or drive around the area without digging for your wallet, as it's free for all visitors.
Glendale Glitters begins each year on the day after Thanksgiving, and this year runs nightly November 29, 2019, until January 11, 2020.
Ahwatukee Festival of Lights
The beautiful white Ahwatukee lights in southern Phoenix can be seen on Chandler Boulevard from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway. The Saturday after Thanksgiving you can also join for the Kick-Off Party, a huge street festival with food, beer and wine, live music, holiday shopping, and a visit from Santa.
Each year the lights are turned on the Monday before Thanksgiving and stay on nightly until early January.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Holiday Lights
Take a train ride through many festive holiday lights and displays that turn the Railroad Park in Scottsdale into a winter wonderland. Santa visits the park on most nights, so kids have the chance to share their wishlists and get a picture. During the first two weeks, wear your ugliest Christmas sweater to the park for a chance to win prizes.
The park is open nightly from November 29, 2019, until January 5, 2020, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on December 24-25 and December 31.