Phoenix Event Calendar for December

Things to Do in Greater Phoenix in December

Tempe Festival of the Arts
••• Tempe Festival of the Arts. Courtesy of Tempe Festival of the Arts

In December it won't be a shock to you that many of the events taking place in Greater Phoenix are related to the winter holidays -- but not all of them! These are many of the community events that you can count on year in and year out. All dates, prices, and activities mentioned are subject to change without notice. Check the website or call to confirm information. The activities in this event calendar are appropriate for families unless otherwise indicated.

If the event is free, I'll mention that, too.

Looking for big name concerts, shows or theatre? Check this calendar for December performances.

Christmas Holiday tree lightings, festivals and events typically begin in mid-November and continue through the end of December and even into January. You can find extensive listings of those activities and events in the Greater Phoenix Christmas Holiday Guide.

More Phoenix Event Calendars

Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun
Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

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Phoenix Event Calendar for December

2nd Friday Night Out in Mesa
Live music, entertainment, art walk, prizes. Each month has a theme. Family friendly. Free admission. On Main Street in Downtown Mesa.
In 2016: 2nd Friday of the month

6th Street Market
Original arts and crafts, live music, shopping. Family-friendly. Free admission. Downtown Tempe.
In 2016: every Sunday in December

All Breed Cat Show
Professional exhibitors, vendors and cat-loving spectators. Hosted by the Phoenix Feline Fanciers. Mesa Convention Center.
In 2016: December 10, 11

Arabian Horse Farm Tour
Scottsdale's prominent Arabian horse farms open their doors, welcoming the public to enjoy National Champion horses, meet top trainers, and learn more about this breed. Free admission.
In 2016: December 29 - January 1, 2017

Arizona Antique Market
Indoors. Admission and parking is free. Scottsdale.
In 2016: December 9 - 11

Arizona Asian Festival
A free festival featuring ethnic cuisine, arts and crafts, and entertainment such as martial arts demonstrations, cultural dances and music from nearly a dozen Asian countries. Scottsdale Civic Center Mall.
In 2016: December 3, 4

Arizona Cardinals Football
The Arizona Cardinals play professional football at University of Phoenix Stadium.
In 2016: Various dates in December

Arizona Coyotes Hockey
Our professional NHL hockey team hopes to howl its way to the Stanley Cup. They play at the Gila River Arena.
In 2016: Various dates in December

Arizona National Livestock Show
Arizona's largest livestock show. Exhibits and competitions. Held at the Fairgrounds in Central Phoenix.
In 2016: December 27 - January 1, 2017

Astronomy Evenings
A talk (novice level) explaining facts about the solar system and the galaxy around the planet earth followed by observing the moon, several planets, star systems through a celestron telescope. Weather permitting. Registration required. Ages 8+. Pinnacle Peak Park, Scottsdale.
In 2017: December 15

Beyond the Bricks
Live music, beer, wine, food. Free admission. Bring a blanket. Hayden Square Amphitheatre in Downtown Tempe. Take light rail!
In 2016: December 1, 8, 15, 22

Cactus Bowl
The Cactus Bowl matches a Pac-12 Conference team against a Big 12 Conference team. Phoenix.
In 2016: December 27

Chanukah/Hanukkah Holiday Events and Activities
Several local Jewish organizations sponsor events and activities in celebration of Chanukah.
In 2016: Various dates in December

Chandler Snow Day
Young visitors can play in real snow (until it melts) and learn the science of snow. Hill for sledding, winter-themed crafts and activities. Environmental Education Center.
In 2016: December 27

Christmas Concerts and Shows
A vast selection of music, dance and theatre events celebrating the Christmas season.
In 2016: Various dates in December

City Lights Movie Night
Free movie at CityScape in Downtown Phoenix. Giveaways, contests, prizes. Bring a chair.
In 2016: December 9

Crossroads of the West Gun Show
At the Arizona State Fairgrounds. The shows offer hundreds of tables of interest to both the once a year hunter and the avid collector.
In 2016: December 2 - 4

Desert Botanical Garden Las Noches de las Luminarias
The Desert Botanical Garden glows in the evenings with thousands of luminarias lining the paths.
In 2016: various nights in December

Desert Ridge Marketplace Concerts
Free concerts on two stages in North Phoenix at Desert Ridge Marketplace.
In 2016: Every Friday and Saturday night

Discount Tire Free Family Sundays
Free admission for everyone at Phoenix Art Museum on the second Sunday of the month. Includes a special hands-on, educational programming and/or entertainment designed to appeal to visitors of all ages. Special exhibitions may have a reduced charge. More about Phoenix Art Museum. See a map.
In 2016: December 11

Downtown Chandler Art Walk
Visit more than 70 artisans set up along the streets in front of the unique shops and cafes of Historic Downtown Chandler. Free.
In 2016: third Friday of the month

Experience Scandinavia
A celebration of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Musical performances, traditional dances, hands-on crafts. Included with regular admission. MIM, Phoenix.
In 2016: December 3, 4

Fiesta Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl is played at University of Phoenix Stadium and is always one of the top four college football bowl games. There are other Fiesta Bowl events, such as a parade, associated with the game.
In 2016: December 31

Fiesta Bowl Parade
Floats, marching bands, horses and more in the parade. Phoenix.
In 2016: December 31

Fiesta Bowl Tailgate Party
A huge tailgate party, right before the Fiesta Bowl. University of Phoenix Stadium Parking Lot, Glendale.
In 2016: December 31

First Friday
Visit more than 80 downtown Phoenix art galleries, studios and art spaces. Free.
In 2016: first Friday of the month

First Saturdays for Families
Families with kids ages 4 – 12 are invited to the ASU Art Museum to participate in artistic projects. Free drop-in program. Tempe.
In 2016: December ?

Gilbert Art Walk
Local artists set up booths to display their work. Community booths and children's activities. Free admission. Water Tower Plaza in Gilbert’s Heritage District.
In 2017: December 2, 9, 16

Glendale Community College Performances
Musical performances by students and faculty. Free admission, free parking.
In 2016: various dates in December

Downtown Gilbert Concert Series
Free. Food and beverages are available to purchase. Water Tower Plaza (across from Hale Theater) in Gilbert’s Heritage District.
In 2016: December 8

Holiday Concerts and Shows
A huge selection of music, dance and theatre events celebrating the holiday season.
In 2016: Various dates in December

Includes panels on pop culture topics for teens, crafts for teens, vendors selling their comic-con inspired materials for everyone of all ages, food trucks, cosplayers, and more. Glendale Main Public Library.
In 2016: December 10

MACFest (Mesa Arts and Culture Festival) is a free family-friendly event featuring artist creations, music and entertainment. Downtown Mesa North Macdonald, from Main St. to Pepper Pl.
In 2016: December 3, 17

Meet Me Downtown
A casual, social self-guided 3.3 mile walk around downtown Phoenix. Evening, rain or shine. Starts at CityScape, Downtown Phoenix.
In 2016: Every Monday in December

Mesa Arts Festival
Features original works of art for sale by local and national artists; live entertainment; artist demonstrations in glassblowing, metals, and ceramics; children’s activities. Food from local restaurants available for purchase. Free admission. Mesa Arts Center.
In 2016: December 10, 11

Motorcycles on Main
The streets of downtown Mesa are closed to all but bikers and people who love motorcycles. Music, food, beer garden. Free admission.
In 2016: First Friday of the month

Movies at the Museum
Independent and classic cinema and documentaries relating to art, artists, and works on view in the Museum, usually followed by discussion. Free with paid museum admission. First come, first seated. Phoenix Art Museum.
In 2016: Various dates in December

New Year's Eve Events
Here are some ideas for some different things you can do on New Year's Eve in the Greater Phoenix area.
In 2016: December 31 (not yet updated)

Out to Lunch Concerts
Lunchtime concerts feature local artists playing a variety of music including folk, country, jazz, Dixieland, oldies, and world music. Chairs and lawn seating are available, but guests are encouraged to bring stadium cushions and blankets. Brown bags and picnic baskets are welcome. Free admission. Wells Fargo Garden at Mesa Arts Center. 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
In 2016: December 1, 8, 15

Performances at the Museum
Performances from the East Valley community. Each performance is different. Includes children’s plays, kid and adult film series, classical music (check schedule). Tempe History Museum. Free admission.
In 2017: December 1, 15

Phoenix Festival of the Arts
Artists, crafts, entertainment for all ages. Free admission. Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix.
In 2016: December 9 - 11

Phoenix Suns Basketball
Our professional basketball team plays hoops at the Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly US Airways Center).
In 2016: Various dates in December

Pueblo Grande Museum Indian Market
The Pueblo Grande Museum hosts this event with hundreds of Native American artisans representing more than 50 tribes displaying and selling their arts and crafts. Phoenix.
In 2016: December 10, 11

Sahuaro Ranch Historic Site Tour
Learn about the various buildings, barnyard, trees and groves at this ranch site, now a public park. The Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Free, all ages. Sahuaro Ranch, Glendale.
In 2016: December 2, 3

Science Saturdays
Youth and teen programs focused on topics such as robotics, meteorology, physics, geology and biology. ​Tumbleweed Ranch in Tumbleweed Park​, Chandler.
In 2010: December 10

Science With a Twist
The Arizona Science Center in Downtown Phoenix opens it doors one evening per month for an adults-only experience (21+), with lectures, music and scientific fun. Ticketed event.
In 2016: December 16

Scottsdale ArtWalk
The Scottsdale Art District invites you to spend a casual evening walking downtown and enjoying fine art. Free.
In 2016: Every Thursday evening

Second Sunday in the Park
Live music and entertainment. Family event. Free. Surprise Community Park.
In 2016: December 11

Sonoran Sunset Series
Outdoor, evening family-friendly concerts in Chandler at the Environmental Education Center. Free admission.
In 2016: December 15

spark! After Dark
A grown-up night out with live art, live music, food, adult drinks. Free admission. Mesa Arts Center.
In 2016: December 17

Talk Cinema
Audience members are the critics at a sneak-preview film. This film series screens award-winning indie and foreign films before their theatrical release. Screenings include moderated conversations hosted by guest speakers. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
In 2016: December 20

Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts
If you didn't go in the Spring (or even if you did) you don't want to miss this wonderful street fair in downtown Tempe. The annual arts and crafts festival is held on Mill Avenue. More than 500 artists exhibit wonderful works of wood, pottery, jewelry, oil paintings and more. Live entertainment also fills the street.
In 2016: December 2 - 4

Touchdown Tailgate
​Several hours before Arizona Cardinals football kickoff you can attend a free tailgate party at Westgate Entertainment District's WaterDance Plaza. Beer garden, games, giveaways. Tickets to the game not required.
In 2016: December 18

Winter Solstice
Celebrate the ancient festival of Solstice. Solstice, now as in ancient times, marks the longest night of the year, whereby the Sun will go to its lowest elevation in the sky, before returning to start a new cycle with nature. The occasion is marked with music, poetry, fun and food. Irish Cultural Center, Phoenix.
In 2016: December 21