There are plenty of great holiday festivals going on throughout the valley for the 2012 holiday season. Here are some highlights of unique and fun events to experience this holiday season:
Saturday, November 24th | Mill Avenue District unveils its Winter Wonderland themed season with the glittering lights of the Opening Night Parade; visit Santa Claus, watch the official Tempe Tree Lighting ceremony and enjoy some great holiday shopping.
Gilbert’s Holiday Nights of Lights
Friday, November 30th | Experience the lighting of the town’s 28 foot Christmas tree and lights display, a visit from Santa, horse and carriage rides, and reindeer rides.
Saturday, December 1st & 8th | Christmas on the Farm! While you pick out your perfect Christmas tree , get your picture taken with Santa! There will also be hot chocolate, apple cider, kettle corn and s’mores for sale next to the bonfire!
Queen Creek Holiday Festival and Parade
Saturday, December 1st |Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Ellsworth Rd. at Sierra Park Blvd to Victoria Ln. Festival at Queen Creek Library grounds (Ellsworth & Victoria) in Queen Creek until 3 p.m.
Saturday December 1st | Take a picture with Santa at Santa’s House, enjoy the parade and the lighting of the most unique Christmas tree ever made of tumbleweeds!
Phoenix Electric Light Parade
Saturday, December 1st | The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is proud to present the 26th Annual APS Electric Light Parade. This spectacle of lighted floats and performance groups has delighted tens of thousands of spectators each year along the parade route. Onlookers can come early to see Santa Claus and view the judging of the parade displays, some with over 50,000 lights!
Saturday, Dec 8th | Light up the night and be dazzled at the Valley’s most unique holiday event—the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade at Tempe Town Lake, featuring as many as 50 festively lighted boats of all sizes. Nearly 30,000 spectators attend, and METRO light rail’s LED installation on the Tempe Town Lake Bridge will provide a special display. The event concludes with a dazzling fireworks grand finale.
Saturday, December 8th | Bring your mittens and a snow tube, grab your friends and neighbors to come join the fun at Mother Nature’s Farm. Kids are $7.00 that includes the snow hill all day, the hayride, maze, air bounce and the animals, the adults are $3.00 to tag along. There will be fresh cut Douglas Firs and Noble Firs for sale, and live Elderica pines are here for you to cut down or have dug up for a really fresh, old fashioned Christmas Tree. Bring the family for the hunt for the perfect tree for your holidays!
Friday and Saturday, December 7 & 8 | Winter Wonderland weekend will feature a children’s snow field where kids can create their own Frosty the Snowman. Snow will fall at the snowfield throughout the evening. Free make-and-take crafts, face-painting, Santa Claus and musical entertainment. Horse-drawn carriages rides.
Queen Creek Christmas Car Show
Saturday Dec 8th | This is a great event with vintage, classic and collectible car show benefits children that are less fortunate by collecting toys for Christmas
Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale
December 14th – January 5th | All Aboard for Arizona’s most unique holiday event! Take a train ride through many festive holiday lights and displays turning the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park into a winter wonderland. Opening night festivities will begin at 6:30 and include a tree-lighting ceremony, entertainment and a visit from Santa. Santa will be at the park through Sunday, Dec. 23.
Open December 15th- January 5th | Enjoy ice skating, hay rides out to feed Santa’s deer, train rides, bon fires, Petting Zoo FREE ,Hay Rides to feed the deer, and enjoy a visit from Santa on select dates.
December 16th & 17th | Bring your dancing shoes for a rockin’ good time in downtown Glendale on Dec. 16-17 and enjoy Jingle Bell Rockin’ Nights for music, fun and excitement amid 1.5 million lights! A festive mix of holiday songs and rock jams will get everyone off their feet and in the holiday spirit! Practice your moves to the tunes of some stellar musical performances. The event will also feature holiday arts and crafts, delicious food and beverage, horse-drawn carriages rides, inflatable rides and visits with Santa Claus.
Queen Creek Elfish Event
Saturday, December 22nd | Escape to the candy-cane forest and take a well-deserved break from all the holiday hoopla. Enjoy some fun activities with the kids while laughing your way through the silliest holiday movie, “Elf.” Top off the evening with an elf dressing contest, burping contest, coloring/crafts booth, hot chocolate and cookies, and much more! Who knows, Santa and Buddy the Elf might even make an appearance!