Like Buddy the Elf said, the best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear! This holiday season, get ready to celebrate and have a great time with all of the holiday events taking place in all corners of the Valley.
Visit with Santa Claus
One of the most classic holiday traditions for parents with younger kids is getting a photo with Santa each year. Not only is the photo a treasured keepsake, but your kids get the opportunity to speak to the big man directly and give him hints about what they would love to find under the tree this year!
This year, there are several different locations in Scottsdale where you can have a Santa meet and greet. One of the best spots to get a photo take with Santa is at the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Visiting with Santa is completely free, and the photo packages are available afterwards for purchase. This year, parents have the option of choosing whether they want their children to sit on Santa’s lap or to opt for a socially distant photo option. You can make a reservation online to reserve your timeslot, which will prevent you from having to wait in line for a long time. Kids can share their wish list with Santa and his helpers and enjoy the magic of Santa’s Wonderland!
Visit Santa Paws- Pet Photo Night
If you have fur babies, they can also participate in the magic of Santa! Scottsdale Fashion Square also is hosting designated pet photo days, perfect for getting a festive photo for your holiday card. You can bring your four legged friends to meet Santa and snap adorable holiday photos on three days during the month of December. Those designated days are December 6th, December 13th, and December 20th from 4 pm- 8 pm.
Ride the Polar Express
All aboard the Polar Express! That’s right, Arizona has its own version of the Polar Express train ride. Families have the opportunity to experience the magic of the Polar Express on the Grand Canyon Railway up in Williams, Arizona. While this destination is a three hour drive away from the Valley, this is an epic event you will want to make a family tradition. You can call to reserve your space on the train in advance, and the train runs every day until December 30th! The train ride lasts 90 minutes, and offers scenic night views in addition to lots of small details from the best-selling book.
Your kids will love this magical opportunity to ride the Polar Express in real life, see Santa, and enjoy hot chocolate while hearing the classic holiday story. If you are missing out on true winter weather, Williams is a great spot to spend a day. It snows in Williams, so there’s a good chance you’ll get a true winter wonderland experience when you visit for the Polar Express.
Participate in the “It’s a Wrap” Hanukkah Event
If you are looking for a way to get involved and give back to the community this holiday season, consider participating in the Jewish Family and Children’s Service event called It’s a Wrap. When you sign up to participate, you will receive details about the gifts a family in need would love to receive for Hanukkah or Christmas this year.
On December 3rd from 10:30 am-12:30 pm, at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, you can join in to wrap the gifts you purchased while enjoying light bites and treats. It’s a great way to give back to a family in need this year while enjoying a festive morning out in the community.
Attend Jim Brickman’s The Gift of Christmas Concert
One of the best parts of the holiday season is getting to enjoy the festive holiday music! This year, the Musical Instrument Museum is hosting a wonderful holiday concert series called The Gift of Christmas with the musical artist Jim Brickman. He is known for his incredible piano playing and live performances, and will be performing holiday music at the MIM from December 29th to December 31st. There will be two shows each day, giving guests six opportunities to catch the show during your holiday celebrations. Tickets start at $50, and there are still plenty of seats available for each of the shows!
Even in Arizona you can participate in outdoor ice skating during the winter! While the ice rink might be man made, there is no shortage of fun getting to twirl around the ice rink with friends and family! One of the best ones in the Valley is located at Westgate in Glendale.
The rink will be open until January 17th, giving visitors plenty of time to plan an ice skating outing during the holiday season! All skill levels are welcome, whether you’ve never ice skated before or you are a pro. It costs $19 for adults to skate including the skate rental, and $15 for young children. While you are visiting Westgate, you can do a little holiday shopping or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in the entertainment complex as well!