The end of the year brings the beginning of the winter season, along with some of the most social weeks of the year. Don’t let the month of December fly by without incorporating some fun holiday activities! It is never too late to start new traditions and find your new favorite holiday activity around the Valley. Whether you are looking for events to do with family, friends, or kids, we’ve got you covered!
Christmas at the Princess
Did you know the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers one of the best holiday celebrations in town? Every year they host their annual Christmas at the Princess, an event that gets better and better every year! As part of the 2022 celebration, you can enjoy outdoor ice skating, taking pictures with Santa, and roasting marshmallows around a cozy fire pit! The most show stopping part of Christmas at the Princess is their holiday lights display- there are over six and a half million Christmas lights, set up around 65 acres of the resort property!
The resort offers special lodging packages for those who want to continue their magical evening and stay at the resort overnight, including a package where Santa will visit your room to read a bedtime story! Christmas at the Princess takes place daily until January 2nd. General admission tickets cost $20 a person, with additional pricing options depending on which activities you want to add onto your experience.
Scottsdazzle Holiday Extravaganza
Scottsdazzle in Old Town provides an opportunity to enjoy over a month of holiday-themed festivities and programming. The goal of the Scottsdazzle events is to bring the community together in a fun holiday setting, with opportunities to enjoy shopping, dining, and holiday fun! There are all types of events with everything from a chance to meet Santa at the weekly Farmers Market to having an experiential dinner at Marcellino Ristorante. Some of our favorite stand-out events happening during the month are below…
Jingle Barre at the Bridge
CA Yoga Barre is hosting a barre fitness class at 9 am on Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th, with tickets costing $15 a person. This is a spirited way to stay active during the holidays while enjoying fresh air and festive views of the Scottsdale Waterfront. The sixty minute barre class is guaranteed to leave you shaking, and attendees are encouraged to dress up in festive holiday attire. Buy your tickets to participate here!
Whiskey Tasting at the North Pole
If you are looking for a fun holiday-themed date night activity, why not try a whiskey tasting hosted by Porters Western Saloon? The Old Town saloon is transforming into a North Pole holiday pop up bar for the season, so you will get an opportunity to enjoy the festive decorations while sampling whiskey from Buffalo Trace Distillery, along with light snacks. This event takes place on Thursday, December 15th at 6 pm, and tickets are $80 for this special tasting event.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Holiday Lights
If you haven’t been already, you must make it a holiday tradition to visit the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park during the holiday season. Every year the park goes above and beyond to create a winter wonderland experience with their holiday lights. This is a great event to attend with kids, as they will love a ride on the historic train or indulging in a sweet treat from the Railroad park general store. Make sure to visit at night once it’s fully dark to get the most out of your railroad park experience. The holiday lights display will remain up through December 30th.
Tickets cost $15 per person and admission is free for children two years and younger. A ticket grants you unlimited rides on the train and carousel. Know before you arrive that the tickets must be purchased online.
Enjoy a local performance of The Nutcracker
One holiday tradition that only gets better with time is Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet The Nutcracker during the holiday season. Ballet Arizona is performing their own version of this classic, with opportunities all throughout the month of December to plan a fun evening to see the ballet. The Nutcracker performances take place December 10th through December 24th this year, and the ballet is accompanied by the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. All performances take place at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix.
Ugly Sweater Tennis Social at Scottsdale Ranch Park
For the tennis lovers, Scottsdale Ranch Park & Tennis Center’s Ugly Sweater Tennis Social is sure to be your favorite holiday event of the season! Enjoy an afternoon of playing a few rounds of holiday-themed mixed doubles while wearing your favorite ugly sweater. Participants are welcome to register as a team or to sign up to play by yourself. This event takes place from 12- 3 pm on Saturday, December 17th, and costs $10 a player.
Menorah Lighting Ceremony in Tempe
If you are looking for a festive way to celebrate with the larger community to kick off the beginning of Hanukkah this year, visit Downtown Tempe on Monday, December 19th for the Downtown Tempe Menorah Lighting ceremony! This event will take place at 5:30 pm in 6th Street Park, and will include a lighting ceremony along with an opportunity to enjoy food from a local Kosher food truck!
Enjoy A Hannukah-Themed Musical Performance
An easy way to get yourself in a festive mood is to listen to holiday themed music! If you love live holiday music, the Musical Instrument Museum is hosting “The Klezmatics Happy Joyous Hanukkah,” a musical performance that blends together many unique sounds for a festive performance you won’t forget. You can expect to hear all of your favorite popular Hanukkah songs, including the popular “Spin Dreidel Spin.” This concert will take place from 7:00-8:30 pm at the MIM. Tickets start at $44 for this show.
Phoenix Sings Hanukkah Sing-along
If you are looking for a more interactive musical experience, Congregation Beth Israel of AZ is hosting a special Hanukkah concert singalong celebration! Not only will you get to enjoy holiday music, sing your favorite tunes, and enjoy a dessert reception, but the proceeds of this event benefit the Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix. Admission costs $36 for adults, and $18 for kids under the age of twelve. This event is happening the evening of December 17th at 5:30 pm. Find more details on the website linked here!
The Great Elf Escape
If you are looking for a fun holiday activity for your kids that also allows you to sneak away for a few hours to tackle some holiday shopping, consider signing the kids up for The Great Elf Escape at Horizon Community Center from 6-10 pm on Friday December 9th. This event is made for kids in grades 1-5 to enjoy activities like crafting, games, a pizza night, and an ugly sweater contest. This event is $15 per child for those who live in a Scottsdale zip code.