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Great East Valley Holiday Events

Great East Valley Holiday Events


What:  Pollack Tempe Cinemas 

About:  Come to see your favorite Holiday movie at the Pollack Tempe Cinemas.  No waiting to catch it on TV.  See the movies we all grew up with and enjoy for the feeling of holidays in the past.   CLICK HERE to see what is playing!

Where:   1825 E. Elliot Road, Tempe AZ 85284

Dates:  Nov. 17 – Jan. 2, 2017

Cost:   3.25 for tickets ($2.50 on Tuesdays)

For more information see

What:   Christmas at the Princess Resort 

About:  It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Celebrate the splendor of the season at the AAA Five Diamond award-winning Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. This is the 9th annual holiday celebration.  Witness the resort transform into an enchanting winter wonderland during our Ninth Annual Christmas at the Princess festival November 20, 2018, through December 31, 2018. The Princess is the perfect destination to create holiday traditions and make holiday memories your family will cherish for years to come. Christmas at the Princess is open nightly. Hours vary by day.  CLICK HERE for more information.

Where: 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale AZ 85255

Dates:  November 20 – December 31, 2018


If you like holiday lights, you may also like to see the Best Residential Holiday Lights   CLICK HERE


What: Tempe Marketplace’s Holiday Tree Lighting  and Holiday events

About:  Tempe Marketplace lit its 60-foot holiday tree at on November 21, 2018.  Throughout the season, there will be a nightly snowfall through December 31, 2018 (excludes Christmas Day), ice skating at the District Plaza and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.  Give generously and take an angel from the Salvation Army Angel tree and help a less fortunate child this holiday season.  Don’t forget about the ice skating opportunity – everyone is a kid again!  Enjoy the live music every Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 PM.  CLICK HERE for the complete live music line up!

Where: 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe AZ 85281
Dates:  November 21 – December 31,  2018

Cost:  Free

What:   Phoenix ZooLights 

Don’t miss a visit to the 27th Anniversary of the Phoenix ZooLights this holiday season when the Phoenix Zoo puts on a spectacular light display November 21, 2018 – January 23, 2019.  View the lights nightly at 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM.  (Last entry into the Dinosaurs in the Desert exhibit is 30 minutes prior to Zoo closing.)

The Phoenix Zoolights is one of the largest holiday light displays in the country. You will be enchanted by the almost four million lights as you stroll throughout the zoo. It takes 4 people almost 14 weeks to install the display. There are lights shimmering in the trees, light displays all through the park, and the music in motion shows along the lake.  It is breathtaking to see all the lights reflecting off the water!

Where:  455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix AZ 85008

Dates:   Nov. 22 – Jan. 23, 2019   Time: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Click here for information on discount ticket sales

For more information see:

What: Mesa’s Merry Main Street

Merry Main Street begins Friday, Nov. 23 with an ice show at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink with AZ Ice at 4 p.m.; music with the Mesa City Band at the Mesa Christmas Tree, Main Street and Macdonald at 5 p.m. and a tree lighting ceremony and the arrival of Santa Claus during a brief program at 5:45 p.m. at Main Street and Macdonald. Enjoy an evening of music, food, and fun throughout downtown Mesa from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Bring the who family to experience the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Mesa’s Christmas Tree, Mesa Christmas Market, Santa’s sELFie Village, Jack Frost’s Food Truck, Polar ExpressForest, Main Street Express and Holiday Happenings at the MAC

Where:  Downtown Mesa, Main Street between Country Club and Mesa Drive
Dates: Nov. 23, 2018 – Jan. 4, 2019
Cost:  Varies by the event.  
For more information: CLICK HERE

What: Las Noches de las Luminarias 2018

About: Walk around the Desert Botanical Garden as 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags and lights illuminate the grounds.  Take part in this Southwest holiday tradition and see the lights illuminate the grounds along with thousands of white twinkle lights.  You can pick from 21 wonderful evenings this.  For a special treat, enjoy dinner at the Garden and start a family tradition.  You can walk along the garden paths and enjoy hot cocoa or hot apple cider.   What a delightful evening as you start a tradition with friends and family.

Where:  Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix AZ 
Dates: December 4 – 23, Dec 26 – 31, 2018

Cost:   $29.95-$34.95  General Public –  $34.95-$39.95

REMINDER: The Garden is closed in the evening on Dec. 24 and for the entire day on Dec. 25 for the holidays. Please do not purchase admission for this event on Dec. 24 or 25.

Non-members:    Adults: $30,  Children (3-12): $12.50, children under 3 free.

CLICK HERE for more information 

  • Dates: December 4 – 23, Dec 26 – 31, 2018
  • Phone: (480) 941-1225
  • Time: 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Price: Members – $29.95-$34.95, General Public – $34.95-$39.95

What: Ahwatukee Foothills Lights

Don’t miss the kick-off party for the Ahwatukee Foothills lights on Saturday, December 1, 2018. The kick-off party includes a marketplace with various vendors, food, and beverages.

Location:  Desert Foothills Park 12 PM – 8 PM        1010 Marketplace Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85048

About: See the lights on the cactus and trees in the median along Chandler Blvd as a million white lights illuminate Chandler Blvd.  The lights will be lit at the 22nd annual Festival of Lights that kicks off the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  This huge community event is the product of many volunteers to who work throughout the year in preparation for all to enjoy the spectacular boulevard of lights.  This is truly a community effort.    

Where:  Chandler Blvd from 24th St to Desert Foothills Parkway along Chandler Blvd.

Dates: December 1,  2018 – early January 2018.

Cost:  Free

For more information see:

What: Chandler’s Tumbleweed Tree

tumble week tree

About: Chandler has one of the most interesting and authentic Southwest traditions in the east valley.  See the 25-foot tree made from 1,000 tumbleweeds! The Tumbleweed Tree is celebrating its 62nd anniversary in 2018.

Behold the iconic Tumbleweed Tree, visit with the jolly man himself, Santa, and enjoy musical performances. The holiday spectacular kicks off at 4:30 p.m. when thousands of revelers fill historic downtown to partake in festive crafts, amusement rides, live entertainment and a glowing pageantry of lights.

At the conclusion of the parade, guests are invited to gather in the center of the park on the west side of Arizona Avenue for the Tumbleweed Tree lighting ceremony.

Where:  3 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler

Date: December 1, 2018

Cost:  Free

What:   2018 Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

Don’t miss The 19th Annual Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade takes place on Saturday, December 9th

About: See Tempe’s Festival of Lights Boat Parade takes place from 4:0 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2018. More than 50 lighted boats will float along Tempe Town Lake followed by a fireworks show. The event kicks off at 4:30 pm with live music, selfies with Santa, food trucks, face painters and more!  Come out early, get your spot, a bite to eat and listen to some great music while making new friends with your neighbors. The parade launches off at 7 pm and completes with a colorful display of fireworks after the parade. Come and make this a family tradition!

Everyone loves a parade, right? A parade that floats…even better!  The community is invited to take part in holiday cheer by gathering on the shores of Tempe Town Lake to watch a procession of festively decorated boats of all shapes and sizes at the 19th Annual Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade Presented by Domino’s on Saturday, December 8th, 2018.

Everyone loves a parade, right? A parade that floats…even better! We invite the community to take part in holiday cheer by gathering on the shores of Tempe Town Lake to watch a procession of festively decorated boats of all shapes and sizes at the 19th Annual Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade Presented by Domino’s on Saturday, December 8th, 2018.

Light up the night and be dazzled by the Valley’s most unique holiday event. While you are there, grab a bite from the on-site food vendors, get your holiday shopping done at the Holiday Market, take a selfie with Santa Claus, enjoy beer or wine while watching live entertainment and behold as the waters of Tempe Town Lake glisten from the crafted parade unit lights.

Where: Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

Dates:   Dec. 8, 2018.  From 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cost:  Free for spectators

For more information see:

 What:  Rawhide’s Snowy Christmas at Wild Horse Pass

About:  The Town is decked out with holiday décor and thousands of lights through December 23, 2018. Rawhide will feature holiday festivities nightly during general public hours (5pm-10pm). Admission is FREE with $5 parking charge.  Rawhide Holiday Buffet available for reservations Dec 23rd from 10am-4:30 pm with Western Town open all day.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Santa will lead the official tree lighting ceremony around 6:00 pm and be available for photos. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the nightly snowfall down Main Street and all of the town lit up with sparkling lights.

Are you on the Naughty or Nice list? Visitors can drop off letters to Santa at Rawhide’s “Delivery to the SW Pole” Post Office; every child who sends Santa a letter will hear back from Ol’ Saint Nick. Families can also get their holiday photos with Santa nightly at the Photo Emporium.

For information on dates and times  CLICK HERE 

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