It’s that time of year and we have officially entered the extremely busy season for events! There are so many things to do in Arizona that are located within a decent driving distance of most people in the valley. Go out and take advantage of all of the free things. Here’s some of the cool things to do around Arizona in December:
Zoolights -Nov. 28, 2013-January 12, 2014. Phoenix Zoo. The theme this year is based on the Wizard of Oz and features 2 new shows around the lake. Look for scarecrow, tin man, and over 20 flying monkeys hidden around the zoo. There are fee based events as well, but thousands of lights to see!
Glendale Glitters -Nov. 29, 2013-Jan. 11, 2014. Glendale. Downtown Glendale is fully decked out in beautiful light displays. There are several different events that go on during this time frame that can cause the downtown to be full of people or you can go on less crowded nights and enjoy the lights without the crowds. We prefer less crowds, but it’s your family preference!
Holiday Pet Festival – Dec. 7. Westworld, Scottsdale. Animal rescue, groups, vets, and more will be on hand to answer your pet related questions. This is holiday shopping at its best for animal lovers. You will find pet products, foods, crafts, and one of a kind gifts for your pet loving friends and family. Pets are welcome and pictures with Santa will be available. You can even adopt a family pet at this event or vaccinate, trim nails, or even participate in a fashion show for dogs.
The Festival of Lights -Nov. 28-Dec. 31st. Ahwatukee. Chandler Blvd to 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway is lit by move than a million lights. This is a great drive for your family to view the lights that are done by community volunteers.
The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting -Dec. 7. Chandler. The Parade of Lights is also a part of the tree lighting. Santa’s house will be offering free pictures and there will be many different performances as part of the tree lighting ceremony. There will also be a life sized snowglobe where you can play and take pictures in. The tree is made entirely of tumbleweeds collected by the city and painted for the tree. It’s a unique tree and thousands will be on hand to witness the lighting.
2013 APS Electric Light Parade -Dec. 7. Phoenix. This is a unique parade in that you will see all types of floats and characters lit up. One year we saw garbage trucks lit up and all different types of vehicles are used. It’s a great parade for the little ones to see the different lights. Be prepared for crowds and come early to get the best seats.
Snow Week-Dec. 26, 2013-Jan. 2, 2014. Phoenix. There will be 30 plus tons of snow in Heritage and Science park! This is part of admission to the Arizona Science Center. Each day during Snow Week there are different aspects of winter that are showcased. The last day showcases the winter Olympics and allows the children to show off their pin collections for the Olympics.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Holiday Lights -Dec. 13, 2013-Dec. 4, 2014. Scottsdale. Santa is available until Dec. 23rd and they have different characters wandering about for kids to get pictures with or take one of the 2 trains. The large train and carousel are a small fee, but it’s fun to walk and see the lights. The light displays are best seen from the trains.
Carefree Christmas Festival -Dec. 13th-15th. Carefree. The festivities include an electric light parade, Holiday fireworks, Yarnell 19 salute, 35 tons of snow, shopping, pet parade, visits with Santa, horse-drawn carriage, North Pole Mailbox, and much more.
Desertridge Snow Day – Dec. 14th. Phoenix. 10 am-1 pm. It’s snow time! Tons of snow is trucked in for the kids, Santa, giveaways, live music, and much more! My family loves to do this every year. Be prepared for some older kids and adults that don’t pay attention to the smaller children.
Pavilions Holiday Express -Dec. 7th, 15th, 21st, 22nd. Free train rides, visits from Santa, and live musical guests.
Christmas on the Farm -Dec. 14th and 21st. Glendale. Pictures with Santa, Christmas trees to buy, hot chocolate, apple cider, smores, and kettle corn for sale. Enjoy Christmas on the farm and introduce your family to a slower way of living!
Arizona Balloon Classic -Dec. 13th. Gilbert. Watch a field full of balloons take off and land. Evenings will hold the “glow” portion of the event when they return from their trips. It’s a great opportunity for pictures and fun with the family.
Gilbert Days Parade -Dec. 7th. Gilbert. 7 am-noon. This is parade celebrating the beginning of Gilbert and the history behind it.
There are many more events coming this month. Stay tuned and I will share more with you soon!
Tags: arizona, Arizona Balloon Classic, Carefree Christmas Festival, Christmas, Christmas on the Farm, Desertridge Snow Day, Gilbert Days Parade, Glendale Glitters, Holiday Pet Festival, McCormick-Stillman Park, Pavilions Holiday Express, Snow Week, special needs, The Festival of Lights, The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting, Zoolights