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Magical Guide to Christmas in Scottsdale (2023)

Christmas in Scottsdale

Magical Guide to Christmas in Scottsdale (2023)

Local Events | October 22, 2022 | SWSS Staff

Are you planning a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, this holiday season? If so, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are plenty of places where you can listen to live holiday music, see festive light displays, and enjoy specialty food and drinks to get in the holiday spirit.

This Christmas, don’t miss these incredible Christmas activities that locals and visitors alike will love. Who knows? You may even find a new favorite holiday tradition!

Book Your Next Vacation in Scottsdale

Find your perfect getaway with unparalleled luxury in Scottsdale! Choose from our premier rental properties and secure your spot for an indulgent Arizona retreat.

Scottsdale Christmas Events & Holiday Festivities

Whether you enjoy a holiday classic, like the Nutcracker Ballet, or something more contemporary, like Christmas at the Princess, you’re sure to find a holiday event you and your family will love from this list when you visit Scottsdale during the Christmas season:

1. Scottsdazzle Holiday Extravaganza

Scottsdazzle is a month-long collection of festivities in Old Town Scottsdale, starting on Thanksgiving and ending on New Year’s Eve. Scottsdazzle begins with the Sing-Along & Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Scottsdale Waterfront on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. During this free event in Old Town Scottsdale, you can enjoy live music, marvel at the gorgeous holiday decor, and snack on seasonal treats, hot chocolate, and coffee from local vendors.

Throughout the month of December, buy tickets to special events in Downtown Scottsdale to continue the Scottsdazzle holiday celebration, including wine-tasting events, bourbon-tasting events, painting parties, and a live nativity scene reenactment at the Old Adobe Mission in Old Town Scottsdale.

old town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale

2. Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

During the holidays, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess turns into a winter wonderland for Christmas at the Princess! Hotel guests and visitors can enjoy many festive activities on the resort’s beautiful property, including ice skating, train rides, and looking at holiday lights.

Just a few highlights you can enjoy during your time at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess include taking photos with Santa Claus at the North Pole, riding through Lagoon Lights on the Princess Express Train, watching the twinkling lights dance to live music on the giant Christmas tree in Princess Plaza, or going on a sledding or skating adventure at Snow Mountain, Alpine Skate Trail, or the Desert Ice Skating Rink.

You can even roast marshmallows or drink hot chocolate around a cozy campfire, or make dinner reservations at one of the top-rated restaurants on the resort’s property, like La Hacienda or Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar.

3. Holiday Lights at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

If you’re looking for a dazzling holiday lights display the whole family will love, look no further than “Holiday Lights” at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

In addition to taking a train ride through the gorgeous lights, families can enjoy children’s holiday activities, including Christmas carousel rides on the Charros Carousel or drinking hot cocoa from Hartley’s General Store.

4. Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden

Desert plants aren’t the only thing you’ll be able to see at the Desert Botanical Gardens during the holiday season!

Las Noches de las Luminarias has been a favorite holiday tradition in Phoenix and Scottsdale since the 1970s. During the holidays, the entire Desert Botanical Garden is decorated with thousands of luminaries featuring hand-lit candles illuminating the garden in a magical glow. You can also enjoy live music by local Arizona musicians to add to the peaceful, romantic ambiance.

Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden

5. ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo

If you have kids, paying a visit to ZooLights is a must. The Phoenix Zoo has been hosting this event for decades, and it just keeps getting better every year!

During your nighttime visit to the zoo, you’ll be able to see millions of lights, animal sculptures, and a three-story Christmas tree. ZooLights has walk-through and drive-through options, depending on your preference. This event begins the weekend of Thanksgiving and goes through mid-January, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the festive cheer!

6. The Nutcracker at Symphony Hall

Christmas isn’t complete without watching The Nutcracker at least once—especially if you love to enjoy the fine arts during the holidays.

Scottsdale and Phoenix have two options for watching The Nutcracker. You can either watch the classic performance by Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony at the Phoenix Symphony Hall or a twist on the original in a more intimate setting at the Orpheum Theater.

Symphony Hall
Symphony Hall

7. Holiday Tea at The Phoenician

Enjoy a magical high tea experience at The Phoenician Resort during the holidays!

You can enjoy finger sandwiches, fresh scones with preserves, tasty desserts, and a wide selection of teas. You can also upgrade your experience to include champagne. The ambiance is spectacular, with classic holiday decor and music setting the mood for a magical holiday experience!

8. Christmas Lights

In addition to the activities and events listed above, these are some of the best places to see Christmas lights in Scottsdale. Check out our guide: “Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Scottsdale,” for a full list.

  • Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields: This drive-through light show features a 1.2-mile stretch of dynamic, festive lights programmed to popular holiday tunes. You can also rent a holiday carriage to escort you through the light show!
  • Winter Wonderland Arizona: This residential home in Scottsdale, AZ, decorates its property to look like an “Old Western Christmas Town” with 250,000+ sparkling lights. It’s a must-see during the holidays!
  • Scottsdale Quarter & Kierland Commons: Cross some holiday shopping off your to-do list while admiring the elegant light displays and beautifully decorated Christmas trees at Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons.
  • Stroll in the Glow: The city of Fountain Hills features 650,000+ lights on the Avenue of the Fountains during the holidays, and on the first Saturday in December, the lights are turned on for the “Stroll in the Glow” event.

Book a Short-Term Rental with Stay With Style Scottsdale This Holiday Season

If you’re planning to stay in Scottsdale, AZ, this Christmas, book a cozy “home away from home” that’s a short distance away from all the holiday events and activities!

Stay With Style Scottsdale offers a unique selection of luxury short-term vacation rentals featuring spacious rooms, comfortable furniture, and top-notch amenities you’ll love, like a gourmet kitchen and resort-style backyard. Browse our current selection of vacation rentals to find the perfect place to stay this holiday season!

Book Your Next Vacation in Scottsdale

Find your perfect getaway with unparalleled luxury in Scottsdale! Choose from our premier rental properties and secure your spot for an indulgent Arizona retreat.


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