Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Scottsdale in 2021
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—which means it’s time to get into the holiday spirit with holiday events, twinkling lights, and festive fun throughout Scottsdale, AZ!
Whether you’re planning a trip to Scottsdale this December, looking for things to do with your kids this month, or entertaining out-of-town guests this holiday season, this list of events is sure to inspire fun activities that the whole family will enjoy!
1. Christmas at the Princess
Christmas at the Princess is a family-friendly, magical holiday festival at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort that offers plenty of fun for all ages!
Starting in November, the resort transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with the Desert Ice Skating Rink, S’mores Land with fire pits for roasting marshmallows, and brand-new this year, The Village, complete with an Ice Maze with real ice!
You’ll also be able to enjoy a four-story Christmas tree, train rides on the Princess Express Trains, holiday character appearances, a lagoon filled with a pirate boat, graceful swans, and glowing lights, and more! Plus, if you’re hungry, you can enjoy holiday drinks and dishes throughout the resort, including Mrs. Claus’ cookies.
You can see the millions of Christmas lights at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess this year from November 16th to January 2nd. It’s best to visit early in the evening for shorter lines that allow you to make the most of your time at the resort. The resort recommends that tickets be purchased online before the event since tickets are available in a limited capacity.
Scottsdazzle is Old Town Scottsdale’s festive celebration of the holiday season. After the tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, November 27th through January 1st, guests can enjoy tons of holiday events and culinary demonstrations, like live music and wine tastings, throughout Old Town Scottsdale.
Plus, you’ll be able to see the beautifully-decorated tree on the Scottsdale Waterfront, as well as public art installations, holiday décor, and other dazzling holiday lights throughout Old Town Scottsdale.
Learn more about Scottsdazzle’s festive events happening all month long on their website to find the perfect one for your family and friends to enjoy this holiday season.
3. Holiday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park
Holiday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park is a must-visit event for families with young children. You’ll be able to take a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through a winter wonderland of light displays throughout the park.
In addition to the beautiful lights, kids will love playing on the large playground, carousel rides, and getting hot chocolate at Hartley’s General Store. On select days, you may be able to enjoy live entertainment or the tree lighting ceremony. Plus, Santa Claus will be at the park nightly to take photos with the children!
This December, you must buy tickets online for $15 per person to reserve your timeslot. If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, select weeknights offer admission for $10 per person. You can learn more about this event on the park’s website.
4. Christmas in the Rainforest at Butterfly Wonderland
If you’re looking for a unique holiday experience for the entire family, look no further than Christmas in the Rainforest at Butterfly Wonderland at the Arizona Boardwalk from November 26th to December 28th.
This month-long event features butterflies from around the world, including Latin America, Asia, and Africa, along with seasonal decorations and holiday décor. You’ll even be able to see a Christmas tree decorated to resemble the Blue Morpho Butterfly.
If you’d like to extend your stay at the Arizona Boardwalk, you can also visit OdySea Aquarium to go on a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt designed for kids, and best of all, watch Santa scuba dive!
5. Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields
Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields debuted in Scottsdale in 2020—and it’s here to stay!
This drive-through holiday lights experience greets visitors with over five million lights during a 1.2-mile drive. You can also tune your radio to a designated station to watch the lights twinkle to the beat of your favorite holiday songs.
After your drive-through experience, you can exit your car to explore Santa’s Village. Here, you can enjoy hot cocoa, shop for gifts, and of course, take a photo with Santa himself!
Holiday Lights at Salt Rivers Fields starts on November 24th and runs through January 1st. Tickets cost $35 per vehicle, or you can upgrade your visit with a magical carriage ride for an up-close-and-personal view of the lights displays.
6. Las Noches de Las Luminarias
If you’re looking for a sophisticated, magical experience during the holidays, Las Noches de Las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden is the perfect event for you.
From December 3rd to December 31st, guests can walk through the botanical garden illuminated with over 8,000 luminaries and sparkling white lights. Typically, guests can enjoy live holiday music as they explore, but all music will be pre-recorded for safety reasons this year.
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo is one of the most anticipated events of the holidays, and it’s been a tradition in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area for over 30 years!
Families can see millions of dazzling lights, glowing animal sculptures on the Wildlife Lantern Safari, and more during a walk-through or “cruise” experience, where guests can see the beautiful lights from the comfort of their own vehicles on select dates. Those who opt for the walk-through experience will also be able to ride the Polar Slide and purchase drinks, kettle corn, and other treats from the park’s vendors.
ZooLights begins on November 24th and lasts throughout the festive season, with the final admission on January 15th.
8. Winter Wonderland Arizona
If you’re looking for a unique light display this Christmas season, the Winter Wonderland Arizona is a free exhibit with over 250,000 lights choreographed to computerized music at a residential home in Scottsdale.
In addition to the lights, you can see an Old Western Christmas Town with a mine shaft, an Island of Misfit Toys in the backyard, and a display with snow and bubbles.
This is the 35th year of this incredible exhibit that runs through the entire month of December. Although the experience is free, a $5 donation per person is appreciated.
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