If you have not spent a lot of time in Phoenix, you probably have an idea that things are not particularly festive in the area around the holidays (we are in the desert, after all). But on the contrary, there are plenty of places to see Christmas lights. Furthermore, the fantastic Christmas lights and displays in Phoenix and the surrounding areas are breathtaking. Make no mistake, even though we may not be able to enjoy white Christmases, we enjoy the holiday nonetheless!
Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Phoenix, AZ
- Glendale Glitters From Nov. 25 and through the first week in January, Glendale, AZ becomes one of the best destinations in the Valley for quality Christmas light viewing. An award-winning event, once you check out Glendale Glitters’ impressive display in the town’s Caitlin Court and Murphy Park, it is sure to become a family tradition. As a bonus, you can also check out some of the premier destinations for historic homes in Glendale’s bustling real estate market at the same time!
- ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo: How do you top a trip to the zoo? How about topping it off with millions of Christmas lights? In addition to the impressive lighting display (which includes a three-story lighted tree), kids are sure to enjoy the PolarSlide, camel rides and more at this annual holiday event. While you will not be able to see many of the animals on display at the zoo during normal business hours (they have bed times too, after all), there is the potential to see zebra, flamingo, javelina, Komodo dragon and otter while you are there. Festive food and drinks top off the festive activities taking place nightly until 10:30 p.m. during the holiday season.
- Tumbleweed Christmas Tree: For the 60th year, Downtown Chandler will erect its Tumbleweed Christmas Tree. A tradition started in 1957, it is basically exactly what it sounds like—a giant mass of tumbleweeds joined into the shape of a Christmas tree and decorated accordingly. Though the official tree lighting ceremony has already passed (which is a bummer for all of those who missed out on the live music and excitement), the Tumbleweed Tree and surrounding Christmas light displays still are a thing to behold.
- Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden: For 21 magical nights, the already beautiful views at the Desert Botanical Garden are augmented by 800 hand-lit luminaria bags in addition to thousands of white Christmas lights. From 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., stroll through the Garden and enjoy a cup of hot cider or cocoa while taking in the sounds of live music and performances.
- McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park: FACT: Children love trains. That is probably why McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale is such a popular destination for families and railroad enthusiasts alike throughout the year. But during the month of December, the experience is made even more special by the gratuitous number of Christmas lights festooning the entire park. Ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad for train rides through a winter wonderland (minus the super-cold temperatures and treacherous snow).
- Moon Valley Luminaries Festival: Located in Northern Phoenix, the Moon Valley neighborhood is a well-known destination for people who want to see Christmas lights. That means that before you head out, especially on Christmas Eve, you will want to be sure to review maps of the neighborhood and be aware of which streets will be the most congested (Port Au Prince is one of the most popular and it is a dead end). To take the experience up another notch, decorate your car and become a part of the fun!
- The Coach House: Located in Scottsdale, the Coach House is a historic tavern that has been serving up adult beverages since 1959. As you could probably guess, this is not what one would call a family friendly destination to see Christmas lights (unless everyone in your family is aged 21+). That being said, the number of Christmas lights covering the rustic bar is remarkable. Whether you are sick of all of the traditional destinations for Christmas lights or had enough of the run-of-the-mill Happy Hour scene, the Coach House is a surefire bet to liven up your experience during this holiday season.
- Ahwatukee Festival of Lights: Kicking off in November with a holiday party that draws 20,000 people, the Ahwatukee Festival of Lights provides an amazing Christmas light display through the holiday season. To check it out yourself, you will want to head to Chandler Boulevard from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway. No tickets necessary—everything about this event is free!
Of course, as real estate professionals, we love Christmas light displays because they afford people a unique opportunity to preview neighborhoods at their holiday best. If you are thinking about buying a house in the Phoenix metropolitan area, contact us today and we can go see Christmas lights together!
If you end up heading out sans realtor and regardless of which Phoenix neighborhood you decide to choose to see Christmas lights, we do hope that you will travel safely. Please keep in mind that at many of these events, there is likely to be a lot of pedestrian traffic. Keep an extra careful eye out (especially for kids) and enjoy the festivities!