Places to Experience the Magic of Christmas in Arizona

Christmas comes to life each year with light displays, hot chocolate, parades, and more. Arizona has no shortage of activities and spirit when it comes to Christmas. There are near-endless ways to enjoy the holiday season. You may not always be able to find the snow, but the spirit always comes alive.  Below is our list of the best places in The Valley to experience the magic of Christmas in Arizona.

World of Illumination

Where to go:

2200 W Alameda Dr. Tempe, Arizona (Tempe Diablo Stadium)

6797 N 93rd Ave Glendale, Arizona (Westgate Entertainment District)

What to Expect:

  • A socially safe way to celebrate the holidays
  • Enjoy the World’s Largest drive-through display of lights
  • Just tune your radio to the proper station and drive through a maze of lights as you take in the twinkling display in-sync with the music. 
  • Take advantage of concession stands with treats near the entrance. 
  • You must purchase tickets in advance. Save big if you visit during the weekday. 
  • They sell out fast! Purchase now to reserve your spot. 

Schnepf Farms

Where to go: Schnepf Farms 24610 S Rittenhouse Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85142

What to Expect:

  • Staying social distant can easily be done with over 200 acres to roam
  • Christmas activities include ice skating, hayrides, a train ride with World of Illumination Express, cookie decorating and Christmas crafts. 
  • Additional kids activities include an inflatable obstacle course, carousel, and mini-golf. 
  • Holiday treats and gifts available for purchase
  • Christmas tree lot
  • Visit with Santa
  • Please note that some activities incur an additional cost above the entry fee. 

Grand Canyon Railway Polar Express

Address: Grand Canyon Railway 233 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, Arizona 86046

What to Expect:

  • Hop aboard the historic Grand Canyon Railway as you are transformed into the epic story, The Polar Express
  • Join in the festivities with Christmas songs, have a cup of hot cocoa, chew on a chocolate chip cookie and listen to the very story bringing you aboard the train. 
  • Once you have reached the North Pole, the kids excitedly await Santa’s appearance and his gift of a silver bell to each child. 
  • Book in advance and opt for a full package that includes dinner and a hotel stay. 

Phoenix Zoo: Zoo Lights

Address: Phoenix Zoo 455 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ

What to Expect:

  • Transforming into Cruise ZooLights, you can enjoy the Phoenix Zoo aglow with a drive-thru experience. 
  • In addition, you can choose to walk through the zoo and enjoy the dazzling light and animal sights. 
  • Visit the Reindeer Village and take photos with Santa’s reindeer
  • Festive food and drinks available for purchase
  • Walk-thru and drive-thru experiences occur on different nights. 

Vertuccio Farm Christmas Lights Extravaganza

Address: Vertuccio Farms 4011 S. Power Rd., Mesa, Arizona

What to Expect:

  • This is a walk-through light show spread across 10 acres and synchronized to Christmas music. Includes an interactive barnyard display, light tunnel, and a 30-foot Christmas tree.
  • The show runs nightly from 5:30pm-10pm
  • Activities include ice skating, photos with Santa, Christmas crafts, snacks for purchase, Holiday Hay Maze, mini-golf, corn hole, ping pong, petting zoo and a shooting gallery. 
  • Also on-site are s’mores kits and fire pits. 
  • Open through mid-January

Merry Main Street

Where to go: Merry Main Street Events are held on Main Street in Mesa from Country Club to just east of Mesa Drive

What to Expect:

  • A Winter Wonderland Ice rink at City Plaza
  • Mesa’s city Christmas tree on Main Street and lighting ceremony.
  • A Christmas market with unique handmade gifts from local vendors. 
  • Jack Frost’s Food Truck Forest
  • Outdoor movies, holiday treats, and free ride on Main Street Express Train.
  • Visits from Santa every Friday and Saturday night.

McCormick Stillman Train Park Holiday Lights

Where to go: 7301 E Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona

What to Expect:

  • Hop aboard a Christmas inspired ride through a winter wonderland of lights
  • Ride the historic Charros Carousel
  • On opening night,  catch the tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment, and a visit from Santa riding the steam locomotive.
  • Santa will be visiting on select dates. 
  • Tickets are required for the train ride and carousel.


Desert Botanical Garden Luminaria

Address: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, Arizona

What to Expect:

  • The Las Noches de Las Luminarias brings to life garden paths lined with over 8,000 glowing luminaria bags. 
  • The 140-acre botanical garden is a living museum and features a wide variety of desert vegetation.
  • Live music and entertainment
  • Check the website for details on price and event dates. 

***Due to Covid-19, some of the normal Magic of Christmas in Arizona might be restricted or limited in their offerings. It is recommended to investigate which activities might be currently open or entertaining guests. This is also a good time to create a list for future, less pandemic infested times.