Enjoy a Holiday Night in Downtown Phoenix with The Nutcracker, CitySkate and Hotel Palomar

Written by Niki D'Andrea Category: Culture Issue: December 2015
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CitySkate at CityScapeDowntown Phoenix never seems more festive than during the winter season. Sculptures of giant red bulb ornaments decorate courtyards, holiday music wafts from outdoor speakers, and the neon lights of retail spots and restaurants cast a warm, colorful glow down on the crowds that mill about CityScape and its seasonal outdoor ice rink, CitySkate. And thanks to the “Stay & Skate” special package from Kimpton's Hotel Palomar Phoenix, Valley residents and visitors can enjoy myriad wintery delights for one low, smoking-hot price.

The “Stay & Skate” package (available through January 3) starts at $139/night, and includes 10 percent off the best available room rate at Hotel Palomar, two Hotel Palomar custom beanies, two passes for admission to the CitySkate ice rink (including skate rentals), and social hour (5-6 p.m. each evening) in the hotel's Living Room. That social hour includes complimentary flatbread pizza, wine and spiked hot chocolate for hotel guests.

CitySkate is a frosty and fun adventure, but also quite popular, so we recommend arriving early and expecting to wait in line, especially on Saturdays. But while you wait, kids can write letters to Santa, and on Saturdays and Sundays, they can get their photo taken with the jolly old fellow, too. Another fun family adventure worth adding on – and one within walking distance of CityScape – is holiday classic “The Nutcracker,” being performed at Phoenix Symphony Hall through December 27. This stunning production features more than 150 performers from Ballet Arizona, elaborate costumes and sets, and live musical accompaniment by the Phoenix Symphony. Visit for ticket prices and showtimes.

CitySkate on a SaturdayAnother sweet satellite activity – albeit more adults-oriented – is dinner and drinks at Blue Hound Kitchen + Cocktails, on the second floor of Hotel Palomar. This stylish gastropub with a Southern-inflected menu not only boasts an array of delicious dishes (recommended: Pappardelle veal with Schreiner's sausage ragu; or one of their many artisanal salads) and a killer cocktail menu, but it also has bird's eye views of all the action on the illuminated ice rink below.