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Special Events


Group Free

Through December 31
Easter Rising Exhibit
Rare photos, papers and other objects are on display in Remembering the Easter Rising: Historical Context and Cultural Legacy. The exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of this historic period in 1916, which ultimately led to Irish independence. Call for times. $10, adults; $5, children. McClelland Irish Library, Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,, 602-864-2351.

Through January 2
Nature Connects
Guests enjoy 27 larger-than-life animal and flora sculptures created with more than 1 million Lego bricks in Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks. The exhibit includes endangered species and exotic animals, ranging from a jeweled chameleon to a peacock. Call for times and ticket prices. The Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 602-286-3800.

Through January 7
Glendale Glitters (FREE)
More than 1.5 million lights highlight this hometown holiday celebration, which illuminates 16 blocks of the historic downtown area. 5-11 p.m. Free. 58th and Glendale avenues, Glendale,, 623-930-2299.

Through January 8
Winter Wonderland
Celebrate the season with horse-drawn carriage rides and visits with Santa, through Dec. 24; nightly snowfall, through Dec. 31; and skating on a real ice rink, through Jan. 8. Call for times. Free, except for ice skating; fees vary. Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale,, 623-385-7500.

Through January 8
Celebrating 25 years, this grand holiday event glows with millions of lights, including a three-story-tall Christmas tree, lakeside music-in-motion shows and 3-D light sculptures of flamingos, an alligator, dragonfly and more. 5:30-10:30 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 602-286-3800.

December 1
Desert Classic Golf Tourney
Arizona Hemophilia Association hosts this annual 18-hole tournament to raise funds and awareness about hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Breakfast, lunch, raffle prizes and a silent auction are included. 8 a.m. shotgun start. $500 per foursome. Ocotillo Golf Resort, 3751 S. Clubhouse Dr., Chandler,, 602-955-3947.

December 1-January 1
Red Rock Fantasy (FREE)
After a four-year hiatus, this annual winter spectacular returns, shining brightly with animated walk-through light displays and more than two dozen community exhibits. Dusk-9 p.m. nightly. Free. Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, 336 S.R. 179, Sedona,, 928-282-4938. The lighting of 6,000 luminarias, Dec. 10; and ice skating under the lights on a synthetic rink, Dec. 30-31, add to the fun.

December 2
First Fridays Art Walk (FREE)
More than 70 art galleries and art spaces are featured. 6-10 p.m. Free. Maps, parking and shuttle service available at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,, 602-256-7539.

December 2
Holiday Prelude XXXI
Phoenix Theatre Guild partners with Phoenix Art Museum League and Phoenix Youth Symphony for this luncheon and fashion show, featuring styles by Ella Zahlan for fall/holiday 2016 and spring 2017. A holiday gift boutique is included. 10 a.m. $90-$125. The Phoenician, 6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale,, 602-647-0781.

December 2-3
Cowboy Poetry
Cowboy poets from across the Southwest share poems, songs and stories related to ranching and Western heritage at the 28th annual Cowboy Christmas Poetry Gathering. Call for times, ticket prices and Wickenburg locations,, 928-684-5479.

December 2-3
Sage Art Market (FREE)
Forty local artists share jewelry, sculpture, photography, paintings and works in glass, bronze and fiber, complemented by live entertainment and a bakery and bistro. F, 4-7 p.m.; Sa, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Holland Community Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale,, 480-488-1090.

December 2-4
Tempe Festival of the Arts (FREE)
More than 300 artists from across the country showcase original works, with live entertainment, street performers, a chalk mural exhibition, wine and beer tastings, and children’s activities adding to the fun. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free. Mill Avenue District, Tempe,

December 3
APS Electric Light Parade (FREE)
This nighttime parade features dozens of illuminated floats, lighted balloons, marching bands and performance groups centering on the theme 1986-2016, A Phoenix Family Tradition. 7 p.m. Free. Central Avenue from Montebello Avenue, south to Camelback Road, east to Seventh Street, south to Indian School Road, Phoenix,, 602-534-FEST. Float judging and pre-parade activities begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

December 3
Dancing for Arizona’s Children
Business and community leaders team up with professional instructors at this dance competition and fundraising brunch. Winners are selected by votes cast by professional judges, the audience and votes bought on online, with proceeds benefiting Arizona Children’s Association. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $125, adults; $75, children. Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix,, 602-234-3733.

December 3
Jerome Art Walk (FREE)
Meet the artists as 20-plus galleries and studios participate in this monthly night of art, music and gallery-hopping. 5-8 p.m. Free. Jerome,, 928-634-0774.

December 3
Jingle Hike
Participants enjoy a self-paced 1-mile round-trip hike, trailside visit with Santa and seasonal craft activity at the trailhead. 9-10:30 a.m. $10-$15 per family; registration required. Pinnacle Peak Park, 26802 N. 102nd Way, Scottsdale,, 480-312-0990.

December 3
Tumbleweed Tree Lighting (FREE)
Continuing a tradition that began in 1957, the City of Chandler celebrates its uniqueness with a Christmas tree made from nearly 1,000 tumbleweeds. The thistly tree is on display throughout the month, with opening-day events that include a Parade of Lights, tree-lighting ceremony and live entertainment. 4:30-9 p.m. Free. Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, Chandler Boulevard and Arizona Avenue, Chandler,, 480-782-2669.

December 3
Wag & Walk
Take a hike with adoptable dogs from Maricopa County Animal Care & Control. Participants are encouraged to “test drive” the dogs to see how they behave on leash and get along with other dogs on the family-friendly 1-mile trek. Each lovable pet is accompanied by a shelter volunteer who can answer questions about the dog’s personality, activity level and history. Bring a leash as all dogs are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and ready to go home on the spot. 9 a.m. $6 per vehicle park entry fee. Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Way, Mesa,, 480-984-0032.

December 3-4
F.Q. Story Home Tour
The historic district welcomes guests for its annual self-guided tour of private homes dating from the early 1920s and decorated for the holidays. The area is located just a mile north of the heart of Downtown Phoenix, between Seventh and 16th avenues, one block south of McDowell Road. Sa, 6-9 p.m.; and Su, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $15, tickets available at Ninth Avenue and Lynwood Street, Phoenix,

December 6
Holiday Luncheon
Arizona Costume Institute welcomes Guillermo de Osma, author of Fortuny: His Life and Work, as featured speaker. A champagne reception with concert pianist Charles Lewis is included. 11 a.m. $150-$500. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,, 602-307-2011.

December 8
Scottsdale ArtWalk (FREE)
I Spy Santa is the theme as Scottsdale Gallery Association hosts this event, which features artist demonstrations, receptions, refreshments and live music. 6:30-9 p.m. Free. Downtown Scottsdale,

December 8, 15
Phoestivus (FREE)
Inspired by the famous Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas markets in Germany) and the secular holiday celebrated in an episode of Seinfeld, this market features locally grown and produced gifts by more than 130 vendors. Highlights include the Phoestivus Pole, Pheats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances, as well as Phoestivus Ale and a hipster Santa. 5-10 p.m. Free. Phoenix Public Market, 721 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,, 602-625-6736.

December 9
Christmas Parade of Lights (FREE)
Entries are illuminated with colorful lights for this annual event, which includes visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 6:30 p.m. Free. Downtown Wickenburg,, 928-684-5479.

December 9
City Lights Movie Nights (FREE)
Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy a screening of Home Alone II and Elf as this monthly outdoor movie series continues. Photo opportunities with characters from Elf, an appearance by Santa and prize giveaways are included. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Free. CityScape Phoenix, Central Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets, Phoenix,

December 9-11
Carefree Christmas Festival (FREE)
An electric light parade, 35 tons of real snow, a snow slide, fireworks, carriage rides, live music, dance performances, photos with Santa, a Christmas gift market and pet parade are highlights. F-Sa, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Su, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Carefree Desert Gardens, 100 Easy St., Carefree,, 480-488-2051.

December 9-31
Luminaria Festival
Thousands of traditional luminarias line garden trails, buildings and courtyards, casting a soft glow on the garden’s world-renowned plant collection as Las Noches de las Luminarias gets underway. A variety of musical groups performs each night. Dec. 9-11, 16-18, 20-23 and 26-31. 5:30-9:30 p.m. $30, adults; $12.50, children 3-12. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 480-481-1225.

December 9-January 1
Holiday Lights
Thousands of lights adorn trees and displays throughout the park, with an opening celebration that includes a tree-lighting ceremony, entertainment and a visit from Santa. 6:30-9 p.m., (closed Dec. 24-25 and 31). Free; carousel and train rides, $2-$4. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale,, 480-312-2312.

December 10
Boat Parade (FREE)
Dozens of festively decorated boats of all sizes light up the lake during the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade. The event kicks off with live music, selfies with Santa, food trucks and more. Hundreds of flickering luminarias and a fireworks finale are included. 4 p.m., parade at 7 p.m. Free. Tempe Town Lake, 620 N. Mill Ave., Tempe,

December 10
Loving Bowls
Participants choose a handcrafted bowl created by local potters, then enjoy chili, bread and dessert. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits and arts and education programs at Sedona Arts Center. Noon-3 p.m. $10. Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Rd., Sedona,, 928-282-3809.

December 10
12k’s of Christmas
Participants don festive Santa hats for 12K, 6K and 1.2K runs/walks that celebrate health, fitness and the joys of Christmas. Choral groups are stationed throughout the course, serenading runners with Christmas carols. Pet adoptions, visits with Santa and a Christmas bazaar also are included. Proceeds benefit local animal rescue groups. Strollers, wagons and leashed pets are welcome. 8 a.m.-noon. Call for entry fees. Freestone District Park, 1045 E. Juniper Rd., Gilbert,, 480-609-3978.

December 10-11
Pueblo Grande Indian Market
More than 100 booths of authentic American Indian fine art and collectibles are showcased, with native foods, music and dance adding to the festivities. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $10, adults; free, children 12 and younger. Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix,, 602-495-0901.

December 10-11
Uncommon Markets
Original and uncommon goods are in the spotlight, from fine art to original and quirky works by young artists to items that are sustainable and support social change. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $10. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale,, 855-238-6999.

December 10-18
Trains in the Garden (FREE)
Train enthusiasts open their gardens to share model train layouts featuring cities, towns and landscaped gardens, as well as holiday lights and decorations. Presented by Arizona Big Train Operators, the annual Christmas open-house tours take place at 13 homes, plus an indoor garden railroad at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. Sa-Su, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free, donations appreciated to support the train club and maintenance of the Cardon railroad. Greater Phoenix area; map available at, 610-256-1131.

December 11
Poinsettia Tea
A performance by violinist Elizabeth Bacher and a traditional afternoon tea complete with scones, sandwiches and sweets highlight this annual fundraiser presented by Duet, which provides a broad range of services to homebound adults, caregivers, faith communities and grandparents raising grandchildren. 2 p.m. $70. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Scottsdale,, 602-274-5022.

December 15
Birds ’n’ Beer (FREE)
Sip on a Four Peaks brew while enjoying an entertaining presentation on wildlife. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free admission. Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 S. Central Ave., Phoenix,, 602-468-6470.

December 16, 23
Rock ’n’ Roll Dances       
Guests enjoy rock ’n’ roll hits from the ’70s and ’80s, Dec. 16; and ’50s and ’60s, Dec. 23, with DJ Kort Kurdi. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $8. Palm Ridge Summit Hall, 13800 W. Deer Valley Rd., Sun City West,, 602-679-4220.

December 26-30
Holidays at the Heard
Visitors enjoy music, dance and artist demonstrations. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,, 602-252-8848.

December 27-January 8
Zoppè Italian Family Circus
Presented in an intimate 500-seat tent, this one-ring circus honors the Old World Italian tradition, where guests come in as strangers and leave as family. Call for times. $15-$40. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler,, 480-782-2680.

December 29-January 1
ArabHorse Farm Tour
Nearly a dozen of Scottsdale’s premier Arabian horse facilities host open-barn tours and presentations, allowing visitors a chance to see and touch magnificent Arabian horses and learn about the versatile and family-friendly breed. Refreshments, raffles and a silent auction to benefit Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge are included. Visit for complete schedule and locations.

December 30-January 1
New Year’s Treasure Fest (FREE)
Magic Bird Festivals hosts this event, which showcases 70 local artists and vendors exhibiting a range of boutique designs, apparel, handcrafted goods, jewelry and gourmet packaged edibles. F-Sa, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Su, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Roadhouse, 6900 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek,, 480-488-2014.

December 31 (FREE)
Fiesta Bowl Parade
An array of colorful floats, high-flying helium balloons, marching bands, and specialty and equestrian units performs along the 2-mile parade route. 10 a.m. Free; reserved seating available, $25. Central Avenue from just south of Bethany Home Road, south to Camelback Road, east to Seventh Street, south to Minnezona Avenue, Phoenix,, 480-350-0911.