December Things To Do Around the Valley

Editorial StaffSeptember 29, 2021
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Get your fill of festivals and fun times with this month-by-month look at the Valley’s high season.


Schnepf Farms
Through December 31

This family farm features a country store and bakery, “u-pick” organic gardens and orchards, farm tours, fine dining in the orchard, and a variety of special events during peach season and holidays. A Christmas celebration with ice skating, illuminated train ride, cookie decorating and light displays is among the highlights. 24610 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, 480-987-3100,

Holiday Lights
Through January 2

Hop on board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and experience a winter wonderland of holiday lights and displays. 6:30-9 p.m. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, 480-312-2312,

Glendale Glitters
Through January 9

Millions of lights illuminate the historic downtown area in this hometown holiday celebration. 5-10 p.m. nightly. Festivities crank up a notch Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 8 p.m., with visits from Santa, carolers, choirs, arts and crafts, artisan demonstrations and holiday characters roaming the streets. 58th and Glendale avenues, Glendale, 623-930-2299,

Tempe Festival of the Arts
December 3-5

Nearly 350 fine artists and craftsmen from across the country showcase original artworks at this street festival. Food trucks, wine and beer gardens, children’s activities and live entertainment are included. Mill Avenue District, Tempe,

Las Noches de las Luminarias
December 3-31

Thousands of traditional luminarias line garden trails, buildings and courtyards, casting an elegant glow on the garden’s world-renowned plant collection. The event is complemented this year by Chihuly in the Desert. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,

Stroll in the Glow
December 4

A visit from Santa, holiday music and more than 60,000 twinkling lights and ornaments highlight this festive event. 4-7 p.m. Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills, 480-837-1654,

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting
December 4

The city of Chandler celebrates its uniqueness with a Christmas tree made from hundreds of 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. Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler, 480-782-2669,

Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade
December 11

Dozens of festively decorated boats of all sizes light up the lake, with street market vendors, a fireworks finale and visits with Santa adding to the fun. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with the parade at 7 p.m. Tempe Town Lake, 620 N. Mill Ave., Tempe,

Pueblo Grande Indian Market
December 11-12

More than 100 booths of authentic American Indian fine art and collectibles are showcased, with native music, dance and hands-on activities adding to the fun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-495-0901,

Fiesta Bowl Parade
December 18

An array of colorful floats, high-flying helium balloons, marching bands, and specialty and equestrian units performs along the 2-mile parade route. 9 a.m. Central Avenue from just south of Bethany Home Road, south to Camelback Road, east to Seventh Street, south to Minnezona Avenue, Phoenix, 480-350-0900,

Zoppé Italian Family Circus
December 23-January 3

This one-ring circus celebrates the tradition of old-world Italian circus arts, including acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship and expert jugglers. Big Surf, 1500 N. Hayden Rd., Tempe,

Through January 14

This grand event glows with millions of LED lights and includes a three-story-tall Christmas tree, lakeside music-in-motion shows, 3D light sculptures and life-size animal lanterns, ranging from a herd of bison to a one-eyed-one-horned-flying-purple-people-eater. A drive-through Cruise ZooLights complements the classic walk-through event on select nights. 5:30-10:30 p.m. daily. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, 602-286-3800,


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