Newcomers’ Guide to Events & Festivals in December 2022

Editorial StaffNovember 2, 2022
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Tempe Festival of the Arts
December 2-4
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,

Electric Light Parade
December 3
This nighttime parade features dozens of illuminated floats, lighted balloons, marching bands and performance groups. 7 p.m. Central Avenue from Montebello Avenue, south to Camelback Road, east to Seventh Street, south to Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-534-FEST,

ZONA Music Festival
December 3-4
This inaugural music festival in Downtown Phoenix features a diverse medley of local and national alternative, indie, pop and rock artists. National headlining acts include Beach House, Portugal. The Man, Bleachers, Japanese Breakfast and Tegan and Sara. Beloved local bands Playboy Manbaby, Glixen and Miniature Tigers round out the bill. Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 W. Culver St., Phoenix, 602-534-2406,

Las Noches de las Luminarias
December (TBD)
Thousands of traditional luminarias line garden trails, buildings and courtyards, casting an elegant glow on the garden’s world-renowned plant collection in this Valley holiday institution. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, 480-481-1225,

Stroll in the Glow
December 3
A visit from Santa, holiday music and more than 60,000 twinkling lights and ornaments highlight this festive event. 5-8 p.m. Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills, 480-837-1654,

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting
December 3
Continuing a tradition that began in 1957, 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 10
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,

Phoenix Festival of the Arts
December 10-11
This year, Phoenix Festival of the Arts will celebrate a decade of vibrant art, music, food and community in Downtown Phoenix. Guests can peruse art from more than 150 vendors, enjoy fare from 20 food trucks and dance to live performances by nearly 30 musicians. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 Culver St., Phoenix, 602-534-2406,

Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade
Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

Pueblo Grande Indian Market
December 11
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 festivities. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-495-0901,

Zoppé Italian Family Circus
December 16-January 2
Presented in an intimate 500-seat tent, this one-ring circus celebrates the tradition of old-world Italian circus arts, including acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and expert jugglers. Bell Bank Park, 1 Legacy Dr., Mesa, 480-353-7058,

Fiesta Bowl Parade
December 17
An array of colorful floats, high-flying helium balloons, marching bands, and specialty and equestrian units performs along the 2-mile parade route in Uptown Phoenix. This year’s event celebrates the 50-year history of the Fiesta Bowl organization with the theme Gold Standard: A Commitment to CommUNITY. 10 a.m., 480-350-0900,

Schnepf Farms Seasonal
This family farm features a country store and bakery, hayrides, “u-pick” organic gardens and more. A Christmas celebration with ice skating, illuminated train ride and light displays runs from November-December. 24610 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, 480-987-3100,

This article first appeared in the 2023 City Guide, published by PHOENIX magazine in November 2022.


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