Ready to celebrate Christmas in the desert?

Christmas celebrations in Arizona are a novel affair. Although the desert setting is a little different than what most people living in the Northern Hemisphere are used to, the spirit of Christmas permeates the area with its magical lights, delicious aroma, and a list of outdoor activities.

From watching magnificent light displays to taking your family out to dinner on Christmas, here are the top five attractions near Phoenix this Christmas.

How to Celebrate Christmas in Arizona

Phoenix has several interesting activities for you to try this Christmas. If you’re in town, don’t miss our top five picks.

Lights Display at the Phoenix Zoo

Come December, the Phoenix Zoo puts up an amazing display of lights every year, transforming the place into a haven for winter activities. Visit this winter wonderland with your family and don’t miss the illuminated animal sculptures. ZooLights takes place between 5.30 and 10.30 PM every day and you can walk or drive through the streets. Don’t expect to see many live animals after dark. But you can take the Wildlife Lantern Safari if you’re so inclined.

Las Noches de las Luminarias

As Christmas approaches, the Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park lights up with over 8,000 luminaria bags on certain nights. The garden comes alive as the sun sets during Las Noches de las Luminaria as guests take a stroll down the magical path. The highlight of the event is the animal sculptures made from colorful recycled plastic called Wild Rising. Live music adds to the romance in the air.

Play an Escape game at Utopia VR Arcade

Escape rooms near Phoenix are hosting some crazy games this December. If you’re in town, make sure to drop by Utopia VR Arcade for a crazy adrenaline-pumping session. If you’ve never experienced a VR Arcade before, this is your chance to change that. And if you think you know what escape games are like, you’re in for a pleasant surprise! So, book your slots today and drop in with your squad this Christmas.

Experience Christmas at the Butterfly Wonderland

Every year Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale hosts Christmas in the Rainforest as winter approaches. The park comes alive with colorful holiday décor as thousands of butterflies from around the world converge inside the biggest glass conservatory in the United States. Guests are greeted by a decorated Christmas tree, an art exhibit with hand-blown glass, the amazing collection at The Butterfly Treasures Gift Shop, and a chance to view some amazing live performances from local bands.

Ice Staking at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink

The 5,000 sq. ft. ice rink on Merry Main Street is open to the public every day except for Christmas Day. Santa is on-site every Friday and Saturday throughout December. So, click a few pictures as you brush up on your skating skills. We recommend booking tickets in advance as you must stick to a specific slot. Ticket prices include your skate rental.

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