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AZ Christmas Events

Are You Looking for Things to do at Christmas Time in Arizona?

Arizona at Christmas, like Ovation for Christmas, is all about rediscovering the magic of Christmas. And we aren't talking about Christmas, AZ either, which is pretty much, ironically, a ghost town these days. We are talking about the magic of believing in Santa Claus here, believe in the magic of possibilities that come along with Christmas. Appropriately for "The Grand Canyon State," so many of the truly uniquely magical Christmas events in Arizona take place around the Grand Canyon. Many people who aren't from Arizona wouldn't associate AZ with snow. However, around the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff, AZ areas, it can snow as early as October due to the elevation. A snow covered Grand Canyon alone is a sight that can get people into the Christmas spirit. Snow adds to the magic around the holidays no matter where it is, but it is even more magical when least expected. That's why a white Christmas is so magical, because it doesn't happen every year or even very often in most of the country. Add Christmas lights to the mix and you will have a truly vibrant, magical, wonderful Christmastime in Arizona.

The Best Christmas Events and Attractions in Arizona

The best Christmas attractions in AZ are about 2 things: Magic and Lights. Ovation for Christmas recommends The North Pole Experience and the Grand Canyon Polar Express because they are about keeping the magic of Christmas alive for kids and allowing adults to rediscover the magic of Christmas in the process. Taking kids to visit Santa at the mall can be exciting for them, but taking them to visit Santa at the North Pole via a magical train or trolley can be a memory that stays with them forever. Christmas lights illuminate Arizona in fun and unique ways. We have highlighted a few of the best.

The North Pole Experience - Flagstaff, AZ

What Christmas Events to Expect: A Tour of Santa's Secret Workshop Highlight: Making Toys with the Elves for Christmas, Meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus and Seeing Santa's High Tech Sleigh in "Area 47" Hanger

If your kids (or you) have ever dreamed of getting on a Trolley, taking a ride and being magically transported to to Santa's secret workshop, this is the Christmas event for you. The trolley takes you through a "magic portal" then arrives at a secret workshop. The trolley ride and ride through the magic portal are worth doing at night. The trolley departure station is decked out in millions of Christmas lights and as the trolley goes through the magic portal at night, kids will experience special light effects and arrive at Santa's North Pole workshop, decked out in lights. Once there, you will go on a tour of Santa's Toy Hall of Fame, build toys with the elves, tour the main toy factory floor with soaring ceilings and toy slides, sit in on classes at Elf University, tour Santa's mailroom and office to see where letters are received, tour Santa's bakery where you can try snowman soup and cookies made by Mrs. Claus, have story time with Mrs. Claus, access the top secret area known as "Area 47" Sleigh Hanger where you will see Santa's sleigh and his runway lights and advanced radar systems, and you will have private time with Santa for photos and to tell Santa personally what you want for Christmas. Ovation for Christmas believes events like this can get young children more excited for Christmas than almost any other Christmas event.

Hours for 2013: By Appointment, trolley takes off in 15 minute intervals hours vary by date. The entire experience lasts an hour and 1/2 to and hour and 45 minutes from the time the trolley leaves until it returns. November 22-24, 29, 2013: 4:00pm - 8:00pm, November 30, 2013: 1:00pm - 8:00pm, December 1, 2013: 1:00pm - 4:30pm, 5:00pm - 8:00pm, no tour scheduled for 4:45pm, December 5, 2013: 4:00pm - 8:00pm, December 6-8, 2013: 1:00pm - 8:00pm, December 12-13, 2013: 4:00pm - 8:00pm, December 14, 2013: 1:00pm - 8:15pm, December 15, 2013: 1:00pm - 2:45pm, 3:15pm - 8:15pm, December 16-18, 2013: 4:00pm - 8:00pm, December 19, 2013: 1:00pm - 1:30pm, 2:00pm - 8:00pm, December 20, 2013: 1:00pm - 2:45pm, 3:15pm - 8:00pm, December 21-22, 2013: 1:00pm - 8:15pm, December 23, 2013: 1:00pm - 8:00pm, December 24, 2013: 1:00pm - 8:15pm, December 26-27, 2013: 1:00pm - 8:00pm

Admission: Daytime (1:00pm - 3:45 pm) Adults: $42.00, Children: $42.00, Nighttime (4:00pm - 8:15pm) Adults: $55.00, Children: $49.00 http://www.northpoleexperience.com/buy-tickets/

Phone: (480) 779-9679 E-Mail: info@northpoleexperience.com Address: The actual address is a secret (This is Santa's workshop afterall and you go through a "magic portal" to get there) It is technically in Ft. Tuthill County Park, but that is our little secret. You enter the portal in Flagstaff, AZ. The trolly for the North Pole Experience takes off from the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff. The address there is 2515 E. Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 Website: http://www.northpoleexperience.com/

The Polar Express, Grand Canyon - Williams, AZ

What Christmas Events to Expect: A Train Ride to the North Pole a la The Polar Express Highlights: Arriving at the North Pole, Having Santa Board the Train and Santa Visiting with Each Boy & Girl (And Adult) and Giving Each One a Sleigh Bell as in the Book

This experience holds true to the beloved children's holiday book "The Polar Express," or at least it comes as close as a real life event can come. This Christmas event sells out quickly, so get the tickets for the date you want to go as soon as you can. This may be Arizona, but the train won't feel like it. Come decked in your finest pajamas as the conductor calls out, "All aboard for the Polar Express." Once on the Polar Express, the experience continues with constant entertainment. The book is read to the passengers, and, just like in the book, an array of characters, chefs, elves, etc., parade through the train entertaining everyone with carols, dancing, and serving delicious hot chocolate and cookies. However, as anyone who has read the book knows, this is all just a prelude to the big event: the arrival at the North Pole and meeting Santa Claus. Santa comes on board the Polar Express and meets with all the kids of all ages and presents them with a special gift. It is a magical sleigh bell from the harness of one of Santa's reindeer. Make sure you shake it though, as it will only ring for those who truly belive in the magic of Christmas.

Hours for 2013: Friday, November 8, 2013 - Saturday, January, 4, 2014. No Polar Express Rides November 10-15, 17-22, 25-26, 28, December 1-3, 10, 17, 25, 29-31, January 1-2. Train Departure Times are 3:30pm, 5:30pm & 7:30pm and vary depending on the day. Check out the website for hours on the day you plan on going: http://www.thetrain.com/special-events/the-polar-express/ There is also a special charity Polar Express Train Ride for worthy charities on Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:30pm to kick off the season.

Admission: 3:30pm Train: Adults: $32.00, Children: $18.00, 5:30pm & 7:30pm Train: Adults: $37.00, Children: $23.00, Christmas Eve Train: Adults: $69.00, Children (ages 2-15): $43.00. Call 1-888-848-3511 for tickets.

Phone: 1-888-848-3511 (for tickets), (928) 635-4253, 1-800-THE-TRAIN (843-8724) Address 233 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Kaibab National Forest, Williams, AZ 86046 Website: http://www.thetrain.com/special-events/the-polar-express/

ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo - Phoenix, AZ

What Christmas Events to Expect: Amazing Christmas Lights Show Uniquely Tailored to a Zoo with Hundreds of Animal Light Displays Highlight: The Polar Slide

With 3.6 million lights and over 700 light displays, this is certainly one of the best Christmas light displays in Arizona. There is also a great Christmas light show they call "Music in Motion" around the lake synchronized to Christmas music. There are both 3D and 2D Christmas light displays, both animated and stationary. While the opportunity to view the live animals is minimal during ZooLights (after all the animals need to sleep and have already had a long day), most of the light displays are animals represented by Christmas lights. The animations behave the way the animal would: a monkey climbing across an overhead vine, horses and cheetahs running, etc. There are also cool "easter eggs" the zoo places around waiting to be discovered. It is never just about looking at another tree decorated with different colors here. Everywhere you look there is a unique Christmas light display. Every year the zoo hides an alien head, so, for those who make ZooLights in Phoenix an annual tradition, make sure to try to find it! There are giant 18' long and 10' high praying mantis can be seen from the wagon trail.

There are also so many fun and exciting activities other than walking around and looking at the lights, which, don't get us wrong, are spectacular enough to make the trip worthwhile. There are wagon rides, camel rides, the stingray bay experience, the endangered species carousel, and, the personal favorite of Ovation for Christmas, the polar slide. The polar slide is made out of the same artificial snow-like plastic material used by professional skiers and snowboarders, so the experience is just like sledding down a snowcovered hill on an intertube sled. What kid or adult wouldn't love to experience that around Christmas in an area that almost never snows, and, when it does, never sticks to the ground enough to go sledding on it. The extra activities do cost extra and you can view the costs here, and also vary for most depending on whether you are a member or non-member, but the cost is worth it. After all, how many time in your life do you get to go on a camel ride at Christmas like the Three Wisemen heading to Bethlehem or go sledding in a zoo at Christmas surrounded by palm trees. The only zoo in the world in fact to have an artificial snow slope made out of Neveplast.

With new displays and/or activities added every year, who knows what could be in store this year. But it just gets better every year, which makes this Christmas event never seem boring. Click here to see what new surprises may be in store for this year.

Hours for 2013: Visit http://www.phoenixzoo.org/visit/hours_rates.aspx for dates for 2013. Sunday - Thursday: 6:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday: 6:00pm - 12:00am.

Admission: Sunday - Thursday Evenings: $9.00 for zoo members, $11.00 for non - zoo members, Any night of ZooLights: $13.00 zoo members, $14.00 for non - zoo members, Member advance tickets discount (purchase by November 21): $7.00 for Sunday - Thursday, $11.00 Friday and Saturday any night tickets (max of 25 tickets), Kids 2 and younger: Free any night, Other discounts available for large groups and at local stores visit http://www.phoenixzoo.org/events/zoolights/tickets.htm to see all ticket deals and to purchase tickets.

Phone: 602-273-1341 Address: 455 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008 Website: http://www.phoenixzoo.org/events/zoolights/

Arizona Celebration of Lights - Phoenix, AZ

What Christmas Events to Expect: A Drive Through Christmas Light Display Highlight: Animated Light Displays and visiting Santa's Village at the End on Friday - Sunday nights (check calendar to make sure of Santa's Village dates).

As a kid, I remember getting in the backseat of the family car around Christmas and driving around to see the houses decorated for Christmas. It sometimes took a while to find houses really worth seeing, but it was still magical. Here they have made the Christmas lights discovery easy. In fact, with over 7,000,000 lights and 300 animated and still displays, they have made it nearly impossible to miss if you are driving around the Phoenix, AZ area at night in late November or December. Make sure you know how to turn your headlights off before arriving (the darker, the better for viewing the lights after all). It will take about 15 minutes to drive the approximately mile long display and on certain nights you can park at the end and stop by Santa's Village that has other activities and food for purchase.

Hours for 2013: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday, Saturday, and Holidays: 5:30pm - 10:00pm. Check out the calendar to find out what day the attraction begins and what day it ends for the season: http://azcelebrationoflights.com/calendar-of-events/

Admission: Admission cost is per car and there is no limit to how many are allowed in the car. Monday - Thursday: $15.00 at the gate, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays: $20.00 at the gate. They say they take credit cards at the gate if you don't have cash with you, but it would be smart to bring cash, especially if you plan on visiting Santa's Village at the end Friday - Sunday nights. http://azcelebrationoflights.com/how-much/ There are discounts for purchasing tickets online just go to this page http://azcelebrationoflights.com/how-much/purchase-tickets-in-advance/ and purchase in advance for the discount. There are also special discounts on certain days because of sponsors check out the calendar for these dates http://azcelebrationoflights.com/calendar-of-events/

Contact Info: They do not provide a Phone # or E-Mail Address, but they provide an online form to submit messages and then they will E-Mail you back http://azcelebrationoflights.com/contact-us/ Address: Phoenix Event Complex. 2209 N. 99th Avenue. Phoenix, AZ. 85037 (When you get close you will see the signs to follow) Website: http://azcelebrationoflights.com/

Mesa Arizona Temple Gardens Christmas Lights - Mesa, AZ

What Christmas Events to Expect: A Christmas Gardens Light Display and Nativity Scene Highlight: Concert Series

What makes the lights at the Mesa Arizona Temple so unique is the uniqueness of the lighting display. When it comes to Christmas lights, there is nothing cliche here. Palm trees are uniquely, colorfully illuminated as is the rest of the vegetation in the gardens surrounding the temple and there are even, occasionally, floating candles in enclosures in the surrounding, reflecting pools. There is also a nice outdoor manger scene and a nativity exhibit in the visitor's center. It truly is a lovely holiday site to experience.

Hours for 2013: The Christmas Garden Lights go on every night at 5:00pm and are turned off every night at 10:00pm. The concert series takes place every night in December until (and including) Christmas Day and starts at 7:00pm and last for approximately a half hour.

Admission: Free!

Phone: 480-964-7164 Address: 525 East Main Street (One block East Mesa Dr on Main St, near downtown Mesa) Mesa, AZ 85204 Website: http://www.mesachristmaslights.com/

What Things do You Like to Do at Christmas Time in Arizona? Where Do You Like to Go in AZ to Get in the Christmas Spirit? Let Us Know! :-)

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