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Experiences

An Arizona Christmas: Festive Things to do in the Desert

There’s something iconic about the traditional white Christmas. The snowfall, cold weather, hot chocolate… Sometimes here in the desert, it can be hard to get into the festive spirit when the temperature is still a high of 85°F and all the songs are singing about the unrelatable snowy scenery. But a desert Christmas has its own special charm. The beauty of Christmas lights backed by an orangey-red sunset, decorated saguaros, and a driveway in no need of shoveling. Even an eternal beach like Arizona has plenty of unique and fun Christmas events to commemorate the season with.

Desert Botanical Garden’s ‘Las Noches De Las Luminarias’

The Desert Botanical Gardens host this nature-filled light event from the 3rd through the 31st of December. Accompanied by music performances, the garden filled with thousands of dazzling hand-lit luminarias is an event for the whole family.

Glendale Glitters

A laid-back and outdoorsy event, Glendale Glitters is a family-fun experience that takes place at Murphy Park near historic downtown Glendale. With over a million lit-up Christmas lights, this major photo-op. mixes with downtown shopping, a petting zoo, a variety of food, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself.

Westgate’s ‘World of Illumination’

Running through Nov. 12 to Jan. 2nd, Westgate’s ‘World of Illumination’ is an incredible experience – especially for first-time goers. A great choice for families, this event’s theme for 2021 is ‘Candy-Rush!’ As shared on Westgate Corner, “The experience is a one-mile drive through 400 plus candy light installations combined with millions of animated lights synchronized to music.” With a 40-foot-tall candy cane and a gigantic gingerbread village, you won’t want to miss it.

Phoenix Zoolights

Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo is a unique experience for animal and Christmas lovers alike. At this event, people will get to experience millions of colorful lights along with dazzling animal sculptures and two Music-in-Motion Light Shows. Along with this, Zoolights will be showcasing their international art exhibition. With artfully crafted representations of wildlife conservation, it’s a perfect mixture of education and entertainment.

Westgate’s Outdoor Ice Skating

Open until January 17th, Westgate’s ice skating is a great alternative for those missing snowfall. The outdoor rink sits right in the middle of the West Gate district, with a clear view of the giant decorated Westgate Christmas tree. Rental skates are available, but guests are more than welcome to bring their own if they have them. Surrounded by restaurants, the West Gate escape room, and the Stir Crazy Comedy Club, this is the perfect event to plan for a fun evening of events and dinner.

Hello! Thanks for checking out my HerCampus page. I'm studying English at Grand Canyon University. At Hercampus, I'm the head editor and a bi-weekly writer. “Many are the plans of man but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
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