FREE Christmas Lights and Fun – Arizona 2018

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Unless otherwise noted, these events are all FREE!


November 29, 6 pm – Water Tower Lighting and Holiday Concert

Water Tower Plaza, Page Avenue. Join Mayor Daniels and hundreds of Gilbert families in an evening of entertainment as they light the famous Gilbert Water Tower. Along with the free musical entertainment, there will be horse-drawn carriage rides, Food trucks and vendor booths.

December 7 & 8, and 15 & 16, 5:30 – 9 pm – Riparian After Dark Christmas Lights

Riparian Preserve; 2757 E. Guadalupe Road 5:30-9pm; Light displays, carolers, school choirs, refreshments available for purchase. The public is encouraged to make a donation to charities. Check the website for items requested by the specific charity. The event is fully accessible to wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers


 November 3 – January 13, 2019; Festive events at Westgate Entertainment District

Lights, snowfall, visits with Santa, a skating rink. There’s something for everyone at this festive Mall! Check the website for a calendar of events.

November 24 – January 12, 2019 – 5 – 11 pm – Glendale Glitters Christmas Lights

58th and Glendale Avenue. Historic Downtown Glendale boasts the largest display of free holiday lights with 1.6 million LED lights illuminating 16 blocks of downtown! You can pay for preferred parking in two parking garages or Handicapped parking is free in either garage with a placard or license plate. Check the website for a list of events including pictures with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, entertainment, food and beverages, and more.


November 23 – January 4, 2019;

Downtown Mesa; Main Street – So many choices! From a 4-story tall Christmas tree, sELFie photo stations, ice skating rink ($10 for 1 hour), food trucks, shopping, to a ride on the Polar Express, and visits with Santa! Something for everyone and so many free events! Check out the website for all the details.


 November 1 – December 24; Festive events at The Outlets at Anthem Mall

4250 West Anthem Way. Boasting that they have “Arizona’s Largest Fresh Christmas Tree”, this mall also has carolers and Santa’s cottage. Drop by the Salvation Army Angel Tree, for a tag with requests from area children and help make a child’s Christmas wish come true.

 November 19 – early January; Ahwatukee Festival of Lights

Chandler Blvd between 24th Street and Desert Hills Parkway. Enjoy holiday lights without ever leaving your car on this one-mile drive.

Kickoff Party November 24; noon – 8 pm; Desert Foothills Park; 1010 Marketplace Drive. Family-friendly event with 16 restaurants, a beer and wine tavern, live music, 100+ vendors, visits with Santa, and a cornhole tournament. Rides and inflatables are available for a fee.

December 8 & 9, and 15 & 16; 5:30-8:30 pm – Trains in The Garden Open House Tours

On display throughout Phoenix, in 18 homes and one children’s medical center. G-Scale (or “Garden”) railroads, set up in gardens, surrounded by natural vegetation. Magical! Check the website for locations and maps. Presented by AZ Big Trains. Donations requested, to help support the G-Scale indoor train layout the Club helped build at Cardon Children’s Medical Center.


December 1, 8 – 10 am – Breakfast with Santa

The Hub, Posse Grounds Park; 525 Posse Ground Road. Pancakes and more, great decorations and a visit with Santa – all for FREE! Breakfast will be served until 9:45 am. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

December 2 and 16th, 3 pm – Christmas Concert

The Cottonwood Community Band present a selection of holiday favorites. The 50 member community band will perform a mix of traditional and new songs. Dec 2nd; Cottonwood Recreation Center; 150 S. 6th Street, Cottonwood Dec 16th; Rock of Ages Lutheran Church; 390 Dry Creek Road, Sedona


November 24 – January 1 –  Scottsdazzle

Downtown Scottsdale; see website for map. A month-long festival of lights, concerts, fiestas, and festivities throughout downtown Scottsdale! Local restaurants offer specials and golf cart tours available for a fee. But there are plenty of lights and displays to enjoy for free, and Plenty of free parking available.

 November 30 – January 6, 2019; 6:30-9 pm – Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park; 7301 E. Indian Bend Road. Lights, carolers, and visits with Santa. Check the website for specific dates and times. The event will be Closed December 3, 24, 25, and 31. Carousel and train rides $2 – $5. FREE for children 2 yrs. and younger with a paying adult.


November 23; 4 or 6 pm – Fantasy of Lights Parade

Downtown Tempe, Mill Avenue and 3rd Street. Kick off the holidays with a parade featuring nearly 85 parade units. Santa is available for photos at the end of the parade and there is a holiday tree that also makes a great photo background. NOTE: At the time of this publication it was unclear whether the parade began at 4 pm or 6 pm. You may want to call first: 480-355-6060

December 8; 7 pm – Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

Tempe Town Lake; 80 W Rio Salado Parkway. Santa Claus arrives by boat at Tempe Beach Park, along with nearly 50 other festively decorated watercraft. Arrive early to grab a snack at the food vendors or shop the Holiday Market. You can also take a selfie with Santa and enjoy beer and wine while listening to live entertainment. Well-behaved pets are welcome. Check the website for parking and park rules. Bring a jar of peanut butter to donate to the United Food Bank and help them reach their goal of 500+ pounds of non-perishable food.