Single-day activities

 

Nov. 24

Holiday Vendor Expo at Elks Lodge 335: 2-5 p.m., 14424 N. 32nd St. in Phoenix. Raffles every 15 minutes, vendors, jump house for children, free hot dogs and small businesses telling their stories. Shop for special holiday gifts you can’t get during Black Friday shopping. 

 

Scottsdale Quarter Holiday Celebration: Seventh annual day of free holiday celebrations with family fun and entertainment 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., in The Quad. Santa arrives at 11. Santa Social features live entertainment, interactive games, Arizona Animal Welfare League dog adoptions, photos with Santa, tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. and movie under the stars.

 

Festival of Lights Kick-Off Party: Ahwatukee volunteers for the 23rd consecutive year take over Desert Foothills Park, East Marketplace at Desert Foothills Parkway for a huge party noon-8 p.m. with rides, live entertainment, food and beer, over 100 crafts vendors and, of course, Santa escorted by a lighted motorcycle parade. Admission is free. It helps pay for the million lights strewn around trees along Chandler Boulevard between 24th Street and Desert Foothills Parkway.

 

Nov. 26

A Magical Cirque Christmas: Magic, circus acts, seasonal carols for the whole family. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7:30 p.m., $30-$55.

 

Nov. 28

National Christmas Tree Experience on the Ellipse in President’s Park, Washington, D.C.: Isaac Middle School in Phoenix is among 56 schools that created one-of-a-kind ornaments in connection with the 96th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Each school created ornaments that celebrate its state.

 

Phoenix Girls Night Out! Purple Elephant Gift Exchange: Bring something purple, under $10, wrapped up for the season! 6-8 p.m., Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, 15656 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. RSVP at  info@a2ndact.org.

 

Dec. 1

Tempe Neighbors Helping Neighbors Annual Holiday Lights Program: 9-11 a.m. Meet at Clark Park, 1730 S. Roosevelt St. in Tempe. Once checked in, volunteers fan out to hang strands of lights on homes of those nominated by friends and neighbors. On Jan. 7, volunteers return to take down lights. Volunteer signup and nominations for homes to be decorated: laura.kajfez@gmail.com. Donations and more information: 480-381-8336 or www.tempeneighbors.com.

 

Our Stories Speaker Series: First-hand account from former Korean War POW Arden Rowley, who was raised in Mesa, plus discussion on efforts to recover remains of MIA soldiers from North Korea. Recounting. 10:30 a.m., Chandler Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road. More information: 480-782-2751 or chandlerlibrary.org

 

Scottsdale Arts Gala 2018: “Glee” alum Matthew Morrison provides the entertainment. Reception at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where two exhibitions will be on display. A live auction includes a cultural trip to Cuba, among other prizes. 5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. dinner, 8:30 p.m. concert. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. $150-$500. 480-499-8587, gala.scottsdalearts.org.

 

Scottsdale League for the Arts’ Brunch Club: Fundraiser features chefs and bartenders curating a menu that revolves around brunch. Tickets include unlimited brunch bites and drink card for four cocktails. All net proceeds support nonprofit Scottsdale League for the Arts. 11 a.m. Mountain Shadows’ resort courtyard patio and deck, 5445 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley. $55 and $75. thebrunchclubaz.org.

 

Dancing for Arizona’s Children: Arizona’s Children Association fundraiser for nonprofit “Strengthening Families.” Community leaders will be paired with professional dancers to compete and raise money for the organization’s foster care, adoption, kinship, family education and support services. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. JW Marriott Camelback Inn Scottsdale Resort and Spa, 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale. $75 youth ticket, $125 adult ticket. dancingforazchildren.org.

 

Chandler Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony and Parade of Lights: Tradition hits 62nd year with lighting ceremony at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, on the west side of Arizona Avenue south of Chandler Boulevard. Parade at 6:45 p.m.. Tree Lighting Ceremony at 8 p.m.

 

Dec. 2

Fountain Hills Theater Presents “Alex Gonzalez: A Musical Celebration of Vegas”: A one-time only Sunday matinee benefit performance. 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills. Adults: $40, youth 17 and younger: $12. All proceeds benefit Fountain Hills Theater. More information: fhtaz.org or 480-837-9661, ext. 3.

 

Dec. 3

The Ten Tenors: Home for the Holidays. Join Australia’s rock stars of opera, The Ten Tenors, as they perform traditional and contemporary seasonal favorites like “Joy to the World,” “White Christmas,” “Amazing Grace,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Feliz Navidad.” 7:30 p.m. Highlands Church, 9050 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale. $24-$72. arizonamusicfest.org.

Dec. 6

Santa’s Sugar: Gold Canyon resident Jane Gerencher’s holiday children’s book debuts as a holiday play is performed by Cactus Canyon Junior High Drama Club students.  on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction. $5 for adults, $3 for students and children 5 and younger free. More information: 480-474-3980.

 

Dec. 7

Storytime with Mrs. Claus: The Farm at South Mountain hosts an evening of fun and magic under the pecan trees, featuring a family dance party, Christmas light display, face painting, hot chocolate and cookies. The Farm Kitchen will be open to serve dinner. 6-8 p.m.  6106 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix. $4 children 3-18. $5 18 and older. More information: www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com/event/month.

 

Under the Streetlamp: Singer Shonn Wiley gets into the holiday spirit. His group released Hip to the Holidays in October, and he’s ready to return home to Arizona. Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale. 480-850-7777. talkingstickresort.com, 8 p.m. $45-$85.

 

Dec. 8

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Ignite Hope Holiday Walk: The 1.1 mile walk brightens the season for patients. Battery-operated candles provided to participants 4 and older. Starts at North High at 12th Street and Thomas Road. Entertainment-packed reception greets walkers upon arrival at PCH, where patients peer from their windows to see thousands of supporters. Participating adults asked to raise a minimum $100. Pre-registration is $40 for adults, $10 for children ages 4-12, and free for children 3 and younger. More information and to register: pchignitehope.com.

 

Chandler Fire Department Holiday Toy Ride: The highlight of the annual toy drive is ride, 2-8 p.m., at Chandler Fashion Center. Those donating a new, unwrapped toy receive a ride in a Chandler fire engine. Toy collection point is near the valet parking area outside the food court on the south side of the mall. An adult must accompany all children 6 and younger.  Toys also may be dropped off in the lobby of the Chandler Fire Administration Headquarters, 151 E. Boston St., through Dec. 14 or at any Chandler fire station. More information: chandleraz.gov/fire.

 

 

Carnival of Illusion: Join Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed for vaudeville-style show featuring magic and more. The intimate, parlor-style venue offers seats a few feet from the action. Audience participation is a part of every show. Mesa Arts Center’s Farnsworth Studio, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, 480-359-SHOW, carnivalofillusion.com, mesaartscenter.com, times vary, $56.

 

Ongoing activities

 

Nov. 22-Jan.5

Symphony of Light in North Phoenix and Tempe: World’s largest drive-through light attraction with world’s largest holiday-theme obstacle course for kids. Obstacle course and bounce houses: $10 per person. With new 100-foot-wide nativity scene, a 220-foot-wide state-of-the-art pixel screen and an expanded Holiday Boulevard Marketplace. Nightly in north Phoenix 6 p.m. through Jan. 5. Nightly in Tempe 6 p.m. through Dec. 31. North Phoenix: 27701 N. Black Canyon Highway at I-17 and Jomax Road. Tempe: Tempe Diablo Stadium, 2200 W. Alameda Drive. Advance tickets $29, at the gate $35. More information: worldofillumination.com.

 

Nov. 22-23

Snowy Christmas: Rawhide’s signature Christmas takeover with nightly snowfall down Main Street, family photos, thousands of lights and a special drop off for letters to the North Pole. Catch Santa for a nightly tree lighting ceremony on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Rawhide Western Town and Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler, 480.502.5600, rawhide.com, 5-10 p.m. Fridays to Sundays, free.

 

Nov. 23-Dec. 28

Butterfly Wonderland’s “Christmas in the Rainforest”: 7-foot Living Angel with hand-blown glass art exhibit and live holiday music. Featuring butterflies from around the world. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E. Via de Ventura in Scottsdale within the OdySea in the Desert Entertainment Destination at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. More information: 480-800-3000 or www.ButterflyWonderland.com.

 

Nov. 22-Dec. 25

Grimaldi’s Childhelp Toy Drive: Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children. To help bring comfort to these children for the holidays, all six Grimaldi’s locations in Arizona will be accepting donations of new and unused (nonviolent) toys and clothing. Donate at your local Grimaldi’s or visit Childhelp’s Amazon Wish List to make a donation of toys and clothing. More information; www.grimaldispizzeria.com.

 

Nov. 23-Dec. 31

Lighting of Tempe Marketplace 60-Foot Holiday Tree: Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. on  Nov. 21 with tree lighting. With professional ice-skating performance and the first magical snowfall of the season. Snow will fall nightly at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Free holiday skating for children 5 and older Nov. 23-25. Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix, and Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe.

 

Nov. 23-Jan. 4

Merry Main Street in Downtown Mesa: Festivities begin Nov. 23, 5-10 p.m. with music, food and family fun with a program and tree lighting at 5:45 p.m. at Main Street and Macdonald. Featuring Winter Wonderland Ice Rink with more than 5,000 square feet, Mesa Christmas Market, Jack Frost Food Truck Forest, Mesa’s Christmas tree that is nearly four stories tall, Santa’s sELFie Village, Main Street Express trackless train, free visits with Santa, Holiday Happenings at Mesa Arts Center and rides on the Polar Express. More information: www.merrymainst.com.

 

Nov. 24- 26

Nativities of the World in Cave Creek: Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center sponsors sixth annual fundraiser on Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Nov. 2, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. More than 200 nativity scenes displayed at Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. School House Road in Cave Creek. Created by artists from around the world. Admission is free, however the donation of non-perishable food or cash for the food bank will help those less fortunate. More information: Karen Pritchard at KPnativities.foodbank.az@aol.com or 480-236-9668.

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