Tuesday, Dec. 2

Cooking for Kids: Holiday Cookie and Cake Decorating Class: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Kiwanis Recreation Center, 6111 S All America Way, Tempe. Children ages 6 to 12 will decorate holiday-themed cookies, cupcakes and a small cake. There will be plenty of cookies and cupcakes to eat during class or to share with your family members. Required supply fee: $20. Fee: $18. Advance registration required at http://pkreconline.tempe.gov or by calling (480) 350-5201 or (480) 350-5050 TTY.


Wednesday, Dec. 3

Holiday Boutique and Hanukkah Shop: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Barness Family Jewish Community Center, 908 N. Alma School Road, Chandler. Choose from specialty clothing, jewelry and accessories, books, cell phones, handbags and footwear, artwork and portraits, Hanukkah menorahs, gifts, toys, candy and so much more. The shop is open through the end of the year. (480) 897-0588, info@evjcc.org or www.evjcc.org.


Thursday, Dec. 4

Noel Night: 7 p.m. Dec. 4, Horizon Presbyterian Church, 1401 E. Liberty Lane. The Christmas celebration is for women of the church and the community and features music, holiday desserts and socializing. Team up with some friends or bring your moms and/or daughters for a ladies night out. All are welcome. (480) 460-1480.


Y OPAS (Outreach Program for Ahwatukee Seniors) Third Annual Holiday Lights Tour: 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., starting at the Ahwatukee Foothills YMCA, 1030 E. Liberty Lane. See holiday lights then return to the Y for hot chocolate and cookies. Reservations and ride requests to and from the YMCA are requested by Nov. 25 to (602) 212-6088.


Las Noches de las Luminarias: today to Sunday, Dec. 11 to 14 and 16 to 23, Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway. Thousands of hand-lit luminarias will light the Garden's paths, and there will be a wide variety of entertainment, delicious cuisine prepared by Fabulous Food Catering, exquisite wines to sample, and warm cocoa or cider. Shop for distinctive holiday gifts in the Garden's gift and plant shops. www.dbg.org or (480) 481-8188.


Friday, Dec. 5

Valley Youth Theatre presents A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail: today through Dec. 23, 525 N. First St. (602) 253-8188, ext. 4, or www.VYT.com.


23rd Anniversary Poinsettia Festival: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Sunday and Dec. 12 to 14, Gardener's World, 3401 E. Baseline Road. Features 20,000 poinsettias in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes on display. Food and crafty Christmas gifts will be available for purchase. Free admission and parking. Fridays are Senior Day (free foil with poinsettias for seniors). (602) 437-0700 or www.gardenpro.net.


Phoenix Center Artists Annual Holiday Art Sale: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd St. Enjoy shopping for fine art gifts from students. Features artwork in ceramics, photography, jewelry, and metals. Free parking and entrance. (602) 262- 4627.


Christmas Lights Display: 5:30 to 10 p.m. nightly, 1312 E. Jade Drive, Chandler. Features about 22,600 mini-lights dancing to holiday music. Free. The show includes the neighbors house, and lights on both houses will dance to music.


Holiday Open House and Museums: 5:30 to 9 p.m., Heritage & Science Park, 115 N. 6th St. Enjoy holiday light display. Step Back in Time Rosson House historic home tours offered. Free. (602) 261-8948.


East Valley Car Show ‘Cruisin' With Santa:' 6 to 9 p.m., Fulton Ranch Towne Center, 4040 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler. Presented by Checker Auto Parts. Meet Santa from 6 to 8 p.m., and enjoy holiday music, hot chocolate, kids' activities, goodie bags and prize drawings. If you have a hot car, bring it out and show it off. Prizes will be given for the most festively decorated vehicles on display. Free. www.fultonranchshopping.com/townecenter.


Ballet Etudes presents The Nutcracker: today through Sunday, Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave.; Dec. 12 to 14 and 19 to 21, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. $9 to $28. www.balletetudes.net or www.chandlercenter.org.


Phoenix Symphony Christmas Pops: 8 p.m. tonight, 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow, 2 p.m. Sunday, Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St. $26 to $76. (602) 495-1999 or www.phoenixsymphony.org.


Rawhide's Cowboy Christmas: today through Sunday, Dec. 12 to 14 and 19 to 23, Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass, 5700 W. North Loop Road on the Gila River Indian Community. The western town comes to life with entertainment and live music. Complete with an 80-foot tree and nightly tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m., Santa will arrive by horse drawn carriage. Guests are invited to enjoy festive stage performances at the Six Gun Theater and ride the Snowball Express Train through the Snow Cave tunnel and past the decorated old town of Largo. Free admission and parking. (480) 502-5600 or www.rawhide.com.


Saturday, Dec. 6

‘Joy to the Herd' Holiday Party: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and tomorrow, Shamrock Farms, 40034 W. Clayton, Stanfield. Enjoy 15 tons of snow and visits with Santa and the farm's lovable spokescow, Roxie, as well as chef demonstrations, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and coffee, holiday crafts and face painting. The last tour will be at 1 p.m. Tickets, $10 per person, include all activities. Lunch is available for purchase. Reservations required to (602) 477-2462 or RoxieTour@shamrockfoods.com. Information, directions: www.shamrockfarmstour.com.


European ‘Mistletoe' Market: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Promenade at Fulton Ranch, 4995 S. Alma School Road, Chandler. Presented by AJ's Fine Foods. Browse the booths of more than 20 local artists and fine crafters selling jewelry, pottery, paintings, glassware, baby items and more. Santa will visit from 10 a.m.  to 1 p.m., and kids will enjoy holiday face painting and a craft workshop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pete Pancrazi will perform favorite holiday tunes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plus, AJ's will raffle off a gift basket valued at $150 and select Fulton Ranch merchants will offer sampling, giveaways and special offers. www.fultonranchshopping.com/promenade.


Cookies and Cocoa with Santa: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Historic Heritage Square, 115 N. 6th St. Join Santa for cookies, cocoa and storytelling. Admission charged. Reservations: (602) 261-8949.


Bodies in Motion Dance Company Holiday Open House: noon to 3 p.m., 1334 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 12. The open house is for ages 2 to 18 looking to begin their dancing careers in January. Classes range in styles from traditional ballet, tap, and jazz, to hip-hop, music video and break dancing. All new students who attend the open house and sign up for the spring session will get the month of January free. (480) 283-1993 or bimdance@gmail.com.


F.Q. Story Historic District 24th Annual Holiday Home Tour: 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Seventh to Fifteenth avenues on West Lynwood. Features 10 Tudor, spanish Revival, Bungalow and English Cottage homes dating from the early 1920s decorated for the holidays. www.fqstory.org.


21st Annual Messiah Choir presents Handel's Messiah: 6:30 p.m., South Mountain Community College Performance Hall, 7050 S. 24th St. General seating tickets, $10, are available at Showup.com. (602) 243-8353.


19th Annual Parade of Lights and Tumbleweed Tree Lighting: 4:30 to 9 p.m., Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler. Features music, entertainment, food and beverage vendors, arts and crafts, and plenty of family fun. The events are free; however, there are some minimal charges for food, beverages and some kids interactive amusements. Next to the Tumbleweed Tree is Santa's House, where kids can get their picture taken with the jolly old elf. The parade begins at 7 p.m. and travels north on Arizona Avenue from Chicago Street to Buffalo Street, the route then turns east to Arizona Place, then proceeds south to its conclusion at Boston Street. The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held in the park immediately following the parade at approximately 7:45 p.m. (480) 782-2735.


Winter Wonderland Dinner/Dance: Paragon Dance Studio, 931 E. Elliot Road, Tempe. Mix, mingle and appetizers at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., dancing the night away until midnight. Hosted by First Call Singles and City of Grace, Mesa. Singles of the valley are invited to dress up (semi-formal), and mix and mingle with other singles of the valley, celebrating the birth of our Savior. Registration, $40, is due Dec. 1 by calling Andrea at (480) 354-3799 or e-mailing karaoke51@yahoo.com.


22nd annual APS Electric Light Parade: 7 p.m., starts on Central Avenue just north of Montebello Avenue, moves south on Central to Camelback Road, east to Seventh Street and south to Indian School Road. The theme is "Preserving a Family  Holiday Tradition," and the parade will feature illuminated floats, marching bands, performance units and helium balloons. (602) 534-FEST (3378).


Childsplay presents The Velveteen Rabbit: through Dec. 21, Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. Recommended for ages three and older. (480) 350-2822 or www.Childsplayaz.org.


Sunday, Dec. 7

Chandler Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert: 3 and 6 p.m., Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9248 E. Riggs Road, Sun Lakes. The program will feature orchestral and choral selections in the holiday spirit and the ever popular Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson. Proceeds will be divided between the Symphony and Neighbors Who Care. Donation tickets, $10, may be obtained by calling (480) 895-9001.


Christmas Party: 4 p.m. Dec. 7, 4 p.m. Horizon Presbyterian Church, 1401 E. Liberty Lane. A party for all ages (especially for the young), featuring games, singing, dinner, fun and maybe even Santa Claus (he's invited). (480) 460-1480.


Homemade ‘Tamales to Go' for the holiday season: through Dec. 31 (except Dec. 25), Aunt Chilada's, 2021 Baseline Road, Tempe (Baseline Road and I-10). Flavors include red chile beef tamales or green corn tamales with green chiles and cheese. Orders can be purchased by the half dozen for $12 or a baker's dozen for $24 and come with chips and salsa. All tamales are handmade fresh daily, so advance orders are required. (602) 431-6470.


Monday, Dec. 8

Cocktails and Caroling: 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Road, lobby. A festive evening of song and entertainment includes a champagne toast and holiday carols with Nicole Pesce and Jeffrey Hattrick. $30. Reservations: (602) 522-6644.


Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold: through Dec. 21, Theater 4301, Galleria Corporate Center, 4343 N Scottsdale Road. www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org.


Yuletide Tea: Noon and 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays through Dec. 11, then daily Dec. 15 to 30 (excluding Dec. 25 and Mondays), Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Road, lobby lounge. Traditional holiday tea presented in a luxurious and festive setting and featuring fresh-baked scones, savory finger sandwiches, delicious sweets and a generous selection of teas. $35 per adult, $45 with sparkling wine. (602) 522-6644.


Tuesday, Dec. 9

Annual Holiday Forest of Trees, Cookie Decorating Contest and a visit from Santa Claus: 5 to 8 p.m., Arizona Grand Resort Fountain Circle, 8000 S. Arizona Grand Parkway. Pictures can be taken with Santa at $5 per photo. All proceeds will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Guadalupe. The lighting ceremony begins at 5 p.m. (602) 438-9000 or www.arizonagrandresort.com.


DVHS Holiday Concert: 7 p.m., Desert Vista High School Performing Arts Center, 16440 S. 32nd St. The Orchestra Ensembles, Guitar Ensembles, Ballet Company and A Cappella Choir will present an evening of traditional holiday music, dance and song. A charitable collection will also take place to benefit middle school-aged children in our local area for the holiday season, to be distributed by The Kyrene Resource Center. Consider a toy/gift card appropriate for boys and girls ages 10 to 14. Look for the box in the foyer of the auditorium. Tickets are $5 each, ages 7 and under are free. Light refreshments will be served and a raffle will take place for some great prizes. Allison, (480) 704-1184.


Wednesday, Dec. 10

Phoenix Symphony presents Handel's Messiah: today through Dec. 21. Performances range from the popular Messiah Highlights concerts to the complete oratorio to a sing-along. The nearest performance will be Messiah Highlights at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Foothills Baptist Church, 15450 S. 21st St. www.phoenixsymphony.org or (602) 495-1999.


Thursday, Dec. 11

K-Bella Salon Client Appreciation and Holiday Open House: 6 to 9 p.m., 1339 E. Chandler Blvd. Features giveaways and a free informative educational seminar by Prophet Skincare. Cheese, wine and refreshments will be served. Tammy, (480) 460-7071.


The Snow Queen: today through Dec. 20, Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. Third St. Presented by Phoenix Center Youth Theater. Adapted by Lynn Brittney from the lovable folktale by Hans Christian Anderson. $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors. Show time is 7 p.m., with two additional Saturday afternoon performances Dec. 13 and 20 at 12:30 p.m. (602) 262-4627.


Teddy Bear Tea: noon and 3 p.m. Fridays to Sundays through Dec. 14, Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Road, Tea Lobby. Features a charming Victorian-style tea, complete with a visit from Mr. Ted E. Bear, story time, holiday carols and Teddy Bear dance. Weekend seating to also include Club Bar location. $35 per adult, $25 per child. Reservations: (602) 522-6644.


ZooLights: 6 to 10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 10, Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway. A larger than life lighted orangutan will greet you at the entrance while other primate light displays swing through the trees above your head! When the sun goes down and the animals go to sleep, the Phoenix Zoo transforms into one of the largest holiday lighting events in the southwest with 2.5 million lights and more than 400 light sculptures from small stars to life size giraffe, elephants and orangutans. Gate admission: $9, $7 for Zoo members. ZooLights Plaza Package: $20, $15 for Zoo members (advance purchase only). Children two and under are free. www.phoenixzoo.org or (602) 273-1341.


Friday, Dec. 12

Ballet Arizona presents The Nutcracker 2008: today through Dec. 28, Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St. The show fuses the classic ballet with avant-garde, innovative style and choreography, elaborate sets and lavish costumes. For show times and tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com/baz or call (602) 938-2787.


Ahwatukee Children's Theatre presents A Christmas Carol: 7 p.m. tonight and Dec. 19, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 20, 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 21, 5051 E. Elliot Road. Features great music and a heart-warming tale. Tickets, $15, available by calling (480) 705-9319. For information, visit www.azact.org.


Glenn Yarborough presents "The Forgotten Carols:" 7:30 p.m., Arizona State University Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Suitable for the whole family. $32.50 to $40. www.glennyarborough.com, (480) 596-2660, www.asukerr.com, (480) 784-4444 or www.ticketmaster.com.


Holly Jolly Christmas: through Dec. 25, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 5247 E. Brown Road, Mesa. Join Mr. and Mrs. Claus as they share in the traditions of the season. Adult tickets range from $45 to $54 and include a buffet meal. Tickets for children 12 and under are $22. Show only seats are $28. (480) 325-6700 or www.BroadwayPalmWest.com.


Saturday, Dec. 13

Breakfast with Santa: 8 to 10 a.m., St. Stevens Parish Great Room, 28247 S. Dobson Road, Sun Lakes. Features music, picture with Santa, breakfast and small gift for children 8 and under. $5 per person. Call (480) 895-9266 for reservations - ask for Santa's helper.


Green Holiday Arts Festival: 8:30 to 4 p.m., Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 6400 W. Del Rio St., Chandler. Features handcrafted works by local artists, many of which use environmentally friendly processes and products in their work. Lunch will be served at a modest price, with proceeds going to the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. Children can make holiday decorations from recyclables. (480) 899-4249.


Christmas for Kids: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lamb of God Lutheran Church, 599 E. Chandler Blvd. Parents can go shopping or get caught up on Christmas things while their kids (pre-kindergarten through fourth grade) learn about the birth of Jesus and do crafts, games and fun activities. There is no cost; only a suggestion of free-will donation. Registration: www.MyLambofGod.org.


Santa's Workshop: 10:15 to 11 a.m., Sunset Library Meeting Room, 4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler. Features stories, songs, fingerplays, games, crafts and a special visit from Santa. Free. (480) 782-2840.


Gingerbread House Workshops: noon to 2 p.m. today and Dec. 20, Roy's Chandler, 7151 W. Ray Road. Roy's Chef Ruben Huante will help youngsters create and decorate their very own Hawaiian gingerbread house followed by a keiki (kids) lunch for the children. Parents are welcome to stay. Complimentary light pupus (appetizers) will be on hand for them and a special lunch menu will be available at an additional cost. $35 per child (includes supplies and keiki lunch). (480) 705-7697.


The Quiltmakers Gift: 1 p.m. today, 1 and 3 p.m. tomorrow; 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 20; 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 21, Phoenix Theatre's Cookie Company, 100 E. McDowell Road. Ahwatukee Foothills residents in the case include: Stephanie Coronado, Eric Boudreau and Dion Johnson. A free copy of the book will be presented to every family. All tickets are $15, with Target Matinee Series tickets (3 p.m. performances) priced at $7.50. All ticket prices exclude handling fees. An autograph session and milk and cookies follow all Cookie Company performances. www.PhoenixTheatre.com or (602) 254-2151.


Phoenix Children's Chorus Holiday Concert and Silent Auction: Concerts at 2 and 7 p.m., silent auction and pre-concert reception at 1 and 6 p.m., Camelback Bible Church 3900 E. Stanford. Sonoran Brass Quintet & Desert Bells International are guest artists. Advance tickets are $17.50 and $10 (all tickets $20 at the door). (602) 534-3788.


"Paws with Claus," Pet Photos with Santa: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and tomorrow, Malinda's Pampered Pets, 4302 E. Ray Road. Photographers from the Arizona Golden Retriever Connection will take photos of you and all the two and four-legged members of your family. A basic photo package is $25 and includes two prints of the best photos along with a CD featuring all the photos. Donations will help rescue, rehabilitate and place abandoned golden retrievers in new homes. Each AZGRC dog receives a full health check, is spayed, neutered, microchipped, licensed and tested for common diseases like heartworm and Valley Fever. AZGRC "invests" an average of $1,000 in each dog it rescues. (480) 753-5766 or (602) 870-0037.


APS Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade: 4 to 9 p.m., boat parade at 7 p.m., Tempe Town Lake. Features as many as 50 decorated watercraft lighting up the night with thousands of holiday lights. Metro Valley's LED installation on the Tempe Town Lake Bridge will provide a special display. Special exhibits, musical entertainment, and kids' activities start at 4 p.m. in Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Fifty tons of snow adds a seasonal atmosphere for kids' enjoyment. The event concludes with a dazzling fireworks grand finale. Free and open to the public. www.millavenue.com or (480) 921-2300, ext. 19.


Eighth Annual Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding: 7:30 p.m., Dodge Theatre, 400 W. Washington St. Music and entertainment fans of all kinds are invited to celebrate the holiday season with Alice Cooper and his touring band as they perform the entire smash album, Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits. Acts also include Bob Welch (formerly of Fleetwood Mac), Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, F5, Runaway Phoenix, Les Stroud and Whisky Falls. Special guest and Iron Chef America winner, Mark Tarbell, will help to inspire the holiday spirit by whipping up a special batch of Christmas pudding for all attendees. Additionally, winners of this year's Proof is in the Pudding, Arizona's own version of American Idol, will also show off their talents. General admission tickets are $33 to $63. VIP seating is $203 and includes a seat in front of the stage, an artist attended pre-show reception and dinner. All proceeds will benefit Solid Rock, whose mission is to make an everlasting difference in the lives of children and teens throughout our community. Tickets are available at LiveNation.com. For concert information, visit www.alicepudding.com.


Sonoran Desert Chorale performs "Peace On Earth:" 7:30 p.m. tonight at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Ave., Mesa, and 3 p.m tomorrow at Camelback Bible Church, 3900 E. Stanford Drive, Paradise Valley. Tickets - $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors - available by calling (480) 305-4538 or at the door.


Small Works of Art holiday exhibit: through Dec. 24, Art on Boston, 11 W. Boston St., Suite 1, Downtown Chandler. A free reception for all artists will be from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight (Dec.13), with refreshments and live music. (480) 917-1112 or www.ArtOnBoston.com.


Sunday, Dec. 14

Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix Christmas Concert: 3 p.m., Desert Foothills Lutheran Church, 29305 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Reception follows. Free; a goodwill offering will support the church's music ministry. pastor@dflc.org.


Monday, Dec. 15

Phoenix Boys Choir presents Carols From Around The World: tonight through Dec. 21. Celebrate the holidays with traditional American holiday music and carols from countries around the world. Schedule: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15, American Lutheran Church of Sun City, 17200 Del Webb Blvd.; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Orpheum Theater, 203 W. Adams St.; and 5 p.m. Dec. 21, Chaparral Christian Church, 6451 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale. $25 preferred seating, $20 general admission, $18 for seniors, $10 for youth. All seats $30 at the door. (602) 264-5328, ext. 21 or www.phoenixboyschoir.org.


Tuesday, Dec. 16

E Women Network annual Holiday Tea: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ritz Carlton, 2401 E. Camelback Road. The event is open to non-members for $75 and is an opportunity for businesswomen to network and meet other business owners in the area. (480) 429-6997.


Wednesday, Dec. 17

Y OPAS (Outreach Program for Ahwatukee Seniors) Holiday Party: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ahwatukee Foothills YMCA, 1030 E. Liberty Lane. Lunch and holiday entertainment for Y OPAS seniors and volunteers. RSVP to (602) 212-6088 and let them know if you need transportation.


Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Holiday Open House: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 10235 S. 51st St., Suite 185. Celebrate holiday cheer with the Chamber. Bring an unwrapped toy or canned good or $5 for admittance per person. Enjoy cider, spirits and goodies. Photos available with Santa ($10). To purchase a raffle ticket or for more information, visit www.ahwatukeechamber.com or email julia@ahwatukeechamber.com.


Thursday, Dec. 18

Chanukah Storytime: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Sunset Library Meeting Room, 4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler. Hear favorite Chanukah stories and delight in decorating your own wooden dreidel. There will be reading, fingerplays, crafts, holiday music, hot latkes and lots of fun! Part of the Holiday Story Hour Series. All ages welcome. No registration required. (480) 782-2840.


Phoenix Chorale presents Home for the Holidays: tonight through Dec. 21. Featuring the The Sonoran Brass Quintet and the Phoenix Chorale perform music to celebrate the holiday season. www.phoenixchorale.org or (602) 253-2224.


Friday, Dec. 19

Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet presents The Nutcracker: 2 and 7 p.m. today and tomorrow, Desert Vista High School Fine Arts Theatre, 16440 S. 32nd St. Ahwatukee Foothills resident Kendall Glover, 9, plays Clara, and Santa Claus will make a special appearance following both 2 p.m. performances. Assigned seating tickets, $12 to $25, are available at Kimberly Lewis School of Dance, 3820 E. Ray Road, Suite 8, or by e-mailing ahwatukeenutcracker@yahoo.com or calling (480) 706-6040. Information: http://afnutcracker.com.


Cookies and Photos with Santa: 4 to 7 p.m., Historic McCullough-Price House, 300 S. Chandler Village Drive, Chandler. Enjoy cookies, create a holiday ornament, visit with Santa and have your photo taken. All ages welcome. Free, photos are $5. Registration not required. (480) 782-2876.


Phoenix Symphony Baroque Ensemble performs a Baroque Christmas: today through Sunday. Features Vivaldi's Magnificat and other works honoring the Christmas tradition by baroque composers from France, Germany and Italy. Schedule: 7:30 p.m. tonight, American Lutheran Church, 17200 N. Del Webb, Sun City; 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Ascension Lutheran Church, 7100 N. Mockingbird Lane, Paradise Valley; 3 p.m. Sunday, Bethany Bible Church, 6060 N. Seventh Ave. www.phoenixsymphony.org or (602) 495-1999.


Sunday, Dec. 21

Teddy Bear Tea in the Grand Ballroom: noon and 3 p.m. today through Tuesday, Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Road. This magical holiday tradition includes story time with Mrs. Claus, a visit from the Teddy Bear, puppet show, balloons and a visit from Santa Claus. $35 per adult, $25 per child. Reservations: (602) 522-6644.


Choralaires of Phoenix present Christmas at Kerr: 3 p.m., Arizona State University Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. $15. (480) 596-2660, www.asukerr.com, (480) 784-4444 or www.ticketmaster.com.


Monday, Dec. 22

Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir in Concert: 7:30 p.m., Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St. Tickets, $38, available at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts box office at (480) 994-ARTS (2787) or online at www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org.


Tuesday, Dec. 23

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker: 7:30 p.m., Dodge Theatre, 400 W. Washington St. Features spectacular sets and beautifully costumed Russian dancers. Special ticket offer: four-pack of reserved tickets $60 plus applicable fees. Reserved tickets, $28 to $85, available at www.livenation.com and the box office. To charge by phone call (480) 784-4444.


Wednesday, Dec. 24

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service: 5 or 8 p.m. Dec 24, Horizon Presbyterian Church, 1401 E. Liberty Lane. Each service will include Biblical readings of and singing about the Christmas Story. A candlelight celebration ends the service. The earlier service is typically attended by families with children. All are welcome. (480) 460-1480. 


Annual celebration - A Jewish Tradition ... Chinese Food and a Movie: 5 p.m. dinner, 6 p.m. movie, Temple Emanuel Social Hall, 5801 S. Rural Road, Tempe. BYOB and bring nosh food or dessert to share. RSVP required by Dec. 21. Your check is your reservation (no exceptions). $13 for adults, $18 for non-members, $7 for children (13 and under), $12 for non-members. Nanci, (480) 838-1414 or www.emanueloftempe.org.


Christmas Eve Dinner: 5:30 to 9 p.m., Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Road. A limited à la carte menu and children's menu will be available, as guests enjoy the holiday spirit and décor in bistro 24. Reservations: (602) 522-6644.


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: 6 p.m., Lamb of God Lutheran Church, 599 E. Chandler Blvd. The theme is "The Words of Christmas." www.MyLambofGod.org.


Thursday, Dec. 25

Christmas Day Carol Service: 9:30 a.m., Lamb of God Lutheran Church, 599 E. Chandler Blvd. www.MyLambofGod.org.


Christmas Day Brunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Road, bistro 24. A personal visit by Santa is anticipated. $75 for adults, $35 for children 5 to 12. Reservations: (602) 522-6644.


Christmas Day meals: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Phantom Horse Grill at Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 S. Arizona Grand Parkway. $39.95 for adults, $15.95 for children 12 and under. (602) 438-9000 or www.arizonagrandresort.com.


Friday, Dec. 26

Holidays at The Heard: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Jan. 4, Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave. Experience Southwestern and American Indian culture with artist demonstrations and hands-on activities. Enjoy frybread and hot cocoa or apple cider along with American Indian music and dance performances including Navajo and Hopi dancers as well as crowd favorites like hoop dancing and fancy dancing - performances at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Enjoy 10 exhibit galleries and two exhibits that feature hands-on craft activities and artwork for families. Included in general museum admission. (602) 252-8848 or www.heard.org.


Swim with Santa in the heated indoor wave pool: 1 to 3 p.m. today and tomorrow, Kiwanis Recreation Center, 6111 All-America Way, Tempe. The whole family is invited to relax with and thank Santa for their holiday gifts. Free prizes. $6 for ages 13 and older, $3 for ages 2 to 12 ($4 and $2 in advance). Children under the age of 8 must have an adult with them at all times while in the water. (480) 350-5201 or www.tempe.gov/kiwanis.


Wednesday, Dec. 31

New Year's Eve Dinner at Rawhide: 5:30 to 10 p.m., Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass, Steakhouse & Saloon, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler. Features a western four course menu. Admission and parking are free; dinner is $36 per person. Reservations: (480) 502-5600 or www.rawhide.com.


New Year's Eve Celebration at Rawhide: gates open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 9 p.m.; entry is available through the Mission Patio at 8:30 p.m., Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler. Enjoy an outdoor dinner (hot dog, hamburger or ribs) and complimentary sparkling beverage. Listen to sounds of the Steve Barker Band and be mystified by the magic of acclaimed magician, Dick Casey. Roast marshmallows around the campfire and listen to the rugged tales of western life from "Rough Rider" Digger Payne. The ball rises promptly at 11:50 p.m., and at midnight the patio explodes to usher in the New Year! Dance the night away to country tunes under the stars until 12:30 a.m. Rawhide admission and parking are free; the celebration is $45 for adults, $35 for children 12 and under and includes admission all town activities and the New Years Event. For the New Years Eve event only (after 8:30 p.m., the cost is $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. Reservations: (480) 502-5600 or www.rawhide.com.


Phoenix Symphony New Year's Eve Concert: 7 p.m., Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St. "The World's Longest Running Phantom," Franc D'Ambrosio, joins the Symphony to perform some of Broadway's biggest hits, concluding the evening with a New Year's tradition," Auld Lang Syne." Tickets, $26 to $76, include a complimentary glass of champagne. (602) 495-1999 or www.phoenixsymphony.org.


Phoenix Symphony New Year's Eve Gala: Westin Kierland Resort, 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale. Features performances by Valley favorite Dennis Rowland and Franc D'Ambrosio, "The World's Longest Running Phantom." Tickets: (602) 452-0424.


New Year's Eve Gala: 8 p.m., The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Road. Features overnight accommodations; New Year's Eve dinner for two, including champagne toast, party hats and favors, balloons and live entertainment; overnight parking; and New Year's Day breakfast for two. $450 per room (single or double occupancy). www.ritzcarlton.com or (602) 522-6644. All rates are based upon availability.


New Year's Eve Party: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Arizona Grand Resort Grand Ballroom, 8000 S. Arizona Grand Parkway. Open to resort and dining guests only. Includes favors, a DJ and a special champagne toast at midnight. No charge for admission; cocktails will be available for purchase all night. Children will be allowed if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. (602) 438-9000 or www.arizonagrandresort.com.


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