Through Dec. 24

Santa Claus is coming to Arizona Mills

Children of all ages are invited to visit Santa Claus in his special home at Arizona Mills. In addition, everyone is invited to visit Santa’s Sand Castle Wonderland, built from 75 tons of sand.

DETAILS>>10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 24 at Arizona Mills, food court, 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle in Tempe. Prices vary. (480) 491-9700 or visit


Through Dec. 24

Letters to Santa raise money for Make-A-Wish

Write a letter to Santa and help make wishes come true. The Macy’s Believe “Letters to Santa” is a campaign where Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish of America, up to $1 million, for every stamped “letter to Santa” delivered to Macy’s Believe stations found in every Macy’s store throughout the country. People of all ages are encouraged to participate by writing letters and/or forming letter writing campaigns at schools, churches and other community organizations.

DETAILS>>through Dec. 24. Visit www.macy’



Santa’s arrives at Ahwatukee Plaza

Don’t miss Santa’s arrival by helicopter to the Ahwatukee Plaza. Enjoy Goode Time Carolers and air bounce; Center Pointe Dance performance; balloon artistry of DJ the Clown, Ahwatukee Children’s Theater; New Life Children’s choir; Santa’s magic elves and magician.

DETAILS>>9 a.m. festivities begin; Santa arrives 11:30 a.m., Nov. 23 at the Ahwatukee Plaza, 5027 E. Elliot Road. (480) 893-3777.


Saturday, Nov. 24

Fantasy of Lights opening night parade

The Valley’s favorite hometown parade, more than 40 community units will comprise the parade, including floats, balloons, novelty units, and brightly decorated vehicles from families, organizations and companies.

DETAILS>>6 p.m. Nov. 24 at 3rd Street and Mill Avenue in Tempe. Free admission to spectators.


Sunday, Nov. 25

Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band holiday concert

Ahwatukee Foothills concert band presents its annual Holiday Concert this year with a performance. Get fully immersed in the holiday spirit with the 70 musicians of the band.

DETAILS>>3 p.m. Nov. 25 at Tempe Marketplace on the main stage next to Dave & Busters, 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. in Tempe.


Saturday, Dec. 1

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting, Parade of Lights

Experience a cool nighttime parade celebrating the holiday season. At approximately 8 p.m. watch the most unique Christmas tree light up the night. Additional activities include two stages of entertainment, vendor booths, and activities for the kids.

DETAILS>>4:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 in Historic downtown Chandler, Boston and San Marcos streets. Admission free.


Junie B. in ‘Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!’

Celebrate the holidays with the irrepressible Junie B. Jones. The kids in Room One are gearing up for a celebration. But when Junie draws tattletale May’s name for the secret Santa giveaway she hatches a plan to leave her nemesis with a stinky old lump of coal.

DETAILS>>1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 1-23 at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 Rio Salado Pkwy. (480) 350-2822,


Friday, Dec. 7

Las Noches de las Luminarias at DBG

The Desert Botanical Garden celebrates its 35th year of Las Noches de las Luminarias. Each night of Luminaria, the Garden comes to life with the glow from more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights.

DETAILS>>5:30 to 9:30 p.m., dates vary, at Desert Botantical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix. Non-members $25 for adults, $12.50 for children 3-12, children under 3 free.


Saturday, Dec. 8

Holiday Arts Festival

Annual Holiday Arts Festival at the Valley Universalist Congregation. The festival features quality original artwork in various mediums and is designed to provide a last minute opportunity to shop for unique holiday gifts from local artists. Proceeds support local charities.

DETAILS>>9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6400 W. Del Rio in Chandler. (480) 899-4249. Free.


Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

The Boat Parade will feature as many as 50 festively lighted boats of all sizes. After dark, more than 1,000 luminaria will illuminate the sidewalks of Tempe Beach Park. Special guest, Santa Claus, will hear children’s gift requests and will pose for photographs. Fireworks will light up the night also after the  parade.

DETAILS>>5 p.m. festivities begin; 7 p.m. boat parade begins, Dec. 8 at Tempe Beach Park, 54 W. Rio Salado Pkwy. Admission free. No viewing will be allowed from Mill Avenue bridges.


Saturday, Dec. 15

Lakewood winter festival, boat parade

A Lakewood annual winter festival and boat parade, which includes a visit from Santa, free food, live entertainment and fun. Vendors and volunteers are needed for this event.

DETAILS>>4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15 in Lakewood neighborhood between the two lakes. Call social chairperson Anders Berg, (480) 759-4120, for directions if needed or text Lakewoodfun90210 for map.


Tuesday, Dec. 20

Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band holiday concert

Ahwatukee Foothills concert band presents its annual Holiday Concert this year with two performances. Get fully immersed in the holiday spirit with the 70 musicians of band. Due to large crowds a second performance was added at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center.

DETAILS>>3 p.m. Dec. 15 or 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive.


Friday, Dec. 21

Ahwatukee Foothills ‘Nutcracker’ ballet

The Ahwatukee Foothills “Nutcracker” Ballet will be performed in December. The event features dolls that come to life, snow falls in the theater, a Christmas tree grows through the ceiling and angels dance on clouds. Tickets on sale now.

DETAILS>>7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 and 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 at Desert Vista High School, 16440 S. 32nd St. Limited seats available. (480) 706-6040 or online at for tickets.


• Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or

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