’Twas the afternoon of Christmas and all through the house, presents were opened and appetites doused. Get away from the mess and out on the town; these are the places fun can be found.
Christmas Lights on the Mesa Arizona Temple Grounds
Prefer “Merry Christmas” to “Season’s Greetings”? Then this light display celebrating the birth of Christ might be up your alley. Hundreds of thousands of colorful lights illuminate the well-manicured gardens of the Mesa LDS Temple, and there’s a display of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. A collection of nativity scenes from around the world is on view in the visitors center. A free concert is 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
DETAILS >> 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 25. Open nightly through Dec. 31. Mesa LDS Temple, 525 E. Main St. Free admission. (480) 964-7164 or MesaChristmasLights.com
Golfland’s Winter Wonderland
Get in a game of goofy golf amid holiday decorations and lights at this mini golf course. When you tire of being outside, head into the castle: Its arcade, laser tag arena and pizza kitchen will be open, too.
DETAILS >> 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 25. Open daily through Jan. 5. Golfland-Sunsplash, 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa. Mini golf is $6.25-$7.25 per person. Laser tag is $3.24 or $6 per person. Arcade games are 25- to 75-cents per play or $8 to $12 for unlimited arcade cards. (480) 834-8319 or Golfland.com/mesa.
Stroll through a zoo aglow with millions of lights. New this year is a light show that takes visitors down the Yellow Brick Road to music from “The Wizard of Oz,” and the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and 20 flying monkeys are hidden throughout the park. Be sure to catch a dozen 12-foot tall floating light tubes, a 24-foot shimmering sphere, and 52 trees dancing to the beat of “Wizards in Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra; it’s back by popular demand.
DETAILS >> Opens 6 p.m. Dec. 25. Open nightly through Jan. 12, 2014. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway. $9-$14 per person; free for children 2 and younger. (602) 273-1341 or PhoenixZoo.org.
It’s not Rockefeller Center, but CityScape Phoenix, with its Christmas tree, twinkly lights and real outdoor ice rink, is about as close as we Valley of the Sun-ers can come to a festive urban holiday tableau.
Skate over the middle of Central Avenue with the tall buildings of Central Phoenix in view, or just sip a hot chocolate and watch while the kids slip and slide.
DETAILS >> Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dec. 25. Open daily through Jan. 13, 2014. CityScape Phoenix, between First Avenue and First Street and between Washington and Jefferson streets. Ice rink admission is $12 for most, $6 for kids younger than 3, and includes skate rental and unlimited skating. (602) 772-3900 or CitySkatePHX.com.
Ever been to the movies on Christmas Day? It’s as much a tradition for some families as trimming the tree and hanging stockings. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” were released earlier this month. Turn to our Movies section on for big titles out on Dec. 25
DETAILS >> Harkins Theatres screens these films. Find showtimes, theater locations and tickets at (480) 627-7777 or HarkinsTheatres.com.