SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 29, 2021) – Twinkling lights, crisp and cool Sonoran Desert air, and flurries – of activity, not snow – can only mean one thing; it’s almost winter in Scottsdale. Travelers can discover modern eateries, sensational resort packages, joyous holiday events and so much more worth a visit this season.
WALKIN’ IN A WINTER WONDERLAND
THE BIG NEWS: As if sunny skies and cool temperatures aren’t reason enough for a winter visit, Scottsdale’s “Secret Season,” – the merry moments between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve – brings 30 percent lower resort rates than in peak season (with the same prime weather). HolidaysInScottsdale.com is the ultimate guide to the best rates, holiday lights, attractions, and merriment.
SEVERAL WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON:
- Nov. 16, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022: A glittering tradition, Christmas at the Princess offers a winter wonderland so enchanting, visitors will forget they’re in the desert. Activities include a Desert Ice Rink, S’mores Land, Lagoon Lights – as seen by the Princess Express Train – and this year, The Village, where adventurers sled down the 120-foot Snow Mountain.
- Observe endless lights from the coziness of the car this season. Starting Nov. 19, the Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields will twinkle with five million lights, magical displays and Santa’s Village. Or, climb aboard the train at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park starting Nov. 26 for a holiday lights ride through the park.
- Find shimmering saguaro cacti and succulents at Desert Botanical Garden’s Las Noches de Las Luminarias commencing Dec. 3. Head next door for a walk or drive through ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo, launching Nov. 24 and featuring music-in-motion light shows and a special one-night engagement, Sensory-Friendly ZooLights.
- Nov. 27-Dec. 31: Scottsdazzle, Old Town Scottsdale’s annual holiday extravaganza returns, kicking off with the signature Sing-Along & Tree Lighting Ceremony and other events like Meet Santa, Wine Dazzle, Small Business Saturday, Gold Palette ArtWalk, and Wonderland Whiskey Tasting.
- Dec. 2: Celebrate the evening in style at The Shops at Gainey Village with the return of the free Holiday Wine & Dine. Enjoy live music, horse and carriage rides, holiday confections, photos with St. Nick, and complimentary wine tastings.
- To round out a holiday getaway for the whole family, don’t miss stopping at thrilling Scottsdale attractions including Mavrix, OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland to make memories to last a lifetime.
THE BIG NEWS: On Oct. 25, several local Scottsdale businesses each launched new, interactive experiences that invite visitors to not just shop, watch, sip or eat, but immerse themselves in all that this city and its myriad diverse business owners and attractions have to offer. These 11 innovative, expertly curated, memorable experiences for tourists and residents alike can be found at ExceptionallyScottsdale.com.
THREE EXCEPTIONALLY SCOTTSDALE ACTIVITIES:
- LDV Winery’s “Le Nez du Vin” (the noise of wine), is an Arizona wine tasting incorporating aroma-based exercises to teach how to identify scents commonly found in wine. The educational tasting aims at providing even novice wine tasters with more confidence on the subject, making wine more approachable and fun.
- History buffs won’t want to miss Native Art Market for a chance to learn about aspects of Arizona’s Native American tribes by exploring dance, tribal customs, and craftsmanship of more than 200 Native artisans. After a cultural performance, guests enjoy a craft-making project to create an authentic dream catcher or beaded bracelet.
- Embark on a journey of health and wellness with Second Nature Clinic’s “The Ayurvedic Royals @Viva Ananda Bhavan: Rituals for Health & Wellness.” Visitors will uncover how to create and maintain balance through meditation, balancing one’s dosha, nutrition, and the six “tastes.”
STAY FOR THE SEASON
EIGHT UPDATES OF NOTE:
- Two resort kitchens in Scottsdale are buzzing with new culinary talent. Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Scottsdale announced the appointment of Executive Chef Dushyant Singh, from New Dehli, who plans to use the desert and flavors of the world as a guide for the menu. Meanwhile, ADERO named Kenneth Arneson as executive chef, who will use the resort’s stunning backdrop as inspiration for new, inventive, resort-wide menus.
- With the hustle and bustle of the holidays right around the corner, travelers can find tranquility at The Boulders Resort with the “ReTreat Yourself,” package, or celebrate in ultimate luxury with Sanctuary Resort’s, “Fall/Winter Villa Offer.” Opt for Camelback Inn’s, “Sip and Shop” package to get ahead of the gift-buying rush.
- W Scottsdale has released new resort packages tailored to fit each guest. For the foodie, select the, “Indulge Package,” for a $50 dining credit. Spa-goers can choose the, “Treat Yourself Package,” featuring a $100 credit to AWAY Spa.
- For those planning an event, in November, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch will debut Desert Garden, an outdoor venue set in a serene courtyard and comprised of a 1,600-square-foot lawn and a 3,700-square-foot patio. Over at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, the resort recently revealed a $2-million, 17,000-square-feet indoor meeting space renovation from top to bottom.
ART + ATTRACTIONS
FIVE TO SEE + DO:
- After an 18-month closure, Antelope Canyon has reopened. Explore with Wandering Heart Adventures to learn about the geology, culture and history of the picturesque canyon.
- This season, Taliesin West, the late Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, is debuting a full calendar of original programs and tours. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site through a series of art exhibits, theatre performances, tours and hands-on workshops including Southwest Shakespeare, Sunsets and Sips, or In a New Light Tour: Wright & Chihuly.
- On Dec. 3, Taliesin West and Desert Botanical Garden will open, “Chihuly in the Desert.” This stunning, large-scale exhibition by Dale Chihuly, activated in two iconic Arizona locations, showcases the American glass sculptor’s masterpieces which draw on color and light from the surrounding desert.
- The linksman can tee up at Eagle Mountain Golf Club, which recently completed a renovation and enhancement project focused on improving agronomic conditions and bunker playability. Or, play 18-holes at Grayhawk Golf Club, then refuel at one of the club’s four dining options, all with al fresco seating.
FOUR WAYS TO SIP + SAMPLE:
- The Vanilla Gorilla, a craft beer bar, has recently opened its doors in north Scottsdale. Sip on Arizona favorites including Wren House, the Shop Beer Co., and Arizona Wilderness while munching on bar bites or enjoying a quick game.
- Soon to open in Scottsdale is California-based Mexican bistro, Mama por Díos. This 9,200-square-foot establishment will highlight the best of Mexico through its flavors, aromas, colors, traditions and art.
- Coming to Scottsdale Waterfront is Buzzed Bull Creamery, an alcoholic and non-alcoholic frozen dessert concept that is the first in the U.S. to infuse alcohol into ice cream using liquid nitrogen for a “mad scientist experiment” effect.
- Head over to Carlson Creek Tasting Room to sip on the Arizona vineyard’s newly released winter wines. With four to choose from, sample the 2018 Rule of Three, 2018 Malbec, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2020 Odyssey.
ON OUR RADAR:
- Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley – a 215-room, 20-acre new-build opening in Fall 2022 – will have it all; exemplary service, views of Camelback Mountain, modern and sleek interiors, a 16,000-square-foot spa and a prime location.
- In 2023, Caesars Entertainment Corporation will open Caesars Republic Scottsdale, its first non-gaming hotel in the United States. The 11-story glass structure will house 256 rooms, a bar and coffee shop, two signature restaurants from Chef Giada De Laurentiis, a rooftop pool, and a fitness center.
- Accor, in conjunction with Dakota Development and DESCO Arizona, announced its plans to open SLS Scottsdale in June 2023. The property will house 235 hotel rooms with 30 luxury suites, two floors of entertainment space, plus on-property dining and a bar.
For more Scottsdale travel news and story ideas, visit www.scottsdalepressroom.com.
Laura McMurchie, Vice President of Communications
Christina Dicksen, Director of Communications
Emily Lawrence, Communications Manager
Megan Sawyer, Communications Coordinator