Holiday Lights in Scottsdale

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Scottsdale is aglow with holiday light this season, and you won’t want to miss the city’s brightest spots!



November 14, 2018 – January 5, 2019

Illumination is the country’s largest drive-through animated holiday light show experience, featuring millions of brightly colored lights masterfully choreographed to your favorite holiday songs In addition to the drive-through light extravaganza, Illumination includes a marketplace filled with interactive activities for kids, arts and crafts, and visits with Santa. It’s a magical experience that will ignite your holiday spirit!

In addition to the flagship Illumination location in North Phoenix, a second park is opening this year at Tempe Diablo Stadium.  Be sure to check the website for individual park operation dates and times as well as ticket prices. 


Lights of the World

December 6, 2018 – February 3, 2019

The largest lantern festival in North America brightens the downtown Phoenix skyline at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Combining the age-old Chinese tradition of lanterns with cutting-edge technology and lights, Lights of the World features more than 75 stunning displays. It’s an unforgettable exploration of global cultures and cuisine!


Christmas at the Princess

November 20 - December 30, 2018

As one of the city’s brightest places to celebrate the holiday season, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess creates a backdrop for families and friends to enjoy a magical night and make memories that last a lifetime. The resort transforms into a sparkly winter wonderland complete with a four-story musical tree, desert ice skating rink, Princess Express trains, holiday character appearances and more than 3 million Lagoon Lights.



November 21, 2018 – January 13, 2019

Millions of glimmering displays light the way through the Phoenix Zoo each holiday season!  Enjoy millions of lights and a 200-foot-long Polar Slide™.  New this year — live reindeer, Stingray Bay and 4-D Theater included with admission.


Las Noches de las Luminarias

December 1 23  and 2631, 2018

Experience a magical, Southwestern holiday tradition at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Las Noches de Las Luminarias. This year will be more vibrant in sound and light than ever with the addition of Electric Desert:  A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective setting the stage for holiday magic at the Garden for 29 nights. Each evening will feature more than 8,000 hand-lit luminarias, thousands of white twinkle lights and the pulse of Electric Desert. At almost every turn, be greeted by the sights and sounds of live entertainment and engaging experiences.



November 24, 2018 – January 1, 2019

Make your holidays shine with Scottsdazzle, a celebration of the season the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Enjoy free signature events, concerts and festivals in each of the Old Town districts, plus breathtaking public art installations and a stunning illuminated Christmas tree at the Scottsdale Waterfront.


Christmas Lights Segway Tour

December 1 – 30, 2018

This is the 5th Annual Christmas Lights Segway Tour of Scottsdale! The lights in Old Town Scottsdale are bright and dazzling at night, and a Segway tour is a fun way to capture all the holiday charm. Wear your elf hats or your Santa costumes, sip warm apple cider and see the Scottsdale Christmas lights in a way that will be truly memorable!


Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

December 1 – January 6, 2019

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park lights up the night with one of the most unique holiday events in the Valley. Take a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through a winter wonderland of lights and displays. Opening night festivities on Nov. 30 include a tree lighting ceremony and a visit from Santa! And if you’d like to sing along to some holiday tunes, join the Goode Time Carolers Dec. 4-6 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


To plan your Scottsdale holiday getaway, click here!