2020 Guide to The Best Holiday Lights Displays in Scottsdale

By local contributor
Emily Lawrence

Scottsdale is aglow with holiday light this season, and you won’t want to miss the city’s brightest spots. Most have been “reimagined” for 2020 to include health and safety precautions, but all still have the same spectacular holiday cheer!



November 6, 2020 - January 3, 2021*

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. A 32-foot tall Sunny the Snowman and retro-Santa will be there to welcome you. It’s a magical experience that will ignite your holiday spirit!

*There are two Illumination locations in the Valley of the Sun: Glendale and Tempe Diablo Stadium. Check the website for individual park operation dates, times, themes and ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased online only, no drive-up or gate transactions will be allowed.



November 7, 2020 - January 31, 2021

It’s a wild night for the whole family at ZooLights! Enjoy hundreds of glimmering displays as they light the way through the Phoenix Zoo. This can’t-miss holiday favorite features millions of sparkling lights, the Polar Slide, live reindeer and the Wildlife Lantern Safari, where you can see more than 60 creatures all aglow! Enjoy the classic walk-thru experience, or “Cruise the Zoo,” in their new Cruise ZooLights, from the comfort of your own vehicle.* ZooLights is bigger and brighter than ever!

*Cruise ZooLights are on select nights only and are anticipated to sell out quickly. Don’t wait!


Christmas at the Princess

November 20 - December 31, 2020

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 4.5 million Lagoon Lights. New this year, Christmas at the Princess is adding more space than ever, as well as plexi-glass shields between compartments on the Princess Express trains!


Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields

November 23 - December 31, 2020

New this year, Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields is sure to dazzle with their drive-thru experience. Featuring 5 million lights spread across 1.2 miles, the entire family will enjoy watching lights dancing to music that will be broadcast to a designated FM radio station. Take your experience to the next level by purchasing VIP Pass, which allows your group to skip the lines and enjoy a carriage ride through the event.  


Las Noches de las Luminarias

November 27 - December 31, 2020

Experience a magical, Southwestern holiday tradition at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Las Noches de Las Luminarias. Each evening features more than 8,000 hand-lit luminarias, thousands of white twinkle lights and live entertainment.

*Las Noches de Las Luminarias is on select dates from Nov. 27 - Dec. 31, 2020. Make sure to check the website for additional details and to purchase tickets in advance.



November 27, 2020 -January 1, 2021

Make your holidays shine with Scottsdazzle, a celebration of the season in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Enjoy free signature events, culinary demonstrations and family activities in each of the Old Town districts, plus breathtaking public art installations and a stunning illuminated Christmas tree at the Scottsdale Waterfront. The kick-off event for Scottsdazzle will begin with the "Scottsdazzle Stroll", on Friday, November 27, at 6:00 p.m.



November 27, 2020 – January  3, 2021

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, Nov. 27, will include their annual tree lighting ceremony! New this year, to adhere to safety protocols, the event will feature limited-capacity, one-hour blocks at 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. nightly and rides will be loaded at 50% capacity. Visit the website now for tickets so you’re sure to experience the magic of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park!


To plan your Scottsdale holiday getaway, click here!