Scottsdale’s Winter Top 10

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Winter in Scottsdale is about as perfect as it gets. Think sunny, blue skies and daily highs hovering near 72 degrees (22C) from December though mid-February. It’s a great season for exploring Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert, playing a round of championship golf or taking in one of our signature events. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to play in Scottsdale’s warm winter wonderland!

 


Explore the Sonoran Desert

Family Hiking

Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert is a natural playground that welcomes you to get out and explore. Options include scenic hikes in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Pinnacle Peak Park (above), rugged off-road tours, hot air balloon flights and paddle boarding or kayaking on our local lakes and rivers. Best of all, no experience is required! Scottsdale’s adventure outfitters have everything you need for a fun, safe desert adventure! 

 


Take a Swing at Desert Golf

Golf Diversity

The Scottsdale area is home to more than 200 golf courses, including desert target-style beauties like GrayhawkTroon North and TPC Scottsdale. These courses are as thrilling as they are scenic, offering golfers of all levels a chance to test their skills and enjoy the round of a lifetime.

 


Discover Scottsdazzle

Scottsdazzle

Scottsdazzle is a month-long celebration of the holiday season with more than 15 signature events taking place from Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s Eve. This year’s festive happenings include the Sing-Along Tree Lighting Ceremony, Yuletide Yoga classes, a Winemaker Dinner, Merry Make & Take workshops and Sparkle & Spin Scavenger Hunts – just to name a few! 

 


Enjoy Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Holidays at McCormick-Stillman

Hop on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad for a magical ride through a winter wonderland of holiday lights and displays! Santa will be joining the festivities on select days, so be sure to bring your wish list. Other highlights include rides on the historic Charros Carousel, model railroad displays and hot cocoa (and more!) at Hartley’s General Store. All aboard!

 


Ice Skate During Christmas at the Princess

Desert Ice Skating at the Princess

Celebrate the splendor of the season at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess! Each year, the resort transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland complete with a four-story musical Christmas tree, Desert Ice Skating Rink and, new for 2021, The Village, which features sledding on Snow Mountain, an Ice Maze and Frosty’s Ferris Wheel.

 


Experience Las Noches de las Luminarias

Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden

Every holiday season, the trails of the Desert Botanical Garden glow with the light of more than 8,000 hand-lit luminarias and thousands of twinkling white lights. Live entertainment, hot cocoa and mulled cider add to the ambiance. This year’s event will shine even more brightly with the inclusion of "Chihuly in the Desert," a collection of illuminated glass masterpieces by renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

 


Watch the Pros Play

Waste Management Phoenix Open

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has gained legendary status for combining the game’s top pros, superb weather and a party-like atmosphere unlike any other stop on the PGA TOUR – especially on the notorious 16th hole. Spend the day enjoying top-notch competition between the biggest names in professional golf, then head over to the Coors Light Birds Nest for live music by some of the country’s top bands and performers. 

 


Celebrate Art

Celebration of Fine Art

For more than 30 years, the Celebration of Fine Art has been the unrivaled place for art lovers and artists to connect. This juried, invitational show and sale features more than 40,000 square feet of working studios and works of art by 100 renowned and emerging artists from across the country. The Celebration takes place annually from mid-January through March and also includes Art Discovery Series events and an on-site café and sculpture courtyard.

 


Rev-up for Fun

Barrett-Jackson

Collector cars from around the world cruise into town every January for the Scottsdale Auto Auctions. This automotive extravaganza is a nine-day series of individual events, each designed to thrill novice and experienced collectors alike. From lovingly restored classics and shiny muscle cars to sleek-and-sexy European models, you’ll find your dream machine at this year’s Scottsdale Auto Auctions, which include Barrett-JacksonGooding & Company and Russo & Steele.

 


Giddy Up for the Parada del Sol Parade

Parada del Sol Parade

Gather your friends and family for the annual Parada del Sol Parade & Trail's End Festival, which takes place in early February each year! Hundreds of horses, riders and floats mosey along Scottsdale Road in Old Town. After the parade, join the Trail’s End Celebration, featuring live music, food, pony rides and games.

 

Check out our Weather page for current conditions, average monthly temperatures and top 10 lists for all the seasons!