Scottsdale’s Winter Top 10

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

With sunny skies and daily temps hovering around 72 degrees (22C) from December through mid-February, winter is the perfect season for exploring Scottsdale’s great outdoors on a desert tour, attending one of our signature events or celebrating the holidays with Southwestern flair. Here are just so many of the many reasons you'll love visiting Scottsdale in the winter.


Go Off-Road

Experience the rugged beauty of the Sonoran Desert on an off-road tour by Jeep, Hummer or Tomcar. The desert is your playground as you bounce along rough-and-tumble trails and sandy desert washes. Keep your eyes open and you might spot desert wildlife like javelina, Gambel’s Quail, wild horses and birds of prey.


Take a Swing at Desert Golf

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


Discover Scottsdazzle

The holidays come to life Scottsdale-style during this annual, month-long celebration. Scottdazzle events take place from Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s Day and include the official Tree Lighting, Canal Concerts, Sugar Plum Avenue, Scottsdazzle ArtWalk, Santa Wine-Around and the Sweet Treat Trail.


Enjoy Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

This event’s centerpiece is a train ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through a winter wonderland of lights and displays. Santa will be joining the festivities on select days, so be sure to bring your wish list!


Ice Skate During Christmas 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, Santa’s Secret Headquarters and S’mores Land.


Experience Las Noches de las Luminarias

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.


Watch the Pros Play

Year after year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a.k.a. “The Greatest Show on Grass,” draws the largest crowds on the PGA TOUR to the TPC Scottsdale. Past champions include Rickie Fowler (2019), Gary Woodland (2018) and Hideki Matsuyama (2017, 2016). After dark, head over to the Bird’s Nest Music Festival where nationally renowned performers keep the energy flowing.


Celebrate Art

Connect with the art you love at Scottsdale’s annual Celebration of Fine Art. 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.


Rev-up for Fun

If you love cars, don’t miss Scottsdale Auto Auction Week in January when several of the nation’s top auctions roll into town with thousands of classic and collector automobiles. Shows take place in mid-January and include Barrett-Jackson, Gooding & Company, Russo & Steele and RM Sotheby’s.


Get your Western on at the 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!