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What To Do in Scottsdale This Holiday Season

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Imagine your holidays full of sunny skies and warm winter temperatures – a place to experience a dreamy winter wonderland without a snow shovel and freezing temps. Enter Scottsdale, AZ.! Here, resort winter wonderlands, farm-fresh season eatings, holiday events, and millions of glittering lights will put some serious sparkle in your season.

 


Resort Winter Wonderlands

holidays

Every year, Scottsdale’s resorts transform into enchanting winter wonderlands swathed in all the splendor of the season. In true Fairmont style, “Christmas at the Princess” features a four-story musical Christmas tree, desert ice skating rink, and Santa’s Secret Headquarters. At The Phoenician, posh holiday offerings include a festive Holiday Tea and the Cactus Garden Light Tour. Get your taste buds in the holiday spirit at Hotel Valley Ho with ZuZu’s famous “Show Stopper” Shakes. In Nov., enjoy the Caramel Dream Shake — a vanilla milkshake topped with caramel sauce, cinnamon milk crumb, candied pecans, cinnamon roll bread pudding, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. Dec.’s shake, Let It Snow, is a hot cocoa milkshake topped with a snowman chocolate creme puff, candy cane milk crumb, gingerbread man cookie, chocolate tree cupcake, mini marshmallow, red and green sugar, and whipped cream. YUM!

 


Season’s Eatings

Thanksgiving Dinner_Stock

Dining in Scottsdale during the holidays is a delicious journey through menus that plait your traditional favorite dishes with indigenous Sonoran Desert ingredients and on-trend culinary techniques – think maple bourbon-glazed ham, lobster bisque or delicious prime rib, just for starters. Seasonally inspired craft cocktails and decadent desserts round out a festive holiday meal that’s worth every calorie. 

 


Festive Special Events

Scottsdazzle Canal

Get your glow on at Scottsdale’s seasonal special events. Scottsdazzle is a month-long celebration of all things holiday, from tree lightings and Santa Wine Arounds to a Holly Jolly Painting Party and Seasonal Charcuterie Teach & Taste. Experience a Southwestern holiday tradition at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Las Noches de Las Luminarias, which features 8,000 hand-lit luminarias, live music, and festive drinks. Or climb aboard Verde Canyon Railway’s Christmas Train for a magical ride to the North Pole.

 


Holiday Light Spectaculars

zoolights

When it comes to holiday lights, more is always better! ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo shines with a three-story Christmas tree, millions of lights in whimsical animal-shaped displays and the new Wildlife Lantern Safari, featuring more than 60 creatures all aglow! Take a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through a wonderland of lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park or enjoy a dazzling light display at Enchant, Scottsdale's newest attraction presented by the Hallmark Channel. And with three Valley of the Sun locations (Glendale, N. Phoenix and Tempe Diablo Stadium), World of Illumination is the country’s largest drive-thru holiday extravaganzas, featuring millions of lights synchronized to your favorite holiday tunes.

 

To plan your Scottsdale holiday getaway, click here!