Scottsdale, Arizona is the perfect winter destination. With sunny skies and temperatures around 72 degrees from December through mid-February, winter is the perfect season to visit Scottsdale. Scottsdale has many amazing winter events to help fill your trip with memories for years. Here is our list of the top Scottsdale winter events!
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. If you want to experience the holidays with amazing views, festive lights, and an overall amazing atmosphere, you need to experience Scottsdazzle.
If you grew up reading the beloved Christmas story or have watched the movie and wished for a similar experience, then your wishes have been granted. The Grand Canyon Tour Company allows you to have a similar experience where you are taken on a 1.5-hour ride from the Williams Depot to North Pole and back. It is one of the best things to do in winter in Scottsdale, AZ in November and December as you get to hear classic stories, drink hot cocoa, and eat cookies before you meet Santa and his reindeers. This experience is a real once in a lifetime opportunity to people of all ages to jump right into a childhood staple.
North Pole Experience
One of the fun things to do in Arizona in the winter for kids is to have a North Pole experience. The whole activity lets you sneak peek into Santa’s workshop. The activity takes place in Little America Hotel where kids are taken on a trolley ride to the North Forest covering attractions like Santa’s mailroom, toy factory, Mrs. Claus’ Bakery, and Elf University. It is one of the most exciting Phoenix winter activities during Christmas.
Holiday Events at the Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is putting on some magical events for the holidays, and you’ll want to be there! Visit in October for Pumpkin Fest #AtThePrincess, featuring a pumpkin patch, brand new cider orchard, (including a flaming hard cider!) Jack O’ Lantern Lawn & Lane, fireworks and more. Come back in December for the Christmas at the Princess Experience and enjoy the holiday spirit with the Enchanted Plaza, 5 Million Holiday Lights, Desert Ice Skating Rink and much more.
Las Noches de las Luminarias
Every Scottsdale winter 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. The Botanical Garden is a beautiful sight to see on its own, but when it’s lined with thousands of handmade luminarias, it elevates the experience to must-see status.
Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo
When it comes to holiday lights, more is always better, and 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! The zoo is expertly decorated every year with an amazing display of lights, statues, and animals that take your traditional zoo visit to a festive level. The lights are viewable throughout the day, but at night the zoo really evolves into an amazing sight to see. We love to grab a warm cup of coffee and just explore the festive wonder presented in this amazing winter wonderland.
Arizona is all about magical places. One of these places is Glendale Glitters, where you will find 1.6 million LEDs on display across 16 blocks of Glendale. The display continues from Thanksgiving until January. Visiting this town during this time is indeed one of the best winter activities in Arizona to indulge in. Glendale has a rich past and history, making it one of the interesting places to visit in the state. This is no doubt one of the best things to do in Arizona in the winter.
Downtown Ice Skating
Probably one of the most unique events in the Phoenix Metro area is the downtown ice rink. A winter ice rink is nothing too surprising, but the fact you can ice skate while its only 70 degrees outside makes this a must-visit event. The downtown ice rink is set up in the middle of the closed street and provides for a very interesting way to get out on the ice.
It’s no secret that Arizona has some of the best golf courses in the country. Combine that with wintertime in Scottsdale, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a great time. Troon North is a “must play” – a fun and challenging course surrounded by beautiful mountains. Camelback Golf Club, Grayhawk Golf Club, and McCormick Ranch Golf Club are also notable courses. Whether you’re considered a rookie or a pro, a game of golf should definitely be on your list of things to do this winter in Scottsdale. Not only can you get out on the course yourself, but there is also the presentation of the greatest event on grass. If you’re more interested in watching golf than playing it, the Waste Management Phoenix Open happens every year in late January. This stop on the PGA tour is the largest attended tournament in the world, a giant outdoor party, and a fan favorite.