Holiday Attractions and Events for a Merry Winter



There are few cities as warm, sunny and active as Phoenix in the winter, but it’s hard to deny that those 75-degree temperatures make it difficult to get into the holiday spirit. Thankfully, what the Valley lacks in chilly temperatures and snow days, it makes up for with a lot of festive events. From ice skating to holiday-themed pop-up bars, we’ve rounded up some of our top holiday attractions to ensure you enjoy your merriest winter yet.

Visit the “Sippin’ Santa” Tiki Bar at Bitter & Twisted

Award-winning cocktail bar, Bitter & Twisted, puts a tropical twist on the holidays with a festive pop-up bar in collaboration with famed tiki connoisseur Jeff “Beachbum” Barry. Guests can look forward to island decor and themed cocktails like the Kris Kringle Colada, the Christmas Eve of Destruction and the shareable Jingle Bowl. Plus, ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to Action Against Hunger, a charity that fights hunger worldwide.

 Go ice skating in the heart of downtown Phoenix

Nothing brings back the nostalgia of the holidays quite like ice skating around a giant Christmas tree. Fortunately for Arizonans, we can enjoy the time-honored traditions without even needing a jacket at downtown Phoenix’s CityScape. The appropriately named CitySkate also offers a variety of other holiday-themed wonders including photos with Santa. 

Experience the beloved Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden

If you’re in need of a winter date night idea, look no further than Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden’s signature holiday event offers live music and an enchanting tour of the expansive desert garden amid the light of 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of twinkling lights. For the full experience, stop by the on-site restaurant, Gertrude’s, before or after your garden stroll. 

Have a drink at Scottsdale’s unofficial holiday bar

You might question our decision to put two bars on a list of must-do holiday events, but we’re here to assure you that these experiences are drastically different yet equally important for your holiday cheer. While Bitter & Twisted offers high-end, themed craft cocktails, The Coach House is the pinnacle of unpretentious holiday drinking. Most importantly, it’s completely covered with holiday lights inside and out. It’s essentially the perfect holiday drinking tradition you’ll never want to give up. 

See (literally) a million holiday lights at Zoolights

It might seem a bit childish, but Zoolights is a can’t-miss Phoenix holiday event for all ages. It features animal-shaped light decorations, actual animals and some really great hot chocolate. There’s even an artificial snowfall, so you can see why it’s a hit. The Phoenix Zoo is unveiling 60 new light-up creatures this year for an even better experience.

Share your holiday festivities with us on social by using #PHXFray and #FrayLife.

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