Arcadians don’t have to travel far to experience most of the premiere holiday events this December. Markets, festive walking wine tours, puppy kissing booths and tree lighting ceremonies are just some of the happenings within a 10-minute drive.
Old Town Scottsdale’s holiday event series starts in November and kicks into high gear in December. From a free weekly holiday-themed Canal Concert Series, to the Gold Palette Artwalk, to the Santa Wine Around self-guided wine tasting tour and the Sweet Treat Trail dessert tasting experience, there’s something for everyone.
Events will take place through December 21. Prices, dates, times and locations vary. For more: scottsdazzle.com.
TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY AT OMNI SCOTTSDALE RESORT & SPA
Bring family members young and old out for a night at the Omni Montelucia’s annual ceremony celebrating the lighting of its 20-foot Christmas tree. The event will have hot cider, holiday foods, complimentary photos with Santa, live music and fire pits.
Omni will donate some vendor sales from this event to the Arizona Animal Welfare League. A specialty pet shopping boutique, a puppy kissing booth and adoptable pets will also be available. This event takes place Tuesday, December 3 from 5-8 p.m. For more: omnihotels.com.
PHOESTIVUS AT THE PHOENIX PUBLIC MARKET
Phoestivus is Phoenix’s version of a holiday market. The creators imagined it from Germany’s famous Christmas markets and Festivus from the TV show Seinfeld. Over 200 local purveyors, artisans and craftsmen will showcase their goods during this two-day event.
There will also be Festivus traditions, such as the Airing of Grievances, Festivus Pole and Feats of Strength.
This free market will take place from 5-10 p.m. on Thursday, December 12 and 19 at the Phoenix Public Market. For more: phoestivus.com.
LAS NOCHES DE LAS LUMINARIAS
8,000 luminaria bags will light the trails at the Desert Botanical Garden, offering a new way to enjoy the desert scenery and the current exhibit, Wild Rising.
Las Noches de las Luminarias is $12.95-$34.95 for general admission, and $10.95-$29.95 for members. The event will take place from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on December 6-8, 13-15, 17-23 and 26-31. For more: dbg.org.
35TH ANNUAL FQ STORY HISTORIC HOME TOUR & STREET FAIR
Get a glimpse inside the historic homes of Central Phoenix at this two-day home tour event. Holiday lights will be on display as carolers sing and nine Phoenix homes open their doors to the public. Local vendors will sell goods and food trucks will provide treats, coffee and hot chocolate.
This event will take place on Saturday, December 7 from 6-9 p.m., and Sunday, December 8 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Presale tickets are $15 and $20 at the door. Folks can get $1 off their tickets by bringing a non-perishable food item.
The homes on tour are located from 7th to 15th Ave. on Roosevelt and Portland Streets and from 11th to 15th Ave. on Latham Street. For more: fqstoryhometour.org.
THE POLAR EXPRESS
On select dates during the holiday season, the Grand Canyon Railway brings the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg to life. The train makes a night trip through the Kaibab National Forest from Williams to the “North Pole” with a visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer. The kids can wear pajamas and “hot-hot-hot” chocolate will be served.
The Polar Express experience is available through January 4, 2020. Trains depart Williams Depot at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. On select dates, a matinee departure at 3:30 p.m. is available. Event prices range from $33-$82 per person. For more: thetrain.com.