The Festival of Lights: More than two million white lights illuminate the palo verde trees, ocotillos and saguaros that line East Chandler Boulevard from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway. This Ahwatukee tradition features a main display on the town’s throughway that is lit nightly from 6-11 p.m. from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Night.
Drive through surrounding neighborhoods, where many homeowners have impressive displays. One of them is a home of 100,000-plus lights that are synchronized with holiday music that guests can listen to on their radios (4813 E. Pearce Road, Phoenix). Don’t miss the lighting festival Nov. 26, featuring carnival rides, concerts, beer gardens and a marketplace.
11 a.m. -7 p.m. Nov. 26 – Desert Foothills Park 1010 Marketplace Way SW, Phoenix, 480-270-4365. Free
Holiday Tree Lighting Event and Ice Rink Opening: Cityscape kicks off the holiday season with a holiday tree lighting event and opening of the NRG Ice Rink made of real ice. Opening night on Saturday, November 26 features a visit from Santa Claus and much more. Hot chocolate, coffee and holiday treats are also available. The tree lighting begins at 6:30 p.m. The ice rink remains open through Jan. 11.
4 p.m. Nov. 26 – CityScape, 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix 480-947-7772. Free to attend, $10 for admission into the skating rink including skate rental.
Zoo Lights: The Phoenix Zoo gives way to wild lights! This year, ZooLights celebrates its 20th magical year with 3.5 million lights and more than 60 glimmering light displays. One of the largest holiday light shows in the country, here’s what you’ll enjoy:
- Look for the gigantic new 3D praying mantis
- Life-size unicorn under a rainbow near Orang-Hutan
- Jengo is back for the 20th anniversary of ZooLights
- Look for the giant light display shining on the butte behind the African Savanna
Animal viewing is limited during ZooLights as most animals are sleeping, but you will see zebra, otter, flamingos, watusi cattle and a few more that enjoy staying up late.
- Enjoy the 24 foot in diameter lighted sphere floating on the lake
- Visit Stingray Bay
- Life size, 3D lion, a great photo opportunity!
- Exciting new Music in Motion dancing tree show
- Live animal presentation
- Carousel and camel rides – Fees apply
Till January 8, 2012
6 p.m. – 10 p.m. nightly
$ 9 Zoo members
$10 general. Valid Sunday through Thursday evenings
$13 Zoo members and general Any Night tickets
Ticket can be used any night of ZooLights.
Fry’s Food Store discount:
$12 Any Night tickets, tickets
Good for any night of ZooLights, 7 nights a week.
Not available until November.
Member tickets are not available at Fry’s.
Free: Kids 2 years and younger are free any night of ZooLights.