Tag Archives: Polar Express

Ice skaters at Fairmont Princess

Top 5 holiday mainstays in Arizona

Whether you are an Arizona-local or just in town for the holidays, there are dozens of festivities happening every hour from now until the start of 2015. But there are, of course, some favorites. Here is a list of our top five holiday mainstays, in no particular order:

Christmas at the Princess

First on the list is the fifth annual Christmas at the Princess festival happening now through Jan. 4. This five-star resort will be transformed into a winter wonderland full of lights, drinks and food, rides and shopping. There will also be a 6,000 square foot ice rink and a Santa’s Workshop. Until Jan. 4, there will be a series of events hosted at the Christmas-renovated resort. There are also two-packages available for overnight stays during this holiday season for those out-of-state holiday visitors.

For more information, visit here.


PJs in the Park

What better reason to go than an excuse to wear your pajamas in public? Next is downtown Phoenix’s PJs in the Park event on Dec. 5 from 6 to 10 p.m., located at 424 N. Central Ave.  A family friendly event for the holiday where people are invited out to celebrate the holidays with free hot chocolate, a double feature of Elf and Polar Express, and a ride on the “Urban Polar Express,” the METRO Light Rail.

For more information, visit here.


Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

Tempe Beach Park is back at it for the holiday season. On Dec. 13 at 5 p.m., SRP is hosting the 2014 Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade. Admission is free to spectators and all are invited out to enjoy a night full of lights. Santa will make a special appearance and join the crowd in enjoying the live entertainment, fireworks, and a festively lit and decorated boat parade on the lake.

For more information visit their website here.


Polar Express

This next event may be a bit of a drive for many in the Phoenix Metro, but it is well worth it. If you have young-ones in the family then a trip from now until Jan. 4 to Williams, Ariz. for the Polar Express is a must.  On this hour-long train tour you and your guests will be taken on a magical journey to the North Pole while Santa reads the original Christmas story and children sing carols together.

For more information visit their website here.


Winterhaven Festival of Lights

Last but certainly not least, we chose an event that truly highlights the giving spirit of the holiday season. Only a 90-minute drive from Phoenix, and the home to the University of Arizona, Tucson, will be the home to the 65th annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights at the Winterhaven Neighborhood Central Tucson from 6 to 10 p.m. from Dec. 13 through 27. People are welcome to walk, bike, skate, or take a trolley through the neighborhood and admire the lights, decorations, and holiday music. Entrance is free, but they ask for donations to the Tucson Community Food Bank.

For more information visit their website here.



Polar Express

Tickets to the Polar Express Now on Sale

The mercury may be hitting 100, but those in the know are already booking their reserved tickets on the Polar Express™ presented by the Grand Canyon Railway. From November 7 through January 3, the Railway will run special trains from Williams, Ariz., to the North Pole. Polar Express reservations can be made by calling 1-888-848-3511 or by visiting www.thetrain.com/polarexpress.

The Polar Express is a holiday-themed excursion that follows the storyline of the children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg. Trains depart Williams at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for the holiday experience. Prices for most departures are $25 for kids ages 2 to 15 and $39 for adults. Matinee tickets are also offered on select dates at 3:30 p.m. ($20 for children and $34 for adults). The Christmas Eve Limited on December 24 is priced at $69 for adults and $49 for children and includes special mementos.

A family favorite, the experience this year will begin with a new light show at the historic Williams Depot. The magical journey travels through the starlit countryside to the North Pole and features a special reading of “The Polar Express” while passengers enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. The North Pole twinkles with enhanced lighting and showcases storefronts, mailboxes and other structures to give the village a permanent, three-dimensional look and feel.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, passengers are welcomed by Santa Claus and Elf Bernard. Santa then boards the Polar Express for the return trip to Williams, making his way through the passenger cars, greeting every child and presenting each one with a special gift – a jingle bell signifying their belief in Santa Claus.

The Grand Canyon Railway also offers a Polar Express “overnight package,” including the round-trip train excursion, a one-night stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and breakfast and dinner at the Grand Depot Café. The starting package price for two adults and two children is $379 and does not include taxes. Polar Express passengers also receive a 50 percent discount on a regular every-­‐day future train trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon valid 60-­‐days from their Polar Express experience and train ride.

For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway or to purchase other tickets or packages, visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-800-The-Train (1-800-843-8724).