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2016 guide to Christmas events and holiday fun
In the midst of the holiday season, whether your a Scrooge about the whole affair, or laughing all the way, you’ll want to know about what you’re getting into before heading to your next holiday event.
To make it easier on you, especially for those who have been avoiding many of the events at the onset of the the month, we’ve compiled a list of fun holiday and Christmas events and happenings to get you excited for the holidays.
Every night from now until January 7th, downtown Glendale will be awash in 1.5 million LED lights. From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., head on down to the Historic area to see the spectacle. Weekends are themed, with Dec. 9 and 10 billed as a Winter Wonderland Weekend, and Dec. 16 and 17 as the Spirit of Giving Weekend. You can also take a stroll along the many storefronts in the area, or visit the many vendors on the weekends.
- Historic Downtown Glendale, at 58th and Glendale Avenues
- Each night from now until Jan. 7th
- Most parking is free, with exception of some lots. Bring cash.
Lights of the World Lantern Festival
Explore global culture and cuisine with this arts festival that meshes the majesty of the Chinese tradition of lantern festivals with a modern technological display of lights. You’ll get to play carnival games, visit exhibits and revel at the lights that will be unforgettable.
- Rawhide Chandler at 5700 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler, Ariz.
- Nightly from Nov. 18 to Jan. 29
- Monday through Thursday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Fridays: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Saturdays and Sundays: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Parking is $10 (cash only)
- Adults are $24.99
- Seniors are $19.99
- Kids 3 to 12 are $14.99
- Kids 0 to 3 are free
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo
A 4-D experience with Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, visits with Santa, tons of lights, what more do you want? The Phoenix Zoo is hosting ZooLights for its 25th year. This great lighting attraction will have light displays, lakeside music-in-motion shows and a three-story tree to boot.
- 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, Ariz.
- Now until Jan. 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. each night
- Weekdays: $12.95 for general admission, $10.95 for members
- Weekends (Friday included): $19.95 for general admission, $17.95 for members
Christmas Eve at Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant
Celebrate Christmas Eve like the Italians with the “Feast of Seven Fishes.” This dish includes a variety of undersea treats like the “Paccheri Amalfitani” giant rigatoni with langostino lobster, calamari, lump crab tomato, pistachio and “Petrale Sole,” evoo and herb-crusted with lemon zest served with cauliflower- pistachio cake and sautéed escarole.
- 3225 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, Ariz.
- 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- $60 for the tasting menu
- a la carte items for $25-26
Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center
The Holidays have taken over the land of Legos. The Discover Center will have Lego ornament decorating, Santa’s sleigh decorating on the weekends, creative workshops for Christmas builds and a whole lot more.
- 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir #135, Tempe, Ariz.
- Now until Dec. 31 during regular hours
Christmas Day dining at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
If you’re in downtown Phoenix this Christmas you’ll want to check out this dinner, and maybe get a true holiday in the big city vibe. Blue Hound is offering a breakfast buffet and dinner on Christmas Day, filled with delicious eats.
- 2 E. Jefferson St, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Breakfast buffet: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Christmas dinner: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Breakfast buffet: $36 per person
- Christmas dinner: $38-42
Christmas Day buffet at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
The AZuL Restaurant & Lounge will be serving up its annual buffet for folks to enjoy after a day of opening up presents and spending time with the family. Now its time to eat, and enjoy roasted prime rib, cranberry-orange relish, roasted salmon, just to name a few savory items.
- 3800 E. Sunrise Dr, Tucson, Ariz.
- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., must have reservations booked by calling 520-742-6000 ext. 5868
- $55.98 for adults*
- $27.50 for children 6 to 12*
*18 percent service charge
Christmas dining at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Enjoy breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Clause at Rico’s American Grill, or dine on a western-style Christmas feast at the Hole-in-the-Wall. You can also enjoy a delicious holiday buffet dinner at Rico’s in the evening. The Pointe Hilton has a little something for everyone, to help you celebrate your holiday.
7677 N. 16th St., Phoenix, Ariz.
- Breakfast with Santa is on Dec. 17, 18 and 24 with seating times at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon
- Hole-in-the-Wall’s Christmas Day feast is from noon to 10 p.m.
- Rico’s American Grill Christmas Day dinner is from noon to 7 p.m.
- Breakfast with Santa: $31.95 per adult and $19 for children ten and under
- Hole-in-the-Wall is $39 per adult, $35 for seniors and $19 for children ten and under
- Rico’s American Grill is $49 per adult, $42 per senior and $24 for children ten and under
Christmas feast at Tanzy Restaurant
Enjoy brunch or dinner at Tanzy Restaurant this season at the Scottsdale Quarter restaurant. Tanzy is offering a four course meal that includes butter gnocchi, roasted beat and citrus salad, prime rib and decadent desserts that will leave you satisfied.
- 15257 N. Scottsdale Rd. #220, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Dec. 23 to 25
- Christmas Eve brunch is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner is 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Christmas Day dinner is from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- $55 per person, $49 for iPic Theaters Sapphire Members
- Wine pairing for $25
- Children 12 and under are $20