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2020 Christmas lights in Phoenix: Where to see holiday lights around the Valley

Lights at the Farm Vertuccio Farms
Posted at 4:49 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 21:14:05-05

PHOENIX — The holidays will look and feel a bit different this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not mean those holiday traditions have to stop.

Some of the best Christmas and holiday light displays around Phoenix have already opened for the season, while others are preparing to open in the next few weeks.

Here are the displays that are open now -- or opening soon -- around the Valley.

Home displays: Do you go all out with your Christmas or holiday lights and decorations? Let us know! Send an email with name, email address, number of lights, and a photo to Josh.Frigerio@abc15.com.

Cruise ZooLights 2020.png

ZOOLIGHTS/CRUISE THE ZOOLIGHTS (NOW, THROUGH JAN. 31, 2021)

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo began nearly three weeks earlier than it usually does, and people have two ways to see the lights this year: the traditional walk-through experience and "Cruise ZooLights," a drive-thru experience.

ZooLights features millions of twinkling lights, lighted animal displays, a music and light show, and the Wildlife Lantern Safari, which features more than 60 illuminated animal lanterns.

It runs every night from 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. until Jan. 31, 2021. Specific nights are designated for each experience, and some features may not be at both experiences. View schedule, here.

Admission is $16 for members and $20 for non-members (no discounted "value" tickets this year) for traditional ZooLights, and $60 per vehicle for members and $75 for non-members for Cruise ZooLights.

Visit www.phoenixzoo.org to purchase tickets and for more information.

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WORLD OF ILLUMINATION: ARCTIC ADVENTURE & ROCKIN' CHRISTMAS (NOW, THROUGH JAN. 3, 2021)

World of Illumination -- billed as the "world's largest drive-thru animated lights show " -- is back this year with both of its shows at Tempe's Diablo Stadium and near Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale. Both shows feature a mile-long drive-thru light display with millions of animated lights and lighted figurines that are synced to Christmas songs and holiday tunes.

Tempe's show is called "Arctic Adventure" and the Glendale show is named "Rockin' Christmas."

Because of the pandemic, all tickets have to be bought in advance for a specific time slot. Tickets will not be sold at the entrance. Also, limos, RVs, and buses are not permitted this year.

The Tempe show opened on Nov. 6. The Glendale show opened on Nov. 14. Tickets are $29 per vehicle during the week (Monday - Thursday) and $39 per vehicle on holidays and weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Shows run 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. every night.

Visit worldofillumination.com to purchase tickets and for more information.

ARIZONA LIGHTS IN THE NIGHT (NOW, THROUGH JAN. 3, 2021)

Arizona Lights in the Night is a new holiday-themed drive-thru light display in Mesa.

The show recently opened at the Thompson Events Center in Mesa, near the Loop 202 and Alma School Road, which also hosts the Halloween haunt, Scarizona Scaregrounds, each year.

The display features more than a million lights synchronized to music, including a 600-foot tunnel, lighted archways, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and other holiday themes.

Admission is $30-$60 per vehicle. Visit www.arizonalightsinthenight.com to purchase tickets and for more information.

Lights at the Farm Vertuccio Farms

LIGHTS AT THE FARM - VERTUCCIO FARMS (NOV. 20, 2020 - JAN. 3, 2021)

Lights at the Farm returns to Vertuccio Farms in Mesa for its third year in 2020.

Described as "Arizona's largest walk-thru synchronized light show," thousands of lights, lighted tunnels, displays and decorations have been installed across the farm's 25 acres -- and synced to Christmas music.

There is also a large ice skating rink ($8), a chance to see some of the farm animals, and a life-sized nativity scene.

Admission is $11 online, plus processing fees, or $13 at the gate. There is no cost to park. Hours are 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. each night.

Visit www.lightsatthefarm.com to purchase tickets and for more information.

VIDEO: 4.5M lights to see at 'Princess' resort

Image courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

CHRISTMAS AT THE PRINCESS (NOV. 21 - DEC. 31)

People can walk or take a short train ride around the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort's lagoons to see 4.5 million lights and lighted displays, go ice skating, make s'mores, and go on a trio of carnival-style rides during its "Christmas at the Princess" event.

There is also a five-minute animated show that is projected onto the resort's facade and its Christmas tree that features 70,000 LED lights.

Due to COVID-19, employees will be required to undergo temperature checks and wear masks. Guests will also be required to wear masks when unable to socially distance themselves from others.

Another change this year is that tickets have to be bought in advance. Same with making a reservation at one of the resort's restaurants.

Admission/parking is $60 for self-park and $90 for valet and includes up to four wristbands to the event. Individual tickets, such as walk-ups or those who use ride-share, are $15. Those who book a stay at the resort have parking and wristbands included.

Some activities have additional fees. Ice skating is $32 (included skate rental), photo packages with Santa start at $40, and the s'mores kit has its own cost. Food, drinks, and gifts are also separate costs.

Visit www.scottsdaleprincess.com/christmas-at-the-princess to buy tickets and for more information.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT SALT RIVER FIELDS (NOV. 23 - DEC. 31)

Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields is the newest drive-thru light display in the Valley and makes its debut in 2020. The drive-thru light show is 1.2 miles long and boasts nearly five million lights, including six 200-foot themed tunnels, synchronized to holiday music.

It is located at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which hosts the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies during Spring Training.

The show opens Nov. 23 and runs through Dec. 31. It will be open from 5:45 p.m. - 10 p.m. every night.

Admission varies between weekdays, weekends, and holidays. There are also "fast pass" and VIP options.

Regular admission is $36-$40 per vehicle during the week and $46-$50 on the weekend. Fast pass tickets are $46-$75 and VIP tickets are $300+, which include a gift bag and a carriage ride through the display.

Visit holidaylightssrf.com to purchase tickets and for more information.

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Glendale Glitters

CHRISTMAS AT SCHNEPF FARMS: A WORLD OF ILLUMINATION (NOV. 24 - DEC. 31)

Hop aboard the train at Schnepf Farms and see more than a million lights synchronized to Christmas music. World of Illumination and Schnepf Farms partnered to create the experience in 2019. It's back in 2020.

Schnepf Farms will also have a variety of activities, part of its annual Christmas event, including mini-golf, pine cone and cookie decorating, an inflatable obstacle course, Santa letters, meet and greet with Santa, hayrides, reindeer, and a carousel.

Admission is $15-$17 per person and includes most of the activities above. Activities that have additional costs include the train ride ($7 per person), obstacle course ($5), food and drink, and items bought from the marketplace.

Visit schnepfchristmas.com to purchase tickets and for more information.


GLENDALE GLITTERS (NOV. 25, 2020 - JAN. 9, 2021)

More than 1.7 million lights will illuminate downtown Glendale during Glendale Glitters, a long-running holiday tradition in the Valley.

The lights will shine from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. between Nov. 25, 2020 and Jan. 9, 2021. New designs and lighting features have been added this year, the city said.

There will be no lighting ceremony or opening night festivities because of the ongoing pandemic, but nearby restaurants and shops will be open.

Holiday lights in Phoenix: Ride McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park train

Photo by Courtland Jeffrey

HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDES AT MCCORMICK-STILLMAN RAILROAD PARK (NOV. 27, 2020 - JAN. 3, 2021

All aboard! People can board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad to see some more than a million lights and lighted displays from a steam-powered locomotive at Scottsdale's McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, tickets have to booked online and in advance and are good for hour-long time blocks: 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.

Admission is $15 per person and includes train rides, carousel rides, and access to the photo pod. People can ride the train and carousel multiple times during the hour block.

Santa will not make visits this year because of "pandemic protocol" at the North Pole.

Visit www.therailroadpark.com/holidaylights to purchase tickets and for more information.

Las Noches de las Luminarias - Desert Botanical Garden

LAS NOCHES DE LAS LUMINARIAS AT DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN (SELECT NIGHTS, NOV. 27 - DEC. 31)

Walk the trails at the Desert Botanical Garden where more than 8,000 luminarias, or paper lanterns, light and guide the way. The Desert Botanical Garden's Las Noches de las Luminarias is one of the Valley's staple holiday traditions.

Because of the pandemic, reservations and advanced tickets are required, and attendance will be limited each night. Reservations can be made on the garden's website.

The garden has also added more lighting and more lighting displays to highlight its plant collection.

Las Noches de las Luminarias will be open Nov. 27 – 28, Dec. 11-13, 17 – 23, and 26 – 31 from 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Admission starts at $11 for kids and $30 for adults.

Visit dbg.org to purchase tickets and for more information.

NOT OPENING THIS YEAR

Due to the pandemic, these holiday light displays and shows will not happen this year:

  • Rawhide's Snowy Christmas
  • Phoenix Raceway's ZoomTown Lights
  • Lights of the World at Arizona State Fairgrounds
  • Bearizona's Wild Wonderland
  • APS Light Parade
  • Downtown Tempe's Fantasy of Lights parade and boat parade
  • Hometown Christmas Parade
  • Lights of the World