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25 ways to keep the family entertained over Thanksgiving holiday in Phoenix

Posted at 3:03 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 00:44:45-05

If you have family coming into town for the Thanksgiving holiday, it can get busy and hectic, especially when you're balancing between cooking in the kitchen and entertaining. 

To help you out, we've gathered a list of things you can do around the Valley this weekend. Scroll down to check them out:

ARIZONA'S ONLY THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE (NOV. 24)

Fountain Hills celebrates the state's only Thanksgiving Day parade. "Hollywood Holidays" is this year's theme. More than 60 floats, cars, marching bands, dance troops and motorcycles will drive through the streets of Fountain Hills. Olympian and local Sam Dorman (took silver in Rio 2016) is this year's Grand Marshal. More information.

IF YOU GO:
Downtown Fountain Hills
Time: Nov. 24 at 9 a.m.
Admission: FREE

PHOENIX ZOOLIGHTS (NOV. 23 - JAN. 8, 2017)

Spend your Thanksgiving weekend walking around the Phoenix Zoo and look at more than a million lights that crews spent months putting up. The annual tradition features dozens of lighted animal displays and the "Music In Motion" show, which has lights dance to Tribans-Siberian Orchestra and holiday songs. For the kids, Jengo the talking giraffe and Tortuga the talking tortoise are always good for a laugh.  More information.

Related: 16 tree-lighting ceremonies to check out around the Valley

IF YOU GO:
455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix AZ 85008
Admission: $12.95 - $19.95

ARIZONA INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW (NOV. 24-27)

More than 500 of the newest cars, trucks, sports cars, and self-driving cars will fill the Phoenix Convention Center for the Arizona International Auto Show. You can take more than 100 vehicles out for a test drive. Dodge, Ford and Hyundai will also have simulators to jump in. On Nov. 26, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m., Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson will meet with fans and sign autographs. More information.

IF YOU GO:
Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third Street, Phoenix AZ 85004
Admission: $11 - adults, $7 - seniors (62+), military (with ID), students

ICE SKATING

Yes, you can go ice skating in the middle of the desert! Put on those jeans, perhaps a light jacket, and head to the more than five festive ice rinks around the Valley for some "winter" fun! Rinks have been set up in downtown Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Glendale.

BEAUTIFUL - THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL (NOV. 22-27)

Beautiful, The Carole King Musical tells the story of singer-songwriter Carole King and features many of her songs, including "Natural Woman," "You've Got a Friend," and "Beautiful." It won two Tony Awards in 2014, including best actress in a musical and sound design. It was nominated for Best Musical that year, too. The show is in Phoenix Nov. 22 - 27. Tickets start at $30. More information.

IF YOU GO:
ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe AZ 85281

TAKE A HIKE!

With temperatures forecasted to be in the 70s over the Thanksgiving weekend, this is one of the best times to hit the trails and take in Arizona's natural beauty. There are trails all around the Valley ranging in difficulty from a casual stroll to a workout. Camelback is a popular hike and is one of the most difficult ones in the Valley, especially Echo Canyon. Other hiking areas include South Mountain, Piestewa Peak (Phoenix Preserve), and Papago Park's "Hole-in-the-Rock."

Related: 20+ dog-friendly hiking trails around Phoenix

 

WATCH THE 2016 TERRITORIAL CUP -- ASU VS UA (NOV. 25)

The Sun Devils and Wildcats will face-off in Tucson for the coveted Territorial Cup on Friday, Nov. 25. The Sun Devils won in 2015. Who will win this year? Don your ASU/UA gear and watch the game at the local bar or at home.

GLENDALE GLITTERS (NOV. 25-26)

Head over to Glendale for their annual tree-lighting ceremony and lights festival! Sixteen city blocks have been decorated with 1.5 million LED lights. On Nov. 25-26, there will be music, pictures with Santa, a petting zoo and kids games, too. More information.

LAS NOCHES DE LAS LUMINARIAS (NOV. 25-26)

Walk through the Desert Botanical Garden as more than 8,000 luminarias illuminate the garden pathways. On Nov. 25-26, get into the holiday spirit with a handbell concert by the Handbell Ringers of Sun City. More information.

IF YOU GO:
1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix AZ 85008
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Admission: $25-30 - adults, $10 - $12.50 - children (3-12)

 

WILDLIFE WORLD ZOO, AQUARIUM & SAFARI PARK

The Wildlife World Zoo is open all year along, including Thanksgiving Day. They have a lot of animals, including three lion cubs, a white tiger cub and leopard cub. More information.

IF YOU GO:
16501 W. Northern Avenue, Litchfield Park AZ 85340
Time: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. (zoo closes at 6 p.m., aquarium open until 9 p.m.)
Admission: $37 - adult, $16 - child (3-12), rides - $2.50 - $6 per person.

SKIING!

Yes, it does snow in Arizona! You will have to drive north of Phoenix into the mountains to see it, however. Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff and Sunrise Park Resort will both be open over the Thanksgiving Day weekend.

OTHER PLACES TO CHECK OUT: