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Free holiday light displays to see around the Valley

Posted at 9:48 AM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-10 20:25:38-05

We get it. The holidays can be expensive.

Between buying candy and decorations for Halloween, all the food for Thanksgiving and gifts to give for Christmas and Hanukkah, back-to-back holidays can add up. And quick.

It's also the time when light displays, festivals and the ice rinks open around town, many of which charge a fee to experience.

We looked and found quite a few light shows around the Valley that can be admired without spending a penny. All you have to do is get there.

Want to add your display to the map? Please fill out our form with as much detail as possible.

Scroll down to check our list.

APS Electric Light Parade

Dec. 2, 
7 p.m.

Dozens of lighted floats, trailers, marching bands and balloons will make their way down Central Avenue for the 2017 APS Electric Light Parade. This year's theme is "Winter Nights, Dazzling Lights."

The free parade starts at 7 p.m. near 7th Street and Montebello. ABC15's Danielle Lerner and Nick Ciletti will be down there to host the parade. Make sure to get down there early to park and find a good spot along the parade route. Event details

Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade

Dec. 9, 2017

Fifty boats illuminated in lights will float around Tempe Town Lake for the annual Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade. It's a Tempe tradition that started in 1999. It's also the only time that motorized boats are allowed on the lake. The event starts at 4 p.m. and the parade will start once it gets dark.

Local bands will provide festive music and concessions will be sold near the waterfront. The event will end with a fireworks show over the lake. Event details

Glendale Glitters

Nov. 24, 2017 - Jan. 6, 2018
5 p.m. - 11 p.m.

More than 1.6 million LED lights illuminate downtown Glendale and Murphy Park. This year multi-colored lights will be at Murphy Park while the rest of downtown is covered in white lights. The lights run nightly from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Event details.

Photo credit: Nicole Carson Bonilla

Nov. 24, 2017 - Dec. 31, 2017
5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Every year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints decorates the grounds of its Mesa temple with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. The display is free and open to the everyone. As you walk around the grounds, Christmas music plays. There is a nativity scene and statues of Mary and Joseph.

The lights are on nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Event details.

Nov. 23 - Dec. 23, 2017
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays

The Old West-themed attraction in Chandler has put up lights for the holidays. The town has been covered in lights, including a 100-foot tree. Throughout November and December weekends, Rawhide will have visits from Santa Claus, a tree-lighting ceremony and snow flurries.

There is no cost to walk through the town or to park. On nights of a special event, there may be a $5 parking fee, we're told. You'll want to call the venue before visiting to confirm. Event details


Nov. 24 - Jan. 7, 2018

Twenty-five lighted prisms have been placed at the Scottsdale Waterfront part of an art pop-up called "Prismatica." The prisms each have a dichroic film that reflects multiple colors, and each sculpture plays bell music when rotated. They were installed as part of Scottsdazzle, the City of Scottsdale's holiday celebration. They will be on display through Jan. 7, 2018.


Another way to see lights for free is to take a drive around the neighborhood. Some neighbors may put up a few strands, while others may put up a few thousand. We asked our readers to share their light displays with us, and we've mapped them below. We've marked them with the red light bulbs.