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Phoenix holiday lights 2018: The top light shows around the Valley

Posted: 10:12 AM, Nov 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-11 20:16:49Z
The top holiday light displays around the Valley
The top holiday light displays around the Valley
The top holiday light displays around the Valley
The top holiday light displays around the Valley

After the Thanksgiving feast, how do you plan on burning off those calories? Why not take a stroll through one of the Valley's top-notch light displays?

We've rounded up some of the most extravagant holiday attractions around the Valley. Some of them have opened already, while most open over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Do you have a spectacular at-home light display you want to share with everyone? Send an email to  Josh.Frigerio@abc15.com  with a photo of your display and address so we can add it to our map!

Christmas At The Princess

CHRISTMAS AT THE PRINCESS (NOV. 20 - DEC. 31, 2018)

The Scottsdale Fairmont Princess's annual Christmas festival is a light show with fun attractions for families. We'll start with the light shows: they have a four-story Christmas tree with 70,000 light in their plaza that twinkle to 17 songs, a five-minute holiday-themed show that is projected onto the hotels' facade; and 4.5 million lights scattered throughout the property.

All are visible nightly. They also have an ice rink, S'moresland, and visits with Santa. Admission is $55 per vehicle, which includes wristbands for up to six people. Additional wristbands are $25 each.

Visit the resort's website for details.

ZooLights

ZOOLIGHTS (NOV. 21, 2018 - JAN. 13, 2019)

Grab a hot chocolate and walk around the Phoenix Zoo where more than a million lights have been strung up in the trees and lighted animal displays have been placed along the trails. Animal displays include a lion, a hummingbird, marching ants, and flamingos. Jengo the talking giraffe and Tortuga the talking tortoise are also back on display.

For 2018, Stingray Bay and the 4-D Theater's screening of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" are included with ZooLights' admission, which varies between $11-$20 per person. A musical light show has been synched to violinist Lindsey Stirling’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The zoo will also have its "Big Bugs" exhibit open which features more than 20 large animatronic bugs (additional cost).

IF YOU GO:

ZooLights, 455 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008
Time: Daily, 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Admission: $11-$20. Big Bugs is an additional $4-$5 per person.
www.PhoenixZoo.org

ILLUMINATION SYMPHONY OF LIGHT - NORTH PHOENIX & TEMPE

Drive through more than 1.5 million lights synchronized to holiday music that plays through the car radio. This year, organizers opened a second show with different lights at Tempe's Diablo Stadium. The Tempe show has a 500-foot-long tunnel, a 30-foot animated snowman, and other lighted figurines.

The Phoenix show, near Interstate 17 and Jomax Road, features a nativity scene, new displays and updates to Holiday Blvd., an open-air outdoor market with hot cocoa, food stands, and an inflatable obstacle course.

The Tempe show will be open through Dec. 31, 2018. The Phoenix show will be open through Jan. 5, 2019. Admission is $29 per vehicle, plus taxes and fees, when bought online and $35 at the gate. Organizers recommend buying tickets online.

IF YOU GO:

North Phoenix: Interstate 17 and Jomax Road exit
Tempe: Diablo Stadium, 2200 W Alameda Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282
Time: Nightly, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. during the week; 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. on weekends
Admission: $29 per car (plus taxes & fees), $35 at the gate
https://worldofillumination.com/

Christmas in Color

CHRISTMAS IN COLOR (NOV. 23 - DEC. 31)

Watch more than 1.5 million lights twinkle to holiday tunes playing through the radio at this drive-thru light show in the West Valley. Utah-based Ice Castles, LLC. is behind "Christmas in Color" which opened in Arizona in 2017. The show will once again be housed at Goodyear Ballpark, 1933. S. Ballpark Way.

The show opens on Nov. 23 and runs through Dec. 31, 2018. Admission is $25-$30 per vehicle depending on if you go during the week or over the weekend. Tickets can be bought online. This year, 3-D glasses will be handed out.

IF YOU GO:

Christmas in Color
Goodyear Ballpark: 1933 S Ballpark Way, Goodyear, AZ 85338
Time: Monday - Thursday, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Admission: $25-$30 per vehicle, depending on weekday or weekend
https://christmasincolor.net/

Fantasy of Lights Tempe Light Parade

TEMPE LIGHT PARADE (NOV. 23)

We may not have frequent snow in Phoenix during the winter, but we have holiday light displays. Tempe's annual Fantasy of Lights parade will take place Nov. 23 in downtown Tempe. Dozens of trucks, floats and marching bands outfitted with decorative lights will make their way down Mill Avenue.

The parade starts at 6 p.m. near Third Street and Mill Avenue. The city -- and Santa -- will help light the tree right after the parade in Centerpointe Plaza near AMC, Pedal Haus Brewery and Squeeze.

IF YOU GO:

Fantasy of Lights Tempe parade
Starts near Third Street and Mill Avenue
Time: 6 p.m. Tree lighting will happen after the parade
Admission: Free

 

GLENDALE GLITTERS (NOV. 23, 2018 - JAN. 12, 2019)

Glendale Glitters features 1.6 million LED lights spread across 16 blocks in Historic Downtown Gilbert. In 2018, the free annual event celebrates 25 years. The festival's kickoff will happen on Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. There will be another festival weekends on Dec. 14 and 15 from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

It is one of the largest free holiday light displays in the Valley. 

IF YOU GO:

Glendale Glitters
Downtown Glendale
Admission: Free
https://www.glendaleaz.com/glitters/

Rawhide Snowy Christmas

RAWHIDE SNOWY CHRISTMAS (NOV. 23 - DEC. 23, 2018; WEEKENDS ONLY)

Friends and family can put on their cowboy boots and hats and experience what it was like back in the days of the Old West. Rawhide Western Town will have a tree lighting, nightly snowfall and a visit from Santa each weekend, Nov. 23 - Dec. 23, 2018.

Doors open at 5 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Kids can write letters to Santa, help paint his sleigh and do other attractions. Some activities will have a $5 fee. A wristband is available for $15. Parking is $5.

IF YOU GO:

Rawhide Snowy Christmas
Rawhide Western Town, 5700 W. North Loop Rd. Chandler, AZ 85226
Time: Weekends at 5 p.m.
Admission: Free. Parking is $5.
http://rawhide.com/event/merry-christmas/

 

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT MCCORMICK-STILLMAN RAILROAD PARK (NOV. 30, 2018 - JAN. 6, 2019)

Board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and embark on a 10-minute ride through a lighted tunnel and more than a million lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

The train will have nightly rides from Nov. 30, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

It is $5 per ride. A $15 fast-pass is also available. Pictures with Santa are $5 and the carousel is $2. The lights will not be on Dec. 3, 24, 25 or 31.

IF YOU GO:

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Time: Nightly, 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Admission: $
therailroadpark .com

 

APS ELECTRIC LIGHT PARADE (DEC. 1, 2018)

More than 100,000 people are expected to line the streets of central Phoenix for the 32nd annual APS Electric Light Parade. This year's theme is "Magic of the Holidays." Dozens of illuminated floats, marching bands and trucks will make their way down the street fitted with lights and holiday music.

The free parade starts at 7 p.m. near Central and Montebello avenues.

IF YOU GO:

APS Electric Light Parade
7th Avenue and Montebello Avenue
Time: 7 p.m.
Admission: Free
Website

Las Noches De La Luminarias

LAS NOCHES DE LAS LUMINARIAS/ELECTRIC DESERT (DEC. 1-23, 26-31, 2018)

During the holidays, 8,000 luminarias bags are hand lit and are spread throughout the Desert Botanical Garden. This year, the garden is also hosting Klip Collective's Electric Desert, an immersive art installation that combines lights, sounds and projections.

Artist Ricardo Rivera told ABC15 in October that he was trying to create a dream-like experience for people. 

The luminarias will be up through Dec. 31. Electric Desert will be at the garden through May 12, 2019. Admission to both is $30-$35 for members and $35-$40 for non-members.

IF YOU GO:

Las Noches De Las Luminarias/Electric Desert
Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Time: Nightly, 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Admission: $30-$35 for members, $35-$40 for non-members
More information .

 

LIGHTS OF THE WORLD (DEC. 6, 2018 - FEB. 3, 2019)

Lights of the World, a light display inspired by Chinese Lantern festivals, opened a second show in Tucson this year, and will debut a new show in Phoenix. The Phoenix show will have more than 60 new displays, including a castle-shaped entrance, a 50-foot tall Christmas tree, and cross-shaped tunnel. This year, the carnival rides and acrobat shows will be included with general admission at both locations. Games and food will be separate. The Phoenix show will also debut a sea lion show.

The Tucson show opened Nov. 8, 2018 and runs through Jan. 2, 2019. The Phoenix show opens Dec. 6, 2018 and runs through Feb. 3, 2019.

IF YOU GO:

Phoenix: Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Tucson: Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way, Tucson AZ 85713
Admission: $24.99
https://phoenix.lightsoftheworldus.com

Fantasy of Lights Tempe Boat Parade

FANTASY OF LIGHTS BOAT PARADE (DEC. 8, 2018)

A couple dozen boats illuminated in holiday lights will cruise down Tempe Town Lake, Dec. 8, for the annual Fantasy of Lights Board Parade.

It is a Tempe tradition that began in 1999. It is also the only time during the year that motorized boats are allowed on the lake.

The parade starts at 7 p.m. There will also be a visit from Santa and a holiday market.

IF YOU GO:

Fantasy of Lights Board Parade
Tempe Town Lake, 550 E Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ 85281
Time: 7 p.m.
Admission: Free
https://www.downtowntempe.com/events/boat-parade