The desert can make it difficult to get festive (in the traditional, Americana-centric sense) in Arizona. But for us, cooler temperatures and no snow are reasons enough to get excited about the holidays. Sure, plenty of folks celebrate by draping twinkle lights over cacti (and, miraculously, don’t injure themselves), but there's more to desert holiday cheer than ugly-sweater parties.
1 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Region: Central Phoenix
For example, downtown's CityScape will serve as a wintery wonderland from Thanksgiving weekend through the new year. That's not to mention that the plaza will feature the city’s largest outdoor ice rink -- made with actual ice. If you don’t quite have the balance or coordination for figure eights, you can keep your shoes on while stay warm and sipping on some hot chocolate, beer, or wine at Chloe’s Corner. The festivities kick off with Saturday's Tree Lighting Ceremony & Ice Rink Opening, which features a figure skating show, performances by the Phoenix Symphony Brass Quintet and the ASU gospel choir, and a visit from Santa.