December 10, 2009 | 9:25am
We were looking for a holiday-ish date night and nothing says Christmas in the desert like strolling the luminaries at the Desert Botanical Gardens with a cocktail in hand.
During the annual holiday event, there are several drinking and dining options available.
The Patio Cafe, which offer snacks and wraps in a casual outdoor patio setting, has added several delicious sounding soups to the menu that might be just the thing to take the chill off an evening walk. At the cafe window, we spotted holiday cookies and tempting bags of kettle corn.
For those looking for a more substantial meal, and indoor seating, there is also a buffet at Dorrance Hall where for $16.50, visitors can fill up on hearty fare like chicken pot pie topped off with steamy cups of hot chocolate.
In Phoenix, we don't get Frosty the Snowman, but we did manage to spot frosty the beverage. Beverage carts were set up at several locations throughout the park offering both beer and wine by the glass.
We were disappointed to note that the beer selection did not include a premium beer, and we thought it that might have been more enticing to include a local brew or seasonal cocktail.
We skipped the beverage carts and headed for the seasonal wine shop.
After a few wrong turns we found the wine shop, actually an outdoor kiosk located near the new ice rink (though we don't recommend that you mix the two) and it was worth the search. The wine shop offered flights which will vary nightly, but we were lucky enough to snag a Port flight, perfect for a chilly evening walk.
The flights are set up in small wood boxes which were lightweight enough to carry while we checked out the glowing luminaries and musicians throughout the park. The shop offers all of the selections for purchase by the bottle and we thought several of the selections would make a nice gift.
Las Noches de la Luminarias will be running at the Desert Botanical Gardens from December 3rd through the 30th. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone at 480-481-8104. Check the website for availability at www.dbg.org