The holidays are a special time in the desert, especially if you find yourself spending winter in Scottsdale. The city is no stranger to throwing a good party, especially when the holiday season rolls around. Scottsdale plays host to numerous art walks, block parties, and light displays - most of which are free to the public.
One of the biggest holiday events in Scottsdale is the Fiesta Bowl Artwalk, which brings thousands of college bowl football fans to the streets of Old Town Scottsdale. The event, which happens every year during the last week in December, features live music, holiday shopping, and dozens of art galleries showcasing art from local and national artists.
For families, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park puts on a holiday display that everyone in the family will love. Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park features a tree lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa, and train rides through a winter wonderland. Admission to the park is free, and train rides are $3.00 per person.
If you want to see the tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree in the country, take a short drive to the nearby community of Anthem to gaze up at wonder at the Christmas tree located in the heart of the Anthem Outlets shopping center. The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Anthem Outlet takes place every November. The white fir tree is shipped to Arizona from California every fall, and is progressively decorated throughout the holiday season. The tree, which measures more than 100-feet tall, is open for public viewing throughout the holiday season.
For a charming small-town holiday celebration, check out the Carefree Christmas Festival in downtown Carefree, a short drive from Scottsdale. The three-day event features an electric light parade, a fireworks festival, holiday gift market, pet parade and even real-life snow in the desert.