December is here and the holiday spirit is in the air! I know quite a few people who are new to Tucson so I’ve compiled my list my top 10 family-friendly holiday activities in Tucson in the month of December for them to learn about (and for even you natives out there who may not know about some of these awesome events!) Enjoy!
1. Tucson Holiday Ice (Ice Skating in Downtown Tucson)
Bring the family out to the Tucson Convention Center to ice skate to get in the holiday spirit! The rink is open now until January 8, 2023. Tickets can be purchased online and skate rental is included in the fee. Cost is $12-20 per person. Visit www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/tucson-holiday-ice for more information.
2. Enchanted Snowfall at La Encantada Mall
Discover all the holiday wonder at La Encantada with their Enchanted Snowfall event on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from now until December 23rd. A snow machine will get you into the holiday shopping mood, as well as free hot cocoa provided by Blanco. Santa Claus will make an appearance on Friday, December 23rd from 5:30pm-7:30pm!
3. LightsUp! A Festival of Illumination at Tucson Botanical Gardens
Tucson Botanical Gardens has been doing the Festival of Illumination for over 30 years now with over 3,000 illuminarias places around the garden. There are six zones of illiminarias, including a 50′ light tunnel and choreographed cypress trees. It runs every night from 5:30pm-9:30pm and the cost is between $26-$40. Please visit www.tucsonbotanical.org/event/lightsup for more information.
4. Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo
Holiday magic returns with the Reid Park’s Zoo Lights event. There are thousands of lights, shows, Santa, and snow in the arctic zone. The event runs everyday from December 2nd-24th (note that it is not open on December 4th) and then there are encore dates everyday December 26th-30th. The event is between $8-$12 and it runs between 6:00pm-9:00pm. Please visit www.reidparkzoo.org/zoolights for more information.
5. “Elf The Musical” Presented by Arts Express
Based on the beloved holiday movie, this hilarious musical is fun for the entire family. After all, the best way to spend Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. There are performances every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from December 2nd- December 18th and tickets are $40 per person (group rates are also available). Please visit www.arts-express.org/elf to see exact showings that are still available to buy tickets and for more information.
6. Ballet Tucson presents Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”
Ballet Tucson and The Tucson Symphony have partnered up for this wonderful tradition of bringing the Nutcracker Ballet to Tucson. The music, dancing, and costumes are top-notch and the story is enchanting and sure to get you in the holiday spirit. It will be held in Linda Ronstadt Musical Hall on 260 S. Church Ave, and the performances are Thursday, December 22nd, Friday, December 23rd, and Saturday December 24th. Tickets are between $40-$100. Please visit www.BalletTucson.org to purchase tickets and for more information.
7. Winterhaven’s Festival of Lights
This popular Tucson tradition began in 1949 and is still going strong today. It is located in Tucson’s historical neighborhood, “Winterhaven,” located between Tucson Blvd. and Country Club and Fort Lowell and Prince. You can walk through the neighborhood or hay rides are available for a fee. It is open nightly from 6:00pm-10:00pm from December 10th- December 26th. The cost is a donation to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Please visit www.Winterhaven.org for more information.
8. Christmas Express at the Marana Pumpkin Patch
Open on Friday, December 9th, Saturday, December 10th, and nightly from December 16th-23rd, this event is perfect for the entire family. The $20 admission includes Holiday Lights Trail Ride, Playland Area, Farm Animals, Jumping Pillows, Mini Diggers, Mini Tractors, Honey Bear Spinner, Trikes, the Super Slide, Coranado Swings, Cyclone Swings, and Corn Flyers. Please visit www.maranapumpkinpatch.com to purchase tickets and for more information.
9. The 4th Avenue Winter Street Fair
Bring your Christmas shopping list with you and attend the annual 4th Avenue Street Fair! There are many unique artists and vendors selling merchandise at this event, as well as entertainment and food. It is located on 4th Avenue in between 6th Street and 8th Street is open at 10:00am-dusk on Friday, December 9th, Saturday, December 10th, and Sunday, December 11th. Please visit www.fourthavenue.org/fourth-avenue-winter-street-fair for more information.
10. Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul
Holiday Nights is a tradition for Tucsonans. Who doesn’t want to see an illuminated desert wonderland? Walk down illuminated pathways, listen to live music, and enjoy sipping hot cocoa in the desert with your favorite treats! Still need to shop for Christmas? The museum shops offer unique gifts that will be sure to please that special someone in your life. The event is $6-$20 and is open to members on Saturday, December 3rd from 5:30pm-8:30pm, and to the general public on Friday, December 9th, Saturday, December 10th, Friday, December 16th, and Saturday, December 17th (also 5:30pm-8:30pm). Please visit www.tohonochul.org/holiday-nights to purchase tickets and for more information.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Are you thinking or buying real estate in Tucson? Call me, Alexis Burrows. 520-869-3176.