Holiday Lights in the East Valley


2019 Holiday Lights in the East ValleyIt’s time to start pulling out the coats, gloves and scarves and spend the wonderful chilly nights looking at beautiful holiday lights around the East Valley!

There are so many gorgeous lights around town and it’s the perfect family night activity, date night or a simple evening drive. Make plans to visit these winter wonderlands this holiday season!

We will update this list as we continue to find and explore more holiday lights around the East Valley.

Ahwatukee Foothills Festival of Lights

The Million White Lights – Thanksgiving- New Years

Kick-Off Party- Saturday, November 24th
Carnival rides, community entertainment, Beer Garden, Marketplace Street Fair and the Harley Parade will keep you and your out of town guests busy all day! 

Lights on nightly.  Kick off party Saturday, November 30th: 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


Las Noches de la Luminarias

November 29 &30, Dec 6-8, 13-15, 17-23, 26-31, 

Eight thousand hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights will set the Garden aglow this winter for 21 magical evenings. Join us for this Southwest holiday tradition that features the sights and sounds of nine entertainment ensembles, including the return of Simply Three. Enjoy dinner at the Garden with family and friends and stroll the paths with a warm cup of cider or cocoa, as you celebrate the season at this year’s very special Las Noches de las LuminariasTicket information here. 

5:30 – 9:30 p.m. on the following evenings 

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Holiday Lights

November 29th – January 5th

The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park lights up Scottsdale with the most unique holiday event in the Valley. Take a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through a winter wonderland of lights and displays. Opening night festivities on December 9 include live music, a tree lighting ceremony and a visit from Santa, who is at the park nightly through December 23. Train rides on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad are $5 and rides on the Charros Carousel are $3. Children two and under ride free with a paying adult. Holiday Lights Train Ride Fast Pass – $15 

6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights

December 7th

Join us in celebrating a unique Southwestern tradition that draws visitors from far and wide during the holidays. This community festival also includes the beautiful Parade of Lights. This year marks the 60th Tumbleweed Tree built in Downtown Chandler. 

Event Festivities – 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Parade –6:45 p.m.
Tree Lighting Ceremony – approx. 8pm


November 27th – January 19th

Join the Phoenix Zoo at the Valley’s brightest holiday tradition: ZooLights presented by SRP! Celebrating 25 years, ZooLights shines with millions of lights, a three-story-high holiday tree, hundreds of glimmering light displays and lakeside music-in-motion shows. 

5:30 – 10:30 p.m. nightly

Nightmare Before Christmas Lights

Now thru New Years-1001 E. El Freda Rd, Tempe, AZ 

Drive by and check out this amazing spooky Christmas display. FREE but if you can, bring an unwrapped toy or twin or full sized bed sheets new in package, or diapers to donate to Sojourner Center and Tempe Community Action Agency.


Loop of Lights

December 1st- 25th

12th Annual “Loop of Lights”, Your traditional neighborhood walk/drive. Come experience a neighborhood of over 120 homes that come together to decorate & set up light displays at their homes to spread the Joy of Christmas. You can also spot Santa for a photo opp during the weekend dates as well as enjoy some hot cocoa & popcorn.

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Daily


World of Illumination

This family-friendly activity is the largest animated light show in the world, fully synchronized to your favorite holiday music. Located at Tempe Diablo Stadium and Westgate Shopping Center in Glendale, this 25-minute drive-through event features close to 2 million lights. Special attractions range from a 36-foot tall animated snowman at the Glendale location to a 500-foot long super tunnel in Tempe. World of Illumination is open nightly from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM on weeknights and 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM on weekends beginning November 21, 2019 through January 5, 2020. Ticket prices start at $22.99 per car and can be purchased at A portion of proceeds benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


Christmas at Schnepf Farms

 A brand new holiday experience that I think would be perfect for your readers. One of the valley’s most loved family destinations, Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, is partnering with World of Illumination to create a holiday spectacular for people of all ages. The farm is being turned into a winter wonderland, featuring a magical train ride, ice skating, 4D animated show, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, reindeer hayrides, pictures with Santa, glow mini golf and the world’s largest inflatable Christmas-themed obstacle course. This all-in-one holiday attraction opens November 26 and runs through January 4 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Tickets range from $20 to $35 per person and can be purchased at the door or online at A portion of proceeds will benefit the New Leaf Foundation.


Tempe Marketplace

*Holiday Tree Lighting and First Snowfall on Nov 27: Get in the spirit of the holiday season with a professional ice skating performance, followed by the official lighting of our 60-foot holiday tree and the first magical snowfall of the season. 6:30pm-8pm.

*Nightly Snow Fall – Nov 27-Dec 31: Watch as snow magically falls from the sky, transforming Tempe Marketplace into a winter wonderland. Every night at 7 & 8pm. Plus, on Christmas Eve watch it snow every hour on the hour! (Excludes for Thanksgiving and Christmas)

*Holiday Skating from Nov 29-Dec 1: Enjoy free holiday skating near Dave & Buster’s for children 5 and older. Skates are provided, just bring socks! 11am-9pm Friday & Saturday; 11am-6pm Sunday.

*Candy Cane Lane from Dec 2-31:  Step into a delicious holiday dreamland by H&M and CPK that’s filled with larger-than-life lollipops, giant gingerbread men, candy canes, gumdrops, chocolate kisses and more. 


9th Annual Holiday Balloon Glow December 7 (1-9pm)presented by Superstition Springs Lexus, is back! Enjoy a kids bounce zone, live music, story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, food trucks, vendor giveaways, a holiday gift bizarre and the splendor of nine hot air balloons as they glow and flicker through the night. Come early for special discounts at participating vendors!


Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade, Friday November 29th, 2019 – Celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary the Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade is a Valley favorite for the entire family to enjoy. The flashing, glowing, musical spectacle kicks off at 6:00pm at 3rd Street and Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe and winds through the district with lights, music, marching bands, illuminated floats and more culminating in a spectacular tree-lighting ceremony and Selfies with Santa in Centerpoint Plaza. This year’s Grand Marshalls are former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano, and parade founder Linda Spears of the Kiwanis Club. Volunteers will line the parade route collecting donations and jars of peanut butter to help local families in need this holiday thanks to the efforts of United Food Bank.


Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Saturday, December 14th, 2019 – Another milestone parade takes to the waters of Tempe Town Lake this December with all the luminary pageantry the community has come to love. The lake itself, which is celebrating its 20thanniversary this year, has a capacity of 977 million gallons which transform into the perfect showplace to showcase the dozens of decorated nautical craft bobbing along the lakeside in festive fashion.  Live entertainment begins at 4pm, and guests can grab a bite from on-site food vendors, purchase beer or wine, get their holiday shopping done at the Holiday Market, take a selfie with Santa Claus, or enjoy beer and wine while watching live entertainment and behold as the waters of Tempe Town Lake glisten from the glittering parade participants.



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