Holiday Events And Activities Around The Valley

We may not have snow to build snowmen and go on sleigh rides, but there are plenty of valley holiday events that will get you in the Christmas spirit and a few even have some snow! Kids are on winter break or you may have family and friends in town.  Here are some fun holiday events to check out around the valley :

Glendale Glitters
November 23rd-January12th
Glendale’s award-winning holiday lighting event has become a tradition for families across the valley. Visitors of all ages will delight in Glendale Glitter’s holiday entertainment, delectable food, hand-crafted holiday gifts, a children’s snow field and
petting zoo, shopping and visits from Santa! It is the largest free holiday light display in Arizona. The stunning display of over 1.6 million LED lights illuminate sixteen blocks of Historic Downtown Glendale.

Christmas At The Princess
November 20th-December 31st
This AAA Five Diamond award-winning North Scottsdale Resort goes all out for locals and hotel guests offering and enchanting winter wonderland for all ages.  Activities include open door ice skating rink, train rides, nativity garden, Santa’s Secret Headquarters and more! Special packages are offered with room bookings and restaurant dining.

Las Noches de las Luminarias
December 1-23rd & 26-31st
The Las Noches de las Luminaria has over 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags each year at the Desert Botanical Garden. In addition, there are thousands of white twinkling lights. Everyone is welcome to join in this holiday tradition, a treasure of the Southwest, with nine entertainment ensembles that offer holiday feel, sights, and sounds for your enjoyment.

CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink
November 23rd-January 6th
Surprise, even in the valley of Phoenix, we have real ice rinks! If your holiday spirit can’t get started without ice skating, head to Central Avenue, the center of downtown. A massive tree is loaded with twinkling lights and other decorations.

Christmas in the Rainforest at Butterfly Wonderland
Select dates November 23rd-December 28th
Families have come here to kick off holiday celebration in a “Rainforest-style” for a few years now. The inside temperature is warm, the environment is enchanting, and the beautiful rainforest is filled with 3,000 colorful butterflies that flutter freely inside a glass atrium.

This is why I love living here. With our mild winter temperatures, we can almost always plan our outdoor activities without having to worry about winter snow storms. Do you know of someone who is planning to relocate to the Valley of the Sun? I’m a local area expert and I can help find new residents a home that meets their needs and lifestyle.

The Christmas Season Is A Season Of Helping Others

Children learn quickly about Christmas and Santa Claus, the gift giving and receiving. But what they don’t learn soon enough is that the giving doesn’t always come wrapped up with a bow. Giving is about caring for others, human and animals. It is a great time to teach them about compassion and empathy for others. 

Fortunately, there are many organizations that can benefit from your teaching them. Here are a just a few where the children (and you) can come in, roll up their sleeves, put on a smile, and get to work and learn a lesson too. 

St. Mary’s Food Bank
In just one hour, 100 meals can be provided to those who would otherwise go hungry by you and your children volunteering at St. Mary’s Food Bank. A great way for a church group, scout troop or a family to learn while they help. The team at St. Mary’s can use help in packing, sorting, and distributing boxes of emergency food Phoenix or Surprise. 

They ask that children be between the ages 12 to 13 with an adult, and teens between the ages of 14 to 17 are welcomed without an adult. Kids between the ages of 8 to 11 are welcome in groups with an adult leader and pre-arranged. For more information call 602-343-3134 or visit volunteer.firstfoodbank.org.

Tempe Municipal Volunteer Program
For children in grades 6 through 12, the Tempe Public Library needs volunteers for several areas. From shelving returned books to assisting with holiday and other special events throughout the year. There is also a program for junior lifeguards and anyone that wants to assist with special needs children is always needed.

Children must complete an application and will be interviewed. Training is done on the job for either one-time service or activities that go on all year long. A perfect way to complete community service or a school assignment. Call 480-350-5190 for more information or visit the website at tempe.gov/volunteer, or drop by 3500 S. Rural Road. 

Families Giving Back
Nonprofit groups partner with Families Giving Back to host volunteer events for kids of all ages and their families. One hour each weekend, children get hands-on experience with activities like putting heat relief kits together for St. Vincent de Paul or putting art project bags together for Phoenix Children’s Hospital patients. There is also groups organized that clean Phoenix city parks and there are projects that you can do at home with the whole family too. Contact the group at 602-421-7909 or visit their website at familiesgivingback.org for details.

Child Crisis Arizona
This is a great opportunity for the younger kids in your family. They will assemble caring kits that range from birthday boxes to school starter kits. They will build family-support baskets as well as good-night bags. Older kids, from ages 16 to 22 can be trained to provide child care at 3 Mesa facilities. They are required to commit to working one weekly shift for a full year. 

An application must be completed, then an interview and orientation are required, then the applicant will go through a training session. Volunteers are required to obtain a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card. For more information, call 480-969-2308, visit their website at childcrisisaz.org/how-to-help/volunteer or drop by the Child Crisis Arizona, 604 W. Ninth St., Mesa.