It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas music is playing on the radio, the nights are getting chilly, and many are starting to deck the halls. The holiday season is a perfect occasion to spend time with those you love, even if it’s just virtually.
Holiday parties, Secret Santa gift exchanges, and cookie parties are just a few favorite holiday traditions and while we may not be able to participate in some of them, we can establish new, socially distant traditions. Driving around looking for places to see Christmas lights in Phoenix is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, all while maintaining a safe distance from others.
From the unique homemade outdoor decorations to the computer programmed light shows, there’s something for everyone to marvel over this season. Grab your coat, some tasty hot cocoa, and your favorite snacks and hit the road to view some of the most amazing light shows Phoenix has to offer.
Phoenix Christmas Light Shows
Visit the “World’s Largest Drive-Thru Animated Light Show” with locations in Tempe and Glendale. In Tempe, located at Tempe Diablo Stadium, you’ll experience an Artic Adventure where you’ll be transported from the warm dessert to a frozen tundra with polar bears and other frozen friends. You’ll encounter a 32-foot tall Snowman named Sunny that sends snow falling from his hat. When you arrive, tune your radio to the designated station to really immerse yourself in the musical portion of the light show. Show runs from 11/10/20 through 01/03/2021.
On the west side of the valley in Glendale, you’ll find World of Illumination’s Rockin’ Christmas at Westgate. This melodious, interactive display is full of sights and sound for a rockin’ good time. This light show features a 500-foot tunnel that true believers will learn doubles as a magic portal for Santa Claus. While you travel down the 1-mile display, you’ll be awed at the rockin’ retro Santa and giant music notes amid millions of lights in an array of color. Shows begin 11/06/2020 and run through 01/03/2021.
Tickets are required and are available online for advance purchase. Choose your day, reserve a time, and arrive thirty minutes prior to your assigned time slot to enjoy the show! Weekday tickets are $29, weekend and holiday tickets are $39, per vehicle, plus all applicable fees and taxes.
Located in the far east valley, lighting up the night sky is Vertuccio’s Lights at the Farm. Two million twinkling lights and displays are synchronized to a variety of favorite Christmas songs as you walk through the farm. Be sure to visit the Patriotic Salute to America Display and the Nativity scene. In addition to the lights, activities such as ice skating (additional fee) on their “NHL Grade” ice skating rink, or visit the barnyard animals, miniature golf, hay maze, ping pong, cornhole, photo booth, and more. Special dates include pictures with Santa and Christmas crafts. Don’t forget to stop by the concession stand to purchase tasty treats and beverages to keep you warm. S’mores kits are also available to bring to the fire pits throughout the farm.
Light display starts on November 14th and runs nightly through January 3rd, 2021 from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM. Note that due to capacity restrictions to adhere to social distancing regulations, tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance on their website. Parking is free. Tickets are $10 per person, ages two and under are free. Select activities are available at an additional fee.
While the traditional lighting ceremony has been cancelled this year, Glendale Glitters will still shine! Located in downtown Glendale, this free event features over 1 million lights that bedazzle downtown shops and restaurants. This year there are new designs and features making the display even more exciting and beautiful than ever. Shops and restaurants will be open as you stroll through the 16-block area enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. View the twinkling light display every night from 5 PM to 10 PM November 25th through January 9th, 2021.
A favorite valley tradition continues with unique changes to keep all safe during the season. Zoo lights features millions of twinkling lights, animal sculptures, and the beloved Wildlife Lantern Safari with 66 different creatures such as polar bears, peacocks, and more, all illuminated to your wonderment.
Zoo visitors have the option to choose the traditional walk-thru view or on special dates, drive through. Walk through display features the Music-In-Motion light show on the main lake, synchronized to the electrifying music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. As well as, a three-story Christmas Tree at the Crossroads Café, photos with Santa, camel rides, treats to keep you warm and toasty, and more.
The Cruise the Zoolights show offers nearly the same experience with a view from the comfort of your own vehicle! Cruise the zoo is available on select nights. Whichever route is best for your family, be sure to visit the gift shop as you exit to commemorate your visit.
Tickets must be purchased in advance on the Phoenix Zoo website. Walk through tickets are $16 per person for members and $20 per person for non-members. Drive through tickets are $60 per vehicle for members and $75 per car for non-members. When reserving your Cruise The Zoolights tickets, add hot cocoa, cookies, or other treats as well as flashing light toys to add to your experience.
Phoenix Neighborhood Christmas Lights
4415 E. Calle Tuberia, Phoenix, AZ
Located near 44th Street and Camelback is the home of Lee and Patricia Sepanek. On display for more than 30 years, this year is no different. The giant display has brought thousands of visitors to his home annually. This year’s display will feature an arch over the driveway, blow ups on the roof, and lights as far as the eye can see. The home is also decorated with holiday décor and a cabinet full of Santas and Christmas bears, a whole holiday town is on display, and so much more.
Sepanek enjoys putting the display up every year and calls the labor of love his “art” and “a way of expressing myself.” Sepanek’s not letting COVID ruin his fun this year. Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask. In order to space out the crowds, Christmas Lee has opened its display earlier this year, beginning in November on weekends only. After Thanksgiving, the display will run nightly from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM. While the display is free, tips are accepted to contribute to the hefty bill from the increased electricity consumption.
Christmas on Comstock
3702 E. Comstock Dr., Gilbert, AZ
13 homes on Comstock Dr. in Gilbert’s Morrison Ranch is a feast for the eyes and ears. Tune into their designated radio station on your FM radio to hear the music as the lights twinkle and flash in synchronization. This street won ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight in 2015 for the best display. Weeknights and dates in early December have less traffic. As it gets closer to Christmas, traffic starts getting heavier and cars are lined up down Elliot Rd.
One thing to note is that there is a one way entrance on Eastbound Elliot, off of South Cole Dr. For those that wish to walk Comstock, parking is available at nearby businesses or on the street. Just be sure to be respectful of neighboring homes. Donations are accepted. All proceeds go to Make A Wish foundation. We could not find a start date, however, in the past display hours have been Sunday through Thursday from 6 PM to 10 PM and 6 PM – 10:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. Due to COVID, this display may differ from previous years.
8414 E. Valley Vista Dr., Scottsdale, AZ
Another winner of The Great Christmas Light Fight (2017) with over 250,000 lights on display computerized to music with snow and bubbles filling the air. A castle façade is erected on the roof along with wooden cut outs of trees, mountains, and snowmen that adorn the front yard.
Walk to the side of the house to see an Old Western Christmas Town complete with a mineshaft, tunnel, Christmas display windows, and the infamous Island of Misfit Toys in the backyard. Display runs every night from 6 PM to 10 PM beginning December 7th through 31st. Event is free, however, suggested donations of $5 are recommended.
Reindeer Valley Christmas
3302 W. Adobe Dam Rd., Phoenix, AZ
Celebrating their 10th anniversary, this display features 50,000 synchronized lights sparkling to pop and rock music. Tune to 89.7 FM on your radio to hear the music. Disney fans will love the Disney music and the fun of trying to find the “hidden Mickeys” just like at Disneyland! From the front window, you’ll spy Santa and his elves as they build toys in the workshop for all the good boys and girls. Who says there’s no snow in the desert?
This display features snowfall and bubbles nightly. Show runs from 6 PM – 10 PM nightly and until 11 on holidays. Food and monetary donations are accepted and given to St. Mary’s Food Bank.