Hosting Family for the Holidays? Check out These Winter Activities Your Family Will Love!

It seems like it was just the beginning of the year and now the holidays are upon us. As crazy as it might be to have time fly by so quickly, it’s also exciting. After all, who among us isn’t excited about the winter fun and winter activities we can enjoy during this festive time of the year? If you’re looking for things to do in Arizona for the holidays, here are some ideas to keep your guests entertained:


If you’re a resident of Arizona, you know ZooLights is one of those must-do winter things on your list every year. Starting the week of Thanksgiving and available through the first two weeks of January, you have plenty of time to schedule a family outing to take in the breathtaking millions of lights around the zoo. Beyond the lights, there’s also a 200-foot long Polar Slide™, live reindeer, Stingray Bay, and a 4-D Theater. All of that fun is available with admission so ZooLights is definitely one of the best things to do in Phoenix with visiting family.

Magical Getaway

If you want to treat those in your life to a special experience that’s out of the neighborhood, but not terribly far away, take a little getaway to Christmas in Carefree. Just north of North Scottsdale, this winter wonderland starts November 30 with a tree lighting ceremony and lasts until January with the Carefree Desert Garden “Glitters”. It’s a celebration of the season with a light display, real snow, a Christmas market, a parade, a Chanukah celebration, fireworks, live performances, and more.

Things to Do in Scottsdale, AZ

If you want to stick around Scottsdale this year, you have plenty of fun winter activities to choose from. Looking for something to do with the kids? Go to the iconic Phoenician and experience its magical Christmas experience. You can either grab a bite to eat and walk the grounds or stay a night for a staycation. Either way, you’ll encounter Mrs. Claus story time, elf magic tricks, and games and treats in Santa’s workshop! Another fun idea for the little ones (or even a date) is to go to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park for live music, holiday lights, a visit from Santa, and a spectacular train ride. Make sure to get your tickets in advance, though, as this is a popular activity every year.

Maybe you want something a little more geared toward adults. If that sounds like what’s on your wishlist, check out the Musical Instrument Museum. This year, they’ll be hosting the 14th season of the “Irish Christmas in America” show. It features top Irish music, song, and dance in an engaging performance rich in history, humor, and boundless energy. Produced by Oisín Mac Diarmada of the award-winning Irish group Téada, the 2018 tour brings back the amazing Séamus Begley, along with the vocal talents of Sligo’s Niamh Farrell.

As you can tell, there are nearly endless options for what you can do to stir up some magic and winter fun with your friends and families this holiday season. The hardest part might be narrowing it down to just a few activities!