The Winter holidays are here, Hanukkah just wrapped up (chag sameach!) and Christmas is right around this corner! Here at Helix House we get a pretty fantastic two week holiday to ourselves starting December 17th and going into the New Year. What are we going to be doing with our time off? Well aside from the holidays themselves and traveling to see family, the Valley has a few great activities! Read on to learn about Zoo Lights, Christmas at the Princess, and some great skating spots!
Nov. 24, 2021 – Jan. 15, 2022
The Valley tradition is back once again this year! The Phoenix Zoo will be blanketed in millions of glowing bulbs and twinkling sculptures and animals. For 30 years the Phoenix Zoo has put on this incredible light display that draws thousands of people to the zoo. New to this year’s setup, Project Holocene featuring paintings from Russell Rona will be on display. Rona’s work features illuminated paintings of endangered species. The camel rides, stingray bay, and carousel are all open as well during Zoo Lights.
There’s also the Cruise Zoo Lights nights, where the zoo is closed to foot traffic and people can drive their own cars along the roads and paths to see the lights. This is only one 10 specific nights: Nov. 29 & 30, Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, Jan. 3, 4, 10, and 11.
Nov. 12, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
If drive-thru lights are more your style, World of Illumination has two of their incredible shows set up in the Valley this year. Reindeer Road in Tempe, AZ, and Candy Rush in Glendale, AZ. As World of Illumination puts it, “A place where bright ideas are born and imaginations run wild. Where light and sound collide to spark innovation and ignite the human spirit. We raise the bar, set the standard, and lead the world by creating uniquely themed experiences that tell stories, bring awareness, educate, and inspire. Built by dream shapers and magic makers, World of Illumination is a place where memories are made, moments are shared, and the brightest light comes from within.”
Honestly, they’re gorgeous light shows, whether or not they ignite the human spirit they’re definitely seasonal fun! Tickets are $40-50 per vehicle.
Nov. 16, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
From mid-November to the beginning of January for the past 12 years, the grounds at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess are turned into a winter wonderland! Decorated with lights, displays, populated by rides, ice skating, fire pits, nightly shows, and more! Admission ranges from $72 for self-parking and passes for 4 to valet or $18 per person if walk-in or ridesharing. (other deals are available if you are staying or dining at the resort.)
Lights aren’t the only holiday activities! More interested in doing some ice skating these holidays? Well, don’t you worry, just because we’re in the desert doesn’t mean we can’t skate!
Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 5, 2022
Last year skating had to take a hiatus due to the pandemic and so the rink was left closed. This year it opened up for action right after Thanksgiving! The rink has moved this year, from its normal spot to where the splash pad typically is, thanks to the ongoing light rail work, but it’s still decorated up for the holidays!
The rink is open 5 PM – 11 PM, and tickets run $13-18 per person.
Open through Jan. 2, 2022
Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is a great place for ice skating in Mesa. Admission covers one hour of skating and rental. To keep things smooth a limited number of folks are on the rink at any given time. Walk-up registrations are limited so be sure to go online and register early! Tickets are $10.
For those out in the West Valley (like me!), there’s skating available at the Westgate Entertainment District. A rink with real ice, Skate Westgate offers first-come, first-served skating sessions. Tickets include skate rental and are $19, $15 if you have your own skates or for toddlers and military discount. But make sure you’re bringing a card! Visa and MasterCard are the only accepted payment!
Phew, get all that? Between skating, Zoo Lights, and some drive-thru illuminated wonderlands your holidays should be plenty packed! From all of us here at Helix House happy holidays!