Some families see certain shows each year as part of their annual holiday tradition. Some families may see a performance for the very first time as a special way to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. No matter which category your family falls into, make this holiday season meaningful, memorable and magical with a spectacular show or fun activity that you and your family can savor together.
There are a lot of options on the holiday menu at Arizona Broadway Theatre. Enjoy a Christmas classic with ABT’s production of “Miracle on 34th Street.” Based on the beloved film, “Miracle on 34th Street” tells the tale of a last-minute Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa. This replacement Kris Kringle may or may not be THE Santa Claus.
Filled with humor, spectacle, and treasured songs like “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” this heart-warming musical is a must-see for the family this holiday season. “Miracle on 34th Street” runs Nov. 23 through Dec. 29. For more information, visit azbroadway.org.
Another classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” is also at ABT Dec. 7-22. All of your favorite Peanuts characters will come to life in this stage production of this sentimental seasonal story. When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees during the Christmas season, Lucy prompts him to become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang need Linus to remind them of the real meaning of Christmas. Schro- eder’s jazzy music, Snoopy’s antics and the holiday message will delight audiences of all ages. For more information, visit azbroadway.org.
The Great Arizona Puppet Theatre will make you jolly with its show, “The Night Before Christmas.” This joyful celebration of Christmas includes multiple stories, lots of music and an amazing array of puppets. If you have seen this show before, get ready for some new stories this year that will make this family-friendly show better than ever! This show is recommended for ages 3-12. It runs Dec. 5-23, with a special event on Dec. 16 that includes the Annual Christmas Party. Tickets and reservations are required for the party. For more information, visit azpuppets.org.
If you are dazzled and delighted by holiday light displays, head over to the Arizona State Fairgrounds to check out the largest light and lantern festival in North America. Lights of the World will brighten the downtown Phoenix skies from Nov. 2. through Feb. 3, 2019. Admission includes free carnival rides. Kids 3 & under are admitted free.
Feel like a world traveler while you soak in the sights and sounds of different countries around the world, then go for a whirl on a fun carnival ride at Lights of the World. For more information, go to lightsoftheworldus.com.
For farm family fun and an incredible holiday light show, head to the farm. Vertuccio Farms in Mesa will host Christmas Farm Lights Nov. 23-Jan. 11. This inaugural Christmas Farm Lights celebration will turn the farm into a winter wonderland with over 2 million lights courtesy of Dazzling Lights AZ.
Go wild for the millions of lights on view at the Phoenix Zoo this Nov. 21 through Jan. 13. There will be glittering lights galore at the annual ZooLights event, and families will find a few new surprises, too. Animal viewing is limited during ZooLights, but you can meet a real reindeer, glide over to the Stingray Bay, ride the Polar Slide, or catch a show at the 4-D Theater.
ZooLights happens nightly from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. For more information, visit phoenixzoo.org.
If you are looking for a story with laughs and heart, check out “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the Musical” at East Valley Children’s Theatre. Based on the popular book by Barbara Robinson, the play tells about a couple’s struggle to put on a Christmas pageant at their church. They get more than they bargained for when the play is taken over by the Herdman kids—possibly the worst juvenile delinquents in history.
Will the story of the Holy Night be ruined by these holy terrors? Find out at the Nesbitt/Elliot Playhouse/Mesa Arts Center on Nov. 29 through Dec. 9. For more information, visit evct.org.
There are few things that evoke the holidays like fluttering snowflakes and a sparkling Sugar Plum Fairy! The music of “The Nutcracker will have visions dancing in your head, but you can see them brilliantly brought to life by the dancers of Ballet Arizona with music by the Phoenix Symphony. See the nutcracker prince battle larger-than-life mice and visit an enchanting world of swirling sweets and more! “The Nutcracker” is at Symphony Hall in December. For more information, visit balletarizona.org.
All aboard the Winter Wonderland Express as it takes its annual excursion to a snow-filled Enchanted Island Amusement Park on Dec. 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This holiday train ride takes you to Enchanted Island with Christmas decorations and filled with snow! Take pictures in the giant snow globe, play in the snow or even go sledding. Visit Santa from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and enjoy hot cocoa and candy canes. For more information, visit www.enchantedisland.com.
Enjoy Holidays at the Zoo at Wildlife World Zoo from Nov. 23 through Jan. 2. See the largest collection of exotic animals in Arizona with more than 600 avian, terrestrial and aquatic species. Check out the 100-foot-high Vertigo Swing, rollercoaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Line and the Flying Scooter, too. Zoo exhibits are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aquarium exhibits are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.wildlife- world.com.
Whether you plan to gear up for the season or relax for the holidays, the perfect way to celebrate is by enjoying a holiday performance or event with friends and family!