Menu Navigation Menu Toggle Button

Holidays in Downtown: Featuring Beautiful Weather and Festive Fun

November 17, 2015 by Fara Illich


Blistering cold? No, thank you. We’ll take free outdoor movies, festive open-air markets and ice skating in the heart of the city. Some say this is the most wonderful time of the year. Here in Downtown Phoenix, we actually mean it.

CitySkate Grand Opening Celebration & Tree Lighting Ceremony / Saturday, Nov. 28 / 3-10 p.m. / CityScape Phoenix

Photo: NBMA Photography

(Photo: NBMA Photography)

Get into the spirit of the season at the annual Holidays in Downtown kickoff party featuring ice skating performances, tree-lighting ceremony, free photos with Santa and much more. For the sixth year, CitySkate returns to Downtown Phoenix with the largest and only real outdoor ice rink in the Valley — featuring a 36-foot tree with all the trimmings. Mayor Greg Stanton commemorates the celebration with a tree-lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. Nightly lightshows are at the top of the hour from 7-10 p.m. through December.

Performances, live music and entertainment: 3-10 p.m.
Ice Skating: 3-11 p.m. (with programming breaks)
Photos with Santa: 5-9 p.m.
Tree Lighting Ceremony with Mayor Greg Stanton: 7 p.m.

Santa at CityScape / Every Saturday and Sunday in December / Saturdays 12-5 p.m. Sundays  2-6 p.m / CityScape Phoenix

NBMA Photography

(Photo: NBMA Photography)

Being the front man for Christmas is no small feat. From the second week in November to New Year’s Eve, he rarely gets a day off, especially in the weeks leading up to The Big Day. Lucky for us, Santa penciled us in for more Downtown Phoenix appearances than ever before. He’ll be accepting gift requests and spreading cheer every weekend in December at CityScape Phoenix (we must’ve been really nice this year.)

Saturday, Dec. 5: 12-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 6: 2-6 p.m
Saturday, Dec. 12: 12-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 13: 2-6 p.m
Saturday, Dec. 19: 12-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 20: 2-6 p.m

PJs in the Park / Friday, Dec. 4 / 5:30-10 p.m. / Civic Space Park

NBMA Photography

(Photo: NBMA Photography)

Downtown Phoenix Inc. and the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department present “The Polar Express” and “Home Alone” under the stars. Put on your favorite PJs, bring a blanket or a chair, and enjoy a night of holiday movies, hot cocoa, popcorn, candy and photos with Santa. To get there, take Phoenix’s own Polar Express – the Valley Metro Light Rail.

Free hot cocoa for the first 300 people: 5:30 p.m.
“The Polar Express:” 5:30 p.m.
Photos with Santa: Approximately 7:15 p.m. at the end of “The Polar Express”
“Home Alone:” 8 p.m.

City Light Movie Nights: “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and “Elf” / Thursday, Dec. 10 / 6:30 p.m. / CityScape Phoenix

Photo: CityScape Phoenix

(Photo: CityScape Phoenix)

‘Tis the season for outdoor movies. Bring your blankets and chairs for a night of holiday fun featuring “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and “Elf.” Come early to participate in pre-movie giveaways, ice skating at CitySkate and photos with Santa.

Photos with Santa: 5:30-9:30 p.m.
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York:” 6:30 p.m.
“Elf:” 8 p.m.

Phoestivus Open-Air Market / Thursday, Dec. 10 and 17 / 5-10 p.m. / Phoenix Public Market

Photo: NBMA Photography

(Photo: NBMA Photography)

Sip your Phoestivus Ale, dance around the Phoestivus Pole and peruse more than 100 local vendors at the Phoestivus Open-Air Market. Back for its sixth year, the Phoenix Public Market expands its weekly Thursday night market for two weeks in December featuring more local vendors, more food trucks, lots of live entertainment and enough beer to stay cheerful the whole night through.  Focusing on locally-grown and handmade jewelry, crafts, food items, clothing, artwork and more — Phoestivus makes stress-free, one-stop shopping a breeze.