Arts & Culture Family Featured Fara Illich December 23, 2009

“Turn off those extra lights,” my dad told me. I had a feeling he was right, and then Al Gore confirmed it for me. During the holidays, though, it’s understandable if we all go a little nutty for things that plug in and sparkle.
So, without any further delay, here are some of the most dazzling light displays in Downtown Phoenix and a few reasons to go see them:
ArizonaCenterLightsMost Romantic
The gardens at the Arizona Center are always romantic, but this time of year, they’re nothing less than magical. At night, brilliantly colored lights illuminate the trees and walkways like day-glow fireflies. Take someone you love – or heck, someone you kind of like – and watch the effect.  No mistletoe is needed.
Biggest Home Electric Bill
Bob Rix must be one tired guy. This intrepid, hard-working Phoenician created front and backyard displays with animation, carved-out characters and 56,000 lights set to music. I just have to say that again: 56,000 lights. 1517 E. Brill Street.
Best Neighborhood Decorations
There aren’t any specific winners, but the historic districts are even more beautiful at the holidays. Take some time to drive – quietly, of course – through the Coronado District, F.Q. Story, Garfield, Willo and Encanto-Palmcroft, where many of my dream homes happen to be.
Thomas Edison Would Be Proud
At Heritage and Science Park, they know a thing or two about electricity, and it shows. Check out the lovely Christmas tree in front of the Arizona Science Center and stop by the Rosson House, which is aglow with lights and decorations.
Point of Pride
The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is an 85-foot blue spruce from Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. When the tree lighting took place, the Arizona Congressional delegation and 12-year-old Kaitlyn Ferencik of Surprise, Ariz., were present. I know, it’s not Downtown, but I just thought you’d like to know.