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Arts & Culture Community Family Music & Events Travel, Shopping & Leisure Lauren Potter November 23, 2016

The holidays are upon us. That means it’s time to prepare for the freezing cold weather. JK. Between the glorious 70-degree days and the lineup of fun and festive events, Holidays in Downtown is truly the most wonderful time of the year.
CitySkate Grand Opening Celebration & Tree Lighting Ceremony / Saturday, Nov. 26 / 3-11 p.m. / CityScape Phoenix

Photo: NBMA Photography

Photo: NBMA Photography

Ring in the holidays at what’s sure to be the most festive and fabulous event of the season. CitySkate returns to Downtown Phoenix for the seventh year, bringing its signature ice skating rink, enormous twinkling Christmas tree, fun and festivities. This year’s kickoff promises to be bigger and better than ever with some highlights including interactive ornaments, art installations, hot chocolate bar and more.  For more information on the CitySkate Grand Opening visit the Facebook event.
Skating performance + meet and greet with Elsa and Anna: 3-4 p.m.
Phoenix Opera performance: 3-3:30 p.m.
All Puppet Players performance: 3:30-4 p.m.
Santa’s entrance with drum line: 4-4:30 p.m.
Skating performance by Anna and Elsa: 4:30-4:40 p.m.
Herberger Theater performance: 5-5:30 p.m.
Phoenix Symphony performance: 5:30-6 p.m.
Tree lighting ceremony: 6-6:30 p.m.
Anthony Pear Project performance: 7-9 p.m.
Holiday music during open skate: 9-11 p.m.
Ice rink closes: 11 p.m.
Selfies with Santa / CityScape Phoenix / Every Weekend Nov. 26-Dec. 18

Photo: Downtown Phoenix Inc.

Who doesn’t want to meet the man in red? Make all of your Christmas wishes come true this holiday season by meeting Santa Claus himself at the CitySkate ice rink located at CityScape Phoenix. The big guy will be accepting present requests and spreading cheer on multiple days between Saturday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Dec 18. For where and when to find Santa, click here. Free.
Saturday, Nov. 26 / 4-10 p.m. at the CitySkate Grand Opening & Tree Lighting
Sunday, Nov. 27 / 1-6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 2 / 7-10  p.m. at PJs in the Park
Saturday, Dec. 3 / 1-6 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4 / 1-6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 / 4-9 p.m. at CityLights Movie Nights Feat. Elf & Home Alone 2
Saturday, Dec. 17 / 1-6 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 18 / 1-6 p.m.
Black Nativity / Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center / Dec. 2-18

Image: Black Theater Troupe

First performed off-Broadway in 1961, the Black Theatre Troupe brings Langston Hughes’ Afrocentric Black Nativity to the stage once again this Christmas. Experience the sounds and energy of gospel, blues, jazz and funk music as the Troupe’s talented singers, actors and dancers explore themes of cultural identity, pride and unity of the African American community. If last season is any indication, this year’s shows are likely to sell out fast. So get your tickets soon. $36.
PJs in the Park / Civic Space Park / Dec. 2
Photo: NBMA Photography

Photo: NBMA Photography

The only time of the year when it’s socially acceptable to wear pajamas in public — PJs in the Park invites you to wear your favorite jammies, grab a blanket and chair, and join us for a holiday movie screening under the stars at Civic Space Park. This year we’ll be showing Polar Express at 5:30 p.m. and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 7:30 p.m. For more information check out the Facebook event. Free.
Phoestivus Open-Air Market / Phoenix Public Market / Dec. 8 & 15
NBMA Photography

Photo: NBMA Photography

Stress-free holiday shopping is easy at the Phoestivus Open-Air Market. Returning to Downtown Phoenix for the seventh year bringing local vendors, food trucks, live entertainment and enough beer to keep you cheerful all night long. The weekly Thursday night market kicks off December 8, and if you didn’t have enough fun or buy enough locally-made goodies, you can go again on its final night December 15. For more information on Phoestivus, visit the Facebook event. Free.
City Lights Movie Nights: Elf & Home Alone 2 / CityScape Phoenix / Dec. 9
Image: CityScape Phoenix

Image: CityScape Phoenix

After CityScape has transformed into a winter wonderland, join us for a double-feature holiday movie screening of Home Alone 2:Lost in New York and Elf. Bring a chair and blanket, and get ready to enjoy a free flick under the stars, giveaways and pre-movie fun, including an appearance from Santa and CitySkate ice skating ticket giveaways. Free.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts / Margaret T. Hance Park / Dec. 9-11

Image: Phoenix Center for the Arts

Experience the arts and culture of Phoenix and shop for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts at Phoenix Center for the Arts’ weekend-long festival. Held at the lush green Margaret T. Hance Park, the Phoenix Festival of the Arts features 125-plus local vendors, food trucks, live music, interactive community art projects and more. From ceramics to crafts, photography, glass art, textiles, wood art and more — there’s a little something for the art lover in everyone. Free.
Friday, Dec. 9: 12–5 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: 10-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 11: 10-5 p.m.
The Nutcracker / Symphony Hall / Dec. 9-24
Image: Ballet Arizona

Image: Ballet Arizona

Experience the magic of the season with a must-see holiday classic: The Nutcracker. Watch in awe as Ballet Arizona’s talented performers take you to a world of beauty and wonder as they dance to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. $43-$164. Get tickets here.