Nov. 27 Tree Lighting Ceremony at Arizona Center Kicks Off Holiday Events

by Downtown Phoenix Inc.
Family Music & Events Phoenix Community Alliance Downtown Phoenix Inc. November 23, 2021

Arizona Center’s “Candy Cane Corner” holiday transformation in 2020 (pictured) offered socially-distanced activations and entertainment. This year’s theme, Downtown Toy Town, will offer similar holiday festivities. (Photo: Fara Illich)

Every year, Arizona Center transforms into a holiday-themed experience, and this year is no different.

Beginning with a tree lighting ceremony featuring Mayor Kate Gallego on Saturday, Nov. 27, Arizona Center will become every kid’s dream — Downtown Toy Town. In addition to gorgeous, Instagram-worthy decorations, the center will host a series of free concerts and family-friendly activities for the holidays through Monday, Jan. 3.

Guests attending Saturday’s tree lighting ceremony will will enjoy a performance by the Dickens Carolers, free photos with DTPHX Santa, the Cesar Chavez High School Drumline, and a sing-a-long with the cast of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” by Childsplay Productions and Herberger Theater.

Attendance is free but guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Gifts of Hope Toy Drive benefitting Arizona’s Children Association. Toy donations will be accepted at Arizona Center through Saturday, Dec. 18.

Arizona Center Holiday Schedule: 

Holiday Tree Lighting with Mayor Kate Gallego – Saturday Nov. 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Guests can help kick off the holidays with Mayor Kate Gallego as she lights the 30-foot Christmas tree located on the corner of Third and Van Buren streets. DTPHX Santa will be in attendance along with carolers, sweet treats, and a special sing-a-long with the cast of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.”

Holiday Kite Decorating

In partnership with Phoenix Center for the Arts, Arizona Center will be hosting free kite-decorating workshops. Kids, family and friends can stop by and receive a kite decorating kit to design their own holiday-themed kite. They can take their masterpiece home or leave it to display in Downtown Toy Town.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 6-8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 4 from 2-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 6-8 p.m.

Holiday Concert Series Sponsored By Urban Eyecare

Throughout December, guests can enjoy live music by local bands performing some holiday music, along with some of their own hits. Performances will be in the Arizona Center Grotto.

  • Friday, Dec. 3 from 5-7 p.m. – Vinyl Station
  • Friday, Dec. 10 from 5-7 p.m. Brian Chartrand
  • Winter Wanderland: Saturday, Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Palo Brea | 6-7 p.m. Camille Sledge
  • Friday, Dec. 17 from 5-7 p.m. Nolaz

Winter Wanderland – Saturday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Downtown Phoenix will be transformed into the first-ever Winter Wanderland, a full day of free progressive holiday performances, over-the-top holiday lights and décor, delicious food, drinks and merriment. Featuring outdoor performances at Arizona Center, CityScape Phoenix, Herberger Theater Center and more. Winter Wanderland is a family-friendly celebration of downtown’s rich performing arts, history and culture.

  • Palo Brea 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Camille Sledge from 6-7 p.m.
  • Check the Winter Wanderland schedule for additional performances