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Downtown Phoenix Holiday Guide

Arts & Culture Community Family Featured Downtown Phoenix Inc. December 2, 2020

Bitter & Twisted is hosting a month-long, tiki-themed Christmas pop-up featuring festive island decorations and a custom menu of colorful concoctions. (Photo: Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour)

Holiday-themed pop-up bars, photo-ops, local markets and even live entertainment — there are so many fun things (you can still do safely) in Downtown Phoenix.

Family-friendly fun

Merry Moments at Candy Cane Corner / Arizona Center

Between the larger-than-life décor, massive decked-out Christmas tree and Santa’s sleigh (perfect for photo-ops), Arizona Center is transforming into an urban winter wonderland. On Saturday, Dec 5, 12 and 19 from 3-5 p.m., get free hot cocoa from Bosa Donuts and listen to carolers courtesy of Downtown Phoenix Inc. After you snap some photos and grab dinner, dessert or cocktails at one of the eateries, make sure to check out the festive window activations (including a fun installation called Hipster Santa’s Living Room). There will also be a mailbox with direct service to the North Pole for letters to Santa, so bring the little ones.

Photo: Ballet Arizona

The Nutcracker by Ballet Arizona / Virtual

For $20, The Nutcracker digital performance will be available to stream on Saturday, Dec. 12 and 19 starting at 3 p.m., and can be viewed on-demand for 24 hours. Different packages are available (including a Zoom chat with a dancer, autographed pointe shoes and more). Ballet Arizona also recently launched an online Nutcracker Boutique with dolls, ornaments and gift certificates to future shows.

Photo: Herberger Theater Center

A Christmas Carol / The Pavilion at Herberger Theater Center

Enjoy Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol under the stars, lights and chandeliers of the new outdoor stage at the Herberger Theater Center. A masterful, one-woman performance by Katie McFadzen – it’s a classic story like you’ve never seen (or heard) before. Seats are spaced out for social distancing and masks are required. Presented by Childsplay Theatre Nov. 28–Dec. 23.

Graphic: Phoenix Chorale

A Chorale Christmas Special / Virtual

What are the holidays without music? Join the Grammy award-winning Phoenix Chorale in a special (and free!) holiday broadcast. Led by guest conductors Anton Armstrong and André J. Thomas, musical highlights include Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King by André Thomas, Rosephanye Powell’s The Word Was God, Silent Night, The Christmas Song, and more. Paired with sing-alongs and few new tunes as well, this broadcast is all about hope, peace and renewal, which we could all use a bit more of right now.

Photo: The Croft Downtown

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel – The Exhibition / The Croft Downtown

This immersive art exhibit brings the artwork of the Sistine Chapel to Phoenix’s Warehouse District for the first time. The Croft Downtown, a 10,000-square-foot wedding and events venue, will host Michelangelo’s frescoes through February. Reserve tickets online.

Local gift shopping and markets

MATCH Market and Bar

Match Market & Bar at the Found:re Hotel is not only a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner — but a fun local shopping destination too. From candles, cards and clothing to gourmet kitchen essentials, there’s a surprising array of locally-sourced gifts and swag. While you’re shopping, be sure to pick up a tasty pastry (they’re what dreams are made of) or enjoy one of the weekly dining specials: A bottle of wine and pizza for $25 on Sunday nights; and on Tuesdays, get a draft beer and three tacos starting at $10 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sidewalk Saturdays / The Churchill
Enjoy a pay-what-you-can yoga flow every Saturday at 10 a.m., hosted by rotating local studios in The Churchill’s courtyard, followed by brunch and shopping from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sidewalk Saturdays features unique local vendors at the shipping container complex — making for a fun, open-air and socially-distanced community market.

Photo: Now or Never

Retail on Roosevelt Row

Take a walk along Roosevelt Row for a local art and shopping tour that takes some of the stress away from holiday shopping. Now or Never, Phoenix General and MADE Art Boutique are just a few options for those looking for unique gifts (or if just want to treat yourself). And, keep your receipts to get “Row-warded” through Roosevelt Row’s loyalty program.

Photo: Brandi Porter

Grand Avenue Holiday Market / Bragg’s Pie Factory

Take holiday gift-giving from chore to cheer on historic Grand Avenue, featuring local artists and small businesses offering a variety of handmade and unique items. Check out vendors like Hazel & Violet Letterpress Printers, Biophilia, Clay Madness, Corona Couture Jewelry, Dressy Pets Pet Portraits, Elevate Yoga & Wellness (and so many more) Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 21 through Dec. 19 in the Bragg’s Pie Factory parking lot; located at 1301 Grand Avenue.

Phoestivus / Virtual

The go-to place for local holiday gift shopping, the two-week artisan market is now totally virtual. That means you can shop the entire collection of local vendors online including paper goods, jewelry, art, food items, home goods, clothing and more – all from the comfort of your Christmas jammies. Launching Nov. 29 and continuing through the month of December, be sure to follow @phoestivus on Facebook and Instagram for vendor features and giveaways every Sunday.

Holidays at The Heard / The Heard Museum

Check out artist demonstrations and live music every Friday and Saturday between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The world-renowned Heard Museum Shop will also be open for authentic Native American art and gifts (museum admission fee is not required for shop entrance).

Holiday-themed pop-up bars

Photo: Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Sippin’ Santa / Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Take a trip to the tropics without ever leaving downtown. Bitter & Twisted is hosting a month-long tiki-themed Christmas pop-up setting sail Nov. 24 through Dec. 26. Step into a sultry island hideaway, replete with festive tiki decorations and a custom menu of colorful concoctions, such as the Parrot in a Pear Tree, North Pole Punch, or a four-person Blitzen Bowl. You can also order classic cocktails off the original pared-down drink menu, and a full offering of chef-crafted bar bites.

Blue Hound Christmas

Photo: Lauren Potter

Frosty’s / Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Blue Hound with the addition of Frosty’s — a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar complete with festive décor, holiday cocktails and a special holiday menu. Launching Dec. 1 through Friday, Dec. 25, all cocktails are $16, and Thursday-Saturday, there will be a DJ spinning vinyl holiday hits. On Christmas day, Blue Hound is offering a five-course feast in addition to the regular holiday menu. Reservations are recommended and can be made through Open Table.

Photo: Miracle

Miracle at Floor 13 / Hilton Garden Inn

Over-the-top Christmas décor and holiday cocktails — what’s not to love? If you need help getting into the holiday spirit (no pun intended), the Miracle pop-up cocktail bar at Floor 13 will do the trick. There’s a special holiday-themed cocktail and food menu, thousands of Christmas lights and dazzling, jaw-dropping views of the Downtown Phoenix skyline. Socially-distanced tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Remember to keep your receipts from participating downtown businesses to get free DTPHX merch through the Buy + Fly rewards program. Choose from more than 150 eateries, shops, arts and cultural venues and nonprofits including The Churchill, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, Herberger Theater, the Japanese Friendship Garden and more.