12 Things to do this Holiday Season in Downtown Phoenix

by Taylor Bishop
Arts & Culture Community Family Food, Restaurants & Dining Music & Events Taylor Bishop November 22, 2019

You snow the drill, the holiday season is here and Downtown Phoenix is packed with fun events and things to do. From free visits with Santa to holiday-themed pop-ups, we’ve got your guide to holiday events in DTPHX:

Free Holiday Events in Downtown Phoenix

CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink and Selfies with Santa / CityScape Phoenix / Nov. 29-Jan. 5

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Head to Central Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets to practice your ice skating and meet Santa this holiday season. The urban ice rink will be open from Nov. 26 trough Jan. 5 with varying hours.

General admission tickets cost $15 and skates are included. Plus, get free Selfies with Santa every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m.

PJs in the Park / Civic Space Park / Dec. 7

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Nothing says Christmas like gathering with loved ones to watch a great holiday double feature under the stars. Join Downtown Phoenix Inc. for free screenings of The Polar Express at 5:30 p.m. and Elf at 7:30 p.m. and another chance to meet Santa. Serafina Coffee Roasters will be serving hot cocoa and snacks or you can grab dinner from Freak Brothers Pizza.

The easiest, most affordable way to get to Civic Space Park is by light rail. But there’s also an $8-$10 surface lot on the northeast corner of Fillmore Street and Central Avenue, and some limited street parking. For more options, visit the DTPHX Map and click on Category – Parking.

A Jolly Date Night in Downtown Phoenix

Holiday Pop-Ups / Blue Hound and Bitter & Twisted

(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Holiday-themed spirits, coming right up. In partnership with Miracle Pop-Ups, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails will once again transform into a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar this holiday season. Check out the over-the-top décor, holiday cocktails served in Christmas glasses and mugs, and special holiday menu from Nov. 25 through Christmas Day. 

Bitter & Twisted will also be participating in a Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up. Setting sail this Nov. 26 through Dec. 28, B&T will temporarily transform its home inside the historic Luhrs Building into a sultry island-style hideaway, replete with festive tiki decorations and a custom menu of colorful tiki concoctions, such as Christmas Eve of Destruction or the four-person Jingle Bowl.

Diehard: A Christmas Story – All Puppet Players / Playhouse on the Park / Nov. 29-Dec. 26

(Photo: Playhouse on the Park)

What do you get when you cross a holiday action movie with All Puppet Player’s brand of fast, furious and funnied-frenzy? An instant holiday classic!

While most families will deposit their holiday cheer with Scrooge and friends, the All Puppet Players are offering an alternative that includes a puppet Bruce Willis, a battle for Nakatomi Plaza and tons of pop-culture references to hang nice and cozy over your fireplace. Ages 16 and up, $26-$80.

An Irish Christmas / Orpheum Theater / Dec. 4

(Photo: Orpheum Theater)

Celebrate the great tradition of butter making, chase the wren on St. Stephen’s Day, draw down the half door for spectacular dance, revel in superb music-making and singing of Christmas carols in an unforgettable Irish night. $23-$58.

Holiday Shows / Arizona Federal Theatre

You can count on Arizona Federal Theatre for entertainment this season (and throughout the year). Kicking off with Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker on Dec. 5, the venue will also host A Drag Queen Christmas, Disney Junior Holiday Party, Cirque Dream Holidaze and A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage. Many tickets start at under $50.

Black Nativity – Black Theatre Troupe / Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center / Dec. 6-Dec. 22

(Photo: Black Theatre Troupe)

First performed off-Broadway in 1961, the Black Theatre Troupe brings back Langston Hughes’ Afrocentric Black Nativity to Phoenix this December. 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. $41.

Family-Friendly Holiday Things to Do

A Winnie The Pooh Christmas Tail / Valley Youth Theatre / Dec. 6-23

(Photo: Valley Youth Theatre)

Valley Youth Theatre’s annual presentation of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail has become a holiday tradition for generations of Phoenix families. Now in its 24th year, this live-on-stage musical adventure reminds all of us about the importance of caring, sharing and cultivating friends. And, with a cast of local performers, ages 8 to 17, it’s guaranteed to be a fun and festive sing-along show for the entire family. $20.

The Nutcracker – Ballet Arizona with The Phoenix Symphony / Symphony Hall / Dec. 13-24

Watch in awe as Ballet Arizona’s talented performers take you to a world of beauty and wonder with 150 performers, 100,000 Swarovski crystals and Tchaikovsky’s cherished score performed live at Symphony Hall. $39+.

Snow Much Fun Day / Children’s Museum of Phoenix / Dec. 14

(Photo: Children’s Museum of Phoenix/Visit Phoenix)

Frolic in 40 tons of snow right here in Phoenix at the Children’s Museum. Snow Much Fun Day is included with general admission — and so is a meeting with Santa. Explore three floors of playful exhibits and feel like you’re in a true winter wonderland for a day. Children’s Museum general admission is $14.95.