There’s a lot to do in a busy place like Phoenix, and that’s all the more true when the deadly heat is gone for a few months! Enjoy winter activities, outdoor activities, and more in the Valley during the winter, including these ten favorite “to-do”s.
Start at Social Tap Scottsdale, 4312 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Looking to ring in the New Year with some delicious drinks and stellar parties? You don’t have to choose one; at the NYE pub crawl in Scottsdale, you can instead visit several parties at several participating bars, starting at Social Tap Scottsdale. Sign up for an all-access pass and a full list of participating locations!
Start at Mesquite Trailhead, 2701 E Squaw Peak Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85016
If you’re looking forward to a great challenge in the cool mountain air, there’s nothing like a hike in the desert in the winter. Check out the double black diamond terrain for a series of climbs and complex routes that make this trail worth breaking a sweat for.
Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 East Vía de Ventura F100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256
If you want to go where the butterflies are, but you’re not much for migration, there’s another way to see these beautiful insects in action: visit them at Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale! The interactive habitat is indoors and mimics a rainforest, supplying life to thousands of butterflies even in the dead of winter.
Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
If you’re into looking at gorgeous displays of light in the wintry air — and you probably are — head to the Desert Botanical Garden this December! Every year, DBG does their light festival, Las Noches de las Luminarias, celebrating an integration of natural desert beauty and hand-lit luminarias to instill a quiet wonder in those who visit.
5800 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301
Every year, historic downtown Glendale gets dolled up in lights for “Glendale Glitters”, filling up with song and dance as well as shopping to attract the attention of every fun-lover in the Valley. If you’re looking to enjoy live performances and shop to your heart’s content in a wintry setting, this is the place to be for the winter in Phoenix.
Footprint Center, 201 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Every season needs its sports, and one of the most popular here in Phoenix is our basketball. Watch the Phoenix Suns play and cheer them on this winter (and every winter) on the home court!
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Whether it’s ice skating, hot cocoa, light shows, or Santa himself that draws you and yours out for a night at The Princess, you should definitely make it a point to go. This high-end hotel hosts a beautiful holiday fair that lasts till January 2, so there’s plenty of time to plan your trip. And, if you decide to stay overnight, it’s one of the highest-rated hotels in the Phoenix area, so you’re picking a great spot.
Enjoy Patios With Cool Air And Fire Pits
Postino, 5144 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012
PROVISION, 4501 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phoenix is a city full of places to grab a bite or beverage, but when the weather stays so cool, it’s hard to justify going inside to eat. Instead, enjoy a dining experience on the patios of places like Postino Wine Cafe or PROVISION Coffee, both of which offer open space as well as fire pits for when it gets even colder this winter in Phoenix!
Tempe Diablo Stadium, 2200 W Alameda Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282
Desert Diamond Casino, 9431 W Northern Ave, Glendale, AZ 85305
World of Illumination is everyone’s favorite drive-thru light display, and this year they’re featuring two themes, one at each Arizona location: at Tempe Diablo Stadium, you can sing along with the Reindeer Road program — at Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale, you can experience the joy of Candy Rush. Whichever theme and display you choose, just load your friends or family up in the car and ride along to the music!
Winter Wonderland, 20 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Located in downtown Mesa until January 2, anyone can find some time on the Main Street ice rink for $10 a piece, including skate rental. If you’re lucky, you can even catch some hot beverages from a nearby truck on one of the many nights it’s open this winter!