5 Places to Visit in Tucson to Get into the Holiday Spirit

5 Places to Visit in Tucson to Get into the Holiday Spirit

Jocelyn Reeder, Feature Editor

The holidays are approaching faster than you think. With only a week  left of school, it’s time to start wondering what to do for those 2 weeks of break. Tucson has many festivals, celebrations, and attractions to go to with your family and friends. Here are five places to visit during the holidays.


Winterhaven is open from December 9 through the 26th from 6-10 pm everyday. This is one of the country’s longest-running festival of lights.  The neighborhood has been hosting the festival of lights continuously since 1949 (except one year in the 1970’s energy crisis when residents voted to stay dark). It is known for its ranch-style homes, beautiful landscaping, and majestic trees. Come out to watch the neighborhood light up with over-sized Peanuts characters,  Smurfs, and motorcycle-driving Santas all around the neighborhood.  You can tour the lights on a hayride wagon, a bus trolley, a pedal-powered group bike, or just go on foot.

Enchanted Snowfall La Encantada Mall:

This event is open now through December 23. Your entire family can see snow falling into a beautiful courtyard every Friday and Saturday evening at 6:oo pm and 6:45 pm. There is live holiday music and complimentary hot chocolate sampling from Blanco Tacos Tequila. There is no fee. In between the snowfall different styles of local musicians will be playing. This event is perfect for those last minute Christmas shoppers because this event is located in a mall. Enjoy hot coco, music, and snow while shopping for gifts!

Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo:

Thousands of twinkling lights, light displays, and animal-themed light sculptures are all found at Reid Park Zoo. There is also falling snow, Santa Claus, live music, and carousel rides ( for additional fees).  You can warm up with hot chocolate, a s’more station, and cinnamon rolls for a sweet, warm holiday treat. The zoo lights go from December 7th through the 23rd. The price is usually around $6-10.

A Christmas Carol The Musical and Dickens Festival:

Experience this act that captivates audiences each year. The show stars Tucson legend Armen Dirtadian as well as Michael and Kimberly Chaffin, Susan Stokes and many more great actors/actresses. Adapted from the Dickens classic, this musical features a brilliant score by Broadway hitters such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. In addition to the musical, the streets of London will come to life in the First Annual Arts Express Dickens Festival. This event is from December 15th-17th and is located at Berger Preforming Arts Center.

South West Nutcracker:

The ballet is presented at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall. It features the Tucson Sympathy Orchestra. There are professionally designed sets and stunning costumes that make this an annual Tucson holiday experience to share with the family. The ballet retains the story and magical elements of the original Nutcracker but also brings to the tale to Arizona, where there are coyotes, rattlesnakes, and a Western cavalry that takes the center state. This event proposes a new way to experience a holiday classic.