Most Popular Festive Holiday Light Displays

For many, decorating for the holidays is tradition.   If you’re a fan of holiday cheer, you’ll want to be informed of the best holiday light displays in the valley.

 Illumination Symphony of Light

Located in north Phoenix, this is the largest animated drive-thru holiday light show in the world and consists of a mile-long drive and millions of lights synchronized to holiday music.

In addition to the light display, there is also an area called Holiday Boulevard that has a Christmas-themed obstacle course and so much more that attracts visitors from all around. 

The exhibit opened on Nov. 14 and will run until Jan. 6, with festivities beginning at 6 p.m. nightly. In addition to the Phoenix location, there is also an Illumination Symphony of Light in Tempe that will also open at 6 p.m. nightly and run from Nov. 16 through Dec. 31. 

A ticket is required to enjoy the light show, but Holiday Boulevard is free to the public.

Las Noches de Las Luminarias

Don’t delay if this peaks your interest because tickets will go fast as this is one of the most popular holiday lights displays in the Phoenix area.

The display includes 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags set against a gorgeous backdrop of the Desert Botanical Garden. New for this year’s display, the experience will be enhanced thanks to the lights and sounds of the Electric Desert exhibition. 

Las Noches de Las Luminarias is open from Dec. 1 – 23 and Dec. 26 – 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Ranging from $34.95-$39.95, tickets can be purchased online. Discounted ticket prices will be available for members of the Botanical Garden.



The Phoenix Zoo also takes part in an annual holiday celebration through the use of millions of lights and a 200-foot-long Polar Slide. Entering its 27th year, this year’s event will have some new additions.

ZooLights begins Nov. 21 and runs through Jan. 13, and will be open each day from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Included in the price of admission is an opportunity for visitors to get up close to a real reindeer, along with being able to visit Stingray Bay and enjoy the 4-D Theater. 

Tickets are $19.95 at the gate and $17.95 online. Zoo members get a discount.


Lights of the World

Through the use of sculptures and architecture infused with lights, this exhibit provides a unique perspective on traditional lantern festivals and results in spectacular displays.

Held at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, the festivities will begin on Dec. 6 and run through Feb. 3. The event will be open from 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. 

For those anxious for the display, the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson holds a Lights of the World display of its own from Nov. 8 until Jan. 2.

A season pass can be purchased for $50, while presale admission costs $20.


Fantasy of Lights

A parade of lights, this event in downtown Tempe begins the holiday season and attracts approximately 35,000 people each year. The 85-unit parade concludes with a tree lighting ceremony.

The parade will take place on Nov. 23 at 4 p.m.


Glendale Glitters

Starting during Thanksgiving weekend, this event features a display of 1.6 million LED lights that spans 16 blocks in downtown Glendale. It’s the largest free holiday light display in Arizona, according to the City of Glendale.

Visitors can enjoy the display from 5 to 11 p.m. nightly, from now until Jan. 12.


Ahwatukee Foothills Festival of Lights

A mile-long drive in Phoenix that takes visitors down Chandler Boulevard between 24th Street and Desert Foothills Parkway, the Festival of Lights display is one can be enjoyed on foot or on wheels.

The event will begin with a kickoff party from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24 in Desert Foothills Park. Those that stop by will be treated to food, a beer and wine tavern, live music, marketplace vendors, visits with Santa, a cornhole tournament and inflatables and rides

The Festival of Lights will be open for all to enjoy until early January.


Chandler Tumbleweed Tree

What might seem as different to visitors from outside of the state, this has something to offer that is the perfect Arizona holiday display.

This tree made completely out of tumbleweeds will light up the night during a lighting ceremony on Dec. 1 that will follow event festivities and a parade.

Admission is free with festivities set to take place from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The parade will commence at 6:45 and the tree lighting is scheduled for 8 p.m.

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