Looking for something fun and festive to do with your family in the weeks leading up to Christmas? We’re lucky to live in a place where the climate allows us to comfortably enjoy outdoor activities during the holiday season. And speaking of outdoor activities, there are plenty to be found. I’ve compiled a list with details on some of the most merry holiday haps around town. Hopefully one or two of these events will be just the thing to kick start your jolly this Christmas.
Zoo Lights – Reid Park Zoo
Thursdays through Sundays now through-December 9th. Every night of the week December 13th – 23rd
By day it’s still the zoo, but by night the grounds transform into a winter wonderland, complete with twinkling light displays, falling snow and the jolly big guy all dressed in red. The animals typically retire to their dens during the event, but there is still plenty to see. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children 2-14. There is a $1 discount for members. Visit www.tucsonzoo.org for more information.
Enchanted Snowfall – La Encantada
December 7-8, 14-15 and 21st-22nd
Starting promptly at 6pm, guests can enjoy twirling under a majestic sprinkling of snow (or just admiring it from afar, if that’s more your style). There is also live holiday music as well as hot chocolate and coffee available. But you don’t want to be late; the snowfall lasts just fifteen minutes. Admission is free. Visit www.laencantadashoppingcenter.com for more information.
Santa at the Depot – Southern Arizona Transportation Museum
Your family can listen as the Polar Express is read aloud and then have a photo with Santa in front of a locomotive. There will also be the chance to write letters to the North Pole and check out the new exhibits. The event lasts from 11:00a-1:30p. The Polar Express Movie will be playing at the Fox Theater at 2:00. Call 623-2223 for more information.
Winter Wildlife – International Wildlife Museum
Enjoy crafts, games and prizes along with the chance to visit with Santa. You might even experience a flurry of snowfall. A roundup of Tucson’s finest food trucks will be on hand to serve guests. The fun starts at 5 pm and lasts until 7. Cost is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (62 and over) and military with valid ID, and $3 kids ages 4 to 12. Children age three and under are free as are members. Visit www.thewildlifemuseum.org for more information.
Parade of Lights – Downtown Tucson
A family-favorite holiday event in Tucson for eighteen years now, the annual downtown Parade of Lights has a new route this year (download it HERE). While the official start time is 6:30, you could make an evening of it by going early and watching the Mayor’s Tree Lighting. That begins at 5:45 in front of the Joel Valdez main library. Admission is free. Visit www.downtowntucson.org for more information.
Winterhaven Festival of Lights
Plan to visit the most festive neighborhood in town: Winterhaven. Whether you choose to walk, drive (on select nights), or enjoy a leisurely wagon or trolley ride through the streets of Winterhaven, visitors are treated to elaborate holiday displays throughout. Don’t forget to reserve your spot on the wagon ahead of time as they can sell out. Admission is free, though the rides are not. For more information, visit www.winterhavenfestival.org.