There are plenty of places in the world that make terrific holiday destinations, but if you haven’t been to Chandler, Arizona, you may be missing out.
Chandler is located southeast of Phoenix. It is known for its nature areas that include Desert Breeze Park which offers vintage train rides. You can also visit Veterans Oasis Park which has both wetlands and a desert landscape as well as a Solar System Walk where you can find out what it’s like to live in outer space.
The city’s many attractions make it a terrific place to visit any time of year, but it’s especially fun during the Christmas season. Here are some things you will want to check out when you’re in town.
Pogledajte The Nutcracker
For many people, it’s just not Christmas without a performance of The Nutcracker. The Ballet Etudes provides an exceptional annual production which has been called “a royally entertaining show” by the Arizona Republic. Relive the magical story told through imaginative costumes, and well performed music and dance numbers. It all happens at the Chandler Center for the Arts over the course of a weekend in early December.
Tumbleweed Tree Lighting
Chandler’s desert climate has means their tree lighting ceremonies are a bit different than most. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the city has given this tradition the name Tumbleweed Tree Lighting. The tree itself is made of nearly 1000 tumbleweeds attached to a 25-foot wire frame and decorated with about 1200 lights.
Despite the unusual nature of the tree, the festivities are close to what you would expect at a tree lighting ceremony in any other city. The mayor is joined by the City Council and flicks the switch to illuminate the tree. There are music and dance performances, and Santa is on hand for meet and greets.
Story time With Santa
Phoenix Premium Outlets is a Chandler shopping outlet that’s ideal for finding gifts at affordable prices. Parents can shop while leaving children at the play are for Story Time with Santa. The event takes place from noon to 1 PM every Saturday in December up to Christmas.
Photos with Santa at Chandler Fashion Center
Chandler Fashion Center is another place to find terrific holiday gifts. As an added bonus, parents can take their children to the Macy’s to visit Santa Headquarters. Kids can visit with Santa and enjoy the Elf-Ray Vison and Naughty or Nice ‘O Meter. Make reservations in advance online to skip the line.
Elf Movie Party at the Alamo Drafthouse
The Alamo Drafthouse is the ultimate destination for dinner and a movie. Come by to enjoy a great movie, a terrific meal and some of the finest beers and cocktails in town.
During the holiday season, they host an Elf Movie Party on select dates throughout December. Guests can get in on the fun by participating in a themed contest before the film, playing with silly props and having a snowball fight in the theater.
Rawhide Snowy Christmas
Rawhide is a Chandler theme park eatery and event center. It takes guests back in time providing western ambiance and on-site amenities. It hosts private and public events.
During the holiday season, Rawhide transforms into a winter wonderland offering massive Christmas trees, Santa visits and snow. Guests can also enjoy the usual Rawhide attractions and live action stunt shows. A Rawhide Snowy Christmas Buffet is hosted right before Christmas.
Spirit of Christmas
The Spirit of Christmas is an annual event presented by the Christian Dance Company. It features more than 100 dancers and singers ages 3 to 21. Musicians, horse and carriage, special guest performers and a champion hoop dancer complete the roster. It all goes down at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
Build Your Own Fidget Dreidel
During the Christmas season, it’s important to remember our Jewish friends. Fortunately, the Chabad of the East Valley provides an event that’s full of fun. Come by the Aleph Art Room to build your own fidget dreidel.
Other events to enjoy include a reading of the Big Book Chanukah Story and a Chanukah Guessing Game. Guests also have he opportunity to participate in a free raffle and become a human dreidel.
Grand Chocolate Menorah Lighting
The Grand Chocolate Menorah Lighting is another festive event hosted by the Chabad of the East Valley. It takes place at Phoenix Premium Outlets.
Eight branches of the giant menorah will be filled with different chocolate delicacies. You can also create your own chocolate menorah to win a grand prize.
Other features to enjoy include a chocolate fountain, a fire juggler and music by the Desert Jewish Academy School Choir.
The Farmer’s Market takes place every Thursday in downtown Chandler. Come down at Christmastime to find seasonal produce to include in holiday meals and gift items that will help you get through your holiday list.
Downtown Chandler Art Walk
The ArtWalk is a monthly event that happens at Chandler Park. Stroll through to view the work of more than 35 local artists. All artists are vetted in advance ensuring you are seeing the best of the best. The ArtWalk provides a fun family atmosphere and an opportunity to get unique gifts for friends and family.
Sugarland is an interactive holiday drive through display that happens in Chandler Park West from late November to early January. Guests can snap a selfie in the candy sleigh next to Tumbleweed tree and walk through the Canal of Lights while listening to holiday music.
You can also climb over giant marshmallows spilling out of a life size cup of hot cocoa and dance through candy canes to enjoy the experience.
If you are thinking of taking a trip this holiday season, Chandler makes an ideal destination. There is seemingly no end to the fun that can be had. Which of these activities will you be getting to first?