As Santa prepares for his long journey to Tucson, we’ve mapped out the best events to help you get into the holiday spirit. Grab your cup of cheer and gear up for tree-lighting ceremonies, holiday shopping, festive shows, and so much more!
With over 60 illuminated buildings, trees brightly wrapped with LED lights lining the streets, and dozens of decorated storefronts there’s no better place than Downtown Tucson to get in the yuletide spirit.
Downtown Parade of Lights | December
The annual Downtown Parade of Lights is Tucson’s premier holiday event where locals and visitors alike come together to celebrate the spirit of the season. The parade starts at 17th Street and Stone Avenue, heads north on Stone Avenue, east on Ochoa to 12th Street, and turns south on 6th Avenue, ending at Armory Park, 220 S. 6th Avenue.
Chanukah @ Downtown Tucson | December
Celebrate Chanukah at the annual lighting of Tucson's tallest Menorah at El Presidio Park, visitors can enjoy a spectacular light show by Cirque Roots, holiday treats, crafts and personal Menorahs to take home. Admission is free & open to the public.
Tucson Holiday Ice | December Through January
You don’t have to travel far to get your ice skate on! Outside the Tucson Convention Center, you will find Tucson's outdoor ice rink typically open from November through January. We know it’s incredible, but YES, it's real ice! Sessions are 90 minutes each and you can purchase your tickets online.
Tucson’s Christmas Tree at Jácome Plaza | December
Located in Jácome Plaza downtown, Tucson's Christmas Tree is truly a sight to see. Adorned with thousands of LED lights and over a thousand beautiful ornaments, it is the largest Christmas tree in Southern Arizona, standing at a towering 36 feet tall. The tree is available for viewing every day from 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m. December through January.
Boys Chorus Christmas Tree Sale @ The Monica | December
Downtown Tucson's only live Christmas Tree sale is at The Monica and 100% of sales benefit the Tucson Boys Chorus. Fresh trees arrive weekly. While you’re there, don’t miss out on The Monica’s 12 Days of Xmas where you can enjoy an extra nice happy hour from 12 to 6 p.m. Kids under 10 eat free too, so be sure to bring the whole family!
Holiday Shows and Performances
Gaslight’s A Small Town Christmas | November Through January
Get dinner and a show at Tucson’s iconic Gaslight Theatre. The dinner theater offers complimentary popcorn and a tasty dinner and dessert menu that the whole family will surely enjoy.
This year, the Gaslight Theatre’s holiday show will be Gaslight’s A Small Town Christmas, and it runs from November through January.
Tucson Symphony Orchestra | December
Join the Tucson Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the holidays with Holiday Magic With Cirque De La Symphonie. International cirque stars will tumble, soar, and delight while your TSO performs holiday and symphonic classics.
Christmas Lights and Other Holiday Displays
Enchanted Snowfall at La Encantada | November Through December
Who says Tucson doesn’t get snow? You can experience an Enchanted Snowfall at La Encantada’s courtyard throughout winter. Whether you’re shopping for gifts, visiting your favorite restaurant, or just browsing, enjoy the flurries while you’re there.
ZooLights: Holiday Magic | December
Thousands of enchanting lights welcome you to the Reid Park Zoo during their ZooLights event showcasing festive displays and light shows. Stop by and say hello to Santa who will meet kids of all ages each evening through December 23. Make your way to the Arctic Zone for falling snow, sing along to festive music, and savor a hot cup of cocoa from the Zoo Café as you take in the winter wonderland in this Tucson holiday tradition.
Winterhaven Festival of Lights | December
Each year, during the holiday season, the Winterhaven neighborhood puts on spectacular displays for their Festival of Lights. The neighborhood residents decorate for the season with themes ranging from traditional Christmas lights to celebrations of Hanukkah, and everything in between. The event is free to attend, but donations for the Community Food Bank are encouraged. Visitors can walk through the neighborhood or take a tour from one of the trolley and hayride vendors.