Ways to spend Christmas in Arizona

Take a tour of the North Pole at Enchanted Christmas in Prescott, AZ. Photo by Matt Hinshaw
Take a tour of the North Pole at Enchanted Christmas in Prescott, AZ. Photo by Matt Hinshaw

It’s not hard to guess why Prescott was bestowed the title of Arizona’s Christmas City by Governor Rose Mofford in 1989 after a visit to Enchanted Christmas: Tour of Lights  An entirely indoor attraction comprised of 19 themed areas, this holiday wonderland brings out the kid in everyone.

From Arizona’s Christmas city, travelers make their way to the North Pole, complete with reindeer stables and Santa’s Sleigh overflowing with presents. Say a quick hello to the elves hard at work in the toy factory, before entering the home of the man himself, Santa Clause. An enchanted forest, Christmas village, miniature train, Gingerbread Candy Lane and more are included in this fantasy holiday land.

Located in Frontier Village Shopping Center, Enchanted Christmas is accessible to all and is so interactive, not even Ebinizer Scrooge could be caught saying “Bah Humbug.”

According to marketing manager Amber Hudson the goal of the display was to give the community a holiday experience that was different. Hudson said, “Generations can come together to enjoy it. No one’s grandma or grandpa is sitting out…I think that’s the best aspect.”

Admission into Enchanted Christmas is consistent with the theme of giving during the holidays. A donation for Toys for Tots, Yavapai Food Bank, Prescott Community Cupboard, or charity of the night is your ticket in.

Hudson said the food collection goal was 10,000 items, and they’ve already filled 40 barrels full of non-perishables.

You can also donate to Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, a mentoring program that has been matching adult volunteers with children ages 6 through 18 since 1971. On average, it costs $1,000 to match a “Big” with a “Little”.

Hudson said, “The extent to which the community has come is amazing, and we’ve only been around since November 28!”

The attraction is open daily until December 30th.

The North Pole Experience in Flagstaff is another interactive holiday attraction where participants take a one hour and 45 minutes tour of Santa’s workshop and toy factory, the Toy Hall of Fame and Mrs. Claus’s Bakery. School’s in session at Elf University!

Yuma’s Christmas Village offers several holiday activities and attractions, including sledding, a Christmas train ride, and kids shopping and gift wrapping at Santa’s Workshop. Open December 15 – December 22, entry is $5 per person.

Seven million individual lights make up the spectacular 300 drive-thru displays at the Arizona Celebration of Lights. Costing $15 per car Monday through Thursday, and $20 per car Friday through Sunday, it’s a miracle the owners break even after the electric bill.

Winterhaven Festival of Lights in Tucson is open Dec. 13- 27, and asks for Community Food Bank donations as admission.

Julianne Boisvert is a reporter at Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona. You can reach her at jboisvert@email.arizona.edu

 

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