Thursday, December 2, 2021

Best Things to do in Tempe Arizona in December

tempearizona, christmastravel, arizonatravel Photography: Courtesy of Tempe Tourism
This post is in collaboration with Tempe Tourism Board. All opinions are my own

Welcome to Tempe, the city of lakeside views and creative hues!

 Tempe Tourism took us on a an interactive virtual trip to the best spots in the city. I can't wait to acutally visit in person! There are many exciting adventures to discover, including top shopping and eats in the metro Phoenix area. 

Christmas is a few short weeks away. Tempe is the perfect destination to get in the holiday spirt, tons of festive adventures await you! Whether you are traveling solo, couples or as a family there is something for everyone. Hop in your car and take a road trip to a warm desert city, with wide open space. You can easily social distance for a holiday in the desert.

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And So.....

Check out the BEST Things to do in Tempe for the Holidays!

Do a Holi-stay at a Tempe Hotel

Best Things to do in Tempe Arizona for Christmas
Marriott TownPlace Suites at Arizona Mills Mall

An abudance of accomodations  are available in the heart of the city, or nearby in Phoenix.  Most of the hotels are centrally located and are a 5 min drive from Phoenix International Airport. Whatever your tastes or budget are, you'll find it in Tempe. How about a stay with an amazing lookout view?! Yep, even mountain top resorts are open for reservations.

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Christmas Shopping in Tempe

One of my favorite things to do when travelling is finding the best shopping spots! The 2nd favorite is finding the best coffee shops in town. Tempe is a go to destination for every type of shopper. Discover the best of shopping in Phoenix Metro area.  

Shop for the tops trends, specialty items and Christmas gifts in Tempe. You will need a few days to cover all the shops.  Be sure to plan a shopping trip to Arizona Mills. It's the state's largest destination for outlet shoppnig and family fun. Every day prices are up to 70 % off, with 185 stores to choose from. I can't wait to visit this mall!
Don't stop there tho...

There is more shopping to do around the valley.  After shopping at Arizona Mills, head over to the Phoenix Premium Outlets. Tempe has endless options to get your gift list checked off and done.

Holiday Fun at Tempe Marketplace

Experience all the festive feels of the season at Tempe Marketplace.  Shop here for the latest trends, grab a bite and enjoy live holiday music all in one place. Exciting happenings are featured here daily during the holidays. Immerse yourself in the fun of the Nightly Snow Fall at 7 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. All the details for planning your visit are here and here.  

Holiday Events at the Marketplace 

  • Nightly Snow Fall
  • Candy Cane Lane
  • Starry and Bright Star Tunnel
( Please note: Ice skating is no longer availalbe at this time)

And if you havent' had enough lights yet....

World of Illumination

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Want to navigate a humongous tunnel of  over 500  lights?  Here ya go! World of  Illumination at Tempe Diablo Stadium, is the hugest animated-drive thru light show in the world.  Turn on your radio to your favorite holiday songs and rock the night away.  Let's go now, we could all use a fun getaway after surviving the year 2020!

If you do plan to visit World of Illumination, tickets must be reserved online in advance.

Las Noches de las Luminarias

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The Desert Botanical Garden nearby in Phoenix,  offers an authentic "Southwest" experience all year long. However, during the holidays the garden is especially popular for a one-of-a kind tour: Las Noches de las Luminarias.

Experience the best of the desert at this festive time of year. Eight thousand flickering luminarias will be on display, along with twinkling lights.  Sip on a yummy seasonal drink while melodies of Christmas echo throughout this desert wonder.  As with all attractions during this unsual time; it's best to reserve your tickets before leaving home. Walk up admission is available, depeding on capacity when you arrive.

Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields

Not to be missed; another fantastic Christmas light display at Salt River Fields. This is a perfect activity for the entire family, and is a beloved holiday tradition in the valley.  Head over to Scottsdale to experience the best in holiday dazzle and tunes.  A spectacular show of lights dancing to music entertains effortlessly from the seat of your car. The option to see the light show from one of the Salt River's electric carriages is also an option. Purchase tickets in advance.

Zoo Lights in Phoenix

The Phoenix Zoo is a family favorite at holiday time. " Together We Shine" zoolights features millions of twinkling lights, sparkly animal sculputures and a Wildlife Lantern Safari with 66 creatures all aglow for the season. 

New this year is "Cruise Zoolights."  Enjoy the sights and sounds from the comfort of your car. An entirely different way to experience the zoo's holdiday magic

Downtown Tempe

The downton core of this artsy college town is on the move.  Many new businesses have arrived in recent years. Restaurants, bars and boutiques galore are ready to entertain and welcome you. (Check local travel advisories before you arrive, to navigate current restrictions.)

Top priorities for Downtown Tempe, are to keep the city safe and clean. Goodwill ambassadors called 
" Safe-t-patrol guides" are on duty to provide an enjoyable experience for visitors, residents and employees.  If you need help with directions or have questions/concerns, they are available to meet your needs.

At holiday time, Mill avenue comes alive with holiday lights. You may also like to check out the 6th Street Market, located at 6th Street and Mill in the popular park surrounding the city hall. This fun event features local artisans and foodie enterpreneurs.  This weekly event on Sundays runs from Oct 4-Dec 6: 2020, and Feb 14- April 25: 2021

During this down time for travel; the Tempe Tourism Office is doing their best to support local residents, business owners and visitors. When you are ready to visit, they will be there to welcome you!  Travel safe and stay well.

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  1. Thanks for the sharing these highlights of Tempe. Nice to see you’re still able to discover new places during these difficult times. Take care, stay safe and healthy!

  2. I would honestly love to spend Christmas in Arizona! Maybe I can plan a last minute trip for this year! :)

  3. I love that you get all the magic of Christmas without freezing! ;)

  4. I didn't realize Tempe decorated like this for Christmas. It looks so beautiful! Now, I added it to my bucket list. :)

  5. It looks like you get great weather here during the festive period! Lots of things to do as well which is nice.

  6. Wow! I had no idea Tempe was so beautiful during Christmas.

  7. There are so much fun places for Christmas in Tempe. The World of Illumination looks amazing. Pinning it for future trip.