Shine On

From Rustic and Laid-back to Grand-scale and Jaw-Dropping, These Holiday Light Displays Help Get Viewers Into the Spirit

There’s something magical that a few strings of lights bring to a backyard at night or around a decorated holiday tree. So what happens when several thousand or a few million of them congregate in a beautifully, well-composed display of festive fantasy? Find out at these brilliant holiday lights events.

Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields

This brilliant 1.2-mile drive-through light show flaunts more than five million lights that will dazzle all ages. Revel amid lights at every turn, while holiday songs are simulcast into vehicles on a designated FM radio signal. End your road trip at Santa’s Village and shop for handcrafted gifts. Don’t overlook the new Holiday Light Theatre’s spectacle of dynamic lights presented on a 20-foot by 40-foot screen. SaltRiverFields.com/holiday-lights

Holiday Lights McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

All aboard the Paradise & Pacific Railroad destined for a winter wonderland of holiday lights and displays that can only be experienced from this throwback vantage point. Also, take a spin on the historic Charros Carousel and finish up with a cup of hot cocoa from Hartley’s General Store, then pose for a photo with Santa. TheRailroadPark.com

Christmas at the Princess

A perennial must every holiday season, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is transformed into a fantasy wonderland that enchants with festive décor and more than six million sparkling LED lights throughout. Stroll Twinkle Town before dropping into the Nativity Garden Narrated Light Show. Hitch a ride on the Princess Express and tour the lagoons lit up with swans; a pirate ship; and even Nessie, the 3-foot Loch Ness monster; as well as travel through a 17-foot-long infinity tunnel with ever-changing colors capable of 256 million magical color combinations. New additions include a 12-foot 3D hippo, an octopus, a hot air balloon, and a 15-foot princess. Plus, if you’re so inclined, you can go ice skating and make s’mores. ScottsdalePrincess.com

Phoenix ZooLights

Take the kids for a different zoo view with millions of twinkling lights amid dazzling animal sculptures. Explore the sparkly lit Outer Tropics Trail and Zooville. Check out the Music-in-Motion Light shows on the main lake. Plus, in celebration of the zoo’s 30th anniversary, a new display consists of 13 illuminated paintings highlighting endangered species throughout a path. PhoenixZoo.org

Las Noches de las Luminarias

For 44 years, this event has lit up the desert sky, trails, and ’scape at Desert Botanical Garden. Throughout, 8,000 flickering luminarias and twinkling lights guide visitors through live holiday music performances spanning several genres and styles. In addition to the melodies, Chihuly in the Desert returns with stunning large-scale installations, adding to this unique experience. DBG.org

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