The Christmas season draws closer. Our relatives and friends will be arriving soon and your mission this year is to make their stay a memorable one. Which exciting event or attraction will be the highlight of this year’s visit? With so many available, and considering you live in the beautiful Central Arizona territory, the options are endless. Here are five great things to do this holiday season that will surely impress your guests as you aim to preserve your position as the most entertaining relative in the family.
1) Acker Night: Friends and families from all over make their way to downtown Prescott for Acker Night during the holiday season. On Dec. 13, the town will spring to life with dance performances and live music. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., more than 60 businesses and musicians will get together on this magical evening to raise funds for local youth performing arts programs. All of the musicians donate their time to support this extraordinary event – also known as “Music in the Streets” by the locals. www.ackernight.com
2) Prescott’s Annual Christmas Parade and Courthouse Lighting: The “Arizona’s Christmas City” Holiday Parade begins on Dec. 7, at 1 p.m. in downtown Prescott. Wear warm attire and bring a folding chair, as the parade sometimes lasts for two hours. It’s a great way to start the Christmas season. Afterward, you may want to grab an early dinner at one of Prescott’s fabulous restaurants because the festivities start all over again! Later that evening, the Annual Courthouse Lighting event will commence at 6 p.m. Before your very eyes, downtown Prescott transforms into “Arizona’s Christmas City.” The courthouse and all of its surrounding trees light up with brilliant color. It’s a night you will not want to miss! www.prescott.org
3) Polar Express: Make an impression on your young nieces and nephews this Christmas. Every child wants to meet Santa Claus! Make their wishes come true with a ride to the North Pole by way of the Grand Canyon Railway. The ride begins in Williams with a moonlit ride through the wilderness. The kids can mingle with lively elves while singing and dancing to holiday songs. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served while Santa makes his visits from car to car. Find out more about this one-hour adventure at www.thetrain.com.
4) Festival of Trees at Tlaquepaque: The Festival of Trees is a premiere holiday event at Tlaquepaque beginning Friday, Nov. 29. Area artists and galleries will have more than 45 Christmas trees and gingerbread houses fully decorated in fun and exquisite ways. The trees all have special themes and incorporate different materials. Kick off your holiday season with a beautiful themed tree already pre-decorated. The trees will be on display inside the ballroom at Tlaquepaque accompanied with silent auction bid sheets. Viewers may visit Tlaquepaque and check their bids through 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Proceeds benefit “Meals on Wheels” for the Sedona Community Center and “Toys for Tots” via the Sedona Marine Corps League. www.sedonachamber.com
5) Arizona Snowbowl: If snow and cold weather don’t restrict you to the indoors, the Arizona Snowball could be right for you. This ski resort is located in Flagstaff and has runs for every level of skier. The Agassiz Lift is perfect for expert skiers and boarders. It is 2,000 vertical feet of mountain for experts and advanced intermediates. The Sunset Lift serves 650 vertical feet of intermediate terrain as well as the Sunset Terrain Park. The terrain park is complete with multiple jumps, fun boxes and rails. Beginners have two lifts and a surface conveyor near the Hart Prairie Lodge. Quality skiing and snowboarding equipment can be rented from the Rental Shop at the Hart Prairie Lodge. The two lodges on the mountain are Hart Prairie and Agassiz. There you’ll find food, a full bar and seating inside and outside. The food is set up cafeteria style with American food options. There are a variety of lift ticket discounts for children, seniors, military personnel, large groups and off-peak skier days. Visit the resort’s website for more information: www.arizonasnowbowl.com.
So whether it’s your nieces or nephews, grandparents or parents that are visiting, there is something fun and festive for everyone this holiday season. For discounts on all central Arizona travel, click on Hot Deals at www.TravelNorthernAZ.com. QCBN
Donna Werking is a client manager at Helken & Horn Advertising Agency and
Executive Writer for Travel Northern Arizona.
Travel Northern Arizona is an online travel resource for Northern Arizona explorers.
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