Top cheap/free events in Phoenix to do for Christmas

This holiday season you will find that there is plenty to do around the Phoenix Metro area to celebrate and be festive. There’s always many events that have free admission, which is great on your budget and great for families just wanting to add a little Christmas cheer without breaking the bank.

If you are looking to add a little holiday cheer this season, here are the top free events in Phoenix to do for Christmas:

Polimene’s Santa Train

How does a smaller, Christmas spirit filled venue with an interactive train sound? One valley home is celebrating their 40th year of hosting a Santa Train. The Polimenes started their tradition in Baltimore, MD, but have since moved their show to the Awhatukee area. With over 17,000 lights on display, it is sure to captive the eyes of any young child.

The interactive train showcases a ferris wheel, life size dancing Santa, erupting volcano, carousel swing and so much more. Friday and Saturday displays will include snow! Candy canes are handed out each evening to the kids and any donations that are made will go directly to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

541 E. Mountain Sky Ave., Phoenix
Running from November 22 thru Jan 1st, 2019

Glendale Glitters

Admission is free and the lights are spectacular. Every year the city of Glendale lights up the city with the most wonderful collection of Christmas lights. People don’t come for just the lights, each weekend there is a host of new activities. There’s concerts, food, horse-drawn carriage rides and so much more. If you can’t make it on a weekend, you can still come for the lights all week long. There’s even a Glitter and Glow Block Party as a closing ceremony held in January.


5850 W Glendale Ave

Glendale, AZ 85301


Rawhide Snowy Christmas

The Rawhide Western Town and Event Center will host another Christmas-themed celebration every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 22 thru Dec. 23, 2018.

While admission is free, there is a $5 parking fee. You can experience a holiday decked out western town like never seen before with various holiday festivities held each evening from 5pm-10pm. Santa will visit, lighting up the Christmas tree and posing for pictures. Snow will fall on Main Street each evening and your children can drop off their Christmas wish lists to the Rawhide post office. They will surely hear back from Ol’ Saint Nick.


5700 W. North Loop Rd.

Chandler, AZ 85226

Scottsdale McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Each year, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale dazzles up the park with a winter wonderland of lights and activities. This year, the Holiday Lights run from Nov. 30th- January 6th (excluding Monday, Dec. 3rd, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve).

Entrance to the park is free. However, the train ride is $5 and the historic Charros Carousel is $2. Children 2 and under are free with a paying adult. There’s also a playground, food vendors and there will be a chance to see Santa in the historic Maricopa Depot.

7301 E. Indian Bend Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85250


Another great free event in Scottsdale is the Scottsdazzle. This month-long event is sure to turn some heads. After the tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 24th, there will be free concerts along the canal and a fiesta on Dec. 1st from 12pm-4pm.

Check out this area for amazing decorations, shopping, dining, unique events and amazing art to gaze at.

Events range from Scottsdale Rd. and Camelback Rd up through Indian School Rd.
Scottsdazzle central is at Soleri Plaza
Parking downtown is also free

Christmas in Carefree

If you find yourself north of the valley, Christmas in Carefree might be the venue for you. This three week event includes a tree lighting ceremony, a Chanukah Menorah lighting, holiday parade, music, fireworks, breakfast with Santa and a Holiday Market.

Entrance to the gardens is always free. Some of the activities do have a cost associated with them.

101 Easy Street
Carefree, AZ. 85377

Mesa Arizona Temple Gardens

People enjoy the colorful temple gardens as they light up for Christmas time. Illuminated palm trees, flower gardens and a nativity scene make this experience extra special.
The display is free and will be open nightly from 5pm-10pm starting Nov. 24th- Dec. 31st.

525 East Main Street
Mesa, AZ. 85203

As you can see, there is plenty to do in the valley that won’t break the bank during the Holiday season. Get out there, with your family in tow to enjoy the wonder, joy and enchantment of the Christmas season.

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