Anyone who enjoys the events throughout the holiday season should take note of all the local celebrations in and around the Scottsdale area. Besides being a top destination in the Phoenix metro area and Arizona, the following holiday events expose you to world-class food, scenery and entertainment.

The Lights

Have you taken your kids to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park? Why not go back at night to see the holiday lights that start in December with an opening ceremony that includes live music and a visit from St. Claus himself. The hours run from 6:30 PM to 9 PM, which gives you plenty of evening time to go and get home to calm the kids down before bedtime.

Cross the city limits to reach the Fountain Hills’ annual Stroll in the Glow. It features thousands of lights that line the Avenue of the Fountains. You’ll also find lots of open shops and eateries to enjoy as you enjoy the holiday atmosphere.

The Trees

Check out the tallest freshly cut Christmas tree in the nation at the Anthem Outlet Mall. Sometimes the tree comes from the Flagstaff area in the Coconino Forest, which is the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world. On the way, check out the custom homes that populate North Scottsdale. You’ll see the architectural styles that dominate the southwest, along with native landscaping designs. If you drive home at night via the city streets, you’ll also see how local residents magically decorate their saguaro cacti and prickly pears with Christmas lights.

The Tropics

Go to Christmas in the Rainforest at Butterfly Wonderland, located at Ventura and 96th Street for a unique experience. You’ll experience butterflies from Latin America, Asia and Africa. Take selfies or family pictures in front of the shimmering “living angel” and select from commemorative ornaments from the gift shop.

The Music

Check out Scottsdazzle, a month-long holiday celebration that takes place on the canal at Scottsdale Waterfront. You’ll find a diverse schedule of wine tasting and live music events on Saturday evenings in December. Come in the afternoon to golf on some of the Valley’s finest golf courses and grab dinner at one of Scottsdale’s renowned local restaurants.

Drive a few miles south to Phoenix Symphony Hall to hear the Phoenix Symphony and their chorus perform Handel’s Messiah. If you want to treat the kids, take them to a performance of The Nutcracker, another annual holiday tradition unique to the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.

As Christmas draws closer, you’ll find a lot of live concerts at Scottsdale’s Musical Instrument Museum aka The MIM. The most well known local group performing is the Phoenix Boys Choir, a Valley favorite.

Photo by Alair Homes ScottsdaleLook for exterior home design inspiration

Clearly, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the holiday season here in Scottsdale. Plan ahead to ensure your holiday celebrations go off without a hitch.