Scottsdale Winter Journey
April 29, 2019
The Southwest is beautiful in the fall, and with high temperatures in the 60s and 70s during the day, this desert area is extremely comfortable. Festivals and events are scheduled throughout the winter months, and the holiday season in the desert will make for some awesome memories. Here are a variety of events for the Scottsdale winter season.
Day 1 – Desert Botanical Gardens
You should visit the Desert Botanical Gardens every time you visit Scottsdale. With over 50,000 species of native plants and over 140 acres in the Sonoran Desert, the garden is always changing and you will see something new with each visit to this desert garden. One of the most popular events the garden hosts is Los Noches de Las Luminarias. For several nights during the holiday season, the garden’s trails are illuminated by over 8,000 hand-lit luminaries. Listen to live music, sip warm cocoa and cider, and stroll through the sparkling desert trails. Start off your holiday season with this area tradition.
Desert Botanical Gardens
1201 North Galvin Parkway
Day 2 – Phoenix Zoo
Located just minutes from Scottsdale, the Phoenix Zoo has play areas for the kids, camel rides, a giraffe encounter and plenty of animals. And it has the only walk-through squirrel monkey exhibit in the country. Another holiday tradition is Zoo Lights when millions of lights line the zoo’s paths, there is a 200-ft polar slide and live reindeer. Visiting the zoo at night, lit with millions of sparkly festive holiday lights, will provide you and your family with memories to last a lifetime.
455 North Galvin Parkway
Day 3 – Scottsdazzle
For a special holiday, head to Scottsdazzle and enjoy the month-long holiday celebration in Old Town during December. Most events are free, and many are kid-friendly. Enjoy the Tree Lighting & Sing-along, Feliz Navidad Festival, and stroll down Fifth Avenue, which is transformed into a Scottsdale winter wonderland complete with Sugar Plum Fairies and Nutcracker performances. Adult activities include the Gold Palette Art Walk, The Santa Wine Around & Ale Trail. This month-long festival could be your family’s new holiday tradition.
City of Scottsdale Tourism & Events
7506 East Indian School Road
Day 4 – Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction
Billed as the “granddaddy of all car events,” the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction takes place in the middle of January. This auction brings collectors and spectators from around the world to Scottsdale to see the world’s finest collection of classic cars. If you can’t make it to the auction, you can watch it live-streamed on the Discovery Channel. It’s a must-see event for all car enthusiasts during the Scottsdale winter season.
Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction
16601 North Pima Road
Day 5 – The Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
And, now for something completely different. Each February, top American Indian and Canadian First Nations hoop dancers compete at the Heard Museum in Phoenix for cash prizes and the chance to call themselves World Champion for a year. Each dancer presents their own interpretation of this traditional intertribal dance, and individual dancers use from four to fifty hoops at a time. Watch this amazing display of artistic expression, traditional ceremonies, athletic ability, and imagination as dancers vie for the title.
The Heard Museum
2301 North Central Avenue
Day 6 – Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
Who doesn’t love to watch the beautiful prancing of Arabian horses! With their distinctive wedge-shaped heads held high, arched necks and high tail carriage, they are beautiful in motion. Since 1955, the Arabian Horse Show has been held every February in Scottsdale. With over 2,000 horses on display and competing, the top owners, trainers, and breeders from all over the world come to the show. Whether you come to buy or just marvel at their beauty, intelligence, and agility, the Arabian Horse Show is the place to watch the best of these magnificent animals shine during the Scottsdale winter season.
Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
16601 North Pima Road
Day 7 – The Waste Management Phoenix Open
Known in golfing circles as “The Greatest Show on Grass,” The Waste Management Phoenix Open is held in Scottsdale each February. The best-attended tournament in the world on a PGA course, the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale provides its spectators with exciting golf year after year and a great party. Come early or stay late for the opportunity to play on the course or just grab some tickets and watch some world-class golf. If you can’t make the tourney, you don’t have to miss out on the golf. Winter is the perfect time of year here in Scottsdale for golf and there are many premier golf courses in the area like the Troon North Pinnacle and Monument courses.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open
17020 North Hayden Road
Day 8 – Arizona Fine Art Expo
The popular Arizona Fine Arts Expo takes place in January through March. Besides browsing through booths and galleries, you have the opportunity to meet the artists in their studios. Watch them as they create their masterpieces, then browse some more. Sculpture, fine art, ceramics, jewelry and more –there will be something here for every collector.
Arizona Fine Art Expo
26540 North Scottsdale Road
Day 9 – Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival
February is a busy month here in Scottsdale! One of the many festivals taking place this month is the Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival. Strung out along the banks of the Waterfront in downtown Scottsdale, the festival combines two popular indulgences –wine and fine art. The waterfront bustles with activities, live music, tasting booths overflowing with award-winning wines, and artists offering their works of art for viewing and sale.
Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival
Downtown Scottsdale, Waterfront
7135 Camelback Road
Day 10 – Scottsdale Western Week
Another popular festival beginning in February is Western Week when Old Town turns back history. This weeklong festival has expanded over the years to include the Western Spirit Gold Palette ArtWalk, the Hashknife Pony Express, the Parada del Sol Parade, the Trail’s End Festival, and the Arizona Indian Festival. Striving to provide a better understanding of Arizona’s Native American communities, WesternWeek is an inter-tribe event highlighting the culture, traditional art, crafts and foods of local Native American tribes and the spirited Old West. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West also offers free admission to the museum for several days during Western Week.
Day 11 – The Desert!
With average daily temperatures in the high to mid-sixties, the winter months are a great time to experience the Sonoran Desert. Hiking, mountain biking, riding ATVs and horses –no matter how you get out into the desert, the weather is perfect. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Pinnacle Peak Park have miles of dusty, rocky trails leading through towering cacti and around hulking boulders up to peaks with amazing panoramic views. It’s a great time to enjoy the desert since it’s not too hot or too cold, and all those pretty rattlesnakes are off hibernating.
The Best Places to Stay During the Scottsdale Winter Season
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