It just doesn’t feel festive unless there’s snow blanketing the ground. Bundling up, drinking hot cocoa, and enjoying the winter weather just seems to go hand-in-hand with the holidays. But slushy, dirty snowdrifts, runny noses, short days, and long nights are the downsides to winter weather that are easy to ignore with rose-tinted holiday glasses.
What if you could celebrate the season without, you know, all that snow and cold?
Well, holiday magic comes alive in the desert with Las Noches de las Luminarias. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ, is the place to be this season to catch festive feelings without much of the downside of winter weather.
Visitors can meander the winding trails of the garden, taking in the spectacle of 8,000 luminaria bags and loads of twinkling lights. A variety of musical entertainment adds more festivity to the event. Read on for more about this special holiday event and how you can make the most out of your time in this desert oasis:
Las Noches de Las Luminarias Event Details
This dazzling display of holiday lights is held on the last two days of November and most days in December. (Check the website for more details.) There are plenty of dates to make a weekend out of the fun. The event runs on the selected evenings from 5:30 to 9:30 PM. Ticket prices are $29.95 for members and $34.95 for non-members. Youth pricing is also available.
Be sure to carve out some time to grab a bite to eat while at the garden. Visitors can choose from the elegant sit-down experience of Gertrude’s or the more casual vibe at the Patio Cafe. Dorrance Hall also offers a variety of food selections along with musical entertainment and dancing.
It easy to make a night out of this experience, creating the perfect kick-start to your holidays. The Desert Botanical Garden will close to the public at 4 PM on the dates of the holiday light event, making it a memorable and intimate event.
Where to Stay
There is a myriad of first-rate Phoenix and Gilbert hotels, making it easy to find a place to stay when visiting this festive event.
The Hyatt Place Phoenix Gilbert offers spacious guestrooms, boasting the perfect respite after a long day exploring the area. Take a dip in the refreshing outdoor pool or work up a sweat in the fitness center while staying at this conveniently located hotel.
The Tru by Hilton Gilbert is another standout choice. It’s in a convenient location just 10 minutes from downtown. It offers free parking and a complimentary breakfast.
While in the Area
In addition to attending Las Noches de Las Luminarias, don’t forget to check out the various other fun things to see and do while in the area. Freestone Park is the perfect urban escape, offering 88 acres of fields, a mini amusement park, a skate park, and much more. Or head to the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch to discover the dinosaur bone dig site set amidst seven lakes and an observatory. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the close proximity of the Greenhill Lakes Golf Course.
Time to Eat
While in the Gilbert area, be sure to take advantage of all of the culinary offerings of this diverse region. For a quick and hearty meal, Joe’s Real BBQ has you covered. This cafeteria-style joint offers up heaps of chopped brisket, pulled pork, and all of the classic BBQ sides for a meal that will stick to your bones. For something more upscale, consider the High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill. Barrio Queen is a great choice if you are looking for innovative taco platters and cocktails in a trendy space.