Arizona attractions to bring out your holiday cheer


Photo credit to

Logan Frandsen, Staff Writer

As the holiday season progresses, everybody who wants to celebrate has a multitude of options to choose from, ranging from locations right by OHS to across Arizona. These are some different celebrations that students and families can choose to go to and partake in during the month of December and early January.

An event that has been popular for many years, and still remains a top destination in 2017, is the Zoolights celebration at the Phoenix Zoo. Running from now until January 14th, there are multiple attractions for visitors to see.

These range from exhibits about dinosaurs and stingrays, to camel rides, to carousel rides, to the famous multicolored lights that cover a huge portion of the zoo. Younger kids can even get photos with Santa Claus if they wish.

Some of these activities do require an extra charge, but it should well be worth the price for anyone who loves both animals and the holidays. The Zoolights exhibit is open from 5:30 to 10:30 PM nightly.

Another popular place for people to go to is Glendale Glitters, which runs until January 6th. Although the extravagant holiday weekends have passed, observers can still walk around the center of Glendale and see over 1.6 million lights spread throughout 16 blocks. In fact, Glendale Glitters is host to the biggest free light display in Arizona! The lights are on from 6-10 PM nightly.

A new attraction that is the closest proximity to OHS is called Illumination: Symphony of Light, a drive-in light show just minutes away. Going all the way through January, this light show features high-energy music synced to millions of lights adorned upon Christmas displays.

Other attractions can also be found outside of your car, with food and pictures with Santa featured as well. On Sunday through Thursday, the light show is open from 5:30-10:30 PM, while Friday and Saturday are open an hour longer.

Lastly, although farther away, a Christmas-time classic for many is the Polar Express train ride in Williams, close to Flagstaff. While on the locomotive passengers will be treated with hot chocolate, a cheery atmosphere, and a visit to the “North Pole, a light show that marks the arrival of Santa on the train.

Go on Christmas Eve and you will even receive a special item. Stretching to January 6th, there is plenty of time to go take a ride. Trains depart at 5:30 and 7:30 PM, and to find specific days of operation, go to their website at

There is plenty to do with friends and family during the holidays, so if needed, reference one of these places to have a cheerful time and get yourself even more into the holiday spirit.