Unique Arizona Holiday Traditions for Your New Home

Unique Arizona Holiday Traditions for Your New Home

Unique Arizona Holiday Traditions for Your New Home

Unique Arizona Holiday Traditions for Your New Home


The holidays are a wonderful time to visit Arizona and view homes for sale. Don’t miss these unique Arizona holiday traditions for your new home.


Each region of the U.S. has special winter festivities. If you’re planning to relocate to the Phoenix area, don’t miss some of these unique Arizona holiday traditions for your new home. The holidays are a great time to visit and see what your new community has to offer at this special time of year.

Our climate won’t necessarily provide a Currier and Ives postcard aesthetic—unless you’re high in the Arizona hills, where snow is possible! But our desert traditions and multicultural communities have an abundance of festive events for residents to enjoy during the holiday season.


The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix glows with thousands of luminaria and holly along curving walks throughout the garden. Buy tickets in advance. The event runs through the end of December.

Camelback Santa

Sometime in the last decade, some hikers went up the Camelback Mountain trail and set up a Christmas tree at the summit. Then a volunteer, John Cressey, became “Camelback Santa,” distributing candy canes to anyone who took the trail to the top to get a photo with him.

The hikers and volunteers have reached an agreement with the park service to keep the area clean and litter-free and are now using birdseed ornaments. They remove the tree each night and bring it back the next day to minimize environmental impact.

Chandler Tumbleweed Tree

Arizonans have been known to craft snowmen out of tumbleweeds. The city of Chandler take holiday tumbleweeds to the next level with a Christmas tree made out of tumbleweed. They spray the tree with fire retardant and paint and string colorful lights on it in a ceremony that’s back in 2022 after a temporary pandemic shutdown.

Polar Express Grand Canyon Train

The whole family will love the 90-minute train ride that leads from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon. The train ride is based on the children’s classic holiday book, “The Polar Express,” and delivers passengers to Santa and his reindeer at the “North Pole.”

Glendale Glitters

In the nearby Phoenix suburb of Glendale, enjoy brilliant lights, shopping, and live performances at the annual “Glendale Glitters” event. Check the schedule for movies, too!


The Phoenix Zoo is brilliant with lights and music during the holiday season. Tickets include a visit to the “Dinosaurs in the Desert” exhibit.

Creative Cacti

Don’t be surprised by the occasional Santa hat atop Arizona’s signature Saguaro cactuses! The famous I-17 Christmas “tree” (actually a juniper bush) fell victim to fire, ending a long-standing Arizona holiday tradition. But Arizonans find many substitutes for trees to decorate, from shrubs to palm trees.

Professional tree services are available to consult with Phoenix residents about maintaining the health of native trees through the holiday season. They can determine whether a tree can bear decorations or is better left in its natural state.

Arizona is ready to welcome you for a holiday visit or a permanent stay in your new Phoenix area home!