14 Fun Things to do this Holiday Season in Northern Arizona
9. Tinsel Town at Sedona’s Posse Ground Park
Every Thursday-Sunday, you can take a scenic walk around Sedona’s Posse Ground Park, which is lit up for the holidays with various lights and displays. It’s free, so get out there and enjoy some beautiful decorations created by local community members and businesses. While you are in Sedona, there are many other events to enjoy including Old Time ornament making at the Sedona Heritage Museum, listening to carolers and seeing the town tree at Canyon Breeze Plaza, the Tlaquepaque Sweet Stroll, and much more.
Be sure to take scenic Oak Creek Canyon to get to Sedona. This gorgeous drive features endless incredible scenery including gorgeous leafy trees, the magnificent red rocks, and beautiful pines and mountains. The diverse scenery has earned the drive its’ place amongst most scenic drives in the US. After a major winter storm, you can see the red rocks topped with a fresh layer of snow – but you must hurry as it does not last very long. Unusual, yet strikingly beautiful!
Location: 525 Posse Ground Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336
Dates: December 3rd-January 3rd, from 6pm-9pm(Thursday-Sundays only)
Admission: It’s free!
Unfortunately, there are no outdoor rinks anywhere in Northern Arizona. Flagstaff is home to the only indoor rink. Ice skating is so much fun around the holidays – you just have to add it to your winter to-do list!
Nothing says Christmas quite like ice skating! Unfortunately for some odd reason, there are no outdoor rinks in Northern Arizona. Wintry areas like Flagstaff and Williams provide the perfect setting for skating, yet they lack a rink, while warm and dry Phoenix gets several! Go figure! Your best bet is the only skating option in the area, an indoor rink at Jay Lively Activity Center.
A variety of public skating sessions, including an adult’s only session on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 10:00am-11:45am are available. Check the <a href=”http://flagstaff.az.gov/index.aspx?NID=1045″>Jay Lively website</a> for public skating hours. While not as festive and fun as outdoor skating, at least you have the opportunity to enjoy one of America’s favorite holiday past times!
Location: 1650 N Turquoise Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86001</span>
Admission: $6.75 admission, $4 skate rental
11. Sleigh Rides at Hitchin’ Post Stables
Nothing says Christmas in the country like an old fashioned horse drawn sleigh ride through a beautiful snow covered forest. Hitchin’ Post Stables, a trail riding company located off Lake Mary Road in Flagstaff, offers a variety of seasonal events throughout the year including winter sleigh rides through the Coconino County National Forest. One of the highlights of visiting is the simple fact that it i located nowhere near the very busy, business overrun town, so you can experience some peaceful, rustic, old fashioned fun in a secluded nature setting.
Although the out in the country setting is nice, they could put a bit more effort into making it more festive and perhaps hire some more enthusiastic staff. Nevertheless, it’s your only real option in the area for a real sleigh ride, due to the snowy setting of the Coconino Forest and Flagstaff’s average snowfall totals. Depending on the snow forecast, you could be enjoying a ride through a winter wonderland as early as December.
Bundle up as it can get pretty cold and windy in the winter months (temps are typically in the low 40’s on average during the day and much colder at night), although you will get to stop for a hot cocoa by the fire midway through your ride. So check the forecast frequently and plan your ride for a snowy afternoon to get the full effect (otherwise it will be more of a wagon ride like that pictured above). What could be more magical than taking sleigh ride with light fluffy snow falling down on you and covering the pine trees surrounding you?
Location: 4848 Lake Mary Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Dates: November 20th-March 15th
Pricing: $45 per person, private rides extra
12. Prescott Courthouse Lights
Each year at Prescott’s courthouse lighting ceremony, hundreds of trees are decked out in the gorgeous colors of the season. If you happen to be in town for the official lighting ceremony, you will be treated to a pre lighting parade, carolers, and the reading of A Christmas Story. You are in luck as there are many other great holiday events in Prescott including Valley of Lights, The World’s Largest Gingerbread Village, free carriage rides, Zoo Lights, and much more!
Location: 120 S. Cortez Street, Prescott, AZ 86303
Dates: The lights are turned on December 5th and stay up until mid January
While in Prescott, be sure to sign up for a free holiday carriage ride. Unlike the pricey carriage rides in downtown Williams, you can venture over to Prescott for a complimentary horse drawn ride around beautiful downtown Prescott. This free event is offered complimentary of Springhill Suites Marriott. Meet in the hotel lobby on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon-4pm for this budget friendly opportunity for festive fun! Before your ride, you can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, and/or cider! This is a great opportunity to take a festive holiday themed ride through charming downtown Prescott, which looks beautiful during the holiday season.
Location: The lobby of Springhill Suites by Marriott (200 E Sheldon St, Prescott, AZ 86301)
Dates: Weekends from noon-4pm, December 4th-January 2nd
Admission: It’s free!