Merry and Bright: Celebrating Christmas in Mesa, Arizona

Mesa is the perfect destination to choose for your Christmas vacation. Just east of Phoenix, there is seemingly no end to what you can see and do when you get into town.

Mesa Grande Cultural Park is home to an ancient ceremonial mound and artifacts of the Hohokam People. The Arizona Museum of Natural History is a great place to learn about the state’s history. The Mesa Arts Center is ideal for taking in a show.

If you are planning to visit Mesa during the holiday season, here is an idea of the things you will want to check out when you’re in town.

Lights at the Farm

Lights at the Farm take place at Vertuccio Farms. It is a walk-through synchronized light show that features tons of LED lights. In addition to seeing the display, guests can also skate on the 4000 square foot skating surface made with the world’s fastest synthetic panels. Skaters will enjoy the open-air Desert Starry Night experience.

The farm is open nightly from 5:30 to 10:00 PM throughout the holiday season. It includes an America section that pays tribute to all the Active, Retired and Fallen Military Personnel. 

Merry Main St.

Mesa’s downtown area transforms into a winter wonderland every holiday season. Attractions include Mesa’s Christmas tree, a four-story tree located on Macdonald and Main St. The festivities kick off with a tree lighting event hosted by the mayor that’s full of fun activities.

The Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is also part of the event. Guests can skate the 5000 square foot rink under the stars and take in the many decorations on the streets surrounding it.

Families can bring children for visits with Santa and get unique photo opps inside Santa’s sELFie Village.

Adults will enjoy holiday shopping at the Mesa Farmers Market and Flea.

Mesa Christmas at the Malls

There are several malls in Mesa that make for great holiday shopping. You can count on them being decorated and there may just be areas for visits with Santa. The Superstition Mall in East Mesa and the Fiesta Mall in west Mesa are both worth checking out.

San Tan Village Mall in Gilbert

Gilbert is located just 15 minutes outside of Mesa and it has its share of holiday attractions. Visitors should not pass on a chance to visit San Tan Village, the city’s open-air mall. It’s a great destination for holiday shopping and you can also enjoy the ‘falling snow’. Go to the center of the mall to check out Santa Claus Lane and the firepits that will help you shake off a chill.

Mesa Mormon Temple

The Mesa Mormon Temple opened in 1927 and it is the first of six Latter Day Saints churches to open in the city. It features impressive architecture, and it looks especially lovely during the Christmas season. Park nearby and get out to stroll the grounds that will be tastefully lit to ring in the holiday.

W. Natal Circle

W. Natal Circle is just another street in Mesa most of the year, but during Christmastime, it is a major tourist attraction. The homes light up, each with a different theme like airplanes, motorcycles and more. The garages will be decked out with neon beer signs, tiki themes décor and other stand out elements.

Be warned that the neighborhood can get absolutely packed on the weekends and there are even tour buses coming in with groups of people wanting to check out the lights.

Zoo Lights and Luminarias in Phoenix

Mesa is only a half hour drive from Phoenix which has its share of Christmas attractions. Take the trip over to check out the Zoo Lights event at the Phoenix Zoo. The Desert Botanical Gardens is just next door, and it will be hosting a show called Las Noches de las Luminarias with glowing luminarias and great holiday music.

A Christmas Carol at Hale

The Hale Theater in Gilbert makes a showing of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol an annual tradition. Stop by to check out this holiday ghost story spectacular. Afterwards, hang around for some faux snow and Christmas carols. While you are in the downtown section, be sure to catch one of the horse and carriage rides that are available right across from the venue.

Mesa Christmas

Take a trip over to the house located on 1610 E Hermosa Vista in Mesa for a synchronized Christmas music lights show not to be missed. Tune your radio to 107.5 FM for the musical accompaniment. The event is free to attend but donations to Nurture Our World, a charity that helps children in need, are recommended. Drop off your old cell phones and aluminum cans to benefit the cause.

Arizona Lights in the Night

Arizona Lights in the Night takes place on Alma School Rd. in Mesa. The drive through event takes you through endless lights synchronized to music and life-sized candy canes, snowmen and Christmas tree displays. Buy tickets early and receive a stuffed, light up bear at the door. Part of the proceeds are donated to local children’s charities.

Mesa Christmas Market

The Mesa Christmas Market aims to recreate the European markets that have been around for centuries. It features over 20 local vendors in pop up shops selling traditional and nontraditional food items and handcrafted goods. The area is beautifully decorated and live performances take place under a 35 ft. Christmas tree.

If you are looking to get out of town for the Christmas season, Mesa is the place to be. With so much going on, it may be difficult to decide which of these activities to get to first. Which will you be prioritizing when you get to town?


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