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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
February 2023
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Last Minute Holiday Events for 2022!
By Claire Natale - Thursday Dec 15, 2022
Christmas and Hanukkah are fast approaching! If you and your family are looking for some last-minute ways to celebrate, check out these holiday events across the Valley!

Santa Photos across the Valley

Free Photos with Santa at Desert Ridge Marketplace
This Friday, Dec. 16, Santa is taking a night off from the North Pole and heading to Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix. From 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., stroll through the enchanting marketplace and get the family together for holiday pictures with Santa Claus in front of a beautiful wintery backdrop. Desert Ridge will also be offering free digital prints of photos with Santa on Dec. 16. Desert Ridge Marketplace is located at 21001 N. Tatum Blvd. in Phoenix.

Photos With Santa at Scottsdale Quarter
Capture joyful holiday moments at Scottsdale Quarter by taking a photo with Santa daily through December 25. Santa’s cabin is located inside Santa City in The Quad. Hours and photo packages vary. Reservations are recommended.

Photos with Santa at The Shops at Norterra
Sip cocoa and smile for a photo with Santa at Elevate Coffee Co. at The Shops at Norterra! The final day to get pictures is Saturday, December 17 from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. The Shops at Norterra is located at 2450 W Happy Valley Rd #1142, Phoenix, AZ 85085.

Photos with Santa at Queen Creek Marketplace
It's not Christmas without getting your picture taken with Santa! On Saturday, Dec. 17 come enjoy a free photo with jolly, St. Nick from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Queen Creek Marketplace. Set up near Kohls and Ulta, get in the holiday spirit and snap a memory while finishing up your holiday shopping before it’s too late Queen Creek Marketplace is located at 21398 S. Ellsworth Loop Rd. in Queen Creek.

Photos with Santa at Westgate
Mr. Kringle is making his rounds in our town! Pose for a free picture at Westgate’s designated Santa stop with a luminous Christmas tree backdrop on select days. His schedule is as follows:

• December 17 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• December 18 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• December 19 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• December 20 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• December 21 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• December 22 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• December 23 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• December 24 — 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Photos to be taken on your own personal device. Photos are on a first come, first served basis. No reservations allowed. Westgate is located at 6770 N Sunset Blvd, Glendale, AZ 85305.

Holiday Extravaganza at Fountain Hills
Get in the Christmas Spirit with Mrs. Claus on Friday Dec. 23 from 10 a.m.- 11 a.m., at the Fountain Hills Library. After a story time with Mrs. Claus, parents will be allowed to take photos of their children. There will also be a “Crafts from Around the World” station, face painting, and music by the SoSco Duo until 2:30 p.m. to embrace the holidays. For more information please visit https://www.experiencefountainhills.org/events/2022/holiday-extravaganza .

Menorah Lightings across the Valley

Menorah Lighting at Scottsdale Quarter
Join Chabad of Scottsdale in the Scottsdale Quarter Quad and enjoy some fun! This year’s Chanukah celebration will start on December 18th from 4:30-5:30 p.m. with music, entertainment, treats, and a giant menorah lighting. The menorah will be lit every evening throughout the holiday.

Menorah Lighting at Westgate
Join Westgate and Chabad of the West Valley to celebrate Hanukkah with a grand Menorah lighting on December 21st from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Fountain Park! This event will be complete with activities, raffle prizes, games for children and live entertainment!

Additional holiday events

Desert Farm Lights
End 2022 surrounded by one million twinkling lights and hundreds of colorful balloons at Desert Farm Lights, the West Valley’s first-ever holiday bash drawing families from all over Arizona! Open now until Jan. 8, this immersive and walkable holiday light installation boasts activations like a half-acre light maze surrounding a 20-foot Christmas tree, bounce houses, a giant gingerbread slide, free visits with Santa and the Grinch, and much more! On Dec. 31 at 8 p.m., attendees will enjoy a New Year’s Eve balloon drop illuminated by glimmering elves, snow men and candy canes.

To purchase tickets, view an ever-updating event calendar and see event hours, visit desertfarmlights.com.

Fountain Hills Artists Gallery
Still looking for a gift for a loved one, family member, or friend? From December 1-24, for every $500 you spend at Fountain Hills Artists Gallery, you will receive a $100 gift certificate to be used on future purchases. Gift certificates expire six months from date of purchase. For more details visit http://www.fountainhillsartistsgallery.com.

Fountain Hills Community Band Concert
Enjoy the annual concert of Christmas and Hanukkah music. Featuring such songs as “White Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride,” we’ll get you in the holiday spirit! For more information please visit https://www.experiencefountainhills.org/events/2022/fountain-hills-community-band-holiday-concert.

Holiday Carolers at Scottsdale Quarter
Enjoy holiday music from the Dicken's Carolers and Pete Pancrazzi at Scottsdale Quarter every Saturday and Sunday afternoon through December 18 while you stroll through Santa City in The Quad.

Holiday Party at Happy Valley Towne Center
Join the Snow Sisters and their adorable snowman friend on Sunday, December 18th in the parking lot near Mountainside Fitness at Happy Valley Towne Center from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.! Walk through a winter wonderland filled with music, games, snowflake crafts, face painting & more. Don't forget to capture the magical moment and snap a free digital photo with the Snow Sisters. Plus, help support Arizona military families with AZTV Hometown Heroes Toy Drive. Bring an unwrapped toy during the event and receive a free $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card (*while supplies last*).

Holiday Party at Lake Pleasant Towne Center
Head over to Lake Pleasant Towne Center for a fun-filled winter wonderland on Sunday, Dec. 18. Meet favorite holiday characters and stay awhile to create a fun snowflake craft. The fun starts begins on 11 a.m. through 1 p.m. and is near Chipotle and Smashburger. Plus, help support Arizona military families with AZTV Hometown Heroes Toy Drive. Bring an unwrapped toy during the event and receive a free $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card (*while supplies last*).


Holiday Toy Drive at Scottsdale Quarter
Scottsdale Quarter is partnering with Arizona Helping hands for their annual Holiday Toy Drive benefiting local foster youth. From December 5-20, The Quarter will accept new toys and new clothing for babies, children and teens. Stop by Santa City in The Quad and look for the donation bin in the cabin. Thanks to the generosity of our community, Arizona Helping Hands has made the holidays joyful for children throughout the state since 1998.


Light Up the Town at Fountain Hills
Take a drive through Fountain Hills and vote for your favorite light display! Voting closes on December 31st. You can only vote once for each category, so it is recommended to wait until you have completed the drive to submit your votes. The entries are put in an order that may be the most convenient to drive but feel free to visit them in any order that works best for you and your family. We recommend visiting the Community Center first since it closes by 8:00 pm! The drive will be visible each night from December 12 - December 31, 2022. For more information please visit https://fountainhillsaz.gov/732/Light-the-Town-Holiday-Drive .

Santa Hustle at Westgate
Registration is now open for the Santa Hustle Glendale 5K, Half Marathon and Kids’ Dash. The 7th annual race will take place on Sunday, December 18 at Westgate Entertainment District, 6770 N. Sunset Boulevard. The Kids Dash kicks off at 7:30 a.m., followed by the half marathon at 8 a.m. and the 5K at 8:15 a.m. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to Glendale Firefighter Charities, who works to support the efforts of other local charities as well as elicits help when needed to fulfill community needs.

Cookie and candy stations, along with holiday music and cheer, will abound along the Santa Hustle and Kids Dash course – and immediately following the race, participants can jingle all the way to an awards ceremony! Thousands of people participate in the Santa Hustle across the country each year, and now the race is also offered virtually!

Participants in both races will receive a Santa Hustle beanie, cozy hoodie, and a finisher medal. Participants can also purchase a Mrs. Claus package, a full Santa suit or a Santa shirt during registration.

To register, please visit: https://runsignup.com/Race/AZ/Glendale/SantaHustleGlendale