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18 Fun Things to Do in Phoenix and Scottsdale This Month

Our picks for the top events and exhibitions in Phoenix and Scottsdale for Decmeber 2023 and January 2024.

Stop At the Red Light

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Through Dec. 24
This year, you’ll believe a reindeer really can fly. The timeless television special has been adapted for the stage, complete with misfit toys, an elf who moonlights as a dentist, reindeer games and a very cranky abominable snowman. Sat., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m. $13-$35. Herberger Theater Center Stage West, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, (480) 921-5700, childsplayaz.org

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer November 19-December 24 When the Christmas Eve weather gets too foggy for Santa, the time for reindeer games is over, and only one reindeer can guide the big guy’s sleigh. Sa, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Su, 1 p.m. $13-$35. Herberger Theater Center Stage West, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, 480-921-5700, childsplayaz.org

Game On

VRBO Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 1
The last edition of the classic college bowl game was a tense, high-scoring matchup that proved to be must-see football, and the way this season is playing out, history could repeat. Check the website for kickoff time. State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, (602) 379-0102, fiestabowl.org

Laugh In the New Year

John Mulaney
Dec. 31

John Mulaney, known as “Baby J” to those who’ve seen the former “Saturday Night Live” writer’s latest Netflix comedy special, will be back on the streets of Phoenix with a new hour of comedy to help you ring in 2024 on a hilarious note. 7 p.m. Check the website for ticket prices. Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, (602) 514-2919, livenation.com

Welcome Back, Stevie!

Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks
Dec. 8
Valley native Stevie Nicks is returning home to perform in the biggest venue in downtown Phoenix. Accompanying the Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll will be her contemporary: the “Piano Man,” Billy Joel. He also had a few hits back in the day, including “Uptown Girl,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “You May Be Right.” 7 p.m., $68-$347, Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, (602) 514-8400, dbacks.com

West Side Lights

Desert Farm Lights
Through Dec. 31
West Valley mom and blogger Shanelle Kunz wanted to bring the holidays closer to home, so she founded an eye-catching light display, now in its second year. But there’s more to this event than illumination. Expect a toy workshop, s’mores roast inside a snow globe, hayride, scented candy cane maze to Santa’s house and much more. 5:30-10 p.m., $20, 14629 W. Peoria Ave., Waddell, desertfarmlights.com

Light Up Your Animal Side

ZooLights
Through Jan.14
The festivities get wild during the Valley’s favorite holiday event. Real-life animals will roam alongside life-sized animal lanterns ranging from a herd of elephants to a “purple people eater.” You can also expect millions of LED lights throughout the zoo, a three-story-tall Christmas tree, and a dazzling music-in-motion show. 5:30-10:30 p.m. daily. $25-$35, Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, (602) 286-3800, phoenixzoo.org

Shop Till You Drop

West Valley Wonderland
Dec. 9-10
Does your gift list feel bigger this year? Tackle it at this shopping event, which features over 100 yards of one-of-a-kind gifts from roughly 100 vendors and local artisans. The kids can enjoy live performances by local musicians, dance teams and a giant claw machine while you find them an unforgettable present. The event begins at 10 a.m. Tickets start at $15. State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, (602) 379-0102, westvalleywonderland.com

Sugar-plum Visions

‘Twas the Night Before…
Dec. 15-24
Tear open the shutters and throw up the sash because Cirque du Soleil is bringing the timeless holiday poem about Santa’s yearly sleigh ride to life with all the jaw-dropping acrobatics you’ve come to expect from the famous troupe of performers. Check the website for times and ticket prices. Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, (602) 514-2919, livenation.com

You Oughta Know

Jagged Little Pill
Jan. 30-Feb. 4
If you want to hear some new music from Alanis Morrissette, she wrote two new songs for the musical “Jagged Little Pill,” inspired by her hit album of the same name. The critically acclaimed production also features a story conceived by “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody. Check website for times and ticket prices. Gammage Auditorium, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, (480) 965-3434, asugammage.com

Skate It Off

Disney on Ice Presents Frozen and Encanto
Jan.11-14
Two hit Disney movies will get a wintery twist with world-class ice skating. Olaf, everyone’s favorite magical snowman, will tell the story of “Frozen,” while Mirabel, of the magical Madrigal family, will share how her mysterious uncle Bruno fits into “Encanto.” Check the website for times and ticket prices. Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, (602) 379-7800, footprintcenter.com

Galleries & Museums

Represent

Luis Rivera Jimenez: A Brief Proposal on Race and Cultural Cosplay
Through Dec. 31
The Puerto Rican artist’s first solo museum exhibition uses sculptures and installations inspired by discussions, found objects, digital content and physical and ephemeral materials to ask questions about representation. Jimenez created these new works while in residence at CALA Alliance early in 2023. Call for times. ASU Art Museum, 51 E. 10th St., Tempe, (480) 965-2787, asuartmuseum.asu.edu

Art Shopping

3rd Annual Winter Artisan Market
Dec.1
If you’re tired of all the hustle and bustle looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone, the nonprofit Sonoran Arts League is offering you the opportunity to relax and enjoy shopping for once. More than 75 artisans will sell their jewelry, paintings, photography and more. You can even talk to the creatives about their processes. Free, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Holland Community Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale, (480) 488-1090, ext. 1003, hollandcenter.org

Picking the Blues

Acoustic America: Iconic Guitars, Mandolins and Banjos
Opening on Nov. 10
More than 90 acoustic stringed instruments played by the pioneers in folk, blues and bluegrass music will be displayed, including a banjo played by Earl Scruggs and Mississippi John Hurt’s 1964 Guild F-30 guitar. Call for times and ticket prices. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, (480) 478-6000, mim.org

A Winter Stroll

Gold Palette ArtWalk
Dec. 7
The monthly walk through the Scottsdale Arts District will get a holiday glow-up as part of the Scottsdazzle festivities. There will be themed collections from local and national artists, creative gifts, strolling carolers and a visit from a particular jolly gentleman in a red suit. 6:30-9 p.m., Main Street from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard and north of East Indian School Road on Marshall Way to 5th Ave., Scottsdale, scottsdazzle.com

In the Shadows

Shadow Passes, Light Remains: Binh Danh and Michael Koerner
Jan. 13-Feb. 24
Personal trauma and universal truth are developed both literally and figuratively in the darkrooms of visual artists Michael Koerner and Binh Danh. See how beauty and destruction merge and mutate in this stunning photographic exhibition. Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-
4 p.m. Opening reception, Jan. 13, 1-3 p.m. Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 E. Catalina Drive, Phoenix, (480) 990-7342, lisasettegallery.com

New Name, Same Market

46th Annual S’edav Va’aki Museum Indian Market
Dec. 9-10
The Pueblo Grande Museum underwent a name change this year and is now known as the S’edav Va’aki Museum. However, the annual market, featuring fine art, crafts and cultural items from more than 110 Native American artists is still going strong. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., $5 and free to Indigenous people; active and retired military personnel; S’edav Va’aki Museum Foundation members; children ages 12 and younger; and first responders. S’edav Va’aki Museum, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, (602) 534-2430, pueblogrande.com

Sipping Glass

31st Annual Winter Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival
Jan. 19-21
There’s a chill in the air, but the light warmth of blown glass being formed and created can bring some heat to an Arizona winter. But it doesn’t stop there. More than 155 juried fine artisans creating in all mediums will be on hand to catch your eye along with live music, food, wine and chocolate. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $5-$15, 101 Easy St., Carefree, (480) 837-5637, thunderbirdartists.com

Activism and Hope

Facing the Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent: Shepard Fairey
Through Jan. 21
If you don’t know muralist, activist and skateboarder Shepard Fairey, you certainly know his work. The contemporary street artist and fashion designer is responsible for the “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” sticker campaign and the “Hope” poster for President Obama’s election campaign. See how his aesthetic has evolved in this retrospective exhibition. Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., noon-5 p.m.; Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, (480) 644-6500, mesaartscenter.com

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