The High Country Holidays in Flagstaff bring together the warm memories of past holidays with new traditions for family and friends to embrace. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, Flagstaff is abuzz with plenty of holiday spirit and residents and visitors alike will share in the joy of the season. With crisp mountain air and roaring fireplaces, Flagstaff will warm your soul and refresh your spirits. We invite you to experience the High Country Holidays and make Flagstaff your new holiday tradition.
November 9, 2018 - January 5, 2019
The Polar Express
- Grand Canyon Railway·
Grand Canyon Railway in Williams. Based on the adventures of the classic children’s book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, the Grand Canyon Railway is taking you on a journey to the “North Pole”! Departing from Williams, this enchanting train will arrive at the “North Pole,” where Santa Claus and his reindeer will merrily be waiting to hand out presents. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided by Santa’s chefs during the train ride. Other activities at Grand Canyon Railway include pictures with Mrs. Claus and Santa’s Helper in the Polar Room. Also, be sure to visit with our staff Elves and Hobo, who will be wandering around the Platform throughout the evening. Those interested are encouraged to call early to make reservations. Departure times: 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and select days feature a 3:30 p.m. matinee departure.
November 14 - January 6, 2019
Holiday of Lights Festival
- Little America Hotel ·
- (928) 799-7900
Starting November 14, Little America Hotel is decorated with millions of lights to create a stunning holiday display.
November 16 - December 28, 2018
North Pole Experience
- Little America Hotel·
The North Pole Experience is an incredible opportunity for families to visit Santa in the “North Pole” during the Christmas season. When visiting Santa’s Workshop, families will be able to participate in a multitude of activities, such as building toys with the elves, touring the toy factory and meeting Santa for photos. Trips to Santa’s Workshop will depart via trolley from the Little America Hotel situated in Flagstaff’s ponderosa pine forest. Lodging accommodations can also be made through Little America Hotel. Tickets are expected to sell out early, so early reservations are encouraged. Departures: Day trips 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Evening trips 4-8:50 p.m. *Please visit website for specific dates of tours.
November 30 - December 16
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Presented by Theatrikos Theatre Company
- Doris Harper-White Playhouse·
In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids—probably the most inventively awful kids in history. Audiences won’t believe the mayhem, and the fun, when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” was written by Barbara Robinson and features a cast of 29 children and adults. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.
November 30 - December 1
The Nutcracker Presented by Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra
- Ardrey Auditorium ·
Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra presents three performances of the Nutcracker, the beloved ballet by Tchaikovsky. Richly costumed dancers of NAU Community Music and Dance Academy Ballet Troupe will perform the enchanting Christmas Eve story. Adding their voices will be The Flagstaff Youth Chorale. Friday and Saturday evening concerts, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, begin at 7:30 pm at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on the campus of Northern Arizona University. A special version for young children, the Lollipop Concert, is Saturday, December 1, from 2-3 pm.
December 1, 2018
Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting
- Historic Downtown Flagstaff
Beginning at 3pm there will be music, luminaria bag decorating, cookie decorating, hot cocoa and more! The Tree Lighting takes place at 5:30pm. Make sure to stick around for pictures with Santa from 6-8pm! Kick off your holiday season in downtown Flagstaff – home of Arizona’s Winter Wonderland! Free.
December 3 and December 10
Claus and Paws
- Flagstaff Mall·
Don’t forget pictures with Santa for your four-legged family member this year. Don’t have a pet to take a picture with? No problem, Coconino Humane Association has you covered. An adoption event will be taking place during Claus and Paws! Pets should be on a leash, in a carrier or held at all times. Pets and their handlers should remain in the mall’s common areas at all times. 6-8 p.m.
December 6, 2018 - December 31, 2018
- Riordan Mansion·
- (928) 779-4395
The Mansion is festively decorated in turn-of-the-century style with wreaths, garlands, greenery and a towering fir tree trimmed with old-fashioned ornaments. Guided tours through Riordan Mansion State Historic Park include glimpses of folklore and traditions of Christmas, both past and present. Closed Christmas Day. Thurs.-Mon. in December.
A Christmas Carol Suite in Modern Bare Feet Presented by Canyon Movement Company Inc.
- Clifford E. White Theater·
The Holiday Classic like you’ve never seen it before – in dance! Join us for our premier performance of A Christmas Carol in dance. Aerial dance, a stilt walker, youth dancers, multi-media including film, modern choreography and new music! Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m. Sat. 11:00 a.m.
Riordan Mansion Annual Christmas Party and Crafts
- Riordan Mansion·
Santa will be on hand to visit with children and Mrs. Claus will read Christmas stories. In addition, there will be crafts for the children to make and take home, as well as Christmas music, cookies, and cider. Free. 9-11 a.m.
December 8 and December 15, 2018
Breakfast with Santa
- Weatherford Hotel in Downtown Flagstaff·
Breakfast with Santa is taking place at the Weatherford Hotel in Downtown Flagstaff this winter! Join Santa for pictures, a hot buffet-style breakfast, music, crafts, and holiday memories downtown! There will be two breakfasts, December 8th and 15th, from 9am-10:30am. Doors will open at 9am for pictures, and breakfast will be served at 9:30am! There are only 60 tickets available for each Saturday, and will go on sale soon! Check out our Facebook page "Breakfast with Santa 2018" for updates on when & where to buy tickets.
Sounds of the Season by Flagstaff Sings
- Flagstaff Mall·
Come and join Flagstaff Sings at the food court in the Flagstaff Mall. We will perform some of your favorite Christmas carols, holiday music, and some of our exciting Broadway review music from our concert in November! Special Guest band members from NAU. Take a break from holiday shopping and have a fun musical celebration at the mall. 12-1:30 p.m.
December 8, 2018
Holiday Parade of Lights
- Historic Downtown Flagstaff·
The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce presents the Vora Financial Holiday Parade of Lights with support from APS at 6 p.m., Saturday, December 8 in historic downtown Flagstaff. This spectacular “electric” parade has become a favorite holiday tradition. Join the excitement and watch the streets of downtown Flagstaff light up the winter night as more than 60 floats, lavishly decorated with thousands of twinkling lights, parade through historic downtown Flagstaff.
Christmas in the Mountains
- Ardrey Memorial Auditorium·
Ring in the season as NAU’s Harter Handbell Choir, Flagstaff High School Choir, Flagstaff Youth Chorale, and guest orchestra join the Master Chorale and Arizona Mountain Chorale. The whole family will enjoy this festive concert of sing-alongs and favorites old and new. 3 p.m.
Get your picture with Santa. Creative Cookie Decorating. Skate at the Station. Exciting Games and Crafts for all ages. 12-4 p.m.
"Let it Snow" Science
- Museum of Northern Arizona·
A seasonal celebration with snow science and crafts for kids in the Discovery Room, visits with Santa in the Living Room and community storytelling for older kids and adults in the auditorium. 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
December 15-January 5
Skate at the Station
- Flagstaff Visitor Center
Skate at the Station returns for its second year! Free skating and skate rental offered for the 2018 holiday season. This event is brought to you by the City of Flagstaff and Shadows Foundation. Sun.-Thurs. 12-4 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 12-8 p.m Closed Christmas Day and New Years Day. Closing at 4 p.m. on January 5.
December 15, 2018
Orchestra Northern Arizona Candy Cane Concert
- Coconino High School
Join us for great music and holiday fun at our annual, free Candy Cane Concert, December 15, 2 p.m., in Coconino High School’s Main Auditorium. Celebrate the season with us as we play Christmas classics and holiday favorites including Sleigh Ride, A Christmas Festival, and a holiday sing-along, plus enter to win a chance to conduct the orchestra in our second half! All ages welcome!
Lowell42: Holiday Skies
- Lowell Observatory·
Most of us have heard the biblical account of the Star of Bethlehem, but have you heard of the scientific interpretation of the iconic star? Join us as we explore the various astronomical phenomenon that could have been the Star of Bethlehem. 7-8 p.m.
- Historic Downtown Flagstaff
Continue the tradition of strolling along glowing downtown streets while enjoying caroling from the Master Chorale of Flagstaff. This Luminaria Stroll will also be the same evening as Locals’ Night, so make sure to take advantage of all the amazing specials offered by our amazing local businesses!
December 25, 2018
Christmas Champagne Brunch
- Little America Hotel·
- (928) 779 7900
The Little America Hotel hosts its traditional Holiday Champagne Brunch with an array of tantalizing options including hand-carved meats, seafood, omelets, waffles crepes and chocolate fondue. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
New Year’s Eve
December 31, 2018
Noon Year’s Eve
- Heritage Square
Join us for Downtown's inaugural event to celebrate the arrival of the New Year during daylight hours with a countdown to 12:00 noon! Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans will lead the countdown, and once noon strikes we will cheer with a sparkling apple cider toast and kisses...Hershey kisses, that is. We will have a ton of fun activities leading up to the countdown such as firework art, live music, noisemakers, snacks and more. 10 a.m. - noon.
December 31, 2018 - January 1, 2019
The Great Pinecone Drop
- Weatherford Hotel ·
- (928) 779-1919
The historic Weatherford Hotel settled in the heart of downtown Flagstaff will be presenting a New Year’s Eve Tradition, the dropping of a six-foot tall Pine Cone. The Pine Cone will be displayed at an elevated three stories as a giant holiday ornament for the entire city to admire until the New Year. On December 31, there will be two lowerings of the Pine Cone, the first one beginning at 10 p.m., followed by the second one at midnight. This event has attracted thousands of people to the town square as they countdown into a New Year! Times: First drop at 10 p.m. Second drop: midnight.