9 ways to get into the holiday spirit in Tucson

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to fully embrace the holiday season. From holiday shopping to concerts, there is plenty to do to celebrate the season here in the old pueblo.

Winterhaven Festival of Lights
Visited by hundreds of thousands of people from all over Southern Arizona, the 68th Annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights is a sight to be seen! Located near the intersection of E. Ft. Lowell Rd. and N. Country Club Rd., this neighborhood takes the term "holiday" to the next level, with lights and decorations on nearly every home. Winterhaven's website states the Festival of Lights is a "celebration for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Light is a common theme among many of the major religions of the world."
Dates: Saturday, December 9 to Tuesday, December 26 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: FREE. A food or money donation to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is suggested

Gingerbread House Unveiling & Celebration 
The Hilton El Conquistador Resort will unveil its life-sized gingerbread house on December 1. With over 100 pounds of flour, 350 pounds of powdered sugar, and 320 candy canes, this gingerbread house is no small feat! Santa Clause will arrive at 5:30 p.m. to unveil this epic display. Additionally, you can listen to Christmas carolers and enjoy some hot cocoa. If you can't make it to the event, make sure to stop by the hotel to check out this sugar masterpiece.
Date: Unveiling - Friday, December 1 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.,
Cost: FREE

Downtown Parade of Lights 
Enjoy the day downtown by visiting local shops, restaurants, and museums. At the end of the day, watch the mayor's tree lighting ceremony, followed by the 23rd Annual Downtown Parade of Lights & Festival. This parade featuring a variety of floats and spectacles, for the entire family to enjoy. 
Date:
Saturday, December 16
Cost: FREE

Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair
Start saving! With artists from all over the world, this bi-annual event has loads of gifts to buy for the holiday season. This 50-year old tradition brings in over 500,000 people each year, and features local entertainment, food, and much more!
Dates:  Friday, December 8 - Sunday, December 10
Cost: FREE

Zoo Lights
With twinkling lights, light displays, and animal-themed light sculptures, Reid Park Zoo's Zoo Lights is a holiday staple in Tucson. Enjoy falling snow, seeing Santa, live music, delicious treats, and carousel rides. 
Dates: Thursday, December 7 - Saturday, December 23 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Cost: $10/Adults, $6/Children, Free/Children under 2

Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus/ Tucson Girls Chorus
The Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and Tucson Girls Chorus provides children in the community with an enriched educational experience through music. This year the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus will perform at UA Crowder Hall with a fun, holiday lineup. Additionally, the Tucson Girls Chorus invites you to their annual concert, Sounds of Winter at the Fox Tucson Theatre on December 10. 
Tucson Girls Chorus (Fox Tucson Theatre): Sunday, December 10 at 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Prices vary on seating
Tucson Boys Chorus (UA Crowder Hall): Saturday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $15-$20/Adults, $8/Children

Luminaria Nights
2,000 luminarias and a special holiday light show transform the Tucson Botanical Garden into a winter wonderland. While you are there, you can also check out the garden's newest exhibit, Origami in the Gardens. 
Dates: December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $12/Adults, $6.50/Children 

Enchanted Snowfall
After a day of shopping, experience a Tucson snowfall in the La Encantada courtyard. Enjoy hot cocoa from Blanco or coffee from Peacock Coffee Roasters.
Dates: Every Friday and Saturday until December 23 from 6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Cost:  FREE

The Nutcracker
Experience exceptional dancing, with two versions of The Nutcracker. At Centennial Hall, you can experience Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker or at Tucson Music Hall, enjoy A Southwest Nutcracker featuring the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. 
Great Russian Nutcracker (Centennial Hall): Friday, December 22 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 
The Nutcracker (Tucson Music Hall): December 22, 23, 24 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Prices vary on seating


Do you have a 'Totally Tucson' idea you want to share? Email stephanie.dunlap@kgun9.com

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