Christmas in Flagstaff & Holiday Events 2023

Christmas in Flagstaff is a magical time of year! Hidden on a mountain top at 7,000 feet and averaging over 100" of snow every year – it's life in a snow globe. Out of state visitors have a hard time believing that Arizona has its own Winter Wonderland. The average temps are in the 40Fs during the day with consistent Arizona sun, and you'll usually get a white Christmas under your feet with the warm sun on your face. Like other mountain towns, Christmas in Flagstaff truly feels like a summit oasis – even if you don't make it to Snowbowl (the local ski resort). With warm coffee and warmer locals, endless sledding hills and giant Ponderosa pines, Christmas in Flagstaff is sure to create lasting memories. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, Flagstaff can be Christmas perfection. Whether you're spending Christmas in Flagstaff with friends or family, there's something festive for you to enjoy that's sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Here are some of Flagstaff's Favorite Holiday Activities

1. Lights at the Station

Bundle up and grab the mittens to capture the magic of the holiday lights at the station located in the heart of historic downtown. This light display is free to all during the holiday season. Be sure to take a short stroll east of the Visitor Center to the corner of Route 66 and San Francisco to the 1911 Baldwin Steam locomotive, Old Two Spot, offering a dazzling light display.

  • Skate at the Station – December 2023

    FREE skating rink at the Flagstaff Visitor Center for the holiday season! The rink will be operated by the Shadows foundation, a Flagstaff non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping those affected by life-threatening diseases. There will also be fun special events scheduled at the rink with a toy drive, food drive, and more!


2. Sledding

Find the perfect and safest sledding hills in Flagstaff! Wondering where to take the kids sledding or tubing in Flagstaff? The whole family can enjoy playing in the snow, making snowmen have snowball fights in several of Flagstaff's snowy areas. You'll find that some of the designated snow play areas are safer with nearby restrooms, hot beverages and other recharging amenities. For a list of places to go sledding take a look at our favorites here: Flagstaff Sledding »

Please note that it is prohibited to park along the road on HWY 180.


3. North Pole Experience

Be transported through a portal to Santa's Workshop at the North Pole, where all the magic happens! Tour the entire workshop, build toys with the elves, visit the toy factory and enjoy special one-on-one time with Santa! This is an 8500-square-foot workshop, which includes Santa's Toy Hall of Fame, Santa's Toy Building Workshop, a large toy factory where all the real magic happens, Santa's Bakery with hot cocoa and cookies, Elf University, Santa's Office, "Area 47" — Santa's secret sleigh hanger, and of course, hot chocolate and cookies.
North Pole Experience »

North Pole Experience

4. Holiday Lights at Little America

Come see the spectacular holiday lights at Little America Hotel covering the grounds in a stunning display for all to enjoy through January 2023.

5. Polar Express

Ride the Polar Express in your pajamas, for the experience of a lifetime with your children! Every winter the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express comes to life on a journey from the nighttime wilderness of Williams, Arizona, to the enchanted beauty of “the North Pole”—where Santa Claus and his reindeer are waiting with a keepsake present for every good boy and girl. You’ll be smiling from ear to ear, as you watch children’s faces light up when the train arrives, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening to this timeless story.


6. HOLIDAY EVENTS DOWNTOWN

Downtown Flagstaff
  • December ArtWalk and Santa Sighting
    Downtown Flagstaff
    December 1, 2023
  • Breakfast with Santa
    Heritage Square
    December 2, 9, and 16, 2023
    9 - 11 am
  • Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting
    Heritage Square
    December 2, 2023
    2 - 8 pm
  • Window Decorating Contest
    Downtown Flagstaff
    December 1-31, 2023
  • 12 Bars of Christmas
    Downtown Flagstaff
    December 9, 2023
    2 - 7 pm
  • Holiday Parade of Lights
    Presented by the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce
  • Howlidays
    Heritage Square
    December 10, 2023
    10:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Winter Movie Series
    The Orpheum
    December 2, 9 and 16, 2023
    9:30 am
  • Noon Year's Eve
    Heritage Square
    December 31, 2023
    10 am - Noon
  • The Great Pinecone Drop
    The Weatherford Hotel
    December 31, 2023
    10 pm & 12 am

  • 7. Bearizona Wild Wonderland

    Enjoy lights and animals at this wild winter wonderland. Every Friday/Saturday/Sunday during the holiday season.
    Go to Bearizona ».

    8. Arizona Nordic Village

    Forget about malls, shopping and holiday stress. Take your family on a snowy adventure that they'll remember for years to come! The Arizona Nordic Village is located in the Coconino National Forest just 15 miles from downtown Flagstaff. Visitors get can away from the holiday hustle and bustle by staying in one of the large or small yurts or a log-sided camper cabin in the foothills of the San Francisco Peaks. During the winter season enjoy the well-groomed cross country ski trails of Arizona Nordic Village. They offer over 40 km of ski trails groomed for both classic and skate style skiing. With over 15 km of well-marked snowshoe trails, they are the perfect location for a winter hike.

    Go to Arizona Nordic Village ». Arizona Nordic Village

    9. Theatiricos Holiday Show

    Miracle on 34th Street - November 25 - December 18, 2022

    When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer defends him by arguing in court he is the real thing—thus exemplifying the true magic of the season.


    Info for Everyone to Read Before Your Flagstaff Christmas!

    • Be sure to check the local weather and road conditions before you travel up to Flagstaff.
    • Want to escape the crowds? Flagstaff has high-altitude trails no matter where you go. Check out Walnut Canyon, Forest Service Roads and places like Kendrick park to enjoy the peace and quiet.
    • Check out the local coffee and brewery scenes while you’re here to keep you warm

    Tips for a Smooth Trip

    • Be sure to drink a lot of water to acclimatize to the elevation
    • Minimize alcohol to avoid dehydration
    • Winter temps are warm during the day and very cold at night - Pack accordingly.
    • Book your accommodation in advance
    • Show love and respect to the locals and the land

    Flagstaff Holiday Event Calendar & Christmas Festivities

    BOOK YOUR STAY NOW


    MORE THINGS TO EXPERIENCE THIS CHRISTMAS

    Little America Hotel Flagstaff

    Little America is truly one of the best Flagstaff hotels. From our 500-acre private forest to our friendly, knowledgeable concierge staff, Little America exemplifies the adventurous spirit and hospitality of Grand Canyon area Flagstaff hotels.
    9.3
    2871 reviews

    Arizona Vacation Home Rentals

    3 different homes in Flagstaff to choose from! Enjoy friendly wildlife, breathtaking scenery and a rustic setting from the comforts of your own vacation home in a quality mountain town. Each home is specially selected for its uniqueness, views, comfort and enhancement of your vacation expe
    3 different homes in Flagstaff to choose from! Enjoy friendly wildlife, breathtaking scenery and a rustic setting from the comforts of your own vacation home in a quality mountain town. Each home is specially selected for its uniqueness, views, comfort and enhancement of your vacation experience. You'll find each one comfortably furnished - especially the beds, for your ultimate rejuvenation.

    2.5 Acres in the Pines w/ Game Room, Hot Tub, & Space for your family. Just 15 min from Downtown!

    Our home is nestled in 2.5 acres of Ponderosa Pines with breathtaking views of Doney Park East ridges & immediate access to hiking/mtn biking. The house is updated with a Gourmet kitchen & all the amenities you might need.

    This is the perfect base for all your adventures includi

    Our home is nestled in 2.5 acres of Ponderosa Pines with breathtaking views of Doney Park East ridges & immediate access to hiking/mtn biking. The house is updated with a Gourmet kitchen & all the amenities you might need.

    This is the perfect base for all your adventures including the Grand Canyon, skiing Snowbowl, hiking, exploring Sedona, visiting Flagstaff/NAU or exploring the attractions. Its 5 bedrooms, 3 baths comfortably accommodate 12 making this house perfect for large groups/families.


    Rustic A-Frame - 4 Bdrms, Loft, Game Room, & Firepit.

    This Flagstaff vacation rental and is nestled in the Kachina Pines with breathtaking views of the surrounding forest & immediate access to trails. The house is newly updated including the kitchen & all amenities you might need, including alexa music throughout.

    This is the perfe

    This Flagstaff vacation rental and is nestled in the Kachina Pines with breathtaking views of the surrounding forest & immediate access to trails. The house is newly updated including the kitchen & all amenities you might need, including alexa music throughout.

    This is the perfect base for all your adventures including the Grand Canyon, skiing Snowbowl, hiking, exploring Sedona, and visiting Flagstaff/NAU. Its 4 bedrooms, 2 baths comfortably accommodate 12.


    Cabins & Yurts At AZ Nordic Village

    Stay in a yurt or cabin at the AZ Nordic Village, a premier outdoor recreation destination just north of Flagstaff. Perfectly situated in the cool pine and aspen forests at 8,000 ft of elevation between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon National Park, the Village offers rustic cabin and yurt rent
    Stay in a yurt or cabin at the AZ Nordic Village, a premier outdoor recreation destination just north of Flagstaff. Perfectly situated in the cool pine and aspen forests at 8,000 ft of elevation between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon National Park, the Village offers rustic cabin and yurt rentals year-round, and summer campsites that are RV-friendly. Frontcountry yurts and cabins are available for those seeking easy access, and five backcountry yurts offer solitude and natural settings with more comforts than a typical backpacking adventure. Many miles of hiking and biking trails leave right from the Village, and there are numerous other activities nearby, including the Lava River Cave, Red Mountain, Arizona Snowbowl, the Arizona National Scenic Trail, and many other hiking and biking trails.

    In the winter season, the Arizona Nordic Village hosts a groomed trail system for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and fatbiking. Over 20 miles of trails offer opportunities for everybody to have a winter adventure!

MORE THINGS TO DO AROUND FLAGSTAFF