“Million Dollar Quartet Christmas”
THROUGH JANUARY 2
In December 1956, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley all wound up together in a mysterious studio session as one star-studded ensemble. And at the Phoenix Theatre Company through early January, the famed quartet gets together again the very next day to celebrate the holidays with plenty of classics.
Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.254.2151, phoenixtheatre.com, various dates and times, see website for prices
THROUGH JANUARY 5
Put on your skates and hit the ice, as CitySkate is back — and the experience has been revamped. Nevertheless, the new design and size won’t affect the festive feel. We may live in Arizona, but this annual tradition keeps the winter spirit alive with ice skating. Hours may vary on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. General admission is $18 and includes skate rental and 90 minutes of skate time during designated sessions, but other price tiers and discounts — including for children — are available.
Patriots Park, 11 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.781.6036, cityskatephx.com, various dates and times, prices vary
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Musical”
DECEMBER 2 TO DECEMBER 12
What do you get when you combine a classic book and a popular Valley theater? “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Musical”! Presented by East Valley Children’s Theatre and based on the book by Barbara Robinson, this musical comedy — written by Jahnna Beecham with music and lyrics by Malcolm Hillgartner — tells the story of a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant when casting the awful Herdman kids.
Mesa Arts Center’s Nesbitt Elliott Playhouse, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, $15
DECEMBER 4 TO DECEMBER 18
Local boutique Frances’ craft series is back, with several chances remaining to stop by the courtyard to peruse the variety of local vendors selling goods. The event is held Saturdays through December 18, with pop-ups — think vendors like Iconic Cocktail Co., Naked Rebellion, Desert Dust Jewelry and Voyager Bakeshop — lining the parking lot to cover all grounds: crafts, clothes, art, food and more.
Frances, 10 W. Camelback Road, Suite A, Phoenix, 602.279.5467, shopfrancesboutique.com, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, free admission
Holiday Toy Drive
Disney on Ice is coming to the Valley this January, but before that, the Scottsdale Fire Department is putting on this holiday toy drive for a variety of community charities. What do the two have to do with each other? Well, the first 1,000 people to donate a new, unwrapped toy will get a complimentary ticket to “Disney on Ice presents Dream Big” redeemable for select showtimes between January 13 and January 16. One voucher per person/per donation.
Scottsdale Fashion Square South Parking Lot, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, 1.800.844.3545, disneyonice.com, 10 a.m. to noon
Lost Our Home Pet Rescue’s 12th Annual Holiday Champagne Brunch & Auction
Sit. Stay. Brunch! Presented by the Fred & Jami Pryor Foundation, Lost Our Home Pet Rescue’s annual holiday celebration raises funds for services and programs that help pets and their parents in need. Throw in a dog fashion show and silent auction and it’s a wrap. 98KUPD Morning Sickness host John Holmberg will emcee, while Letitia Frye will host the live auction.
Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, 7700 E McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale, 602.445.7387, lostourhome.org, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., $125-$1,250
An inarguable holiday tradition, TSO is back. And this time, the winter tour coincides with the 25th anniversary of the band’s album “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” Spruce up your holiday listening with these progressive rock takes on the season.
Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2000, footprintcenter.com, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $44.75-$84.75
“Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!”
DECEMBER 10 TO DECEMBER 19
You’ve probably heard the popular refrain, “Jingle bells, Batman smells!” And in this youth production, popular children’s book character Junie B. Jones is joining in. In the performances, first grader Jones’ excitement for her school’s Holiday Sing-Along and Secret Santa gift exchange is foiled by tattletale May. But when she draws her nemesis’ name in the Secret Santa, she concocts a plan for revenge. Find out if Jones finds the Christmas spirit of peace and goodwill before acting out. The production will also feature a fundraiser for teachers, with a Teacher Giving Tree in the lobby and available virtually. Additional performances at 2 p.m. Saturdays may be added.
Fountain Hills Youth Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Boulevard, Fountain Hills, 480.837.9661, 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, $18
“Holiday Shmoliday Puppet Slam”
DECEMBER 10 AND DECEMBER 11
Be aware, this one is for adults. Described by the Great Arizona Puppet Theater as quirky, strange and funny, this two-night show features short-form puppet pieces performed by the theater’s puppeteers as well as guest puppet slammers.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham Street, Phoenix, 602.262.2050, azpuppets.org, 8 p.m. each day, $10-$12
“The Night Before Christmas”
DECEMBER 10 TO DECEMBER 26
This joyful Christmas celebration featuring multiple stories paired with plenty of music and puppets is recommended for ages 3 and older.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham Street, Phoenix, 602.262.2050, azpuppets.org, 10 a.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays (except Christmas Day), 2 p.m. Sundays, $6-$12, or free for infants if accompanied by a paid child
“West Side Story”
OPENS DECEMBER 10
A classic of both stage and the big screen, “West Side Story” is returning to theaters — but in a new interpretation. This time, the famed musical has been adapted by Steven Spielberg. Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno lead the cast in what is a story about “fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City.” Rated PG-13 for some strong violence, strong language, thematic content, suggestive material and brief smoking.
ALT-AZ’s Ugly Sweater Holiday Party
This year, Weezer headlines ALT-AZ’s annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party, which also features openers the Regrettes and Phoenix native Upsahl. Enjoy the chilly fall weather from the outdoor Mesa venue, while listening to some great tunes. But don’t forget to bring your most festive — and “ugly” — sweater.
Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center Street, Mesa, 480.644.2560, mesaamp.com, 6 p.m., $65-$175
Phoenix Festival of the Arts
DECEMBER 11 AND DECEMBER 12
This arts and culture celebration is going nine years strong. With more than 150 art vendors and cultural organizations, live music, art demonstrations, circus performances, dance ensembles, spoken word poets, interactive arts activities, food, beverages and more, there’s plenty to occupy two days at Hance Park for adults and kids alike.
Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third Street, Phoenix, 602.254.3100, phoenixfestivalofthearts.org, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, free admission
Stan Williams Book Signing
Stan Williams, author of the historical novel “The Blanket,” will sign copies and visit with readers this Saturday afternoon. The centuries-spanning novel covers more than 300 years of a Swedish blanket as it is passed to England and then the New World, finding various homes during famed moments in history.
Bookmaze, 1300 W. University Drive, Mesa, 480.967.7995, bookmaze.com, noon to 3 p.m., free admission
3rd Annual Family Fun Holiday Fair and Marketplace
Enjoy holiday fun when this annual fair and marketplace returns to the Arizona Boardwalk Courtyard. Live holiday entertainment, games, bounce houses and slides, obstacle courses, face painting, and appearances from Santa Claus and other special guests will keep the kids entertained, while parents can continue their holiday shopping from local vendors at the marketplace. Round out the day by grabbing lunch from one of the nearby restaurants or stopping in one of the shops.
Arizona Boardwalk at Talking Stick, 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, azboardwalk.com, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free admission
DECEMBER 15 AND DECEMBER 16
Looking for Christmas shopping ideas? Look to the annual Phoestivus holiday market with more than 150 local artisans, makers and producers selling everything from art, decorations and jewelry to toys, food and more. Browse the variety of pop-up vendors, and grab a snack or drink from one of the many food purveyors sure to be on-site. It also doubles as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Community Food Connections, so donations will be accepted. And it’s even pet friendly!
Downtown PHX Farmers Market, 721 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, phoestivus.com, 5 to 10 p.m. each day, free admission
Men at Work
Since forming more than 40 years ago, Men at Work went on to reach the charts across the world with hits such as “Down Under,” “Who Can It Be Now?” and “It’s a Mistake”; sell millions of records; and even win a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. And in recent years, founding member Colin Hay has been keeping the Men at Work legacy alive, touring with his band to perform the classics fans have come to know and love from the popular ’80s act. That touring brings Hay and Co. to the Chandler arts center this winter.
Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2680, chandlercenter.org, 7:30 p.m., $46-$76
“Spider-Man: No Way Home”
OPENS DECEMBER 17
After Spider-Man is unmasked, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) seeks out Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) help to undo the damage. But when the spell goes wrong and a multiverse is opened, villains from alternate timelines are unleashed into Parker’s world. Directed by Jon Watts, the film also features Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and Jon Favreau, with Marisa Tomei. Rated PG-13 for sequences of action/violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.
Only in theaters
“Generation Paper: Fast Fashion of the 1960s”
OPENS DECEMBER 18
When thinking of fashion, paper likely isn’t the first material that would come to mind. But at the Phoenix Art Museum, the “Generation Paper” exhibit, located in the Ellman Fashion Design Gallery and Harnett Gallery through July 22, will explore the 1960s phenomenon of “paper fashion.” More than 80 rare garments and accessories — including dresses, bikinis, skirts, hats, jumpsuits, rompers, beach cover-ups and more made from paper, plastic, laminate and other disposable materials — will be showcased.
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.257.1880, phxart.org/exhibition/generation-paper, see website for museum hours, included with museum admission
“The Matrix Resurrections”
OPENS DECEMBER 22
Eighteen years after fans last saw Neo in action, Keanu Reeves reprises his role for the fourth film in the ongoing sci-fi/action franchise. Director Lana Wachowski returns, while the film also sees the return of actors Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith, along with newcomers like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Christina Ricci, among others. Rated R for violence and some language.
In theaters and streaming on HBO Max
Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts
Celebrate Christmas evening with a little bit of football, as the Cards and Colts will face off at this home game. It’s also set to be broadcast on the NFL Network and 98.7 FM.
State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, 602.379.0101, azcardinals.com, 6:15 p.m., $44-$421
Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors
The Cardinals aren’t the only team spending Christmas on the field. The Suns will take to the home court for a battle against the Warriors mid-afternoon. Snag some tickets to see them in the arena, or tune in to ABC to watch the teams from home.
Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2000, footprintcenter.com, 3 p.m., $109-$2,750
Snow Much Fun Event
DECEMBER 27 TO DECEMBER 30
Those of us in Arizona know it doesn’t really snow down here in the Phoenix area, but at this event in the Arizona Boardwalk Courtyard, it will! A perfect few hours to spend in the window between Christmas and the New Year, there will be inflatable bounce houses, obstacle courses, slides and live music. Kids will have “snow much fun.”
Arizona Boardwalk at Talking Stick, 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, azboardwalk.com, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, free admission
After the untimely death of founding member Stepa J. Groggs in 2020, Injury Reserve’s Ritchie with a T and Parker Cory trudged on. They released their sophomore album, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” this year to much acclaim. Now, the duo is embarking on a tour to support the experimental, mind-bending project. This show is for ages 13 and older.
The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, thevanburenphx.com, 8 p.m., $22-$25
DECEMBER 30 AND DECEMBER 31
Billed as “Arizona’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration,” Decadence Arizona is back — and with an expectedly stacked lineup of EDM artists. Rave into the New Year with artists like Alison Wonderland, Destructo, Dillon Francis, DJ Snake, Excision, Kaskade, Marshmello, Seven Lions and so many others. Single-day and two-day tickets are available. Find the full lineup online.
Rawhide Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler, 323.908.0607, decadencearizona.com, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. each day, $89-$549