It’s officially the Christmas season in our beautiful mountain town. Those of us who call Flagstaff home revel in our unique traditions and the ways we celebrate.
The Arboretum at Flagstaff’s Flagstaff Festival of Trees culminates on Friday (4:00 – 7:00 p.m.) and Saturday (1:00 – 4:00 p.m.). The Festival showcases trees, lights, wreaths and other beautiful displays created by community members. All items will be raffled off on Saturday for the winners to enjoy in their homes this holiday season! Adults $5, Children 6 – 18 $3, 5 and under are free. 20 raffle tickets are $5.
The Theatrikos Theatre Company’s production of Michael Paller's: A Christmas Carol continues on Friday and Saturday (7:30 p.m.), and Sunday (2:00 p.m.). This fresh approach to the classic tale faithfully conveys the magic of Dickens. On Christmas Eve in 1843 friends and family gathered at Dickens' home ask him to tell a story, but he refuses to work on Christmas Eve. If there is going to be a story, each must take a part in it’s telling. And so the story unfolds with the cast of 10 playing over 40 parts. Tickets $15 - $20. Dates through December 20th. Doris Harper White Playhouse (11 W. Cherry Ave.).
The Flagstaff Arts Council hosts its annual Fine Craft Sale on Saturday (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.), and Sunday (12:00 – 4:00 p.m.), at the Coconino Center for the Arts (2300 N. Fort Valley Road). The sale features the work of 20 unique local artists in a marketplace setting, perfectly timed, and affordably-priced, just for the holiday season. See jewelry, clothing, pottery, ornaments, glass work, scarves, hats, gloves, wood work, lamps, and other unique gifts.
Friday evening is Flagstaff’s monthly First Friday ArtWalk. Art galleries and businesses in historic Downtown Flagstaff open their doors from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. with special art exhibitions, performances, live music, and treats. It’s Flagstaff monthly street party! The usual night spots stay open late. See an interactive map for ArtWalk at the Flagstaff Arts Council website.
On Saturday morning, the NAU School of Music presents a free concert in its Student Artist Series – A Wind Chamber Concert, 10:00 a.m. at Ashurst Hall
On Friday and Saturday, it’s the famed, family favorite, holiday classic – The Nutcracker, presented by the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Community Music and Dance Academy Ballet Troupe. Experience the magic of Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas adventure! A sparkling party, a dramatic battle, and a whimsical journey to the Land of Sweets are all brought to life through captivating choreography and one of the greatest symphonic scores ever written.
Evening performances are Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and the long-running Flagstaff tradition – the Lollipop Concert for children – is Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Purchase Tickets through NAU’s Central Ticket Office.
On Saturday evening, the City of Flagstaff presents a Winter Wonderland. The festivities begin downtown, at Heritage Square (5:00 p.m.), where Santa will arrive to light the holiday tree. He then travels to the Flagstaff Aquaplex (1702 N. Fourth St.), for an evening of fun – visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a family movie, story time, cookie decorating, a balloon artist, face painting, and arts & crafts. Decorate a mug, or bring a mug from home to be entered in a raffle. Event continues to 8:00 p.m. Free!
Also on Saturday evening, the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation hosts the 55th Annual Turquoise Ball to benefit the Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona. It’s a James Bond evening – “Shaken Not Stirred” – so come dressed in your traditional formal evening attire or in your finest Bond attire, and get ready to waltz your way through a wonderful evening while supporting a good cause! Cocktails, dinner and dancing. Champagne Reception begins at 6:00 p.m. at the High Country Conference Center (201 W. Butler Ave.).
Holiday Craft Shows/Bazaars
- Friday and Saturday – Christmas Bazaar presented by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, Friday 11:00 a.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. An assortment of Christmas gifts & decorations, crafts, Orthodox Christian gifts and books. Also, delicious homemade baked goodies including homemade baklava that will be sold by the piece or tray! 16 W. Cherry Ave. (formerly St. Francis Gift Shop).
- Saturday – The Knoles Holiday Craft Show at Knoles Elementary School (4005 E. Butler Ave.) Over 70 quality craft vendors with raffle prizes all day. Parking available at Sinagua Middle School with shuttle service. 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Saturday – Kids Holiday Gift Making at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center (703 E. Sawmill Rd.). Create fun holiday crafts out of natural and reusable materials, with recycled gift wrapping ideas, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Make recycled holiday cards, flower press ornaments, bookmarks, bottle cap decorations and more! From 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., guest Forest Service Archaeologist Neil Weintraub we will be lead a split willow figurines activity. Make Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, mobiles, and more!? All ages welcome. Free, $5 donation suggested.
The North Pole Experience™ is the critically acclaimed Santa Experience, and an adventure of a lifetime that takes families on a trolley ride through the magic portal to Santa’s massive, 400-year-old workshop in the middle of the forest. Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole Experience is a complete, hands-on experience for children. Families work side-by-side with the elves, building toys and interacting with the workshop bustle. They receive access to Santa’s main factory floor with soaring toy slides and ceilings, attend Elf University, visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy cookies and snowman soup in the bakery. Don’t forget Santa’s mailroom, his personal office, and his top-secret “Area 47″ Sleigh Hanger, featuring his famous sleigh. Overnight and dining packages available at Flagstaff’s Little America Hotel. Dates through December 28th
Ride The Polar Express (at the Grand Canyon Railway, Williams, AZ; 20 minutes west of Flagstaff) – a special chance to experience the magic of The Polar Express™, the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. The story comes to life on a train journey 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. The ride lasts a little over an hour, with the train leaving each night at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., as well as select days that feature a 3:30 p.m. matinee departure. Additional activities at the Williams Depot. Dates through January 3rd. Complete details and reservations.
Arizona Snowbowl is open for downhill skiing and snowboarding. Ski Arizona’s second highest peak. Visit the Snowbowl website for complete details.
Flagstaff Nightlife: Find out about entertainment all around town in the dance clubs, brew pubs, honky tonks, theaters, and other hot spots. Visit the Flag Live! website for all of the weekend details.