The holidays are here, and this time of year families and friends enjoy getting together – why not try a festive outing this month? With these holiday-themed activities in Mesa, there’s plenty of fun, food and entertainment to go around and celebrate.
Merry Main Street
Through Jan. 5
A holiday staple in downtown Mesa returns with more fun for the whole family. Attendees can enjoy skating on a more than 5,000-square-foot ice skating rink located at 20 E. Main St., view the giant Christmas tree on Macdonald at Main Street and make memories by visiting Santa and getting a photo, stop by Santa’s sELFie Village or one a Santa’s sELFie stations.
The holidays are never complete without food and treats! Enjoy Jack Frost’s Food Truck Forest located along Merry Main Street at Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main St. After eating, catch a ride on the Main Street Express trackless train every Friday and Saturday at the food trucks at Pioneer Park.
Through Jan. 5, Downtown Mesa, recurring daily, times vary, Cost: Free. Activities: Cost varies. Information: merrymainst.com.
When participating in activities has you a little tired, browse the new Mesa Christmas Market featuring more than 30 vendors selling traditional and nontraditional foods, hand-crafted items, lights and live performances near the Mesa Christmas Tree.
The market is open Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 23 from 5 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit: TheMesaChristmasMarket.com.
Join the Bike and Pedestrian Program for 20 tons of snow play, bounce houses, food trucks, reindeer games and try out the mechanical snowboard, in addition to holiday helmet safety message and concussion education.
Afterward, take the whole family on a bike ride through Alta Mesa’s neighborhood to see homes decorated with holiday lights and decorations. Night ride starts at 5:30 p.m.; don’t forget your helmets and bike lights.
Dec. 9, 2:30 to 5 p.m. Alta Mesa Park, 1910 N. Alta Mesa Drive. Cost: Free. Information: VisitMesa.com.
Super Snowy Saturday at Mesa Riverview
Don’t miss this free Snowy Saturday at Mesa Riverview teaming with activities, games and prizes, carriage rides with Santa, play in tons of real snow, visit with Frosty and Friends, as well as face painting, balloon artists and more!
Mesa Riverview, 1061 N. Dobson Road, noon to 3 p.m. Cost: Free. Information: VisitMesa.com.
Mesa Arts Festival
Looking for that perfect holiday gift for a friend, family member or colleague? Look no further than Mesa Arts Festival which will feature hand-crafted jewelry, ceramics, wood, metalworks, paintings, drawings, glass, fabrics and more to browse from local, regional and nationally-known artists. In addition, enjoy live entertainment, family activities and kids can create their own ornaments.
Dec. 9-10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St., Cost: Free. Information: MesaArtsCenter.com.
93.3 Alt AZ Ugly Sweater Party with Rise Against
It’s that time of year to breakout your ugly Christmas sweaters! Show them off while attending Alt AZ’s 4th annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party at Mesa Amphitheatre featuring American melodic hardcore band Rise Against, U.K. four-piece rock band The Struts and American rock band Sleeping with Sirens.
Dec. 11, 6 to 10 p.m. Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St. Admission: $42. Information: 480- 644-2560, Mesaamp.com.
Annual Breakfast with Santa
Enjoy breakfast with Santa as a companion at the Mesa Convention Center. Two breakfast timeslots include a pancake breakfast, craft and photo-opportunity with Santa.
Mesa Convention Center, 201 N. Center St., Building B, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., breakfast served until 9:15 a.m. OR 10 to 11 a.m., breakfast served until 10:45 a.m. Admission: $7, advance tickets required. Information: 480-644-7529, Mesaamp.com.
Live Nativity-Celebrate Christmas
Re-enactment of the bible story by Boulder Mountain Community Church in Mesa. In addition to the two presentations each night, families can enjoy hayrides, a craft making booth, petting zoo and photo booth.
Dec. 16, 6 p.m. and Dec. 17, 8:30 p.m. Boulder Mountain Community Church, 9390 E. McLellan Road. Cost: Free. Information: 480-986-0006, bmcchurch.org.
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
Through Dec. 24
Step 1: Visit Bass Pass Ticket Depot in stores. Step 2: Get a Bass Pass. Step 3: See Santa. Kids can step into Santa’s Wonderland, where they can visit Santa, create a holiday-themed craft and participate in fun activities, play with remote control trucks and even write a letter to Santa.
Through Dec. 24, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bass Pro Shops & Outdoor World, 1133 N. Dobson Road. Cost: Price varies. Information: 602-606-5600, Basspro.com.
Holiday Light Display at the Mesa Temple
Through Dec. 31
The breathtaking display of thousands of Christmas lights at the Mesa Temple is back to enchant Arizona residents and visitors alike. In addition to the light display, attendees can view the nativity exhibit, as well as the free outdoor Christmas Concert Series each night through Dec. 25 at 7 p.m.
Through Dec. 31, 5 to 10 p.m. Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors Center, 525 E. Main St. Cost: Free. Information: 480-964-7164, mesachristmaslights.com.
Holiday Shows at Mesa Arts Center
‘Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus’ presented by East Valley Children’s Theatre
Through Dec. 10
East Valley Children’s Theatre presents their holiday-themed musical performance of “Yes Virginia,” based on a letter 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon sent to the editor of The New York Sun in September 1897. The editor responded with an unsigned editorial which was printed on Sept. 21, 1897. Don’t miss this show about Christmas, hope and the magic of the holidays.
Through Dec. 10. Times vary. Nesbitt/Elliot Playhouse, Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. Tickets: Adults $15, ages 17 and under $11. Information: MesaArtsCenter.com.
‘The Nutcracker’ presented by Ballet Etudes
The holiday classic comes to life at Mesa Arts Center by Ballet Etudes. The Mesa-based dance company presents its 31st annual production of Clara’s journey as she encounters life-sized mice, dancing confections and the Sugar Plum Fairy, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s original score, this show dazzles with holiday spirit.
Dec. 8-17. Times vary. Piper Repertory Theater, Mesa Arts Center, One. E. Main St. Tickets: $28, $32, children ages 2 and under: $6. Information: Mesaartscenter.com.
Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour
Saxophonist Dave Koz comes to Mesa Arts Center on Dec. 13 with special guests David Benoit, Rick Braun, Peter White, and newcomer Selina Albright to perform their renditions of Christmas classics, a Chanukah medley and hits from their catalogs.
Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. Ikeda Theater, Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. Tickets: $59-$89.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
A beloved band of Christmas music, Mannheim Steamroller brings their 2017 Christmas Tour to Mesa Arts Center to perform their songs paired with multimedia effects in an intimate setting.
Dec. 16, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Ikeda Theater, Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. Tickets: $36-$81. Information: Mesaartscenter.com.
98 Degrees at Christmas
Performing songs from their newly released full-length album “Let it Snow,” a follow-up Christmas album to the band’s 1999 “This Christmas,” 98 Degrees stops at Mesa Arts Center as part of their 2017 holiday tour. The new Christmas album features 12 tracks, including holiday favorites and one original track, along with the group’s signature R&B-tinged, four-part harmonies.
Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m. Ikeda Theater, Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. Tickets: $40-$60.
– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.