It’s that time of year when a plethora of special events returns to the central Phoenix area, particularly those with fall and holiday themes. These events offer a wide variety of activities, arts and crafts, food, and entertainment, and many also serve as fundraisers for charitable organizations.
No matter what your interests, you’re sure to find something fun in the list of events that follows.
6-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
10 W. Camelback Road
An indie craft festival with 35 Valley-based vendors selling everything from art to jewelry to stationery. There will also be live music and food trucks. Support your local craftspeople and get a jump on your holiday shopping. Admission is free. Visit www.francesvintage.com/crafeteria.
Mad Hatter Holiday Tea Party
6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
Herberger Theater Plaza
222 E. Monroe
The raucous event features exotic teas with all your favorite characters from Lewis Carroll’s famous adventure into the rabbit hole. This maddening, experiential evening of theatrical zaniness will feature multi-disciplinary performance troupe, The Imaginaries. Interact and drink tea with improv actors, dancers and hula hoopers. Enjoy Caterpillar DJ, Cheshire Light Show, Cirque Rabbits and Mad Hatter Teas. Wear your craziest hat in the Maddest Hat Contest. Admission is free. A food drive will benefit The Cultural Cup Food Bank. Bring non-perishable items and enter for a chance to win two tickets to a performance of choice at the Herberger Theater. For the schedule of planned events, visit www.herbergertheater.org/firstfridaylive/.
Music and Merriment on Melrose
6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
7th Ave., south of Camelback
The Osborn School District Music Department and the Osborn Education Foundation are partnering with the Seventh Avenue Merchants’ Association (SAMA) to host an evening of live music, holiday shopping, food, and more. Shops along 7th Avenue in the Melrose District, south of Camelback Road, will be host musical acts throughout the evening, including local professional musicians, high school music groups, the OMS Firedrums, and many other musical groups representing the Osborn elementary schools. For more information, visit www.melroseon7thavenue.com/events.
World Bazaar & Market
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
Light rail station,
19th Ave. and Camelback
Come celebrate the rich culture of the Phoenix area in the Fall 2016 World Bazaar & Phoenix Community Market, presented by Local First Arizona, International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, Valley Metro, and the city of Phoenix. Enjoy food, fun, and shopping with vendors from around the world. Free to attend. Take the light rail and show your pass for special prizes. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/337360886607879/.
Holiday Craft Fair & Bazaar
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
CrossRoads United Methodist Church
7901 N. Central Ave.
Shop for holiday gifts, toys, jewelry, handmade treasures, home-baked cookies and cakes, and more. Admission is free.
APS Electric Light Parade
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
A Phoenix family tradition marks it 30th year, and will travel south on Central Avenue from Montebello to Camelback, east on Camelback to 7th Street, and 7th Street south to Steele Indian School Park. The parade features electrified floats, marching bands, performance groups, car groups and more. For more details, visit www.phoenix.gov/parks/special-events/electric-light-parade.
Holiday Artisan Market
1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4
The Gladly (Patio)
2201 E. Camelback Road
Co-presented by Devour Phoenix, the market will feature Homeboy’s Hot Sauce, Maya’s Farm, Zak’s Chocolate, [POPPED] Artisan Popcorn, Pillsbury Wine Co., AZ Bitters Lab, as well as numerous handmade arts and crafts to provide attendees with the best gifts and stocking stuffers possible! Noble Beast will be there with tasty holiday treats and toys for your good little pets. Admission is free.
HonorHealth Holiday Tree Lighting
5:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5
John C. Lincoln Medical Center,
Third Street & Dunlap Avenue
602-870-6060, ext. 1345
Join the Crystal Princess, who will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The whole family will enjoy games, crafts, activities, hot cocoa and cider, hand-decorating your own cookies, and a free photo with the Crystal Princess for each individual or family.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts
Margaret T. Hance Park
1202 N. 3rd St.
Featuring more than 125 art vendors and cultural organizations. The festival’s newest element takes the form of a huge 100 x 40 foot entertainment pavilion, located within the center of the festival grounds. In addition to live music and dance performances, those wanting to learn more about the artistic mediums represented can participate in live artist demonstrations scheduled throughout the day. As always, there are plenty of opportunities for adults and kids to get in on the artsy action. Beer and wine purchased at the event can be carried throughout the festival grounds, and there will be several food trucks and food vendors on site. Admission is free. Hours are 12-5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit www.phoenixfestivalofthearts.org.
40th Annual Pueblo Grande Indian Market
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 10-11
Pueblo Grande Museum
4619 E. Washington St.
Browse more than 200 Native American artisans with handmade art ranging from jewelry, baskets, pottery, paintings, to Kachina dolls, weavings and sculptures. Participate in raffles, enjoy the children’s area, traditional and contemporary music performances, and of course, fry bread. Admission is $10, free for age 12 and younger. Visit www.pueblogrande.org/indian-market/.