The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how the winter holidays are celebrated this year but there are still several festive events planned in the area that will provide entertainment and help those in need.
Biltmore Fashion Park will host a contact-less Santa Claus at 2502 E. Camelback Road. Santa will be required to wear a mask, as will any guests ages 2 and older. There will be social distancing between Santa and the visitors and deep cleaning will be carried out on the set to protect the health and well-being of guests. Santa will be at the mall Dec. 4-6; 8-13, 14-20 and 21-25. For details or to make reservations, visit shopbiltmore.com/santaphotos.
Paradise Valley Mall will welcome Santa Claus for contactless visits in Dillard’s Court at 4568 E. Cactus Road from Dec. 1-23 (closed Dec. 7) and on Dec. 24. Masks are required for Santa and guests ages 2 and older. Santa will socially distance himself from visitors. To make a reservation, visit theparadisevalleymall.com/santaphotos.
The H.U.B. (Helping Undo Barriers) Winter Wonderland Experience will feature a pancake breakfast, toy drive, music, pictures with Santa Claus and other entertainment from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 5336 N. 19th Ave. The breakfast and toys are made possible by Harvest Compassion Center, Grad Solutions and Smart Schools.
APS Electric Light Parade (on TV): Presented by the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, this popular event will be delivered on ABC15 Arizona at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be a video from the 2019 parade along with new content. Then the program will air again on ABC15 Arizona on Christmas, Dec. 25, and also will be broadcast on CW61 Arizona and PHXTV (Channel 11) this month. The schedules for those broadcasts was not available as of press time. Learn more at phoenix.gov/parks/elp.
Christmas on 10th Street is a signature winter event that the East Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association & Block Watch holds. It will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, at North Village Baptist Church at 1010 E. Alice Ave. This will be a drive-thru event, where Santa Claus will wave to children. “Elves” will hand out gift bags with goodies inside to every vehicle and there will be holiday decorations and Christmas music. It is free to attend. Learn more at eastsunnyslope.com.
ABC15’s “Operation Santa Claus:” Drop off food, toys and clothes and make donations to help Arizona charities through Wednesday, Dec. 16. Donations will go to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Special Olympics Arizona, Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC), Military Assistance Mission (MAM) and Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC). Donors who give at least $5 will be entered for a chance to win a brand-new Ford F150 SuperCrew or Lincoln Corsair luxury CUV. Sanderson Ford and Lincoln will randomly choose a donor to receive the prize. Also, 15 finalists will win a $100 Visa gift card. The winners will be announced during ABC15’s “Sonoran Living” at 9 a.m. on Dec. 18. Drop off donations at several locations around the Valley, including UPS stores at 111 E. Dunlap Ave. and at 7000 N. 16th St. Learn more and make financial donations at givetotheclaus.com.
Bitter & Twisted’s “Sippin’ Santa” pop-up will take guests on an “exotic holiday tiki tour” during regular business hours through Saturday, Dec. 26 at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour at 1 W. Jefferson St. The venue will host a pop-up that features festive decorations and a menu of colorful tiki creations. Bitter & Twisted will provide exclusive “Sippin’ Santa” collectable barware and tiki mugs and there also will be a pared-down version of the restaurant/bar’s cocktail menu and bar bites. Special hours the week of Christmas are 4 to 11 p.m. Dec. 23 and 24. It will be closed on Christmas but open again from 4 to 11 p.m. Dec. 26. Learn more at bitterandtwistedaz.com.
Miracle at Floor 13 is a global pop-up that will be open through Jan. 2 at 15 E. Monroe St. on the rooftop of the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown. This worldwide seasonal attraction partners with bars and restaurants to deliver Christmas-themed cocktails served in kitschy Cocktail Kingdom custom glassware, which guests also can purchase with a part of the proceeds going to the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign, which helps independent restaurants and bars struggling due to the pandemic. There also will be light bites on the menu. It is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 5 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. For details, visit floor13rooftopbar.com/restaurant/miracle-bar.