An Irish Christmas
Dec. 5, Orpheum Theatre
The noble traditions of the Emerald Isle take the stage and are reenacted with Irish dancers Caterina Coyne (principal dancer, Riverdance), world champion dancer Tyler Schwartz and Connor Reider (principal dancer Celtic Fyre, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, The Chieftains), as well as members of the Kerry Dance Troupe, The Kerry Voice Squad and the Kerry Traditional Orchestra. Celebrate the great tradition of butter-making, chase the wren on St. Stephen’s Day, draw down the half door for spectacular dance, enjoy superb music-making and singing of Christmas carols in an unforgettable Irish night! 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary. www.phoenix.ticketforce.com.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts
Dec. 7-9, Margaret T. Hance Park
The Phoenix art scene comes alive at the annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts. Enjoy live entertainment, comedians, art demonstrations, and more! The Phoenix Mural Project, a hands-on community art project organized by acclaimed local muralist, Hugo Medina, is a signature component of the festival. Fun, free, family activities include face painting, the teen art show and sale, and lots of fun with Phoenix Youth Circus Arts. Beer and wine will be available, sponsored by Hensley Beverage Company. Noon-5 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Free. www.phoenixfestivalofthearts.org.
Cirque Holiday Spectacular
Dec. 7-9, Phoenix Symphony Hall
Troupe Vertigo will dazzle yet again with a return to The Phoenix Symphony for an all-new holiday show. The LA cirque troupe will amaze with their gravity-defying acts 40 feet above the stage, with moves set to festive, season favorites like White Christmas and Deck the Halls. Expect to see contortionists, jugglers, aerialists, strong men and more in a show that is sure take your breath away and leave you filled with holiday cheer. Show times and ticket prices vary. www.phoenixsymphony.org.
Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market
Dec. 8 & 9, Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary
Rich traditions and modern-day artists converge at the annual Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market. Visitors can try their hand at traditional skills like archery, atlatl spear throwing, community painting, beading, and pottery. Tony Duncan, five-time world hoop dancing champion will teach visitors of all ages how to hoop dance while Violet Duncan, former Miss Indian World and author, will be storytelling. 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. $10 general admission; $5, Museum Members with ID, American Indians with tribal ID, active duty and retired service members; Children 12 and under are free. www.pueblogrande.org.
World Bazaar Phx
Dec. 8, 19th Ave and Camelback Park and Ride
World Bazaar PHX returns with more culture, cuisine and community than ever! With over 50 different vendors selling food, art, and homemade goods from around the world, it’s a perfect day for holiday shopping. Enjoy live music and dance performances from countries around the globe. Explore dozens of vendors and get lost in the various stalls featuring a plethora of unique items, including African beadwork, dresses, scarves, jewelry, baskets, Middle Eastern women’s fashion and jewelry, and craft goods. This family-friendly event is great for all ages and backgrounds. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. www.rescue.org.
Jim Gaffigan Quality Time Tour
Dec. 8, Comerica Theatre
Everyone’s favorite “funny dad” lands in Phoenix to regale us with stories of fatherhood, family observations, laziness and, of course, food. This hilarious comedian, actor, writer and producer is known for being a “clean” comic, using little profanity in his routines and bringing a fresh take on humor to the stage. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $61. www.livenation.com.
The Mini-Magic Flute Family Day
Dec. 8, Arizona Opera
Join Arizona Opera for family fun in Phoenix! This is a great way to explore opera and make family memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss this beautiful adaptation of the Magic Flute, when the Queen of the Night persuades a prince to rescue her daughter from captivity under the evil high priest. Share your love of music, enjoy story time, and other fun activities with the Phoenix Opera! 11 a.m. Free, registration required. www.azopera.org.
The Board of Visitors 65th Annual Fashion Show Luncheon
Dec. 8, J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
Fashion, festivities and fundraising collide at the 65th annual Fashion Show Luncheon. Hosted at J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, this annual luncheon brings together family and friends who support the Board of Visitors and its many missions. Fashions from Dillard’s, appearances by the Flower Girls, and professional models, are showcased in this classic holiday season event. 11 am. Individual tickets, $150. www.boardofvisitors.org.
17th Annual Christmas Pudding
Dec. 8, Celebrity Theatre
Hometown hero, Alice Cooper, will be burning down the house with special guests, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry at this annual fundraiser that raises money for Alice Cooper’s passion project for teens. Cooper’s twist on American Idol, this event has contestants complete with performances and live musical acts. It’s a night packed with surprise performances and guest appearances. After all, the proof will be in the pudding. 7 pm. Tickets start at $120. www.celebritytheatre.com.
ALT AZ 93.3 Ugly Sweater Party
Dec. 10 & 11, The Van Buren
Bust out your ugliest sweater and get ready to jam for two days at the historic Van Buren. ALT AZ and Modelo Especial present The Ugly Sweater Holiday Party, featuring Young the Giant, Barns Courtney and more. New shows are being announced daily and its perfect excuse to dress to impress. 5-10 p.m. Ticket prices vary. www.altaz933.com.
Phoenix Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Dec. 14-16 & 20-23, Orpheum Theatre
The Nutcracker is undoubtedly the most popular story of the season. Let the classically trained dancers of the Phoenix Ballet awe you with their skills, while they dance alongside renowned students who have brought home top awards and honors at major competitions including Youth America Grand Prix, the World Ballet Competition and the International Dance Competition. Danced to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, it’s a performance to cherish. Times vary. $25-$85. www.phoenixballet.org.
Neal Brennan Here We Go Tour
Dec. 15, Stand Up Live
Funny man Neal Brennan lights up the stage of Downtown Phoenix’s Stand Up Live, brandishing his own unique comedy style. The writer, director, and comedian is best known as the co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, for which he received three Emmy nominations. Known as “one of the funniest people on Twitter,” Brennan is sure to leave you cracking up and walking away with hilarious sound bites that only he can deliver. 7 pm. $25. www.phoenix.standuplive.com.
Childsplay Presents: Ella Enchanted The Musical
Dec. 15-30, The Herberger Theater Center
Based on the book by Gail Carson Levine, this is Cinderella with a twist. The charming musical (with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma) follows Ella, a princess who is given the “gift” of obedience at birth. In true fairy tale fashion, the strong-willed protagonist must defeat her evil stepmother along with a hungry ogre and the troublesome curse to find her own voice and rescue herself for a happily ever after ending. Want to get an insider look at the show? There will be a backstage tour available for purchase following the Dec. 29 4 p.m. performance. Times vary. $12-$30. www.childsplayaz.org.
Frances Smith Cohen’s Snow Queen
Dec. 15-16, Herberger Theatre
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic wintery fairy tale and set to Prokofiev’s lush score, Center Dance Ensemble brings the wicked Snow Queen to life. Families will delight in the mystical world of sprites, gypsies and ice maidens, while young Gerda seeks to rescue Kai from the evil crystal palace. Take a break from The Nutcracker for this holiday favorite. Times vary by day. $28 adults; $23 seniors; $14 students. www.herbergertheater.org.
Arizona National Livestock Show
Dec. 26-30, Arizona State Fairgrounds
For over 70 years, the Annual Arizona National Livestock Show at the Arizona State Fairgrounds has showcased the creme de la creme of horse flesh and livestock. Enjoy livestock shows, the Cowboy Classics Western Art & Gear show, a live working ranch horse competition, the ever-popular Chuck Wagon Cook Off, and a Farm Experience interactive area for children, great for all ages. Times vary. $10 parking. www.anls.org.
Symphony and Chill: The Music of the Flatscreen
Dec. 28-30, Phoenix Symphony Hall
Get off the couch and enjoy the haunting music from some of your favorite television shows, in a completely new way. Hear the thrilling scores from hit shows and films like Lost, Downton Abbey, Batman, Superman, The Adventures of Robin Hood, X-Men: The Last Stand and many more of your favorites performed live by The Phoenix Symphony. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. $25-$103. www.phoenixsymphony.org.
Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade Presented by Cheez-it
Dec. 29, Central Phoenix
The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade will showcase a pageantry of brilliantly colored floats, giant balloons, equestrian units, charitable groups, local celebrities and marching bands that will make their way down the 2-mile route through central Phoenix. Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwell has been named grand marshal of the parade and the Fiesta Bowl has invited teachers from across the city to march in the festivities as a show of unity. 10 am. Free. www.fiestabowl.org.