November is alive with music including concerts at the Mesa Arts Center, as part of the kick-off festivities during the season’s holiday light displays and rounding out the fun during Chandler’s Chuck Wagon Cook-Off.
Families can enjoy free afternoon concerts in the Wells Fargo Garden performance area at the Mesa Arts Center. Feel free to bring your own seating and brown-bag lunch. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
Details: 12:30 p.m. Thursdays in November (except Thanksgiving). Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Free. mesaartscenter.com/index.php/events/fall-out-to-lunch-concert-series.
Feel like you have traveled back in time to the late 1880s at the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-Off. A number of chuck wagons will be on hand competing to see who can create the tastiest and most authentic vittles from the time period. In addition to the grub, enjoy cooking demos, live music, storytelling and vendors.
Details: Activities start at 9 a.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 10-11. Tumbleweed Ranch, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler. Free. chandleraz.gov.
A magical Christmas village offers free photos with Santa and no-charge crafts and games. Visitors will find rustic Christmas cabins, holiday characters, a laser/ foam toy arcade, a Lincoln Logs building area and more. Kids can also write a letter to Santa. Details: Hours vary, check website for details. Saturday, Nov.11-Dec. 24. 1133 N. Dobson Road, Mesa. Free. 602-606-5600. BassPro.com/Santa.
Arizona Harvest Fest and Open Air Market will fill downtown Chandler with 100 merchants offering local produce, artisan gourmet foods, holiday items, home decor and furnishings, jewelry, clothing, art and more. Live music, a pumpkin toss, pumpkin pageant, pie-eating contest, corn shucking, a cake walk and a kids’ zone are also part of the fun.
Details: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12. Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Ave., Chandler. Free. 602-276-2499, arizonaharvestfest.com.
Bring the whole family to Woofstock in Chandler for dog- and family-friendly activities, including a salute to veterans, demonstrations, stage performances and vendors.
Details: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Tumbleweed Park, 745 E. Germann Road, Chandler. Free. chandleraz.gov.
Looking for a tail wagging good time that Fido can be apart of? Look no further, the 11th annual Wag & Tag Pet Expo will have you howling with fun. Dress up you pet and enter the costume contest or collect stamps from vendors on your complimentary “pawsport” to win a prize. You can try out the agility course or enjoy face painting or arts and crafts.
Details: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Goodyear Community Park, 3151 N. Litchfield Road, Goodyear. Free. 623-932-3910. goodyearaz.gov.
ArtFest of Scottsdale features 180 artists in a variety of mediums, such as metal, paint, clay and glass, as well as wares, from jewelry to sculpture. Two stages will feature live music from local music legend Walt Richardson, along with other musicians playing jazz, country and rock and roll. Children can play in an interactive kids’ zone. Dogs are welcome.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov.18, and Sunday, Nov. 19. Scottsdale Civic Center, 7453 E. First. Ave. Free admission and parking. 888artfest.com.
Merry Main Street, a spectacular celebration of the holiday season, will be held in downtown Mesa from Nov. 24 through Jan. 5. Families can watch a tree lighting ceremony at 5:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, at Main Street and Macdonald. Those wanting icy fun can skate on the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink. Other main attractions are the Jack Frost Food Truck Forest and a large holiday tree that is nearly four stories tall. Friday and Saturday evenings will feature arts, crafts and local vendors.
Details: Friday, Nov. 24, through Friday, Jan. 5. 5-10 p.m weekdays and noon-10 p.m. weekends; noon-4 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31. Downtown Mesa, Main Street and MacDonald, 20 E. Center St. Free; $10 for ice skating. merrymainst.com.
The award-winning and popular holiday festival returns. Enjoy 1.5 million LED lights that cover 16 blocks. The festival features holiday entertainment, visits with Santa, food, hand-crafted gifts and more.
Details: Celebration kickoff is at 5:30 on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25. The display continues 5-11 p.m. nightly through Saturday, Jan. 6. Historic downtown Glendale, 58th and Glendale avenues. glendaleaz.com/glitters.
Families can enjoy an afternoon of free kid-friendly activities and spectacular light arrangements at Ahwatukee’s Desert Foothills Park. Planned activities include two entertainment stages, a marketplace with more than 100 vendors, food, rides and games. Be sure to catch the 6 p.m. motorcycle parade, featuring Santa Claus.
Details: Noon-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25. Desert Foothills Park, 1010 E. Marketplace Way Southeast, Phoenix. Free. 602-534-2562, folaz.org.
The Shops at Norterra are hosting Santa Saturdays. Every Saturday children can tell their wishes to Santa, get a picture with the red guy and engage in crafts. Santa will be stationed near Elevate Coffee Co.
Details: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9. 16 and 13 at The Shops at Norterra, 2460 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix. norterrashopping.com/events.
Contributor: Alison Stanton.
Reach the reporter at [email protected] Follow at twitter.com/@sshblaylock.
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