Phoenix Area Christmas Light Displays
Each year as the Christmas holiday season gets underway, people across the greater Phoenix area adorn their homes with a box or two of colored lights and perhaps an inflatable version of their favorite holiday character. And other people go... well, a little overboard with their holiday decorations. And that's awesome!
A while back, I went out searching for locations with stand-out holiday decorations. I found that there are a lot of special sights to see and there are also a few world class Christmas displays right here in our own backyard.
Some of the holiday displays that I found are at individual houses and others are spread across entire neighborhoods. They range from merely amazing to an experience that you might just remember for the rest of your life. Big or small, they all offer a unique approach to celebrating the holidays and spreading a little Christmas joy to anyone who drives or walks by.
In this article, I'll share pictures, videos and some information on the Holiday displays that I found. Some of them you might want to visit if you're in the area and others are "must see" displays no matter where you re in the Valley of the Sun. The three videos at the end of this article show all of the locations that I visited in Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, San Tan Valley and Queen Creek.
I should mention that the pictures and videos come from my "better late than never" folder as they were shot in December of 2016. But the people who put on these magnificent presentations each year are so over the top into the holiday spirit that they will likely be at it for years to come. I've been out to see a number of them in 2018 and they are still worth the trip.
The article and the videos show the street address of the Christmas displays so that you can head out and see your favorite locations in person. Just copy the address in the article to the map/directions application on your phone, load your friends and family int the car and enjoy an evening of Christmas goodness!
You might encounter some crowds at the most popular displays, but don't let some extra cars and people deter you from a Christmas sight to behold! And sure, you could travel the world to see more jaw dropping holiday displays, but as the song says, "for the holidays, you can't beat home, sweet home"!
I'd like to say a special thank you to the people who spend the time and money to put up these holiday displays for all of us to enjoy each year. They are a source of joy for so many kids and grownup throughout the Phoenix area. If you stop by one of these locations and see these creative folks outside interacting with visitors, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate what they do.
I hope you enjoy the festive sights and sounds in the videos at the end of this article. Happy holidays to everyone!
Individual House Displays
There are a lot of houses across the greater Phoenix area that are decorated for the holidays and I've only seen a fraction of them. But of the homes that I did see, here are the locations that I think really stand out and that you might want to venture out to see.
A plethora of colored lights are hung, draped over and wrapped around everything at this location. A crowd favorite is the light display of Santa on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. While you're driving by, you can tune the radio to a special station (the frequency is posted) to hear some Christmas music as you watch the lights twinkle. At certain times, Santa Claus is sitting out front to meet the kids... and the grownups!
This display is in a sparsely populated area so it's like an oasis of holiday spirit in the desert. In addition to the colorful lights everywhere, there are lots of wooden cutouts of popular Christmas characters. You might have to fight off the urge to sit out on the front porch of this Christmas display and have a cup of hot chocolate with these familiar characters.
This is one of the huge individual house displays in my article. How big is it? To put the picture above into perspective, it was taken about a quarter of a mile away from the house.
Not only is this home's display a celebration of Christmas, it's kind of a celebration of everything! There must be hundreds of wooden cutouts of what seems like every cartoon ever made. You'll have to see it more than once to take it all in.
While I was there, I saw characters from Winnie the Pooh, many Disney movies, Sesame Street, Felix the Cat, Thomas Train, Looney Tunes, Garfield, Scooby Doo, Star Wars, Peanuts, Curious George, Shrek, the Simpsons, Family Guy, Kung Fu Panda, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Jetsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, South Park, Ren and Stimpy, The Muppets, Hanna-Barbera, Gumby, SpongeBob SquarePants, and The Flintstones. And there were a lot more that I didn't recognize.
Also, this is a "drive-thru" display where you literally drive through the display to get a close look at everything. That's fun and convenient, but be advised that the driveway isn't paved and there are a few potholes to navigate around as you enter the property. It shouldn't be a problem for most cars, but I wouldn't drive a new Corvette through this display.
This is the other huge individual house display on my list. This house was on Episode 4 of the 2016 season of The Great Christmas Light Fight show on ABC television. Lights, inflatable characters, wooden cutouts and other displays fill both sides of this corner lot property. And the display is designed to allow you to walk into the decorated area. When you walk on the "U" shaped driveway, you'll be surrounded by Christmas joy.
One of the unique aspects of this display is that there's an area with interactive decorations like a wooden cutout of holiday characters with the face areas cut out so you and your friends can stick you heads in there and take a fun picture. And there's a decorated structure that you can climb up and sit in for another fun picture. There are so many decorations here that I'm sure I missed half of it. Well there you go, a plausible reason for me to go back... again :)
This location can get a little crowded with cars on busy days and you'll have to park a few houses away and walk over. But it's totally worth it! Episode #3 in the video section of this article shows a fast-paced walk through of this stunning Christmas display.
There are some neighborhoods in the Phoenix area where most or all of the houses decorate their houses for Christmas. If you want to maximize your holiday joy and minimize the time that you're driving around town from one house to the next, these are the places to go. Although many houses are involved with the holiday displays, a specific street address is provided so you have something to enter into your map/directions application on your cell phone to get directions.
There are fourteen houses on this street and all of them are decorated with holiday spirit. That level of participation is impressive and it also means more holiday joy with less walking! In addition to the traditional holiday decorations, you'll also see a number of Star Wars decorations here. And some of the inflatable characters are as tall as a two-story house!
You'll need to park on the street just outside the neighborhood and on a busy night, you might spend a few minutes finding a place to park. There's a small parking lot across the street at Rancho Del Mar Park, but it fills up early in the evening. No worries, though, just park further down the road and walk over. And with most of the cars off of the decorated street, it doesn't feel crowded and you get unobstructed views of everything.
Not every house in this neighborhood is decorated for the holidays, but there are quite a few that are which makes this a great place to visit during the Christmas holiday. The holiday joy is spread across three adjacent streets, so there will be a little more walking if you want to see them all. You might want to drive through the neighborhood to find the homes that you wish to see and then park close to them.
There are a number of really nice holiday displays in this neighborhood that will make you want to stop and take a look. But one of the homes is particularly over the top. For most of the year, this house (pictured below) is a mild mannered suburban home. But during the Christmas holiday, it transforms into a theatrical performance delivery system that provides a full-on multimedia experience that you have to see to believe.
A few different "shows" play throughout the night. Some of the shows are traditional holiday fare and others are what you might expect to find out a high-end techno-club in Los Angeles. I won't spend the time to explain where this house is located in the neighborhood. You'll hear it a half a mile away and I think you can see the lights from outer space.
The multimedia house tends to get the most crowds, but be sure to walk about the neighborhood to see all of the other houses with great Christmas decorations.
Known as "Christmas on Comstock", this is probably the most well known holidays display in the greater Phoenix area. There are lights on all thirteen houses on this section of Comstock Drive. There are even lights strung between the houses and over the road.
The amazing thing about Comstock is that all of the lights in the neighborhood are connected together to create an integrated light show that's orchestrated to music. Comstock Drive won the $50,000 grand prize on Episode 3 of the 2015 season of The Great Christmas Light Fight show on ABC television.
Waves of changing light patterns move up and down the street and dance to the beat of the music that you can hear on your car radio (the frequency is posted at the entrance to the street) or while you're walking around. It is amazing. I recommend taking in the awesomeness by first driving down the middle of the street and then parking and walking around.
There are a number of "shows" that play throughout the evening. I recommend staying long enough for the show featuring the song "Wizards of Winter" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. And while you're there, be sure to keep an eye out for Santa Clause who has been known to make an appearance at 3642 East Comstock Drive.
Pictures do not convey the magic of this dynamic holiday display. Be sure to watch Episode #2 of the videos listed at the end of this article. You can also check out this video that I found on YouTube which shows Comstock's presentation of the Wizards of Wonder song as seen from a drone hovering overhead. This video really shows the magnitude of what's happening on Comstock Drive and just how epic this holiday display really is.
On a busy night, there will be quite a bit of traffic lined up to see Christmas on Comstock. The line to get in will usually start on Elliot Road and there will be a slow crawl until you're through the holiday display. Check the neighborhood's Facebook page for map and recommended driving routes. The neighborhood also recommends that you park at Basha's or the San Tan Charter School and walk over to avoid the traffic. When I visited, I braved the traffic and drove through the display. Then I parked on Arroyo Lane which is the street that you turn left onto when exiting the holiday display.
Watch the Videos
These three videos showcase the great Christmas displays at the houses and neighborhoods described in this article. You'll see the street address of each of holiday display in the videos so you can go and see your favorite decorations in person!
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