Giving the Gift of Togetherness

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Yikes on how crazy busy everyone has become and especially at the Holiday time. There are two things you can do to ensure your family enjoys one of the greatest gifts of all – the spirit of togetherness. One, plan – I mean write down on a calendar the events and activities that you will attend. Two, go.

Here are two of our top picks. Stay tuned for more great holiday destinations as we continue our series on #holidaytogetherness.

Fantasy of Light Boat Parade

December 10, 2016  | Tempe Beach Park  |  Tempe Town Lake




The event kicks off at 4:30 pm with live music, selfies with Santa, food trucks, face painter, caricature artists, Four Peaks Beer truck, wine and more! Come out early, get your spot, a bite to eat and listen to some great music while making new friends with your neighbors. The parade launches off at 7 pm and complete with a colorful display of fireworks at 8:45 pm. Come early, stay late!

Free Admission for Spectators


Light up the night and be dazzled at the Valley’s most unique holiday event—the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade Presented by SRP at Tempe Town Lake. Begun in 1999, the Boat Parade will feature as many as 50 festively lighted boats of all sizes. After dark, more than a thousand luminaria will illuminate the sidewalks and paths of Tempe Beach Park, a special display provided by Tempe South Rotary.

Fireworks Fireworks will light up the night, too. The Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade fireworks finale will conclude the light-filled night following the end of the boat parade.

Selfies with Santa Special guest, Santa Claus, will hear children’s gift requests in Tempe Beach Park. Bring your camera! Families are encouraged to bring their own camera for free Selfies with Santa.

Event Amenities Food and beverage concessions,live music,  public restrooms, and ATMs will be on site for spectator convenience.

Visit website here.


Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo




Join the Phoenix Zoo at the Valley’s brightest holiday tradition: ZooLights presented by SRP! Celebrating 25 years, ZooLights shines with millions of lights, a three-story-high holiday tree, hundreds of glimmering light displays and lakeside music-in-motion shows.




ZooLights is open to the public Wednesday, November 23 through Sunday, January 8, 2017.





  • Millions of lights
  • Hundreds of sparkling displays
  • Jengo the Talking Giraffe returns with his pal Tortuga the talking tortoise

Make ZooLights a family tradition and enjoy one of the largest holiday light shows in the country!


Visit the website here. Leave us a comment if you’d like the chance to win Zoolights tickets! And be sure to check out our Holiday Movies post for a chance to win 6 tickets to Harkins Theatres.

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  • Reply Liz Garcia

    Zoo lights was fantastic last year. It was our first December in Phoenix and it was a fantastic display.

    November 9, 2016 at 9:48 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      So happy you enjoyed it! Are you going again this year? We love the light show with the music – we always dance!

      November 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm
  • Reply Alexandra Ashley

    Love the zoolights!!! Im not very good at decorating so whoever took the time to make it did an amazing job 🙂

    November 9, 2016 at 11:18 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      We love Zoolights too! Isn’t it amazing that they can decorate so beautifully with so many lights? We were there not too long ago and they had already started putting up the lights!

      November 9, 2016 at 11:23 pm
  • Reply Rene McConnel

    My kiddos would love to see the animals made of lights and my fav is the dancing trees to the music

    November 10, 2016 at 12:28 am
  • Reply Britney aumiller

    The boat parade looks so fun! Never heard of that!

    November 10, 2016 at 1:05 am
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      We’ve been going to the boat parade since my son was in kindergarten – now he is a Senior in HS! We can’t recommend it enough! Go early and save a spot on the wall – there is lots going on before the parade starts! So fun! Hope to see you there!

      November 10, 2016 at 2:56 am
  • Reply Megan

    Zoo lights was great last year! I’ll have to look into the Tempe Lights now.

    November 10, 2016 at 2:55 am
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Yes! We love Zoolights – the lights + the music! The Tempe Town Lake Boat Parade is SO fun! Go early and stake out a spot along the wall – you won’t regret it. The holiday lights on the boats reflect off the water – so lovely! Many boats play music and passengers sing along and call out holiday greetings! Plus there is a great fireworks show at the end of the night – a treat for wintertime!

      November 10, 2016 at 3:02 am
  • Reply D Mitich

    The boat parade sounds fun!

    November 10, 2016 at 4:15 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      So fun! Have you never been? Go early and get a spot along the wall. There is lots to do before the boat parade starts – so fun! Hope to see you there! We can catch up! Been since that amazing ASU event since we’ve seen you and your family I think!

      November 10, 2016 at 8:37 pm
  • Reply Krista Z

    Zoolights is always amazing. This year we’ve asked the kids’ grandparents to give “experiences” not gifts…. AKA to take them out to do things because the togetherness is so important!

    November 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Wow! That is SUCH a great idea! I love that! We are celebrating the spirit of togetherness this holiday season in our home and here on the blog – this is the perfect idea to kick it off! Brilliant! Kudos to you on the brilliant idea and so happy for your family – what a great season it will be #holidaytogetherness

      November 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply phxbne

    We need to get back to zoolights this year

    November 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Elizabeth Wilson

    Zoo Lights is an unforgettable and unable to be missed tradition every December or January for our family!! The kids and adults all LOVE it!!!

    November 10, 2016 at 11:59 pm
  • Reply Kate Gookin

    I love zoo lights! I prefer the train ride through the lights at McCormick-Stillman Rail Road Park! It is just amazing!!!

    November 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      Yes! We LOVE both! The train ride at McCormick Stillman is one of our holiday traditions along with the boat parade. One thing for the train rides is to be sure to go as early in the month as you can – the lines get really long close to Christmas.

      November 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm
  • Reply Valerie Gardner

    Would love to be able to win to do something with the kids. Because I’m a single mom with no help & work all the time but still struggle we never get to do anything fun anymore.

    November 12, 2016 at 1:55 am
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      That is so difficult. What a wonderful Active Mom you are to want to do fun things with your kids. I wish you the very best of luck. Is there a holiday movie that your family really wants to see? Have you seen trailers for Moana the new Disney movie opening on November 23? It looks really colorful and fun!


      November 12, 2016 at 5:13 am
  • Reply Anna Parker

    Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade looks fun! I have never gone and will probably check it out this year

    November 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm
  • Reply Alexa H.

    I’ve never been able to see Zoo Lights but would love to take my two little kiddos! I’ve heard great things and seen so many pictures from it!

    November 13, 2016 at 1:47 am
  • Reply Stephanie

    We love love love this time of year! Thank you for all the info! 🙂

    November 14, 2016 at 10:54 pm
  • Reply Diana C

    We are planning to go to Zoo Lights this year. Have never been and have heard nothing but good about this event.

    November 15, 2016 at 12:27 am
  • Reply Patty

    Zoo lights are a must for our family every year.

    November 15, 2016 at 12:35 am
  • Reply Rosa McCants

    Fantasy of lights boat parade

    November 15, 2016 at 1:20 am
  • Reply Mary

    We haven’t been to any of these! I heard zoo lights is a blast!

    November 15, 2016 at 12:38 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    Zoolights is always on our holiday to do list!!

    November 15, 2016 at 1:59 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      We heart Zoolights! We are thinking of having a giveaway for tickets, you’d be in? 🙂

      November 15, 2016 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply Jodee

    We went to Zoolights years ago, before we had kids. With the music and light show on the water, it is clearly a much bigger show, now, and I’m sure my kids would love that…especially if I pack them each a thermos of cocoa. 🙂

    November 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      For sure! Hot cocoa in the thermos. Whipped cream in the cooler 🙂

      November 16, 2016 at 2:55 am
  • Reply Cheryl Mercado

    Fantasy of Light Boat Parade. I love lights!

    November 17, 2016 at 10:29 pm
    • Reply Katrina Sherk

      We do too! Hope to see you there! Go early and get a spot along the wall.

      November 17, 2016 at 11:35 pm

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