The rest of the world may be done with the holiday season, but it’s the perfect time of year to get out of the house and travel off the beaten path in Arizona. Festivals abound, outdoor activities thrive and obscure cultural functions are in full effect. There’s no time like Jan-YOU-ary in the Copper State to go exploring. The weather is beautiful from Pima County to Coconino, so check out some of the amazing Arizona adventures.
Arizona Adventures in the Phoenix and Mesa Area
The Marvel Experience. This is your chance to get in on the grandeur of The Marvel Experience. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s newest recruits. Through hyper-real experiences, recruits learn how to harness their superpowers. Have a blast battling an army of evil Adaptoids and utilizing superior logic with interactive games. Track your progress with your S.H.I.E.L.D. wristband. Check out cool displays of vintage Marvel art and superhero accouterments. Even local Phoenix indie folk performers Jared and The Mill are fans of The Marvel Experience at Salt River Fields. They attended last week and return to perform outside the show at 6 p.m. on January 2. The Marvel Experience runs through January 3, 2015. Tickets are available online.
Zoolights. When else can you roam among wild animals at night while taking in a light show? Watch as the Phoenix Zoo transforms into one of the most spectacular events in the Southwest. Over 3.7 million lights and 700 light displays go into making this an incredible holiday extravaganza. Meander through winding paths with hot cocoa and treats while gazing at breathtaking views. Zoolights runs through January 11, 2015 and tickets are available online.
CitySkate. Move aside, Rockefeller Center! Phoenix has a logic-defying skating rink right here in the desert. CityScape Phoenix is home to CitySkate, the largest and only real outdoor ice rink in the greater Phoenix area. Behold the transformation of the CityScape Phoenix complex into a magical winter wonderland. Located smack dab in the middle of Central Avenue, CitySkate stops traffic with a frosty holiday tree and festive music. Don your warmest mittens and scarves because a spin around this rink is tons of fun. CitySkate runs through February 2, 2015 and tickets are available online.
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Listen up, uke fans! The uke wizards are coming to town. Transport yourself through music without leaving the comfy theater seat. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will sing and strum their way into your heart. Using instruments bought with loose change, this orchestra believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation on the mighty uke. This concert is transcendent, unexpected, entertaining and hilarious. Covering Tchaikovsky, Nirvana, Otis Redding and Spaghetti Western soundtracks, the Orchestra promises “a world tour with only hand luggage.” This insurmountable show is at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theatre. Tickets are available online.
Arizona Adventures in the Flagstaff Area
Dew Downtown Ski and Snowboard Festival. Extreme winter sports enthusiasts unite! The Dew Downtown Ski and Snowboard Festival comes to the streets of Downtown Flagstaff on January 24 and 25, 2015. All ages are welcome to partake in urban obstacles, activities, live music and more. There will be a Beer Garden for the over 21 crew. The festival is presented by City of Flagstaff and tickets are available online.
Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra — Breaking Boundaries. Explore over 300 years of innovative music with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. Experience pieces by groundbreaking composers including Beethoven, William Grant Still and Flagstaff’s Bruce Reiprich. This concert is at 7:30 p.m. on January 23, 2015 and tickets are available online.
Coconino National Forest Sleigh Ride. Turn back the clock and get a load of Old West Arizona. Mosey on to Hitchin’ Post Stables for a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy Coconino National Forest. Bring your toastiest duds, for it’s frosty out in the wilderness. Sleigh Rides run through January 31 and tickets are available online.
Arizona Adventures in the Tucson Area
Tucson Jazz Festival. Jump, jive and wail on down to the first annual Tucson Jazz Festival. Located in the heart of downtown, the festival spans the likes of Club Congress, The Rialto, The Fox and other mainstays of Tucson music culture. From legends to new guard, don’t miss Arizona’s most talented artists. The festival runs January 16 through 28, 2015. Tickets are available online.
Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. Underground cache is serious business at this nationally recognized event. The 61st annual Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase is the biggest 2-week marketplace of its kind in the US. Attracting treasure seekers from coast to coast, this trove of gems, minerals, fossils, meteorites, beads, art, jewelry and other discoveries demands your attendance. The showcase lasts from January 31 to February 15, 2015 and more information is available online.
Cirque D’Or. Experience the joyride of thrills that is Cirque D’Or! Presented by The Fox Tucson Theatre, this feast for the senses features a cast of world champion acrobats, contortionists and aerial artists from around the world. A mesmerizing spectacle for all ages, Cirque D’Or unites beautiful costumes, dynamic sound and lighting, and international talent on one stage. The production runs January 30 and 31, 2015 and tickets are available online.
Whatever your interests, stop by your favorite Bookmans location to gear up with great finds. From Marvel Comics inspired video games to colorful ukuleles to killer jazz on vinyl, we have you covered. Keep lookout on our Event Calendar for more daring and delightful diversions near you. We wish you a 2015 full of awesome Arizona adventures.