We’re officially in the Valley holiday season, which means bright lights and shopping events will be in abundance. The best things to do in town this weekend include a bit of both, such as the Fantasy of Lights street parade in Tempe or picking up presents at Phoenix Flea or the Heard Museum’s annual ornament fair. And if you’re in the mood for something fun, All Puppet Players is launching its annual staging of Die Hard: A Christmas Story.
Read on for more details about these events or click through to Phoenix new times‘ online agenda for more activities from Friday 25 November to Sunday 27 November.
Fantasy of Lights Street Parade
Mill Avenue is no stranger to bright lights, due to all the vibrantly lit bars, clubs, and restaurants that line the main drag through downtown Tempe’s nightlife. This weekend, however, the scene will glow even more colorfully during the Fantasy of Lights Street Parade on Friday, November 25. Floats, vehicles, marching bands and other participants in the annual parade will be decorated with string lights as they drive along Molenlaan. The event kicks off at 4 p.m. with live music, food and drink, and a variety of vendors in downtown Tempe. The parade itself starts at 6pm and is followed by a tree lighting ceremony at 7pm. Entrance is free. The full schedule can be found here. Benjamin Leerman
Die Hard: A Christmas Story
Gather children as we witness the miracle at Nakatomi Plaza. As much a Christmas tradition as “The Little Drummer Boy” or Lawyer, That hard gives you all the burning fires and goodwill towards men you will ever need. Did we say goodwill? We meant bullets in the face. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to watch John McClane and Hans Gruber duke it out like puppets, you’re in luck. Those hot-tempered villains over at All Puppet Players pay their hilarious homage to John McTiernan’s action classic for the holiday season. The year’s run begins Friday, November 25, with performances taking place every night at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, at Playhouse on the Park, 1850 North Central Avenue, through December 30. Tickets cost $42 for general admission to $55 for VIP recognition. Note: This puppet show is not for children. Those yippee ki yays don’t get peeped. Ashley Naftul
The Phoenix Flea Market returns to Heritage Square, 113 North Sixth Street, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 25, meaning you can take a bite off your holiday shopping list while supporting Small Business Saturday. A $5.28 admission fee takes you into the festive marketplace, where more than 125 vendors will be offering their wares – including fine art, fashion, vintage goods, culinary finds and more. It’s a chance to shop locally without running all over town, while enjoying good company and that fabulous snowless glow of Phoenix. Bring extra coins for food trucks and vendors, such as Waffle Love, Mustache Pretzels, and La Belle Vie Bakery. Click here for tickets and a full list of participating vendors. Lyn Trimble
The big wheel opened
As any seven-year-old on a sugar bender can tell you, there are few kid-friendly thrills quite as epic as rolling down a hill at frenzied speeds while riding Big Wheel trike, throwing caution (and common sense) to the wind. The members of the Arizona Cacophony Society, the local urban prankster and social group, will attempt to recapture this preadolescent excitement at the Big Wheel Open on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the Sunnyslope neighborhood of Phoenix. Participants are encouraged to take the namesake trikes (or similar plastic children’s vehicles) to the quiet residential intersection of Butler and 14th Street in the ‘Slope starting at 2:30 p.m. They can then “race that sucker down the hill,” according to the Society’s website, along with other riders. It’s not a competition per se, so prizes or awards probably won’t be awarded, although you can earn a lot of “bruises, rashes, and memories” from the experience. The event lasts until sunset, it’s free to join and more details are available here. Benjamin Leerman
The Heard Museum’s annual ornament fair
Hundreds of unique holiday decorations hang from festive trees at the Heard Museum Shop, 2301 North Central Avenue, during the annual ornament market this weekend. Make sure to be there on Friday, November 25, when the store is open from 10am to 4pm. That’s the first day of the free three-day event, which means you’ll have the best selection to choose from – including ornaments from elegant to whimsical, made with diverse materials such as metal, wood, fabric and beads. There’s even a limited-edition sterling silver waterfowl ornament featuring a connecting star by artist Tim Blueflint of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa that will be signed and numbered (note: only 40 will be for sale). Opening hours on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27 are also from 10am to 4pm. More information is available here. Lyn Trimble
Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Chargers
If you’ve lost faith in the Arizona Cardinals doing anything worthwhile this season after their recent crushing loss to the San Francisco 49ers, you’re not alone. The number-crunching sports geeks at 538 predict that the Red Birds currently have a whopping 4 percent chance of making the playoffs. Opportunities like that haven’t stopped Cardinals faithful from flocking to State Farm Stadium, 1 East Cardinals Drive in Glendale on Sunday, November 27 for a game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Arizona (4-7) will be the underdog in the interdivision battle against LA (5-5), who have a 33 percent chance of making the postseason. The kick-off is at 2:05 PM. Tickets start at $30. Benjamin Leerman