Go Local Tips for the Holiday Season
The holidays – the time of year when the calendar moves too quickly, we’re a little more exhausted than usual and our wallets are slightly emptier. It’s also a time to be thankful of the unique communities throughout our state and the people and places that make Arizona like no other place in the country.
This holiday season, celebrate Buy Local Month with Local First Arizona: Support your community by shifting your spending from national chains and online shops to locally owned businesses in your community. By supporting the mom and pop stores, you’ll be keeping your dollars in your home state where funds are drastically needed to support our school systems, fire & police departments and the parks systems. Money that you will be spending on gifts, entertaining and traveling can have a greater impact for Arizona residents if we pledge to keep our spending local.
Buy Local Month runs from November 29 through December 24, so join us as we celebrate our local communities and unique independent businesses. You can find a list here of all of the great local deals and specials happening throughout the entire month!
To maximize your impact this holiday season, be sure to utilize our Go Local Tips below to easily shift your holiday spending. Whether you’re hosting a party, cooking a meal, or shopping for presents to put under the tree, we’ll show you how you can support local in every aspect. Be sure to also attend many of the great local events around the state to celebrate the holidays!
Don't forget to enter our Buy Local Month Video Contest - you could win an amazing culinary experience! You have until December 8 to enter & win.
Holiday Go Local Tips
Shift your shopping!
- Check out all of the great deals and specials being offered all month long from Local First Arizona members here!
- Send gift baskets from locally owned businesses.
- Electronics can be purchased from locally owned stores – many times for cheaper than the big boxes.
- Locally owned toy stores have gifts that the other kids in the neighborhood probably won’t have as well as the ‘must-have’ toys of the season.
- Check out craft stores and fairs for one of a kind items, straight from the people who make them.
- Purchase art from local artists, museums and galleries for that unique gift you won't find anywhere else.
- Gift wrap and holiday cards can be purchased locally.
- Avoid shopping online and check out the great selection at locally owned music and bookstores. If you must shop online, try a locally owned business. Many will ship items to you upon request.
- Give a gift that keeps on giving with a local magazine subscription.
- Skip the mall studio and get the family snapshot taken by a local photographer. And check for locally owned locations to get your photos with the big guy in the red suit.
- Send your gifts to out-of-town friends and family using local mail service and supply stores.
- Gift cards make fantastic, versatile gifts, and many of our members are offering special promotions this year to sweeten the deal.
- Locally printed calendars are great one-size-fits-all gifts as well!
Shift your holiday party!
- Hold holiday party at a locally owned restaurant or venue.
- Hire a locally owned catering company and bartending service.
- Pick up food from locally owned grocery store or farmers market. While shopping, look for Arizona products such as Hickman’s Eggs, Cerreta’s chocolates and Shamrock Farms dairy products, Arizona wine and beer.
- Pick up decorations at a locally owned party shop.
- Hire a local florist and purchase plants from local nurseries.
- Use local DJ’s and musicians.
- Avoid the clean up by hiring a professional cleaning service.
- Find the perfect party dress or outfit from a local clothing store.
- Visit (or hire for a house call!) a locally owned salon or spa or massage therapist to get pre-or-post party pampered. Same goes for Fido.
Shift your travel!
- Having more guests in town than rooms in your home? Put them up at a locally owned hotel or B&B. If traveling out of state, do a bit of research to find locally owned hotels, restaurants and services.
- Pick up luggage, locally!
- Use a locally owned taxi company to get from point A to B. Charter a bus for large group transportation.
- Get your auto tuned up pre-road trip at a locally-owned auto service shop.
Shift your giving!
- Donate money and/or volunteer time at a local food bank, shelter, hospital or non-profit organization.
- If you are sponsoring a family for the holidays or being a Holiday Angel for children in need, shop at locally owned businesses.
Holiday Twist at the Union at Biltmore (Phoenix) Friday, November 22, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Local artists put their own twist on the holiday tree! Bid on your favorite for a charity auction benefiting the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.
Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo November 28 - January 12 The holiday season will once again be aglow with flamingos, elephants and giraffes as ZooLights, presented by SRP and powered by EarthWise™ Energy, turns on its 3.7 million lights at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, Thursday, November 28, 2013.
Las Nochees De Las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Gardens November 29 - December 31 As the Desert Botanical Garden celebrates its 75th anniversary, we invite you to join us this holiday season as we bring Las Noches de las Luminarias and Chihuly in the Garden together for 31 fabulous nights.
Cityscape's Alternative Black Friday Market Friday, November 29, 10am - 3pm Think you know what Black Friday is all about? Think again! Avoid the crowds. Sleep in. Sip mimosas and local beers while shopping local vendors and listening to live music. All of this and more is happening at CityScape Phoenix’s second annual “Alternative Black Friday”.
Blazin' M Ranch Holiday Show (Cottonwood) November 29 - December 28 From parties of 2 to 280 guests, from flyin’ biscuits to flyin’ snowballs, the Blazin’ M Ranch is the place to be this holiday season! Book your reservations now! Call in to 928.634.0334, or book online at www.BlazinM.com.
Photo Opp at Harper's Nurseries (Scottsdale) Saturday, November 30, 10am - 2pm Carl Robbins Photography will be on hand at our Scottsdale location and along with "Tresor du Jardin" will have a great setting for a family portrait and or a Christmas/Holiday card. Poinsettias, gifts, and all kinds of Christmas decor will be ready for you at Harper's Scottsdale location!
The Phoenix Fridas Holiday Pop up Shop at Purple Lizard Boutique Saturday, November 30, 10am - 4pm Support local artists and shop for the holidays! Handmade ornaments, jewelry, home decor, art, free pan dulce, live music, crafts, and more!
Holiday Trunk Show at Nonesuch Home (Tucson) Saturday, November 30, 10am-6pm Stop by for a holiday trunk show featuring the handmade jewelry of Papaya Dulce by Tucson's Temre Brandt. Enjoy refreshments & shop for the holidays!
Holiday Traditions at the Phoenix Symphony Select dates November 29 - December 31 Experience the magic of the holidays through a series of special performances from the Phoenix Symphony: The Polar Express, Holiday Pops, Handel's Messiah, Audra McDonald, and New Year's Eve.
Santa Claus Express at the Verde Canyon Railroad December 1-22 One of the most magical events of the year is Santa Claus Express. Santa and Mrs. Claus entertain passengers throughout the four-hour rail journey, singing carols, passing out Mrs. Claus’ homemade cookies and helping you create priceless photo memories.
RetroTrek Art featured at Parlour's December 1 - 31 RetriTrek's prints & posters will be featured at Parlour's for the month of December! It is a great time to feature RetroTrek since they make uniquely-Tucson Christmas and Holiday postcards and cards. People can view all their images at www.RetroTrek.com. There will also be a special Holiday & Christmas card event on December 10 from 4-8pm.
32nd Anniversary Holiday Sale at All About Books & Comics (Phoenix) Wednesday, December 4, 10am - 8pm We are having a BIG 32nd Anniversary Sale! 32% off Back Issue Comics, Buy 100 Comics for $32.00, Free Holiday Refreshments.
Your Art Party: Holiday Edition at Bookmans Mesa Thursday, December 5, 7pm Local business, Your Art Party is partnering with Bookmans to host an evening of creativity and fun. Paint, canvasses, instruction and snacks are included – and the event is completely free!
Celebration of Christmas at Phoenix First December 5 - 15 All aboard! The Christmas Express is journeying to your favorite holiday destinations and you’re invited to join the fun. This all-new Broadway style production is filled with exciting music, live animals, thrilling stunts, and so much more.
Ribbons & Bows Small Works Holiday Show & Artwalk (Scottsdale) Thursday, December 5, 6-9pm On The Edge Gallery presents Ribbons & Bows Small Works Show, opening On December 5th for the Holiday ArtWalk and continuing through December 24th. Gallery artists will exhibiting ‘Miniature Masterpieces’ for the holidays, many already trimmed with ribbons and bows ready for holiday gift-giving.
Crafeteria (Phoenix) Friday, December 6, 6-10pm Over 50 talented local independent artists to offer 100% handmade items, live music and Short Leash Hotdogs!
Holiday Craft Beer Spectacular & Ugly Sweater Pageant Friday, December 6, 6pm Over 25 SanTan beers on draft including pilot series, rare one off beers, special cask, and all your old favorites. Wear your best ugly sweater!
Santa Visits Bookmans Speedway (Tucson) Saturday, December 7, 10am-12pm Don't miss SANTA!! Santa is coming to Bookmans Speedway from 10:00A.M. to 12:00P.M., Saturday, December 7th. Don't miss this chance to meet the Big Man in person and get your very own picture, he'll be expecting you!!
20th Annual Chocolate Walk (Cottonwood) Saturday, December 7, 4-8pm A special evening of holiday lights and a bag full of homemade chocolate; presented by the Old Town Association of Cottonwood. Old Town Main Street merchants stay open late; the songs of carolers fill the air, shops full of the scents of hot cocoa, mint, holiday cheer.
Home Sweet Home Gingerbread House Action & Celebration hosted by Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix Saturday, Dec. 7, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Dozens of locally-made gingerbread houses sold to highest bidders, raffle prizes, light refreshments!
Victorian Holidays at Fort Verde State Historic Park (Camp Verde) December 7 - January 5 Come and see the homes decorated in a Victorian Christmas fashion and join in the festivities. Visitors can glance into the past and see how those who once resided at Fort Verde celebrated Christmas on the Frontier.
Holiday Concert Series at Old Town Center for the Arts (Cottonwood) Select Dates December 7-21 Old Town Center for the Arts will bring four special concerts to the stage. From Blues and Bellydance to the world’s premier Native American Flute Player R. Carlos Nakai, you’re invited to celebrate the season with these outstanding performing artists.
Bookmans Holiday Extravaganza (Phoenix) Saturday, December 7, 12-2pm Get ready for the holiday season with easy ornament making, edible gingerbread man decorating and a create-your-own letter to Santa activity.
Holiday Party & Crafts at Riordan Mansion State Historic Park (Flagstaff) Saturday, December 7, 9-11am The community is invited to attend our annual Christmas Party which will be held in the Visitor Center. Santa will be on hand to give out candy and Mrs. Claus will read Christmas stories to the children.
Christmas City Brewers Dinner at Prescott Brewing Company Sunday, December 8, 4:30 p.m. A five course dinner specially designed by Chef Rob Bridges. Christmas City Ale will be served as the reception beer, and each full course will be perfectly paired with one of PBC's hand crafted beers.
Second Sunday Art Fest (Scottsdale) Sunday, December 8 Pet pics with Santa...Reindoggie parade....Good food....Sweet treats.....Great music.....All rolled into one big giant party... Two plates full style!
Winter Garden Party (Phoenix) Sunday, December 8, 4-7 The Growhouse harvest season is in full swing and we'd like to invite you to come celebrate our community, urban farm and outdoor, educational laboratory this Sunday evening for a winter party in the Garden.
Holiday Pet Photos for a Great Cause (Phoenix) Sunday, December 8, 1-4pm by appointment Join Quintana Studios & Noble Beast on Decemeber 8, from 1 to 4pm for our “Holiday Hounds!” benefiting the Friends of Animal Care & Control. Bring your pets down for their own personal photo shoot and a chance to win raffle prizes.
Calendar Release & Customer Appreciation Party at Betty Blue's Junk Shop (Tucson) Sunday, December 8, 8pm Join us for our calendar release party with world renown photographer, Eric Kroll, local model extraordinaire, Katy Awful, and for food, drinks, music, free pinball, and fun. You can get your calendar signed by Eric Kroll, and the lovely Katy Awful.
Holiday Shopping at Artisan Markets-ArtBridge (Scottsdale) Every Thursday evening 5 to 10 p.m. and every Sunday 10am-4pm. An urban and sophisticated outdoor art event, complete with live entertainment on the Marshall Way Bridge at the Scottsdale Waterfront Join Artisan Markets for a unique and lively experience featuring over 50 of Arizona’s finest artisans, crafts, entertainment, interactive art and more!
Holiday Wine Pairing & Dessert Tasting at La Grande Orange Grocery + Pizzeria (Phoenix) Tuesday, December 10, 6-8pm Join Cole Turner, Pastry Chef and Kimber Stonehouse, LGO Wine Curator for an LGO Bake Shop Wine Pairing in their brand new tasting room. Complimentary Samplings of LGO Holiday Dessert Favorites and Kimber’s Dessert Wine Picks. RSVP to [email protected] to reserve your spot today!
Phoestivus at the Phoenix Public Market December 11 & 18, 4-8pm Phoestivus is a fun evening of holiday cheer in Downtown Phoenix and an opportunity to purchase gifts for your loved ones from 100+ local vendors. Shop local for the holidays!
All Wrapped Up at Bookmans Mesa Wednesday, December 11, 5-7pm All Wrapped Up will offer a unique selection of wrapping paper styles brought to you by local non-profit volunteers. Gift wrapping service is limited to five items per person while supplies last.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts December 13-15 Celebrate arts and culture from across Phoenix's varied cultural landscape at Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, December 13-15, 2013.
Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at Practical Art Friday, December 13, 6-9pm Pull out your "best" festive sweater and come celebrate the season with us here at Practical Art! We'll have holiday music by one of our local favorites Sarah Vanell, food & drinks, photo ops and a $50 gift card contest (Ugliest Sweater takes the cake!) So come get festive!
37th Annual Indian Market at Pueblo Grande Museum (Phoenix) December 14-15 For the third year in a row, the market will be held on site at the Pueblo Grande Museum along side the over 1000 year old Hohokam archaeological village site. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days and tickets are only $5 per person, with FREE entry for children under 12. You won’t want to miss it, especially for any last-minute holiday shopping.
GIFT WRAPPING FRENZY at Queen Creek Olive Mill Saturday, December 14, 10am-4pm Shop at the Queen Creek Olive Mill and get your extra virgin olive oils, tapenades, vinegars, olives, or other gift items from the Mill wrapped for free. Our volunteer gift wrappers will be raising money for any gift wrapping donations you wish to make to support Queen Creek High School's Athletic Department.
Naughty AND Nice SantaCon 2013- PUB CRAWL (Flagstaff) Saturday, December 14, 3:00 pm That's right! We are hosting Historic's First Annual SantaCon Pub Crawl. Dress in your favorite Santa Costume and join us for a day of Ho Ho Ho-ing and Merry Making!
Winter on the Patio at the Cutting Board (Mesa) Saturday, December 14, 7am - 3pm There will be Christmas ornament making, treats and fun activities. Plus, we’ve invited local artisans and vendors to display their interesting and unique wares for our festivities! You'll find one-of-a-kind gifts that are as fun to give as they are to receive.
12k's of Christmas (Gilbert) Saturday, December 14, 10am Celebrate Christmas and the gift of health by joining the annual 12k's of Christmas®, a locally-produced Christmas festival and run/walk voted the Arizona Event of the Year in 2013 by the Arizona Festivals & Events Association.
Star Wars Holiday Photo Booth (Phoenix) Saturday, December 14, 5-7pm Not your everyday intergalactic holiday party! Visit with your favorite Star Wars characters and snap a picture at our holiday photo booth.
Snow Much Fun at Children's Museum of Phoenix Saturday, December 14th, 9am - 4pm We will transform the Museum into a winter wonderland with 20 tons of snow, visits with Santa, family activities, winter-themed art projects and more.
Plaza de Anaya Showcase & Holiday Party Saturday, December 14, 5pm We will start off with our Students entertaining you with an amazing show, that will be followed by our Holiday Party with Open Jamming (all musicians & Dancers are welcome) and an Open Dance floor for you all to get your groove on to the music provided by our musicians.
White Hills Gallery Holiday Party (Camp Verde) Saturday, December 14, 5pm Sample wine and beer, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and pick up some last minute gifts from our Mini Show. All of our artists, their families, our collectors, our friends, art appreciators and anyone living in the Verde Valley is invited to celebrate the season with us.
Santa is coming to Bookmans Ina! (Tucson) Saturday, December 14, 10am-12pm Santa is coming to Bookmans! Join us with the Jolly man himself, taking your very special Christmas requests! We’re also taking pictures with Santa and making photo frames to remember this special day for years to come!
Naughty n' Nice with a little Spice Monday, December 16 7-9pm Join Samantha Bordelon- Karim for a titillating chair routine that will knock your panties off. Learn fun, dynamic tricks and how to incorporate them into a fun, daring, and exotic choreography.
Hotel Valley Ho Anniversary Party Weekend December 20-22 Hotel Valley Ho first opened on December 20, 1956 and reopened on December 20, 2005. Come and celebrate this piece of classic Arizona history with a weekend of celebrations in the ZuZu Lounge including beverage tastings, giveaways, and food and drink specials!
Winter 'Supercamp' at Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center Select dates December 20 - 31 During winter break, children ages 3 to 13 will get to enjoy gymnastics, dance, karate, sports, zip line, a bounce house, and much more at the Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center.
All Aboard the Polar Express! (Phoenix) Saturday, December 21, 12-1pm Wear your pajamas and settle in for an afternoon of storytime, hot chocolate and holiday fun. Keep a lookout for a Santa Claus, who will be stopping by with bells for every child to take home.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Day at Queen Creek Olive Mill Saturday, December 21, 8am-9pm Join us for a wonderful Saturday of shopping, wine tasting, live music in the Grove attend our Olive Oil 101 Class, and more while wearing your Ugly Christmas Sweater! Everyone has one in their closets just waiting to be worn.
Winter Solstice Open House (Tucson) December 21, 9am-7pm Come celebrate the winter solstice with The Right Touch Massage! Holiday food & beverages all day, gift bags for the first 25 people, 15% off all products the week of December 15 - 21!
Holiday Extravaganza at Bookmans Flagstaff Saturday, December 21 - 22 We'll have a Santa ready to take pictures with your little one, an ornament making craft station, discount holiday drinks, gift wrapping, and an enter to win gift basket!
Super Santa Saturday at Bookmans Grant (Tucson) Saturday, December 21, 10am-12pm Santa will be flying into our Grant location to say hello to the children and their families. Be sure to stop in to give Santa your list and share in some holiday cheer. If you have any gifts that need to be wrapped, we will have the Amazing Aussies doing some wrapping for you from 1-4pm that day too!
Polar Express Pajama Party at Bookmans Mesa Saturday, December 21, 11am Saturday Morning Story Time features the annual reading of The Polar Express by our favorite BookPAL & friend Toni! Wear your pajamas or Sunday best to sit down, relax, and listen to this holiday classic.
Holiday Painting at Vino & Canvas (Carefree) Saturday, December 21, 2-4pm Join Vino & Canvas for a creative night out and get your artistic buzz on! Arrive by 1:45pm to find the perfect seat. All supplies included. Come earlier or stay later and enjoy all that the venue has to offer! Food and beverage is always available for purchase. Customers can save $10 with promo code: localfirstaz
Holiday Painting at Vino & Canvas (Scottsdale) Sunday, December 22, 4-6pm Join Vino & Canvas for a creative night out and get your artistic buzz on! Arrive by 3:45pm to find the perfect seat. All supplies included. Come earlier or stay later and enjoy all that the venue has to offer! Food and beverage is always available for purchase. Customers can save $10 with promo code: localfirstaz
Christmas Eve Dinner at Beckett's Table Tuesday, December 24 We will be open for Christmas Eve and will be serving our famous Holiday Cassoulet. Featuring duck leg confit, tender braised pork, housemade pork sausage, giant emergo beans, and country vegetables, all stewed for hours and served with crusty bread to soak it all up. Make your reservations by calling 602-954-1700.
Christmas at ZuZu December 25, 6am-10pm ZuZu is open all day on Christmas! Stop by for breakfast from 6:00 a.m. to noon and enjoy the regular menu or a special feature of Huevos Rancheros ($12). Dinner is served from noon to 10:00 p.m., with the regular menu available along with several specials.
Christmas Car Show (Gilbert) Friday, December 27, 5-10pm Head to the Christmas Car Show for great food and great rides with the monthly 4th Friday car and bike night at Nicantoni’s NY Style Pizza. Stretch out the season of nice shiny things and check out all the pretty cars and bikes Friday night after Christmas. Get 10% off if you mention the word of the day (found on our page on Facebook) or Local First! Cutthroat Customs Cars will be here as well as numerous other cars and bikes.
After the Holidays Celebration of the Arts December 27 (12-9pm), 28 (11am-7pm), & 29 (10am-4pm) Celebrate the ending of the holidays and the beginning of a new year! Enjoy live music all weekend, interactive art projects, over fifty talented local artisans and more!
Christmas Dinner with District American Kitchen & Wine Bar December 25, 11:30am-9:30pm Let District do the cooking this Christmas! Join the staff on Christmas Day from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. for a fantastic three-course feast. Just $32 for adults, and $16 for kids 12 and under. A wine pairing is available for an additional $16. There will also be complimentary parking for up to three hours with validation at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.
Christmas Eve Dinner at Tonto Bar and Grill Tuesday, December 24, 4:30pm-9pm We’re decking the halls at Tonto Bar and Grill! Join us Christmas Eve from 4:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. for fabulous festive fare, including our award-winning menu and a holiday special that will leave visions of sugar plums – Southwestern style – dancing in your head!