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The unique vacation experience that lights up the Arizona desert – Arizona

As dusk approaches, the glow from the candles along the pathways increases. Music wafts through the air from different parts of the garden. Las Noches de Las Luminarias marks the beginning of another holiday season. At several locations in the Desert Botanical Garden, musicians of various genres celebrate life in the desert during this festive season.

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona

Image Credit: Daniel Gratton / Shutterstock.com

The Desert Botanical Garden sets the stage for vacation fun

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is ‚Äč‚Äčopen to visitors daily and hosts many events throughout the year. Five main trails and several smaller routes take you amidst thousands of desert plants and cactus species that have a unique beauty. Las Noches de Las Luminarias offers the chance to see the garden and its foliage lit by candles and twinkling strands.

The garden often hosts artwork strategically placed among the plants. Visitors to Las Noches de Las Luminarias get the bonus of seeing these works illuminated.

The garden is easily accessible from the Galvin Parkway south of McDowell Road. A large car park is well structured to minimize your walk to the gate.

Traveler at Las Noches de Las Luminarias

Traveler at Las Noches de Las Luminarias

Copyright: Judy Karnia

A unique vacation experience in the desert

Imagine sitting in the crisp night air, sipping a warm hot chocolate and singing along to your favorite holiday tune. They then wander along the winding paths lined with luminarias to discover another musical group beginning their set elsewhere in the garden. Listen to traditional songs by the Bell Choir, Brass Quintet or Dickens singers. Then spice up the night with mariachi music, world fusion tunes and dueling pianos. A few more remote spots offer quiet bluegrass or Native American flute. Some of the musical performances play every year and others bring new life to the event.

Due to Phoenix’s mild weather, temperatures have a winter festival feel but are comfortable enough to sit outside for 3-4 hours. Heat lamps and gas fireplaces add some heat when needed. You can also head to the Bell Choir at Webster Center or check out the art exhibit at Ottosen Gallery to warm up a bit. Bars are scattered throughout the garden and offer delicious hot chocolate, cider and other beverages.

Brass Quintet at Las Noches de Las Luminarias

Brass Quintet at Las Noches de Las Luminarias

Copyright: Judy Karnia

Tips for a special evening

Tickets for Las Noches de Las Luminarias sell out on many nights, so make sure to buy well in advance on the website. Aim to arrive at 5:30pm when the event starts to give yourself the full 4 hours. Check out the schedule and plan your evening. You might want to meet your favorites first and linger for a while to listen to the music. You can also hop around making sure you sample each group and then return to the ones you liked the most. The groups take breaks during the night. If you arrive during a break, go elsewhere or take the time to visit the bar or chat with family and friends.

The paths are easy to follow and staff decorated with lights will help you find your way. There is adequate seating in most places, although some musicians are set up in areas without much seating. Ullman Terrace, Boppart Courtyard and Wildflower Pavilion are the largest and most accessible attractions. Several toilets ring in the garden and are always kept clean.

Las Noches de Las Luminarias offers a unique vacation experience in the Desert Botanical Garden. Various styles of festive music combine with twinkling lights and cacti to remind you that desert holidays are even better than a white Christmas.

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