Photo: Find unique gifts at Phoenix Festival of the Arts.
Lighting up Tempe Town Lake
Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade (Sat. Dec. 14). 4-9 pm, 7 pm parade. Free. Professionally decorated boats in all shapes and sizes, Santa Claus, holiday shopping and fireworks. Tempe Town Lake, 100 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe. downtowntempe.com
Become an elf
Elf Academy (Sat. Dec. 14). 11 am-1 pm. Free. Meet some of Santa’s friendliest elves, who are coming to the Valley straight from the North Pole! Kids and families can participate in a variety of free workshops, games and activities to earn their official ELF certificate. Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. shopdesertridge.com/event/elf
Explore holiday music around the world
’Tis the Season: Holidays at the MIM (Sat.-Sun. Dec. 14-15). 9 am-5 pm. Included with admission. Celebrate musical traditions from around the world at MIM’s annual holiday event with flamenco, handbell, and klezmer music performances; a festive music-making workshop; and a maraca craft. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. mim.org
12K’s of Christmas & Santa’s Pet Village (Sat. Dec. 14). 7:30 am-12:30 pm. Fee to participate in races. 12K and 6K run and a 1.2K for families and kids fun run/walk, a Christmas Bazaar with hand-made items, Santa’s Pet Village with pet adoptions, inflatables and more. Freestone Park, 1045 E Juniper Road, Gilbert. 12krun.com
Hot Chocolate 15k/5k (Sun. Dec. 15). 5k starts 7:25 am, $54; 15k starts at 8:25 am, $74. During the run participants can enjoy hot chocolate and sweet stations along the course. Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix. hotchocolate15k.com
It’s Feline a lot Like Christmas (Sat.-Sun. Dec. 14-15). 10 am-5 pm Sat., 9 am-4 pm Sun. $11 adults, $9 seniors/military, $7 ages 3-12, under 3 free. More than 300 fancy felines will compete in eight judging rings. Mesa Convention Center, 263 N Center St., Mesa. phxfeline.com.
Event for Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Ignite Hope (Sat. Dec. 14). Phoenix location: $50 adults, $15 ages 4-12, under 3 free. 3 pm pre-walk festival begins; 5:30 pm candlelight walk begins (1.1 mile walk) ; 6:10 pm program and Christmas tree lighting at Phoenix Children’s Hospital; 6:45 pm self-guided walk back to vehicle. North High School, 1101 E Thomas Road, Phoenix. Avondale Location: $20 adult registration. 3 pm pre-walk festival begins; 5:15 pm candlelight walk begins (.8 mile walk) ; 5:50 pm program and Christmas tree lighting at Avondale Clinic & Urgent Care; 6:35 pm self-guided walk back to vehicle. Canyon Breeze Elementary School, 11675 W. Encanto Blvd., Avondale.
Get your holiday shopping done
Phoenix Festival of the Arts (Fri.-Sun. Dec 13-15). Noon-5 pm Fri., 10 am-5 pm Sat.-Sun. Free. More than 150 artists and food vendors, Family Zone, beer and wine garden. Margaret T Hance Park, 1202 N 3rd St., Phoenix. phoenixfestivalofthearts.org