There’s always something happening in Scottsdale!
Here are a few Scottsdale activities & events (and occasionally an event from a neighboring city). This list focuses on free or inexpensive events, activities, & unique experiences, as well as links to important City government meetings. If you are interested in participating, please check information links or call to confirm info, as dates/times are subject to change.
Also check our Great Links page.
- Exhibits at SMoCA, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, FREE every Thursday from 10-5, 480-874-4654.
- Scottsdale’s Downtown Trolley is a free ride to anywhere you want to go Downtown. Ride around in environmentally friendly bio-diesel shuttles complete with air conditioned comfort during warm weather and fresh air during cooler temperatures. The Downtown trolleys run daily, every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Thursdays until 9 p.m. for ArtWalk. The Downtown trolleys connect with Scottsdale’s free Neighborhood Trolley, Tempe’s Orbit trolley system, the Valley Metro bus system and even Light Rail. More information on the Scottsdale’s trolley routes can be found here or by calling (480) 312-3111.
- Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Take a train ride through many festive holiday lights and displays turning the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park into a winter wonderland. Opening night festivities include a tree-lighting ceremony, entertainment and a visit from Santa. Santa will be at the park through Dec. 23. Train and carousel rides are $2 each with children younger than 3 riding free with a paying adult. Holiday Lights runs nightly Dec. 9-30, excluding Dec. 24-25, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road.
Monday 5 December
7:30 p.m. ASU Concerts at The Center: Big Band. Classic American swing. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets $10.
Tuesday 6 December
- 4 p.m. City Council Special Meeting, City Hall Kiva. See John’s earlier post for his view on the agenda items.
- 5 p.m. City Council Meeting, City Hall Kiva.
- 7:30 p.m. Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Gershwin and Friends. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets, $29 and up.
Thursday 8 December
- 6 p.m. Airpark Ciculation Meeting: learn about options to relieve congestion at Hayden Road and Northsight Boulevard. Scottsdale Airport, 15000 N. Airport Drive. Options to be discussed include using traffic signals or roundabouts.
- 6 p.m – 8 p.m. Via Linda Senior Center’s Holiday Art Show. This event showcases the unique work created by the center’s talented students. Local jazz group APEXX will perform and catered refreshments will be served. 10440 E. Via Linda. For more information, contact Kira Peters at (480) 312-5810.
- 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free SMoCA Thursdays, Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s five-gallery minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) includes a public “skyspace” by the acclaimed artist James Turrell (one of only a handful in the world), where visitors can experience the ever-changing light of the desert sky. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, (480) 874-4666.
- 6 to 10 p.m. every Thursday, ArtBridge Thursdays, Featuring painters, sculptors, illustrators, wood carvers, metal smiths, weavers, and other artists. Live Music and artistic demonstrations. Marshall Way Pedestrian Bridge. Free.
- 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday, Art Walk, Scottsdale Arts District, just west of Scottsdale Road along Main Street and on Marshall Way north of Indian School Road to Fifth Avenue.
- Free horse-drawn carriage or horse-drawn trolley rides are available every Thursday during ArtWalk 7-9 p.m. along Main Street and every Saturday from 1-4 on Brown and Main Street.
Friday 9 December
- 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Holiday Lights at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Take a train ride through many festive holiday lights and displays turning the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park into a winter wonderland. Opening night festivities include a tree-lighting ceremony, entertainment and a visit from Santa. Santa will be at the park through Dec. 23. Train and carousel rides are $2 each with children younger than 3 riding free with a paying adult. Holiday Lights runs nightly Dec. 9-30, excluding Dec. 24-25, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road.
- 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Holiday Jewelry Trunk Show at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. FREE. Innovative jewelry artists working in all media will showcase and be present to discuss their work. SMoCA is now open late until 10pm on Fridays & Saturdays (and FREE after 5pm).
Saturday 10 December
- 9 a.m. Pinnacle Peak Park’s Jingle Hike to Santa. Enjoy a hike & trail-side visit with the jolly old guy himself. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. The hike is a self-paced one-mile round trip and the trail is steep in several sections, so little legs may need extra time. There are no strollers or bikes allowed. A seasonal craft activity will be provided at the trail-head. This is a popular event and groups leave at half-hour intervals, so registration is a must. For more information or to register, call the park at (480) 312-0990. The park is located at 26802 N. 102nd Way.
- 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free Photos with Santa at the Scottsdale Promenade by Nordstrom Rack.
- 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Holiday Jewelry Trunk Show at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Innovative jewelry artists working in all media will showcase and be present to discuss their work.
- 3:30 p.m. TEDx Scottsdale: Rethinking The Grid. With traditional employment, aid, and funding at an all time low, rethinking the traditional grid is vital to social and economic resilience. And who better to speak about creating new frameworks for thriving with little-to-no resourcesthan artists, writers, and creative thinkers? SMoCA Lounge, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Tickets $11 to $16.
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Old Town Farmer’s Market features local growers and specialty food producers. Wide variety of organic and pesticide free produce, seasonal specialities, natural meats, free range eggs, artisan breads, local cheeses, jams, tamales, and more. 3802 N. Brown Avenue. Free.
- 4pm – 8pm, McDonald’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Classic Car Show – Every Saturday night for over 20 years! The Pavilions at Talking Stick. FREE admission. Classic cars and motorcycles in a free open air event complete with 50’s era music provided by “Party Time DJ’s. An average night showcases anywhere from 250 to 500 cars and up to 150 motorcycles.
Sunday 11 December
- 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. SouthBridge SunDays . Artisan Foods, arts and crafts, live art performances. Live music on the patio of the adjacent restaurant, The Herb Box. Southbridge on the Canal, 7135 E. Camelback Rd. Free.
- Sommelier Sundays at Iruna in Old Town. Valley sommelier David M. Johnson offers an informal wine tasting. Tapas are available for purchase. 7217 East 1st St.