The Phoenix area is always sunny during the winters. The climate here is unbeatable, with an average high of 68 degrees this month. Visitors are surrounded by the beauty of the Sonoran Desert — greeted by towering saguaros, shaded by desert willows and awestruck by the mountains in the distance.
It’s no surprise Phoenix is a haven for winter visitors, attracting millions of people from the north and Canada each year who want to escape the cold.
And one of the city’s best hidden gems is Desert Botanical Garden.
The Garden offers visitors a break from the holiday stress and an opportunity to be immersed with the finest desert flora of the Southwest.
There is something special for everyone at the Garden this winter. Here’s a list of must-sees this month.
1. Chihuly in the Desert
This month, guests will be mesmerized by Chihuly in the Desert, a blockbuster exhibition featuring the works of world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. The exhibit is on display now through June 19, 2022. Tickets need to be purchased in advance. Eleven installations are on display throughout the Garden’s trails with an exclusive gallery at Dorrance Hall
Dale Chihuly, Paintbrushes, 2021, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix. © 2021 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved. Photo by Nathaniel Willson
2. Las Noches de las Luminarias
Phoenix’s favorite holiday tradition is back with live musical performances, hot cocoa and 8,000 hand-lit Luminaria bags. This month, visitors can experience the Garden aglow at Las Noches de las Luminarias through Dec. 31. Bring the entire family and discover this Garden holiday tradition this month. Tickets need to be purchased in advance.
3. Cool Morning Strolls
Although it’s getting chillier in the morning, it’s the perfect weather for a morning stroll at the Garden. Bring your sweater and catch the sunrise or get immersed in nature this month. Need a break from the holiday madness? Come and relax at the Garden. The Garden opens daily at 8 a.m., but members get early access Wednesdays and Sundays. Want to become a Garden member? Learn more about all the cool perks and benefits here.
4. Christmas Cactus
Come check out a seasonal favorite blooming at the Garden! The Christmas cactus always puts on a show of its own during the winters with its showy flower that bloom during the winter. These plants can be purchased at the Garden Shop this season. Christmas cactus make the perfect holiday gift for the plant lover in your life.
5. Cactus Clubhouse
Have you heard? Cactus Clubhouse is now open daily from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (closed 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.). The clubhouse is a brand-new nature play space at the Garden. The play area is filled with fun and hands-on activities for kids 12 and under that will get them to discover the natural world. The place is free with the purchase of a general admission ticket or membership. Bring your grandkids to Cactus Clubhouse this winter.