Celebrate the Season


Carefree Desert Garden Glitters


Nightly, 5 – 10 p.m.


Stroll and enjoy the beauty of the Gardens dressed up for the holiday season! Take a self-guided walking tour and marvel at our 26’ Christmas tree (housed beneath the largest Sundial in the western hemisphere) while meandering garden pathways of Sonoran desert flora and fauna adorned with thousands of twinkling lights.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, Nov. 30, 5–8 p.m.

Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion

Get into the holiday spirit with a choral performance on the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion stage, then take a short candle light stroll through the east Gardens  to the Sundial, where the 26’ Christmas tree will be lit for the first time by Mayor Peterson, with some help from our friends at APS. Following the tree lighting, join us back in the Pavilion for a screening of the beloved holiday classic, The Polar Express, while enjoying FREE hot cocoa and snacks. Each family will leave with a special holiday keepsake of their own!

Chanukah Celebration

Begins Sunday, Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m.

Congregants from Temple Chai, as well as members of the Jewish Social Group of Cave Creek and Carefree will host the Chanukah Menorah Lighting every evening beginning Sunday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m. in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Local families will be invited to light the menorah each evening, with a special ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 9 that will include the Temple Chai Cantor and Choir.

Each evening’s lighting is open to attendees of all denominations and faiths.

Holiday Market

Friday, Dec. 7, Noon – 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Inspired by the Christkindlemarkets in Germany, the open-air Holiday Market dots the Gardens with trinkets for everyone on your list! Vendors will be trolling their holiday wares, including hand-crafted ornaments and holiday decor, fine artistry, seasonal tasty treats and more!

Live Music

Headline Entertainment – Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion

Friday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. – Cactus Shadows H.S. Jazz Band

Saturday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m. – Alice Tatum Band

Live Entertainment All Weekend

Join us in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion for a variety of local entertainment all weekend long, featuring students from Rock the District!

Holiday Fireworks

Saturday, Dec. 8, 8:30 p.m.

In what’s quickly becoming an annual tradition, join us in the gardens to view a spectacular light show in the sky!

Fireworks holiday arizona

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 – 11 a.m.

Cost: New unwrapped toy OR canned good per person (or suggested $5 per person cash donation)

Join us in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion for a holiday tradition – Breakfast with Santa! Enjoy a variety of holiday-themed morning treats, all prepared with love from Carefree merchants, and served by the jolly old elf and his Rural Metro Fire helpers. Donations will support Rural Metro Fire’s Holiday Toy Drive in support of Foothills Food Bank.

Carefree Community Parade

Saturday, Dec. 8 – CANCELLED

We regret to share that this year, we’ve been unable to generate enough interest from participants in order to host this event for 2018.

We do wish to thank all those that signed up to participate this year.

Holiday Cookie Contest

Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m.

Are you the BEST cookie baker in all the land? Then we want your best offerings submitted to our holiday cookie contest! The tastiest confections in four categories win a special prize, and bragging rights for the year!

Gingerbread Cookies

Holiday Pet Blessing

Sunday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m. – Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion

Bring your pets to the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion for a very special holiday blessing, performed by Fr. Jess Ty from Our Lady of Joy parish.

Have questions? Call the Town of Carefree today at 480.488.3686 or send us an email.