Sedona, Arizona Winter Events Guide

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona

Winter Guide to Fun Things to Do, Events and Entertainment Sedona, Arizona!

December 2016 – February 2017

winter-sedona

We have many guests who love to visit us in Sedona, Arizona in the winter months, especially over the holidays. Sedona is less crowded, hotel rates are lower, and if you are lucky Sedona will get a little snow during your visit and transform the red rocks into a winter wonderland! Snow is not a common occurrence, some years we have very little, others we have enough to frost the red rocks like a layer cake! Because we have a lot of afternoon sun, the snow usually melts quickly, but while it is here it is downright breathtaking! With all that said, if you are considering visiting us during the winter months we have highlighted some of the fun things to do like hiking and photography and some of the most anticipated winter events below from December until February including holiday events, family fun, and popular events for the beginning of 2017 such as the Sedona Marathon, Chocolate Lovers’ Valentine’s Celebration, Sedona International Film Festival and more!

We hope all of this information helps you plan some winter fun in Sedona, to see even more events please visit our Sedona events page. If you would like to stay at our Sedona hotel during the winter months make sure to check out our Sedona Hotel Specials page, there a few lodging deals you may like to take advantage of. If you would like to learn more about our Sedona hotel please visit the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona.

Fun Things to Do

Hiking Sedona in the Winter Months
Bell Rock pathway 3During the winter months Sedona’s early morning and night time weather definitely carry a chill! There are some mornings we can be in the low 30’s with afternoon temps between 50 and 60. Heck, I remember one day wearing shorts in Sedona right around Christmas! The afternoon temperatures are ideal for those of us who love to hike the red rocks. One of the hikes our guests and staff like to take in the winter time is Bell Rock Pathway. One of our frequent winter guest loves to head out to the trail around 9:00 am carrying a thermos of hot tea with her for morning and water for afternoon. As long as the sun visits us during the day the trail heats up nicely. We can’t guarantee you will get all sunny afternoons but we have more sun than snow, that’s for sure! We do have some tips if you are going to hike this winter

  • Make sure to dress in layers, make sure to take along water, energizing snack, cell phone, extra socks, wear hiking boots for a better grip.
  • If you are hiking alone, please let someone know where you will be hiking. You can always stop by the front desk and let us know you will be hiking alone and where you are going to hike. It is always smart to take the phone number of the hotel you are staying at in case you need to reach them.
  • Time you hike appropriately, once the sun starts going down it is cold!

Photography Day
winter meltSedona is beautiful to photo in the winter whether you are catching snow clouds moving in over the red rocks, a dusting of snow or a clear crisp winter day! If you love to snap photos we highly suggest picking a day centered on taking snaps of your favorite scenes. Some of our favorite place to shoot from are the Sedona airport, our hotels terraced balconies (You can get some really good shots from here, including Coffee Pot rock), Bell Rock Pathway and if it snows the chapel and the sculptures at Tlaquepaque make for a unique and artistic showcase of photos.

Enjoy some Entertainment
On those cold days when it may be to chilly to hike or snap some photos look into enjoying some entertainment. The Mary D. Fisher Theatre features some great independent films you may not get the chance to see in your home town. You can also find live entertainment most nights at Olde Sedona Bar and Grill and Sound Bites Grill!

Featured Winter Events

Red Rock Fantasy Returns to Tlaquepaque
December 1st, 2016 – January 1st, 2016
Nightly: Dusk to 9:00 pm
Red Rock FantasyNew lights, new location but the same great community event will return to Tlaquepaque this December! Enjoy walking through Tinsel Town and enjoy viewing community installations throughout the property. Sedona Parks and Recreations and Sedona Chamber of Commerce have partnered with Tlaquepaque to make this festive event bigger and better than ever. Free to the community stop by dusk to 9:00 pm nightly.
Each Friday evening during December enjoy favorite classic Holiday Movies sponsored by The Sedona Film Festival. Movie’s will be showing in our Patio Del Norte starting at Dusk.

  •  December 2nd –  White Christmas (1954) with animated Frosty the Snowman
  • December 9th –  Miracle on 34th Street (1947) with animated Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • December 16th –   Elf (2003) with animated A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • December 23rd –  Polar Express (2004) with animated The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
  •  December 30th – It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) with animated Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer

Free Trolley will be available on the weekends in December from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm (No Trolley on Christmas weekend). For more information please visit the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. If you are a guest of the Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona, we will be more than happy to drop you off at this event and pick you up when you are ready to return in our Complimentary “About Town” Shuttle.

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30th Made In Clarkdale December Art Show
December 1st – 4th, 2016
madeinclarkdale_30thanniversarylogo-2016-1-e1476579374655The 30th Year of Made In Clarkdale December Show will be a bit different and their are some grand changes. This year there will be an all new format showcasing Made In Clarkdale artists. The show opens December 1st (10:00 am to 7:00 pm), the Gala Friday night celebration will be December 2nd from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The show will feature over 40 artists displaying their work in their booths, and being there to meet visitors and discuss their work. It will be a great opportunity for the public to meet the artists, view their work and purchase original art, paintings, sculpture, pottery and hand-crafted items just in time for the holidays. On Friday evening at the Gala Celebration, food, wine, beer and drink will be provided by the the Clarkdale Business Alliance Member companies for a small purchase price. For more information please visit www.madeinclarkdale.org.

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Sedona Restaurant Week: Holiday Edition
December 1st – 11th, 2016
Cost $22, $33, or $44
Restaurant-Week-Logo2The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is pleased to announce Sedona Restaurant Week:Holiday Edition! This event gives local foodies and visitors the chance to experience a selection of specially priced meals from a wide variety of Sedona’s restaurants. Guests fwill enjoy three-course, prix-fixe dinner menus including an appetizer, entrée and dessert. For more information please visit SedonaRestaurantWeek.com.

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Sedona’s Tree Lighting and Santa Visit
December 2nd, 2016 (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
Free Event
Sedona's HolidayCome watch the lighting of the community’s 20’ tree and Santa’s arrival. Let your youngsters tell Santa all their hopes and dreams. All the while, hear seasonal favorites from local carolers and youth music groups, and enjoy hot cocoa or cider and cookies. This free family event is presented by Sedona Main Street Program with Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and the City of Sedona to start the holiday season. For more information on this Sedona holiday event please visit Sedona Main Street Program.

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Breakfast with Santa
December 3rd, 2016 (8:00 am – 10:00 am)
Free Event
Christmas-Santa-Claus-Clip-Art-HDSedona Parks and Recreation is pleased to bring to you for the eighth year running, their Breakfast with Santa event.This two hour event combines a warm breakfast and Santa Claus. The breakfast is being held at the Posse Grounds Hub located in Posse Grounds Park. Doors open at 8:00 am for families interested in enjoying breakfast in this festive atmosphere. Breakfast will be served until 9:45 am and the event will end at 10:00 am. After breakfast, children can enjoy making winter crafts, as well as sitting on Santa’s lap. Parents, don’t forget to bring your camera if you would like a picture of your child with Santa Claus. This event is free of charge, so come for the pancakes (and more), come for the crafts and most of all, come to see Santa Claus! For more information please visit the City of Sedona Park and Recreation.

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Live Performance:Native American Winter Solstice
December 3rd, 2016 (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm)
Free Event
TLAQJoin Tlaquepaque for this very special presentation in conjunction with “Crossing Worlds Hopi Project”. View amazing performances pertaining to the Hopi Winter Solstice as well as the Apache Social Dance. There will be an announcer onsite to explain the historical and social significance of each dance. This performance will take place in the Patio de Las Campanas at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village.

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The Nutcracker
Phoenix Ballet Company & Sedona Chamber Ballet
December 3rd, 2016 (2:00 pm and 7:00 pm)
December 4th (2:00 pm)
Tickets: Gold $30 for an adult, $18 for a child
Platinum $40 for an adult, $25 for a child

nutcrakcerThe Sedona Chamber Ballet Company is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Phoenix Ballet Company for the production of The Nutcracker at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. “We are thrilled to announce that the magical Nutcracker Ballet is kicking off Sedona’s 2016 holiday season, featuring internationally acclaimed, award-winning dancers from Phoenix Ballet to perform in the leading roles. We are proud that many of the Phoenix ballet dancers have won national and international awards, appeared on national TV shows that include Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and Little Big Shots to name a few. We are thrilled that once again Madison Penney, Avery Gay, Sophia Lucia, and Amber Skaggs will return to dance in Sedona this holiday season. Many of you may recall that Giselle Bethea made her Sedona debut last spring in Rising with the Phoenix Ballet. We are excited to share that Giselle is now the youngest corps member in the history of the American Ballet Theater in NYC.” For more information or to purchase tickets to this Sedona event please visit www.sedonachamberballet.org.

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23rd Annual Chocolate Walk – Cottonwood, AZ
December 3rd, 2016 (3:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
Christmas Parade is free (11:00 am)
Tickets for Chocolate Walk $25
choc2007-1Enjoy a fun filled day in Historic Old Town Cottonwood as they celebrate the 23rd Annual Chocolate Walk! The merriment begins with the 62nd Annual Cottonwood Christmas Parade, set to begin at 11:00 am. Beginning at 3:00 pm, you can collect your bag, map and ticket at the Old Town Civic Center, located at 805 N. Main Street. Use your ticket to cast your vote for best decorated store! Collect a variety of homemade OR gourmet chocolates at more than 30 shops up and down Main Street! Hot cocoa will be offered at multiple stops along the way. Enjoy the Old Town Light Show accompanied with holiday music, beginning at 5:30 pm. For more information visit www.oldtown.org.

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Sedona Heritage Museum – Christmas in the Park
December 10th, 2016 (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Free Event
Christmas WreathChristmas in the Park is the Museum’s annual gift to the community and visitors. Be greeted by our traditional tumbleweed snowman. Enjoy hot cider and cookies, vintage holiday decorations, a fire in the fireplace and ‘make & take’ a cornhusk doll. At 1pm there’ll be a holiday music concert. Throughout the Museum there will be old-timers telling stories and local authors signing their books. Check out the sale in the Museum Gift Shop. We hope to see you there! Bring your family & friends. For more information please visit the Sedona Heritage Museum.

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Sedona Arts Center:Loving Bowls
December 10h, 2016 (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm)lovingbowls_banner
This fantastic fundraiser offers a beautiful selection of Loving Bowls for your purchasing pleasure, plus food and loads of fun! Over 1000 bowls will be made by local potters and lovingly glazed in a variety of beautiful finishes. Bowls are $10 each and come with wonderful chili, bread and dessert. All proceeds benefit local non-profits and the Arts & Educations programs at the Sedona Arts Center. For more information please visit the Sedona Arts Center.

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A Christmas Carol at the Sedona Heritage Museum
December 10th, 2016 (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
Free Event
Michael PeachEncounters with the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future teach miserly Ebenezer Scrooge what it means to be human in this perennial holiday favorite. Keep cozy by the fire in the Museum’s historic Jordan House red rock fireplace as you enjoy this dramatic reading of the Dickens classic by local award-winning actor Michael Peach. In lieu of paid admissions, each guest is asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Sedona Food Bank. For more information on this Sedona event please visit the Sedona Heritage Museum.

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The Festival of Lights
The Lighting of 6,000 Luminariasfestival-of-lights
December 10th, 2016 (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
This one day event, A cherished tradition which involves the lighting of six thousand luminaries in Tlaquepaque’s courtyards and walkways at 5:00pm. Entertainment abounds with carolers, choirs and musicians. Specially designated Luminarias honoring cancer survivors can be purchased in advance. For more information please visit the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. If you are a guest of the Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona, we will be more than happy to drop you off at this event and pick you up when you are ready to return in our Complimentary “About Town” Shuttle.

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A Jazzy Little Christmas Concert
December 11th, 2016 (3:00 pm)
Tickets:$15
dmitrimathenySedona Jazz at the Church presents their annual “Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas” concert with the Dmitri Matheny Group! Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician Dmitri Matheny has been lauded as “one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation” (International Review of Music). First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players” (SF Chronicle). Matheny tours internationally, performing material from his critically acclaimed CDs, balancing fresh, original works with familiar jazz classics, hard bop, west coast cool and beloved standards from the Great American Songbook. This concert will take place at the beautiful Saint Luke’s Church located On Hwy 179 between Back ‘O Beyond & Chapel Road “Roundabouts”. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit Sedona Jazz at the Church.

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Sedona Railroaders: Christmas Model Train Show
December 17th – 30th, 2016 (11:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Closed December 24th and 25th
Free
Train ShowThe Sedona Railroaders are proud to present their Annual Christmas Model Train Show at the Basha’s Shopping Center in West Sedona! This year’s exhibit will include a large G scale and standard gauge layout and an extensive American Flyer S scale layout, a large O scale layout and some HO scale layouts. Two prize drawings include a pair of tickets on the Verde Canyon Railroad and two separate pair of tickets on the Grand Canyon Railroad. For more information please visit the Sedona Railroaders on Facebook.

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Holiday Sweet Stroll at Tlaquepaque
December 17th, 2016 (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
526094512Discover unique gifts, and strolling carolers during the Holiday Sweet Stroll at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. The retailers will have their doors open till 7:00 pm and celebrate the holidays with sweet treats, special give-a-ways, and discount offers. Featuring some of the best boutiques, galleries and restaurants in Sedona, you are sure to find some special presents for those on your gift list. For more information please visit the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. If you are a guest of the Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona, we will be more than happy to drop you off at this event and pick you up when you are ready to return in our Complimentary “About Town” Shuttle.

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Ice Skate in Sedona
December 30th – 31st, 2016 (3:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Ice SkateBring back memories and make some new ones, ice skate in Sedona! Parks and Recreation brings to you a synthetic, outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of Sedona. You won’t believe it’s not real ice! When the sun goes down, take a stroll around Tinsel Town at Tlaquepaque. Thousands of lights in various displays are sure to end your holidays with a smile. Parking is available in the main parking lots of Tlaquepaque as well as in the Municipal Parking lot at 260 Schnebly Road. Shuttles will be available to take you from the Municipal lot to the event. If you are a guest of the Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona our guest shuttle will drop you off and pick you up from this event. For more information on this Sedona event please visit SedonaAZ.gov.

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Great Gatsby New Years Eve Partynew-years-eve-2016-iiss
December 31st, 2016 (7:30 pm – 12:30 am)
Cost: $125 – $175 plus tax & gratuity
Age Restrictions: must be 21 years or over
Don’t miss the Great Gatsby New Years Eve Party at Sound Bites Grill! Ring in the New Year with great food and Live music featuring “The Big Lucky”! The Gourmet Dinner Buffet will be swinging along with the dance floor! There will also be a Balloon Drop, Party Favors and a special toast at midnight. All seating is social, Great Gatsby Theme attire suggested. To purchase tickets or for more information please visit Sound Bites Grill or call 928.282.2713.

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2017 January & February Featured Events

Winter Music Festival Concert: “Back to Mozart”
January 8th, 2017 (2:30 pm)
General Admission $38, Reserved Seating $55
cms-logo-header-mastheadChamber Music Sedona is pleased to present their Winter Music Festival Concert at the Sedona Performing Arts Center located at 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Rd. Violinists Bella Hristova and Meira Silverstein, violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, cellist Nicholas Canellakis and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein will regale you with their artistry in this eclectic program that takes us from today back to Mozart. Recognized artists in their own rights, they come together and create an amazing synergy that will delight all your senses. For more information please visit www.chambermusicsedona.org. If you are a guest of the Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona we will be happy to drop you off and pick you up from this event in our complimentary “About Town” Shuttle.

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Sedona VegFest
January 14th – 15th, 2017 (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
$30 for both days, or $20 per day
vegfestSedona VegFest is a two-day celebration of everything veg, with something for everyone from the committed vegan to the simply veg-curious. World-renowned speakers provide education and inspiration on the medical, ethical, and environmental benefits of a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet and lifestyle, celebrity chefs share their secrets of WFBP food preparation, and dozens of exhibits showcase the latest foods, products, services and information for WFPB living. This Sedona event will take place at the Sedona Performing Arts Center located at 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Rd. For more information please visit the Sedona VegFest on Facebook. If you are a guest of the Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona we will be happy to drop you off and pick you up from this event in our complimentary “About Town” Shuttle.

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11th Annual Sedona Marathon
February 4th, 2017
Registration Fees
1416520861The Sedona Marathon Event is proud to offer four fantastic races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and the Full Marathon. The course is ranked as one of the most beautiful races in the country. The red-rock views, and high-desert mild winter temperatures help the Sedona Marathon Event live up to its reputation of a world-class event. Spectators, supporters and participants will also be treated to an Event Expo. The community of Sedona features artists, and live performers that will inspire and entertain both locals and visitors alike. To register or for more information on this Sedona, Arizona event please visit the Sedona Marathon.

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Chocolate Lovers’ Valentine’s Celebration
February 11th, 12th and 14th, 2017
Tickets: $129 per person
Choclovers-rezweb_giftcard1-300x300This delectable affair is one of the most popular Verde Canyon Railroad events. It blends the rich flavors of everything sweet with magnificent vistas of raw, unspoiled nature. the confectionery celebration fills each car with intoxicating scents and tasty chocolate pastries, cakes and luscious hand-dipped delicacies. Fruit, pretzels and marshmallows are ready to be dunked into free-flowing chocolate fountains. Share these mouthwatering desserts while enjoying the delicious scenery of the Verde Canyon viewed from the comfort of a train. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the Verde Canyon Railroad website.

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The 22nd Annual Sedona International Film Festival2o17filmfest
February 18th – 26th, 2017
Purchase Passes here
Join filmmakers, celebrities, industry guests and film buffs from all around the world as Sedona takes center stage with its biggest celebration of film yet! From features to shorts, documentaries to animation and foreign films to student films! Already recognized by filmmakers and audiences as one of the top festivals in the nation (and named the “Fest to Impress” by MovieMaker Magazine), the 2016 edition will continue a tradition of honoring those motivated by passion for their art and driven by a love for making timely, moving and important films. For more information or to purchase passes please visit the Sedona International Film Festival.

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2016 – 2017 “Winter Wonderful” hotel special at the Inn of Sedona

  • Inn of SedonaThis special rate is only available for the month of December 2016 and January 2017. Excluding December 23rd – 31st, 2016
  • Save $20 to $40 per night
  • Our complimentary “About Town” Shuttle will get you to most of the Sedona holiday happenings!
  • Our Concierge will be happy to assist you with holiday dining reservations or tours.
  • Must make reservations by phone directly with the hotel – 928.282.3072 or 800.292.6344.
  • Tesla Charger and EV-60 evCharger now available for our guests! (Complimentary for our Inn of Sedona Guest only, a fee will apply if you are not a guest of the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona).
  • FREE full hot breakfast buffet
  • Warm cider available in the lobby to ward off winter chill
  • Make your reservations now, like snow in Sedona, this offer won’t last long!
  • For more information on our Sedona hotel please visit the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona!
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