Winter Events Guide for Sedona, AZ

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona

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

December 2015 – January 2016

Snow 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 2016 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

Festival of Trees at Tlaquepaque
December 3rd – 5th, 2015 (11:00 am – 7:00 pm)Festival of Trees
Area artists and galleries will have Art inspired trees vignettes. The trees all have different themes and incorporate different materials – some are indoor and others are outdoor trees. Kick off your holiday season with a beautiful themed tree already pre-decorated. The trees will be on display on our 2nd floor Terrace at Tlaquepaque accompanied with silent auction bid sheets. Viewers may visit Tlaquepaque and check their bids through 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th. Proceeds benefit “Toys for Tot’s” along with other local charities. For more information please visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.

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Tinsel Town at Posse Grounds
SnowmanDecember 3rd, 2015 – January 3rd, 2016
Enjoy a small walk through the picnic area at the park while it is lit up with lights and decorations all created by Sedona businesses, organizations and community members. This display is perfect for the little ones.This event takes place in the Picnic Ramadas of Posse Grounds Park. If you are a guest of the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona we will be more than happy to drop you off and pick you up from this event(our last pick up is 9:45 pm and you need to call the hotel for pick up). For more information please visit the City of Sedona Parks and Recreation.

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29th Annual Made in Clarkdale Art Exhibit
Made in ClarkdaleDecember 3rd – 6th, 2015
This year Made In Clarkdale is concentrating the art show into 4 days! Since 1987, artists living and/or working in Clarkdale have been sharing their love of art with the public through an annual Made In Clarkdale art show. Each year is different and exciting as new artists join and add their creative vision. Over 60 artists are represented expressing a wide range of medium from fine paintings, photography, ceramics, metal, wood and more including a boutique area. For more information on this event please visit the Made in Clarkdale Website.


Sedona Restaurant Week: Holiday Edition
December 4th – 13th, 2015
Restaurant-Week-Logo2This 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 will enjoy three-course, prix-fixe dinner menus including an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Sedona Restaurant Week is brought to you by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and The City of Sedona. For more information, and a list of participating restaurants please visit

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Live Performance of the The Nutcracker
December 5th – 6th, 2015nutcrakcer
Tickets: Gold $30 for an adult, $18 for a child; Platinum $40 for an adult, $25 for a child
The Sedona Chamber Ballet Company is excited to announce they will again partner with the Phoenix Ballet Company on this year’s production of The Nutcracker here in Sedona at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on December 5th and 6th. This venture will provide for a Nutcracker production with professional sets, costumes and award winning dancers in leading roles from the Phoenix Ballet Company. For performance times or to purchase tickets to this Sedona event please visit

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22nd Annual Chocolate Walk (Cottonwood, AZ)
December 5th, 2015 (3:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Parade at 11:00 am
choc2007-1Enjoy a fun-filled day in Historic Old Town Cottonwood as they celebrate the 22nd Annual Chocolate Walk! The merriment begins with the 61st 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. Collect a variety of homemade OR gourmet chocolates at more than 40 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 or to purchase your tickets please visit

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Christmas in the Park
December 12th, 2015 (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)canes
Free Event
The Sedona Heritage Museum is pleased to present “Christmas in the Park”! Visitors will be treated to hot apple cider, holiday cookies and free entertainment and activities! Warm up by the red rock fireplace of the old Jordan house and enjoy the vintage holiday decor. A tumbleweed ‘snowman’ will greet all guests. The museum is located at 735 Jordan Road, for more information please visit the Sedona Heritage Museum.

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Loving Bowls at Sedona Arts Center
December 12th, 2015 (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm)
Free event, donations accepted
Sedona Arts CenterThis 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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Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque
The lighting of 6,000 Luminarias
December 12th, 2015 (3:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
Festival of lightsA cherished tradition which involves the lighting of six thousand luminarias in Tlaquepaque’s courtyards and walkways. The Festival of Lights will start at 3:00 pm and offers various entertainment throughout the day The lighting of the luminarias will begin at 5:00 pm. Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is always a beautiful place to visit, but when the luminarias are lit it is a wondrous sight to behold. Specially designated luminarias honoring cancer survivors can be purchased in advance for $10.00 by calling 928.282.4838. You can ride the free trolley from the Uptown Municipal Parking lot to Tlaquepaque with continuous service from 3:00 pm – 8:30 pm. 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” Sedona shuttle. For more information please visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.

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Old Town Center Holiday Show (Cottonwood, AZ)
Traditional and Modern Holiday Classics
December 12th, 2015 (7:00 pm)
Tickets: $18 advance, $20 door, $25 priority
JeppersonThis year’s show promises to be the best ever, with a program of both traditional and modern holiday classics, performed by some of the best singers and musicians in Northern Arizona. The very popular and talented entertainer, Shondra Jepperson, will lead the headliners, with her incredible vocal talents and masterful stage presence Also appearing in the show are nationally-acclaimed guitarist, Bo Wilson, who will be joined by the equally talented Dan Bresnan, backed by the core Blues Dawg band of Hutch Hutchinson on bass, Gino Romeo on drums and bluesman Joe Neri. Blues Dawg has been a blues staple in Northern Arizona for the past decade, steeped in the traditions of American blues and roots music. This event will be taking place at the Old Town Center of the Arts located at 5th Street and Main in Cottonwood, Arizona. For more information or to purchase tickets to this event please visit Old Town Center for the Arts.

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A Jazzy Little Christmas Concert
December 13th, 2015 (3:00 pm)
Sedona Jazz at the Church presents their annual “Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas” concert with Renee Patrick and friends featuring: Renee Patrick, Vocals Beth Lederman, Piano + John G. Willis, Double Bass. 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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Bubbie’s Hanukkah Dinner at Sound Bites Grill
Hosted by Rabbi Alicia Magal
December 13th, 2015 (6:00 pm)
Cost: $39 per person
Enjoy a Traditional Holiday Meal with new friends. There is a story behind every candle that is lit on the menorah and the guests share in the stories. Meet new people and leave with new friends.

  • Sound-Bites-GrillBubbie’s (Jewish Grandma) traditions with fun, food and music.
    Learn the story of Hanukkah
  • Light the Menorah (a nine-branched candelabrum)
    Sing Songs, Play the Dreidel (four-sided spinning top) Game
  • Receive a Hanukkah gift (a surprise) and Hanukkah Gelt (chocolate coins)
  • Rabbi Alicia Magal begins the evening with explaining the holiday

For more information or to make reservations (required) please visit Sound Bites Grill or call 928.282.2713.

Annual Holiday Train Show
December 19th – 30th, 2015 (11:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Free Event
Train ShowThis 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 drawings will be held during the course of the event. Prizes include a pair of tickets on the Verde Canyon Railroad and two separate pair of tickets on the Grand Canyon Railroad.his event takes place at the Bashas’ Shopping Center at 160 Coffee Pot Drive. Fro more information please visit the Sedona Railroaders on Facebook.

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A Christmas Carol at the Sedona Heritage Museum
December 20th, 2015 (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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Esteban Christmas Dinner Concert
Esteban, Teresa Joy, Joe Morris & Raul Yanez
December 25th, 2015 (6:00 pm)
Esteban-Color-bc-3-2015Dinner & Show starting at $100
Enjoy Christmas Dinner with Legendary Guitarist Esteban accompanied by his amazing violinist Teresa Joy and his long time drummer Joe Morris with keyboardist Raul Yanez at Sedona’s Sound Bites Grill! Enjoy a concert of the lifetime in the intimate Sound Bites Grill Show Room! After the show meet Esteban and Teresa Joy up close and personal!For more information or to make reservations (highly suggested) please visit Sound Bites Grill or call 928.282.2713.

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January 1st – 30th, 2016
eARThflows-chamber-image-500x500Sedona will turn the red rocks green throughout January 2016 with earth friendly activities and events created to bring attention to sustainability issues and a focused awareness of our resources.

  • 1/1/16 – Opening Reception for The Art of Recycling…Turning Trash into Treasure Exhibition at the Sedona Arts Center.
    January 8th – 10th – Green Film Festival presented by the Sedona International Film Festival.
  • January 22nd – 24th – January 22, 23 & 24 ~ Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village will capture the art and soul of Sedona with a series of recycled art events.
  • January 30th – Live Gala Auction Event for the Art Exhibition at the Sedona Arts Center. The Sedona Arts Center presents “The Art of Recycling: Turning Trash into Treasure,” an exhibition of exquisite artworks created from recycled, repurposed and upcycled materials. This month-long exhibition culminates with the sale of artworks by live auction on January 30. Exhibit related events will be happening all month across town, including a Treasure Hunt, children’s activities, movies about sustainability, and World Wisdom Days—all designed to inspire conservation of our precious resources.

For more information please visit

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11th Annual Sedona Marathon
February 6th, 2016
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 12th – 14th, 2016
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 Festival
February 20th – 28th, 2016
Purchase Passes here
2016 film festJoin 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 passed please visit the Sedona International Film Festival.

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2015 “Winter Wonderful” hotel special at the Inn of Sedona

  • Inn of SedonaThis special rate is only available for the month of December 2015. Excluding December 25th – 31st.
  • 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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