Fall Foliage Festival
Plan a visit to Boyce Thompson Arboretum over Thanksgiving Weekend, and you’ll not only get to enjoy live music from Scott Schaefer, hot spiced cider, and arts and crafts vendors — you’ll get to take in a bit of autumn glory in the desert. The botanical wonderland’s 40-foot tall Chinese Pistachio trees are typically on fire with vivid red and orange color this time of year, making for a pretty stroll — and pretty family portraits — in the (hopefully) crisp fall air.
Jujube, honey locust and varnish trees, along with pyracantha berries and pomegranate hedges also provide colors from gold to burgundy throughout the season. For updates and reports on the fall color as it progresses, check the BTA’s Facebook page or call (520) 689-2723.
DETAILS >> Festival is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Arboretum is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas Day. Boyce Thompson Arboretum, 37615 U.S. Highway 60. $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5 to 12, free for children younger than 5. (520) 689-2811 or Arboretum.ag.arizona.edu.
North Pole Experience
A ticket to this winter wonderland includes a trolley ride to the North Pole, where families will cross through a “magic portal” to work side-by-side with Santa and his elves, building toys inside Santa’s famously grand workshop and toy factory. You’ll also tour Santa’s Toy Hall of Fame and secret sleigh hanger, attend Elf University, eat cookies inside Santa’s Bakery and get some one-on-one time with the big guy himself. The event sells out early, so book fast.
DETAILS >> Nov. 22 through Dec. 27. Little America Hotel, 2515 E. Butler Ave. $55 for adults, $49 for children. Lodging is available separately. (480) 779-7979 or NorthPoleExperience.com.