Few family resorts transform for the holidays quite like the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Now back for its thirteenth year, this year’s annual Christmas at the Princess festivities are bigger and better than ever. With more than 6.5 million twinkling lights, specialty pop-up shops, its famous Desert Ice Skating Rink, and much more, here are just a few ways you and your family can make memories at the Princess.

1. Santa’s in Scottsdale
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is a place so sweet even Jolly Old Saint Nick can’t stay away. You can visit Santa Claus himself every night through December 24, 2022 for a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity for the whole family. New this year is the Ultimate Santa Experience that includes the Elf Academy, Mrs. Claus and her signature cookies, private story time with Santa and up to 10 keepsake digital photos. Looking for something really special? Available to hotel guests throughout the festival, surprise your family with a private, in-room visit with Santa! Make sure to secure your day and time in advance, here.

2. Desert Ice Skating Rink
Ice skating in the desert, you ask? The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess says, “Why not?” The huge, 6,000-square-foot ice rink brings some serious winter fun to the heart of the Sonoran Desert. There are even rink-side snowfalls each night! To enjoy it to the full effect, be sure to reserve a private rink-side VIP fire pit, complete with S’mores platter, valet parking and tableside service, in advance.

3. Specialty Cocktails
The acclaimed bartenders at the helm of each of its on-site restaurants show off a little bit during the holiday season. Specialty beverage menu items and pop-up specials include smoked cocktail baubles at The Plaza Bar, Flaming Coffees at La Hacienda, and festive hot and iced cocktails to whet your palate. Looking for something less leaded? We’ve got you covered with a selection of seasonal hot chocolates you and your little ones are sure to love.

4. Family-Friendly Activities
Holiday character shows, ice mazes and slides, a 90 ft. Ferris wheel, and interactive bubble wands are just a few of the ways your family can enjoy the holidays at the Princess this year. After you’ve met the holiday characters like Shivers the Yeti and Princess Noel, hop aboard the Princess Express Train, which tours the resort’s lagoons and magical holiday light displays. Insider’s Tip: Sixholiday character appearances occur throughout the resort, and the group performs a special dance in front of the four-story Christmas tree in the Enchanted Plaza. 

5. Holiday Light Displays
More than 6.5 million twinkling lights are used throughout the property to create the iconic Holiday Lagoon and displays throughout the property. These aren’t your average Christmas lights though. Beyond the main four-story Christmas tree in Princess Plaza with its 70,000 lights and one-of-a-kind HD light show projected on the resort’s façade nightly, you’ll see swans and penguins, mermaids and pirates standing alongside candy canes, menorahs, toy soldiers, an infinity tunnel, and of course a royal Princess. Be on the lookout for the singing family of snow men as well!

6. Tidings of Comfort & Joy Spa Treatments
While the kids are ice skating or riding the Princess Express Train, parents can slip away to the Well & Being Spa for a Hot Toddy for the Body, a Mistletoe Memosa Mani & Pedi, or the Holiday Supreme Spa Experience Package. These specialty spa treatments are infused with holiday scents that are sure to keep you relaxed and feeling festive all season long.

7. Fairmont Christmas Brunch—Now Available at Home!
Enjoying a warm, delightful brunch around the Christmas tree is one of the day’s fondest memories for so many families. Hand-prepared by Executive Chef Conor Favre, Fairmont Scottsdale’s beautiful take home Christmas brunch for four comes with all of the fixings to make your holiday meal at home divine. Say goodbye to the stress of cooking, and hello to delicious!

8. Introducing Chateau Champagne
Cozy up for the ultimate date night in this new and exclusive Christmas at the Princess experience, Chateau Champagne. This ultra-luxe Apres Ski experience provides a retreat from the festive hustle and bustle, ensuring a relaxing evening venue to enjoy. Indulge in a decadent prix fixe menu including a bottle of Moet Imperial Brut, truffle Gouda fondue, shellfish tower and assorted artisanal petit fours and s’mores board. Nested waterside under Tivoli lights with sweeping views of the Lagoon Lights, this is the new place to see and be seen for the holidays. Reserve your spot here.

9. Gimme S’more
Welcome to the enchanting S’mores Land, located in The Village, where you can visit our s’mores-loving character Graham at his home. Roast ooey-gooey Stuffed Puffs marshmallows around a toasty campfire and smoosh it together with melty chocolate and crispy graham crackers for the perfect fireside treat. Graham’s S’more Store rounds out the fun to make s’more of your dreams come true.

10. Giving Back
It’s the season for giving, not just receiving. This year, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has partnered with Cox Charities and Make-A-Wish Phoenix to provide a magical holiday season and make wishes come true for children in the greater Phoenix area. A portion of all guest proceeds from every Christmas Wishes Package or Ice Pass will go directly to Make-A-Wish Arizona. And don’t forget to stop by Fairmont’s new Make-A-Wish Ultimate Kids’ Playhouse, visiting Scottsdale this season. This two-story custom-built playhouse was designed entirely by kids, for kids – the result of an ideation session with Make-A-Wish children, it was tailored directly to their dreams, and brought to life in partnership with Charmed Playhouses.