We aren’t rich, so we can’t go to all of the events that cost money but we try to be creative with what we can do. There are a few stores that offer free crafts and free activities throughout the year, as well as other free Arizona holiday events.
Home Depot and Lowes have activities that kids can do for free about once a month and usually the first Saturday of the month. The first project that we did was a picture frame that my son put together with nails and then decorated it with stickers. Although they say 5 years and up, my son is 3. Even with my help, he enjoyed just doing something. All levels of ability is ok.
Lakeshore Learning Store – Every store has crafts from 11-3pm every Saturday. If you look on their website, they list the crafts that they are going to do that week and you can determine if your child is able to handle them. They are free for the kids. They also have free workshops for teachers and free resources online for teachers or parents.
Anthem Tree Lighting– It’s supposed to be the tallest tree in the nation. It is a beautiful event and our son loves looking at the lights. Santa and Mrs. Claus are usually there along with Radio Disney. This year’s event is November 19th from 6-8 pm. But if you can’t make the event, you can visit the tree anytime during the season.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park – Dec. 9-30th. 6:30-9 pm. They usually have various characters roaming around, Santa is there and of course rides on the train. The small kiddie train is by donations and the larger train and carousel are $2 per person. Children under 3 are free with a paying adult. Even if you don’t ride the train, it is fun to look at the lights or even purchase a hot cup of cocoa in their shop.
Holiday Story Time with PBS and First Snow Fall with Radio Disney – Both activities are located at Desert Ridge Marketplace. They usually have Clifford and Curious George at some point for Storytime with hot chocolate and cookies. Free. The First Snow Fall is at 7 and 8 pm nightly November 21st-December 24th. It’s a fun short 8 minutes, but kids like trying to catch the “snow.”
There are quite a few free or close to free events this time of year since the weather isn’t so hot! Just plan in advance when you take your special needs child and know that you can’t zip through things. Remember to bring your camera and snacks for your child. Enjoy!