The holidays are filled with traditions. Decorating the tree, hanging the stockings, listening to Christmas music and watching the Valley of the Sun become a twinkling wonderland. We may not get snow, but our days are perfect and the nights are cool enough for a cup of hot chocolate around the bonfire. One of the traditions our family loves best is Christmas at the Princess. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess ensure a holiday season that is merry and bright for all!


Guest are greeted by the four-story musical tree in the Enchanted Plaza. Photo courtesy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

With a cast of characters, old and new, the Princess creates a brightly lit wonderland on their property that is sure to delight everyone! The visit begins in the Enchanted Plaza where guests are greeted with a four-story tall Christmas tree. Here you can catch the more than 70,000 lights on the tree dancing in time to holiday songs and high-definition videos—shows that feature favorites like “A Night Before Christmas” against the beautiful façade of the building.

Princess Angelica meets the Graham girls.

Princess Angelica meets the Graham girls.

Our children are always thrilled to see old friends like Selfie Elfie, Princess Noel and Peppermint Penguin in the Plaza. This year we were excited that Graham, an enormous talking S’more that our 6-year-old was thrilled has our name, Princess Angelica, and Shivers the Yeti have joined the holiday festivities! The characters are such a fun part of this adventure and we even picked up a Selfie Elfie to come home with us to keep Pierre, our Elf on the Shelf, company!


Pierre and Selfie Elfie

Hop on the train and take a tour to see all the stunning lights on the grounds! With more than 3 million LED lights The Princess creates a world away with their Lagoon Lights!

Lagoon Monster

Nessie the Lagoon Monster. Photo courtesy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Peter Pan, Mermaids, Nessie the Lagoon Monster, along with silly penguins and graceful swans all light up the ride. Catch sight of the giant Santa peeking from the roof tops and playful elves peeking around the trees! I personally enjoy the Nativity Garden Light Show that shares the story of Christmas.


Walk along the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess lagoons to see the more than 3 million lights. Photo courtesy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Every year our family loves to take a spin around the 6,000 square-foot ice skating rink presented by Desert Ice this year. I love the feel of the cool air while gliding on the ice all while “snow” falls around. Of course, this makes us work up quite the appetite, but with four restaurants on-site, and a few special Christmas stands serving favorite family treats, we don’t have to travel far! Ironwood is a great place to grab a quick bite with kids and if you are looking for a more romantic setting, Bourbon Steak is a great choice!

Next up is S’mores land! We grabbed our s’mores kits and relaxed around the fire enjoying perfectly toasted marshmallows and melty chocolate, smooshed between two Grahams! The kids could hardly wait to ride the carousel, Ferris wheel and slide down the “Polar Glide” on inner tubes. Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa enjoyed the rides and also holiday libations offered by the café right there in S’mores Land.


Magical Christmas trees serenading Nathan.

After wearing the kids out on festive rides, we stayed the night so that we could wake up and enjoy Breakfast with Mrs. Claus! When we arrived in our rooms we were delighted to be greeted with a nightcap of milk and cookies! A perfect end to a fun-filled evening.


Milk and holiday cookies to close out our night.

The next morning was Breakfast with Mrs. Claus and the entire cast of holiday characters! This buffet-style breakfast is a great way to enjoy breakfast and keep the kids entertained. The buffet includes kid favorites such as waffles and a hot chocolate station but also keeps the grown-ups in mind with chef-made omelets and a full bar. Legoland Discovery Center has a set up in the lobby for kids to enjoy and everyone received an American Girl Doll Salon coupon!

Princess Noel greets children at the Breakfast with Mrs. Claus event.

Princess Noel greets children at the Breakfast with Mrs. Claus event.

After breakfast, we whisked the kids away for a one-on-five meeting with the main man himself: Santa Claus. Santa and his elves moved his secret headquarters to The Princess because what better way to relax and work than in the perfect Scottsdale weather? We don’t visit Santa in the malls, our kids save up their wishes for this meeting right there in his headquarters where Santa can relax and the kids can talk to him without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Attempting to take a family photo when I am greatly out numbered by silliness.

Attempting to take a family photo when I am greatly out numbered by silliness.

There are many ways to celebrate the holidays. The most important part is that you create lasting memories and enjoy the people you’re with. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess really creates a magical world for the holidays where young and old alike can feel the holiday cheer. Christmas at the Princess is a perfect addition to family traditions because the holidays bring out the kid at heart in all of us.

Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations and meals for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

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