Christmas destinations flourish amidst COVID regulations


Anna Myers

Neighborhood Christmas lights

Christmas during a pandemic can provide a few problems such as where to go, what to do, and with who. Even before the coronavirus came into play early this year, many companies were unintentionally creating opportunities for socially-distanced fun. Similar to how the fast food industry can have cars drive up and order, Christmas was also given a drivable option.

Drive-Thru lights 

Many common places are turned into drivable Christmas light adventures where guests can look at millions of lights, all coordinated to create images. Drivers are recommended to tune in to a certain radio station so that they are able to enjoy the full experience at the drive-thru. Popular songs and Christmas music play as drivers zig-zag their way from start to finish providing a joyful experience to all riders. 


Similar to pre-pandemic times, the Phoenix Zoo still plans to set up ZooLights on schedule. Having already started in early November, ZooLights is implementing social distancing and proper cleaning procedures. The Phoenix Zoo has many opportunities within and the ZooLights feature allows guests to walk through the zoo while seeing Christmas decorations on display. 

Mall Santas

Despite being in a pandemic the famous mall Santas are still available to visit. However since the coronavirus is still in play this winter, there are a few steps that customers must complete. At the SanTan Village mall, visitors must wear a mask and social distance at all times. This still allows children or people of all ages to enjoy time with Santa. With limited traffic in all places, especially malls, holiday shopping this year requires more patience compared to other years. Some stores limit their capacity to a maximum of ten people or fewer like Lululemon, Zumiez, and even some H&M stores.


However, all of this comes with a bright side because most stores are participating in an extended Black Friday deal promotion. Stores are prolonging the deals so shoppers can shop safely and not all at once causing more contact. The stress of a regular Christmas shopping season is relieved to an extent. While being in a pandemic, many gift donation companies are still in their regular operating style. The SanTan mall is participating in an angel tree where you take an angel shaped ornament off of a tree and that is corresponding to a child you can shop for. 

In-state travel

Traveling up north to places like Flagstaff, Snowbowl, or Oak Hill are still options since they are outdoor activities. In the valley, snow is a rarity having a rare chance of falling in even the perfect conditions for its creation. To avoid waiting for the minute amount that could drop, families, go up north for the guarantee of snowfall and colder temperatures which provide for the white Christmas aesthetic that many families long for. 

Even though Christmas this year will still have its difficulties, there are still many festive options available to participate in.