10/27/2011 05:46 pm ET Updated Dec 25, 2011

Thanksgiving In Phoenix: A MapQuest Guide

Thanksgiving in Phoenix is a time for gathering with family and loved ones, expressing gratitude and, of course, eating. As part of TurkeyQuest -- a MapQuest guide to Thanksgiving events, featuring everything from parades to holiday sales to activities for families -- here are two of the best ways to experience Thanksgiving in Phoenix and one opportunity to give back to others.

Phoenix Thanksgiving Events Map


Starting on Thanksgiving Day and continuing through early January, the Phoenix Zoo comes alive at night with ZooLights. Featuring 3.5 million lights and 600 light sculptures, ZooLights presents a nightly light show throughout the zoo. While many of the actual animals are sleeping after dark, kids will be amazed by the gigantic praying mantis and unicorn made of lights, as well as Jengo, the talking giraffe. With flashing lights synchronized to music, the Music in Motion show makes the trees look like they're dancing. General admission is $10; kids 2 and under get in free. Discounts are available for groups of 50 or more.

455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008

Arizona Celebration Of Lights

The Arizona Celebration of Lights -- which flickers to life annually just before Thanksgiving and continues though the holiday season -- is a mile-long series of holiday displays made up of 7 million lights. In one portion of the course, the lights form a drive-through tunnel. The exhibits depict everything from Santa and his reindeer to a fluttering American flag. Located in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, the event attracts 140,000 people every year. At the end of the route, kids can have their pictures taken with Santa in Santa's Village, which also offers hot chocolate and other concessions. Admission price per car is $15 Monday through Thursday and $20 Friday through Sunday.

5001 N. 99th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85035

Volunteer: Family Meal Service At St. Vincent De Paul

The St. Vincent de Paul feast is usually held in the evening a few days before Thanksgiving, so volunteers can give back to their community and still enjoy Thanksgiving at home with their families. Volunteers serve a warm Thanksgiving meal to homeless people from the Phoenix area. Participants must be at least 10 years old. Servers should wear comfortable clothing but no open-toed shoes. To meet health and safety regulations, long hair needs to be pulled back. In addition to running dining facilities for the homeless, St. Vincent de Paul operates several charity thrift stores in and around Phoenix.

420 W. Watkins Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85003 | Go to Huffington Post Impact to see how else you can volunteer.

Thanksgiving In Phoenix: Video

Enjoy a preview of the dancing trees at the Phoenix Zoo's ZooLights show, which kicks off annually on Thanksgiving Day.

Did we miss a Phoenix Thanksgiving event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great Thanksgiving events and volunteering opportunities? Check out TurkeyQuest and our coverage in Arizona, New Mexico and Las Vegas.