Phoenix With Kids

Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa

Looking for one more memory-making family Christmas experience before 2024 bursts onto the scene? How about one with a cozy, small-town farm feel that has plenty to see and do - including ice skating? Head on over to Vertuccio Farms for Lights at the Farm in Mesa for Arizona's largest walk-thru Christmas synchronized light show. There are over two million sparkling dancing lights spread over ten acres!

Jennifer Whitmore
Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa

Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa. Looking for one more memory-making family Christmas experience before 2024 bursts onto the scene? How about one with a cozy, small-town farm feel that has plenty to see and do – including ice skating?

Head on over to Vertuccio Farms for Lights at the Farm in Mesa for Arizona’s largest walk-thru Christmas synchronized light show. There are over two million sparkling dancing lights spread over ten acres! Enjoy animals, games, munchies, a vendor market, and even Santa himself!

This experience is going on through 12/30 (closed the 24th and 25th), so you have plenty of time to partake! Note that Santa is only there through the 23rd, and the vendor market is only on Friday and Saturday, the 22nd-23rd.

Light up Carrots

Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa

Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa

LIGHTS

Our whole family, which includes me, my husband, two kids, ages seven and four, and Pepaw (my dad), was impressed at the myriad of light displays scattered throughout the farm. We had only been to Vertuccio during Halloween, and it was truly transformed! The Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa flashed in time to classic Christmas tunes, creating constantly changing effects. It was nice to hear that the farm kept the show as “green” as possible, using 98% led bulbs, minimizing their environmental footprint!

My son loved the giant light bulbs with mouths that sang to the music, and my daughter loved dancing and running down the tunnel of dazzling moving lights. We strolled the dusty paths to see the cute vegetable patch with lit-up carrots and only-in-Arizona glowing cacti and palm trees! Another fun item was the giant pair of wings you could stand in front of while someone else pressed colored buttons to change the hue. We all took turns pretending to be angels on our best behavior for Christmas! If your family is looking for charming photo ops, you won’t be disappointed! Climb aboard an enormous reindeer sled, pose in front of an old-fashioned truck wrapped in lights, or stand inside the huge orb. Our family got some great pictures to show off!

We then spent some time in front of two special areas – a moving patriotic display with a tribute song honoring those who served, and a life-size nativity scene which was ideal for a moment of rest. It was nice to see these included to remind us of what matters.

Games

GAMES

There are many little fun farm games here and there as you walk about Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa, including corn hole, a giant corn cob to decorate with facial features (like a Mr. Potato Head), air hockey, and ping pong. The favorite, however, was mini golf. There were plenty of clubs and balls available and enough holes to keep our kids playing for a while! Even though we went on a Friday evening, the farm was not crazily crowded, so we had no wait to play. The kids acted like they were in the Phoenix Open until we dragged them away. There was also a hen house shooting gallery available, but we got sidetracked by the ponies, so we never got to that!

Pony rides Christmas Lights at the Farm

Farm Cows

ANIMALS

The pony rides were five dollars each, and the kids went around and around for a decent amount of time. This could be because there was no line! The ponies were adorable, all decked out in Santa hats with jingle bells around their ankles. The free petting zoo was where all of the action was! A cup of food for the animals was two bucks, but it was not necessary to get and give all of the cuddles!

Let me just tell you, I probably enjoyed the petting zoo even more than my kids! Besides the normal goats and sheep, there was a camel, a big fluffy cow, and a baby calf. I even let the big cow lick me (just my hand), and I am not a germ lover! It really was just like a big loveable dog, sticking his head through the bars to get to me. And the baby cow was not behind bars, but just sleeping in a corner looking like a big ol’ teddy bear. I had to hold myself back from curling up next to it, it was that cute!

After making my husband take a million pictures, I saw another little creature that everyone was oohing and aahing over – a baby zebra! Never in my life have I seen a zebra at a petting zoo! There is an extra six dollar fee to go in the pen with it, and you have to be six or older. There is no way my four-year-old would go for his sister going in without him, so we just watched, and we were still able to get within a foot of the zebra. *Note* – you may bring your leashed dog with you to Lights at the Farm – as long as you pick up after it, that is!

Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa

Smores

FOOD

At this point at Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa, we were starting to get hungry, so we checked out the food booths. I would recommend eating dinner before you come. I did see pizza, hot dogs, and cups of noodles, but most everything is of the snacks/sweets type. This area was definitely covered! Kettle corn was stacked in bags, caramel apples, fudge, and cookies were displayed appealingly, and mini-donuts scented the air. Different hot drinks were available to combat the chill.

After a lot of hand sanitizer (provided outside of the petting zoo), our family wandered over to the fire pits and bought a s’mores kit. One five dollar kit made two big s’mores, which I thought was pretty reasonable. There were plenty of fire pits to accommodate everyone. The website states no outside food/drinks allowed, but we did have our own thermoses with us.

Ice Skating Rink

ICE SKATING

One of the things I was most excited about at Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa was the ice skating! You can skate for a 30-minute time slot for an additional eight dollars per person. On the website, it states that the skating sells out, so purchase in advance, but it was pretty empty when we were there. Those who we saw on the ice were sprawled flat on their face most of the time.

We gamely picked up our skates, remembering the last holiday season when we all had a great time at a different ice rink. The “ice” at Lights at the Farm is actually an “NHL grade” synthetic surface. I don’t know if this is why, but none of us could stay upright! We tried our darndest but to no avail. We could stand but had to hold on to the edge to keep our skates from flying out from under us. And it didn’t look like we were the only ones either. The few people on the rink spent most of their time on their bottoms.

Now, I don’t know why this was – I have heard others say they enjoyed it when they went. Maybe we all were not skilled enough for the special surface, we had ill-fitting skates, or they did something to make the surface slicker than usual….no clue! All ages are allowed to skate, but my dad thought it looked too dangerous for him to try, and I wished they had the little ice skating helper bars for the kids to hold on to. I was just waiting for an injury.

As we hung our heads and exited the ice, we actually saw a little girl being carried off by her dad after hurting herself. Like I said, other people have had a different experience, but I will stick to real ice, which makes for a more authentic feel anyway! My kids had fun though – they thought all of the stumbling and falling was hilarious!

Christmas Lights at the Farm in Mesa

CANDY CANE LANE HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE

Ready to walk on our own two feet again, we ambled up and down the paths to browse among over 74 vendor booths just set up for the weekend. December 22nd and 23rd are the only two days left that Candy Cane Lane will be at the farm! There was a remarkable variety of wares available in all different price ranges. This would be the perfect place to grab those last-minute unique gifts. We bought a few stocking stuffers – fun straw toppers and keychains. They even had a balloon artist and a face painter! Our kids didn’t see this booth and we didn’t point it out – shame on us! It was getting close to closing, and we still had one last stop to make before leaving!

Santa Meet

SANTA

We almost forgot Santa was on site this evening! We went looking for him and found him up near the very front of the farm. Passing through an unexpected pretend snowfall was exciting for the kids. A big screen was showing the Rudolph movie, and we had to pull the kids along to complete our mission. The magnetism of any screen, I tell ya…

Santa welcomed the kids up, and we took photos on our own phones – no fancy picture packages here. He chatted with the kids a bit and handed out candy canes. Was this an older wise Santa with a real beard? Nope. Did the kids notice or care? Nope. After they were done, we watched a couple of dogs get their picture taken with Santa. Great place for free pup pics! Santa is only there through the 23rd from 6:00PM-close, as he has things to do and places to be!

We let the kids stay up way late, and we closed the place down! There was so much to explore! Lights at the Farm will definitely become one of our family’s traditions! It would be ideal to come here to squeeze out the last drops of holiday spirit after Christmas is over.

Vertuccio Farms is located at 4011 S. Power Rd., Mesa, AZ, 85212. They are open through 12/30 and closed on the 24th and 25th. Hours are Sun.-Thurs. 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM with tickets at $15+tax+ $1.50 fee. Fri.-Sat. hours are 5:30 PM-10:00 PM with tickets at $18+tax+1.50 fee.

Ages two and under are FREE! Ice skating is an extra $8 per ticket. Buying online, you must select an entry time of either 5:30 PM or 7:30 PM, I think in order for them to manage the flow of people, but it was not that crowded at all when we were there! You may enter any time after your selection and stay until close. The website notes that if tickets are sold out online, come to the gate, and they will get you in! Parking is FREE! There are bathrooms and the farm is wheelchair accessible. Find out more on their website. Have fun!

Snow

Giant light bulb display

Author

  • Jennifer Whitmore

    Jen Whitmore has been living in AZ since she was two years old. After teaching elementary school for ten years, she became a stay-at-home mom. Now her kids are seven and four, and it is so exciting to see them enjoying some of the same AZ activities that Jen did growing up. Thanks to finding the Phoenix with Kids blog, her kids have a raging social life. While finding new adventures and experiences for her family to enjoy together is Jen's favorite thing, she also loves reading, eating, watching TV with her husband, and all animals except spiders.

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