Think 25 themed rooms, over 1,000,000 lights, a model railroad, a Department 56 Christmas Village with over 5000 pieces, approximately 100 trees and more holiday cheer than one can imagine. Plus a cup of hot chocolate. That’s what you'll find at the Enchanted Christmas Indoor Holiday Light attraction located at the Gateway Mall in Prescott.
“We started M&M Entertainment a couple of years back, but we didn’t expect it to take off like this,” Marco Espitia (one of the M’s in M&M Entertainment) said. "But, between this, the Christmas parties, weddings, proms… There are so many events we’ve taken on, so many events that people have pitched to us, that want us to help them out with their events. The Entertainment and Productions part has really taken off. It’s a lot of fun.”
Matt Brassard (the other “M” in M&M Entertainment) nodded in agreement, “When you’re in a time crunch like this, it can be stressful, but it’s worth it in the end.”
“We do this for the community,” Brassard explained. “We’ve done the Haunted House since 2013… We put so much work into all these walls for a Haunted House that’s open for 13 nights. And Marco has always been into Christmas… It’s kind of unique, let’s try something different for the community to give back and do an indoor thing. It’s warm, you can take your time, you’re not freezing, you’re not in your car… Something that the whole family can come and enjoy. We were taken back the first year, just the response from the community, how much they appreciated it and loved it. So, we just decided to keep going with it.”
Espitia said, “I used to do this at my house and it got too big... I hung over 500,000 lights at our house... We moved it to a public place, so we could do it publicly. Everyone’s really known us for doing it at the house… We were like, let’s bring it here, and let’s see how it pans out. And it did.”
“There’s so much more you can do in an indoor environment that you can’t do outdoors.” Brassard gestured at the decorations, “You can have all the different music, you can have things like this that make the lights pop…”
“And ‘snow' on the ground. It’s really neat. People who have not experienced it, come and see what it is, first,” Espitia encouraged. "It’s definitely a labor of love. M&M Entertainment enjoys doing things for the community, and keeping events going on for the younger crowd here in town or mixed ages. Between Scream Factor and Enchanted and the Boot Drop, we just try to add great events that go on throughout the year.”
‘This one is probably my favorite,” Espitia admitted with a grin. “I love Christmas.”
Returning to the “Labor of love” concept. That’s not an exaggeration. It takes about 6 people sometimes working 8-12 hours each day nearly three weeks to set it up properly. That’s not counting the advance planning and design needed to pull off an attraction of this magnitude. As Espitia said, all the characters and mascots are the “real deal,” imported from a designer in Peru with every costume custom-made. The light sets are all LED, low-powered, energy-efficient. Each themed room has it’s own music, controlled by one master computer.
As Brassard said, “Prescott is the Christmas City, and the more Christmas events we have going on, the better it is all around.”
The 4 best things about Enchanted Christmas?
- It’s indoors, which means no freezing cold temperatures, icy fingers trying to take a photo or cars honking behind you because you want to take it all in.
- You get free hot chocolate when you start your tour.
- Local non-profits like the Yavapai Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club, Horses with Heart and the Girl Scouts benefit. Last year, over 19 tons of canned food was collected for the Food Bank.
- There is something for everyone to enjoy: Charlie Brown, a ‘Frozen’ room complete with Elsa, Candy Cane Land, Nutcracker Room, Santa Room and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (because we all know that TMNT love Christmas)! That’s just the beginning. There is so much more!
Expect to take about half an hour as you travel through the rooms. The entire attraction is wheelchair accessible.
If You Go:
What: Enchanted Christmas, an indoor Tour of Lights
Where: Gateway Mall, Prescott
When: November 25-December 30.
Admission: $5 recommended donation per person, children 5 and under are free.
Discounts: Bring 1 toy for the entire family, or one can of food per person, and pay $4 admission per person
Hours (these may be adjusted as it gets closer to Christmas):
Tuesday - Thursday 3 - 8 PM (closed Mondays)
Friday 3 - 9 PM
Saturday 12 - 9 PM
Sunday 12 - 6 PM
Website: Enchanted Christmas Arizona