The holiday season in Utah is one of the happiest times of the year! Help celebrate this magical month by checking things off your own wish list—whether it involves visiting Santa’s beautiful reindeer, gazing at sparkling lights, frolicking in the snow or taking your little ones to see Santa Claus—Utah has a “gift” for everyone!
HOLIDAY FESTIVALS AND LIGHTS
ZooLights at Hogle Zoo
Where: Hogle Zoo (2600 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City)
When: Now through December 31; Sunday – Wednesday from 5:30 to 8 pm and Thursday – Saturday from 5:30 to 9 pm (closed Christmas Day)
Back for its eighth illuminating season, ZooLights at Hogle Zoo is Utah’s brightest family holiday tradition. Over 250 animated light displays, delicious hot chocolate and seasonal treats, the popular 135-foot lighted tunnel and two of Santa’s reindeers – real reindeer! Plus, every night features a special activity such as ice carvers, crafts, temporary tattoos, small animal encounters, and more.
City Creek Center Holiday Lights
Where: City Creek Center (50 South Main Street, Salt Lake City)
When: Through December 24, 10 am to 9 pm
Visit City Creek Center and enjoy Christmas music, classic storybook window displays and choreographed fountain shows. Visitors can enjoy City Creek Center’s choreographed holiday fountain shows every hour on the hour. There are special fountain/fire shows with three holiday songs at 7pm and 9pm each night.
Thanksgiving Point Celebrations
Where: Thanksgiving Point (3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi)
When: Throughout December
Thanksgiving Point is Holiday Central! Visit with Santa’s reindeer on the plaza or watch as artists work their magic and transform 300-pound blocks of ice into snowmen. The reindeer will be visiting Thanksgiving Point now until December 23. The outdoor ice sculpting demonstrations will take place at 6:30 pm this month on the following days: 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, and the 17. If you enjoy a spectacular show of lights, reserve a horse-drawn carriage or warm-up with a thermos of hot chocolate and drive through Thanksgiving Point’s Electric Park for a magical night. Electric Park will be hosting a display of lights now until December 29.
Candy Cane Hunt
Where: Draper Historic Park (12625 S. 900, East Draper)
When: December 14, 4 pm
Visit Draper Historic Park and bring your little ones (recommended age is toddlers) for a wild candy cane hunt! Hundreds of candy canes will be hidden throughout the park and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be around for holiday photos after the hunt.
Dicken’s Christmas Festival
Where: South Towne Exposition Center (9575 So. State Street, Sandy)
When: December 11-13, 10 am to 9 pm
Step back in time as the streets of Olde London come to life! The Dicken’s Christmas Festival is a unique and unusual entertainment and shopping experience. Olde English shops, hundreds of period costumes, fortune tellers, orphans, royalty, and the “real” Father Christmas all combine to create a special holiday experience.
Where: Canyons Resort (3867 Village Round Drive, Park City)
When: Now through December 21
DecemberFest is a ten-day festival including morning and après musical acts, village entertainers and special events. Don’t miss: Avalanche Dogs (Dec 17 at 4:30 pm) – meet the best Ski Patrollers in the country; Santa Skis Free (Dec 20) – the first 50 guests that don St. Nick’s attire (or Mrs. Claus, reindeer or elves) will ski or ride for free; Park City Treble Makers (Dec 20 and 21) – they’ll be singing your favorite Christmas carols in the Resort Village.
Gorgoza Tubing Park
Where: Gorgoza Park (3863 West Kilby Road)
Hours: Monday-Friday 1-8pm, Saturday & Sunday 12-8 pm
Who says you can’t have a good time in the cold? Take the whole family to Gorgoza Park for a fun-filled day of tubing, mini snowmobiling and playing in the snow. The park also offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for your little ones so they can ease their way into that Olympic medal. The Park will be open now until April 12.
Park City Sleigh Rides
Where: Park City
When: All winter
Sleighs aren’t just for Santa! Head to Park City and enjoy an old-fashioned horse-drawn sleigh ride through the scenic mountain country. There are several options available, with or without dinner included. Some even include an overnight stay at a backcountry lodge.
HOLIDAY THEATRE & SHOWS
How the Grinch Stole Christmas—Desert Star Theaters
Where: Desert Star Theaters (4861 S State Street, Murray)
When: Through January 3
Join Desert Star Theater as they take a holiday blockbuster hit to the stage! This family-friendly performance is filled with action, holiday cheer and plenty of laughter. Bonus: Instead of sitting in a cramped theater seat you can sit back, enjoy a nice hamburger and watch the action play out from the comfort of your own personal table.
North Pole Express
Where: Heber Valley Rail Road (450 South 600 West, Heber City)
When: Through December 24
Enjoy all of the magic that this season has to offer with the whole family by boarding the North Pole Express! Surprise your little one’s with this thoughtful holiday gift where you can sip on creamy hot chocolate and nibble on warm cookies served by Santa’s Elves. Once everyone boards, Santa will take all of his lucky passengers on a magical 90-minute train ride to the North Pole. Holiday cheer and entertainment will be provided during your scenic night trip.
Park City’s Holiday Spectacular and Community Sing-Along
Where: The Egyptian Theatre (328 Main Street, Park City)
When: December 18, 8:00 pm
Park City’s Holiday Spectacular features several of Park City’s best performers in a holiday-inspired variety show. Sing-a-long to your favorite holiday songs and enjoy a variety of local performers to create a magical season-inspired celebration.