10 Can’t-Miss Christmas & New Year’s Eve Events in Utah

The holiday season evokes a sense of wonder in all of us. It’s hard not to get nostalgic when hanging holiday lights, wrapping gifts for loved ones and filling our homes with the smell of warm gingerbread. That’s why we’re gifting you with ten “can’t-miss” Christmas and New Year’s Eve events to celebrate the holidays and all things magical.

Spread the holiday cheer by attending one (or more) of these holiday events around Salt Lake and beyond.

  • Christensen & Hymas Christmas Light Display
    Where: 11693 S. 700 East, Draper
    When: Every night from 5:30pm to 10:30pm
    This holiday season Christensen & Hymas are sharing their third annual holiday lights display at their Draper location. The display features over forty-thousand energy-efficient LED lights which light up and “dance” to holiday music. Bring your family, tune into 99.9 FM, and enjoy the show from the warmth of your car.
  • City Creek Center Holiday Lights
    Where: City Creek Center (50 South Main Street, Salt Lake City)
    When: Now through December 24, 10am to 9pm
    Enjoy classic holiday stories, the dazzling holiday tree, and the stunning fire fountain show as it dances to the sounds of the holidays at City Creek Center. Want to capture the spirit of the holidays? Santa is waiting in his cozy lantern cottage to hear all about your holiday wishes. Dress in your holiday best and have your photo taken with him to create a forever keepsake.
  • Ballet West Nutcracker
    Where: Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City)
    When: Now through December 27
    Join Ballet West for the 60th production of The Nutcracker and see why this is the longest-running full production in America. No holiday season is complete until you follow Clara on her magical journey through the Land of Snow and Sweets to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy. Speaking of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the magic of The Nutcracker continues after the performance ends. Directly following most matinee performances (December 12, 13, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26), join the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends on stage for cookies and punch, an ornament, and a photo with the cast. Special tickets are required ($10) and may be purchased at the Ticket Office, by calling 801-869-6900, or at arttix.org.
  • EVE WinterFest
    When: December 29-31
    Where: Throughout Salt Lake City
    EVE WinterFest is a three-day celebration with concerts, DJs, grown-up drinks and engaging activities for kids and families. EVE WinterFest features a schedule packed with the best artistic and cultural performers in Utah. From Brazilian fire dancers to Japanese Taiko drummers, you can choose from diverse events to create a unique celebration. NOTE: Only 3-day EVE ticket holders are eligible for a ticket to the Utah Jazz game on December 31st vs. the Portland Trailblazers at 7:00pm.
  • Festival of the Seas and Noon Year’s Eve at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
    When: Festival of the Seas (Now through December 24); Noon Year’s Eve (December 31)
    Where: Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (12033 Lone Peak Parkway, Draper)
    Celebrate the holidays with the penguins at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium! The “Festival of the Seas” is December 1 – December 24. Get your photo taken with Santa at the Mountain America Penguin Research Station. There will be extra activities for kids and Santa will also be diving in the shark tank! On New Year’s, no need to keep the kiddos up late. Instead, celebrate NOON Year’s Eve at the AquariumB98.7 will broadcasting live from 11am to 2pm. Moms, Dads and kids will have an opportunity to engage in activities and win cool prizes. When the clock strikes noon, there will be a large balloon drop. 
  • Holiday Events at the Grand America
    Where: The Grand America Hotel (555 South Main Street, Salt Lake City)
    When: Now through New Year’s Day
    The Grand America offers a variety of holiday events all season long to help you celebrate in ‘grand’ style. Remaining holiday events include a Christmas Eve Prix Fixe Dinner, Christmas Eve Lunch Buffet, Christmas Day Prix Fixe Dinner and a New Year’s Eve Buffet. Enjoy the beautiful seasonal decorations in the lobby, window displays in the shops and gingerbread creations.
  • New Year’s Eve with Ballet West and Culinary Crafts
    When: December 31
    Where: The Rice-Eccles Tower at the University of Utah (451 1400 E, Salt Lake City)
    Join Adam Sklute and a collection of Ballet West’s dancers, along with Utah’s premiere caterer, Culinary Crafts, for a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Rice-Eccles Tower! Enjoy a delicious selection of passed hors d’oeurves to begin the evening, followed by NINE other not-to-be-missed courses. Yes, ring in the new year with a blowout 10-course dinner. After dinner, dance your way into 2016. The evening will culminate in a celebratory toast at midnight as fireworks light up the skyline.
  • Temple Square Holiday Lights and Performances
    Where: Temple Square (50 West North Temple, Salt Lake City)
    When: Now through January 3
    This dazzling display, which attracts people from all over the world, turns on every night at 5:30pm and stays on until 10pm. To further spread the holiday cheer, Temple Square is hosting a series of holiday concerts throughout the ground’s six different venues. All Template Square holiday performances are complimentary, and all ages are welcome. Check out the complete schedule here.
  • Torchlight Parade, Santa Ski Free and New Year’s at Snowbird Resort
    When: December 24, 25 and 31
    Where: Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort (9385 S. Snowbird Center Drive, Snowbird)
    There’s no place like Snowbird for the holidays! On Christmas Eve, head to Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon. At dusk, the Plaza Deck illuminates with bonfires as spectators prepare to watch the Torchlight Parade coming down the mountain (skiers carrying lights) – a magical sight. Santa makes an exciting entrance, rapelling down from out of the Tram car to see the kids and say hello. Afterwards, see a spectacular fireworks show, then head inside to warm up and participate in a Christmas Eve candlelight service. During the day, you might even see Santa and Mrs. Claus riding around the slopes and passing out treats. Christmas Eve is also the “Santa Ski Free Day” (The first 100 Santas ski FREE!). New Year’s Eve brings another exciting evening of bonfire, torchlight parade and later, dancing in the Wildflower Lounge and live music at the Tram Club to bring in the New Year.
  • ZooLights & Early Countdown at Hogle Zoo
    Where: Hogle Zoo (2600 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City)
    When: Now through December 31; Sunday – Wednesday from 5:30 to 8pm and Thursday – Saturday from 5:30 to 9pm (closed Christmas Day)
    Once again, wildlife meets wild lights! Now in its ninth illuminating season, ZooLights at Hogle Zoo is Utah’s brightest family holiday tradition. Highlights include over 250 animated light displays, delicious hot chocolate and seasonal treats, the popular 135-foot lighted tunnel and of course, the chance to get up close with a polar bear, grizzlies, seals, and sea lions! On New Year’s, enjoy the final night of Hogle Zoo’s Zoolights and a family-friendly early New Year’s countdown at 9 pm.



By |2018-11-15T12:42:25-07:00December 22, 2015|

About the Author:

Gina Uriarte is an avid traveler and enjoys rock climbing, hiking, sporting events and live music. Gina has been in the marketing field for the real estate industry since 2005 and most enjoys the creative side of her craft. When not working or planning her next trip, Gina can be found sharing her musings on music, design and sports 140 characters at a time over on Twitter. Feel free to tweet her, as she is quick to respond.

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