Whether you’re new to the area or been here for generations, Utah is a great place to spend the holidays. There are so many activities and holiday events in Utah happening all around the state, it’s not hard to find something the entire family can enjoy. We know your calendar fills up quickly, so don’t miss out on these Utah holiday bucket list items this year.
The actual animals take a backseat to more than 200 lighted animal and holiday-themed displays set up throughout the state zoo in Salt Lake City. Zoolights includes a 135-foot lighted tunnel, and is perfect for family night, date night, and crowds of all ages. ZooLights runs nightly from December 1-31, except on Christmas Day.
Ballet West puts on performances of The Nutcracker every year, but the sets and costumes were just redone in 2017, so now you can see America’s longest-running full production in a whole new way. Performances happen throughout December, except for Christmas Day.
If you love a good Hallmark Christmas movie set in the 1800s, you’ll love Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park. Father Christmas greets the kids, carolers walk the streets, and the entire village takes you away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas back to a simpler time of just a warm fire and fresh baked goods.
Walk through aisle after aisle of beautiful and festive themed Christmas trees. Each tree is decorated by local people and businesses and auctioned off to benefits Primary Children’s Medical Center. The festival also has Christmas boutiques, kids’ activities, and more.
You haven’t seen Christmas lights until you’ve seen them at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Nearly every inch of the square shines with twinkling Christmas lights as well as a beautiful life-sized Nativity set, festive decorations, Christmas performances, and hot cocoa from the Nauvoo Café. This tradition was started in 1965, and today it equates to over a million lights attracting visitors from all over the world. The lights turn on the Friday after Thanksgiving and stay lit through December 31st. Best of all, it’s completely free.
If you’re looking for the best place to stay for the holidays, you found it. The Grand America hosts Santa and Mrs. Claus with photo opportunities, a fantastic buffet, and their Annual Holiday Window display from November 22 to December 31. Make your reservations early, they fill up quickly.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the best snow on Earth. Of course, the lifts are open throughout the entire season, but it’s a definite must on any Utah holiday bucket list. Whether you’re a beginner, expert, or somewhere in between, there are options for the entire family on any of Utah’s exceptional ski resorts.