Thinking of getting away this Christmastime? Salt Lake City may be the way to go.
Salt Lake City is the capital and most populous city in Utah. It’s a great area for checking out parks and cultural institutions. It offers a rich performing arts scene with plenty of venues and festivals taking place throughout the year.
If you are heading out to Salt Lake City to make your holidays bright, there’s plenty to see and do. Here are some things you will want to check out.
Festival of Trees at the South Towne Expo Center
The Festival of Trees takes place at the South Towne Center in Sandy, Utah, just south of SLC. It is an annual event that has been ongoing for forty plus years.
Themed trees are decorated by individuals, families and businesses and then auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Primary Children’s Medical Center, a non-profit helping children with severe illnesses. There are also Angel Trees on display paying tribute to patients that lost their battle.
Guests can also purchase a wreath at the Aisle of Wreaths and shop the boutiques on site. They can enjoy dance performances, visits with Santa, face painting, a gingerbread village and a bubble machine. A silent auction will take place as well.
Christmas at the Grand America Hotel
The Grand America Hotel is known for its spacious rooms, terrific spa and awesome dining experiences. Guests and visitors can look forward to their Santa and Mrs. Claus Breakfast that takes place in the Oak Room.
Children will be able to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and eat from a children’s buffet that includes chocolate chip pancakes with raspberry syrup, French toast sticks, mini corn dogs and more. An adults’ buffet is available as well.
The Breakfast with Santa event often sells out so the hotel offers several opportunities for families to celebrate. This includes the Santa’s Grand Afternoon Tea in the Lobby, Victorian Afternoon Tea, Holiday Sunday Brunches, Christmas Eve Breakfast and Lunch Buffets, Christmas Eve Prix Fixe Dinner and Christmas Day breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Zoo Lights at Hogle Zoo
Hogle Zoo lights up at Christmastime with a Zoo Lights event. This includes a Rocky Shores exhibit that allows guests to see North Pole natives like polar bears, sea lions, otters and seals in a heated underwater viewing area.
Other attractions include a 135-foot lighted tunnel which can be viewed through the hologram glasses the zoo provides. There are also holiday crafts, ice carving displays, a Conservation Carousel and visits with Santa.
Christmas at City Creek Center
City Creek Center is a SLC mall and it’s a great place to get your holiday shopping done. Children can visit Santa in his special lantern village. The mall also hosts a Santa Paws event on Tuesday night where you can get your pet’s picture taken with Santa.
The mall is decorated in its holiday finest and guests can go by the fountain in Richards Court to see the show that takes place every hour. The water is choreographed to music for a spectacle designed by the same crew who did the Fountain Show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The show is even more impressive after dark when fire elements are added, and shoots of water go forty feet in the air.
Torchlight Parade at Snowbird Resort
Snowbird is a Ski Resort located in Little Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake City. They make the holidays special by hosting a Torchlight Parade on Christmas Eve. It takes place at the plaza center and torches light up the area for the occasion.
Santa makes an exciting entrance rappelling out of a tram car to greet guests. This is followed by a firework display.
After the event, guests can head inside to enjoy a candlelit Christmas Eve service.
Although Christmas Eve at Snowbird is special, the staff makes the entire holiday season fun and it’s not unusual for guests to see Santa and Mrs. Claus randomly strolling around the grounds.
If you are in town on New Year’s, Snowbird makes a great party destination. Like on Christmas Eve, Snowbird also hosts a torchlight parade with bonfire to welcome the New Year. Then guests celebrate in the Wildfire Lounge
Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park
This is the Place Heritage Park is a great place to take the family year-round. You can learn about the history of SLC and find out about how founding father Brigham Young announced “This is the Place” when leading thousands of pioneers into the area.
During the holiday season, the spot transforms into an old-fashioned Christmas card scene with Heritage Village Carolers, a winter village, decorated historic homes and pioneer cabins and an opportunity to create handmade gifts and decorations. There are even live reindeer on site taking part in a live nativity scene.
The Huntsmen Hotel opens later in the afternoon providing food for hungry guests.
Temple Square is a 10-acre site and home to the Church of Latter Day Saints. During the holiday season, it is decorated with over a million lights and nativity scenes from all over the world. The square lights up in late November making for a fun and festive occasion, but visitors can come any time during the season to enjoy the decorations.
There is also a Temple Square Concert series that runs throughout the holidays. This is a free event, but tickets must be secured in advance.
It is not unusual to see other performers in the square around this time of year.
Cathedral of Madeleine
The Cathedral of Madeleine hosts a Christmas Carol Service that is a beautiful way to welcome in the season. The chorus features both children and adults, and performances take place throughout the season.
In addition to enjoying a terrific performance, you will also be able to check out the magnificent architecture that includes a Romanesque exterior and a Gothic interior. The church was completed in 1909 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and the Utah Register of Historic Sites.
Salt Lake City is a delightful place to visit for the holidays. With so much to see and do, it may be difficult to get all of them crossed off your list. Which of these activities will you be prioritizing?