7 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Utah

When it comes to the holidays in Utah, we go big. But it’s not all borderline offensively festive Christmas light displays and hand-holding by a nativity at Temple Square. We have put together a list of ways to celebrate the holidays in Utah to get you out of your winter rut and break from tired traditions. 

Get cozy with a drink and a holiday movie

A Christmas Parlor at Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club

Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club Holiday Pop-Up Bar And Christmas Movie Series
Home Alone on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m.,  Elf on Wednesday, Dec.14 at 8 p.m., Die Hard on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m., Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club
Soak in the season in an immersive, magical Holiday Parlor where you can sip festive holiday cocktails and catch a classic holiday movie. The holiday-themed A Christmas Parlor features design and decor by Utah Arts Alliance and a special menu of seasonal cocktails from famed mixologist and Carver Road Hospitality VP of Beverage, Francesco Lafranconi. Reservations for The Holiday Parlor are highly recommended

Shop your local holiday market

JCC Hanukkah Market 
Sunday, Dec. 4, 12 p.m.–5 p.m., IJ & Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center
The event features local vendors, family-friendly entertainment, a book sale hosted by the King’s English Bookshop, a Hanukkah gift shop, a children’s art yard and delicious Jewish food.

Salt and Honey Makers Market 
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Visit Salt Lake Visitor’s Center 
Visit Salt Lake is partnering with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) for a festive day of holiday shopping geared toward the whole family. Shoppers can experience an innovative gift and craft sale while supporting local artists and artisans.

Find more holiday markets here.

Experience the sounds of the season

A Holiday Celebration of Music with Utah Symphony
Dates, time and performances vary, Abravanel Hall
Experience a winter wonderland with the Utah Symphony as they perform your favorite holiday music live. This season features cherished traditions and soulful carols, pre-concert activities for children, and performances with Broadway star and Postmodern Jukebox alum member Morgan James and of the music of Nightmare Before Christmas.

Strap on your skates for some ice skating

Ice Skating at the Gallivan Center
Open through February, Gallivan Plaza
East Gallivan Plaza transforms into an outdoor public ice skating rink in the winter. They offer both hockey and figure skates for rent with admission. You can also warm up with hot cocoa and enjoy other sweet and savory treats at the concessions booth. You can privately rent the ice rink Monday-Thursday during off hours. Adults $12, Seniors and Military $11, Children under 12 years old are $10.

Holiday Festival 2022
Saturday, Dec. 10, Utah Olympic Oval
The Utah Olympic Oval is proud to carry on a community holiday tradition. Enjoy activities for the whole family, including public ice skating, sports clinics, an Oval Figure Skating Ice Show, holiday crafts and visits with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. 

Midway Ice Rink
Open daily through March 18, Midway Ice Skating Rink 
The scenic outdoor ice rink is open seven days a week, except Christmas Day. General admission $8 (13 and up), Kids $7 (ages 6-12), Kids 4 and under are free, skate rentals are $5.

Take in a twist on holiday lights, displays and decorations

Holidays in Utah: ZooLights display at Utah's Hogle Zoo
(Photo credit Utah’s Hogle Zoo)

Through Dec. 30, Utah’s Hogle Zoo
Utah’s Hogle Zoo 16th Annual ZooLights welcomes guests of all ages to see fantastical light displays of animals, characters and holiday scenes around the zoo. ZooLights features new light displays with an animals around the world-themed scavenger hunt, the 12 gifts you can give for conservation, memorable photo opportunities, a 135-foot kaleidoscopic light tunnel, exclusive treats, a 20-foot grand tree and visits with Santa

Evermore Park’s Aurora 2022
Through Jan. 7, Evermore Park
Experience magic in Evermore’s Old European Holiday Village, featuring a variety of fantasy themed characters! Explore a Winter Wonderland filled with lights, projections, lasers, music and live performances, as well as warm food and hot drinks, shopping in the Kris Kringle Marketplace or one of Evermore’s themed holiday shops. 

Through Dec. 30, Thanksgiving Point’s Ashton Gardens
A one-way path guides you past a light and music show, including 6,500 programmable luminaries blanketing a hill, songs, shows and a 120-foot tree.

2022 Fantasy at the Bay: Drive-Through Holiday Light Show
Through Dec. 30, Willard Bay State Park
Celebrate the magic of the holidays while staying warm and cozy inside your car.

Snow Globe Stroll
Through Jan. 8, Park City’s Historic Main Street
Returning for the third year in a row, the Snow Globe Stroll will feature seven life-size snow globes, each themed around different holiday songs, including “Last Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Let It Snow!” and “Happy Holiday.” Passersby can enjoy festive Historic Park City holiday decorations including Santa’s mailbox and Main Street Christmas tree. 

Utah Governor’s Mansion Holiday Tours
Dec. 6-13, Kearns Mansion
The Kearns Mansion is decked out every holiday season with some sort of theme. This year’s theme is the “Roaring ’20s.”

Celebrate on the slopes

Montage Deer Valley
The holiday fun includes Family Tubing Nights at Powder Park, Christmas Eve Magic at Santa’s Workshop and Christmas Feasts. For a complete list of holiday festivities, pricing, reservations, and more information on holiday events at Montage Deer Valley, visit “Upcoming Events” on their website 

Santa’s Christmas Eve Parade and Fireworks
Dec 24., 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Plaza Deck, Snowbird Center
Visit Snowbird at dusk on Christmas Eve on the Plaza Deck for bonfires, hot cocoa, the torchlight parade and fireworks. Afterward, keep your eyes to the sky for a special appearance from Santa Claus.

Visit Santa at the North Pole

North Pole Festival
Thursday-Monday, through Jan. 1, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m., America First Field
Explore the North Pole with millions of lights, larger-than-life decor, gigantic Christmas trees that come to life with Christmas music, walk-thru light tunnels, in an immersive experience for all ages. 

Santa Comes Down the Town Lift
Saturday, Dec. 17, Park City’s Town Lift
Santa will be doing a trial run the week before the Christmas holiday and will make an appearance coming down Park City’s Town Lift. 

Festival of the Seas 2022
Through Dec. 3, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s workshop helpers, plus enjoy fun holiday crafts and photo ops throughout the Aquarium.

Photos With Santa
Dec. 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City
Open to both guests and Salt Lake residents, the hotel will feature a massive 18-foot tree on the scenic rooftop Sundance Terrace, a custom-built Santa House, holiday vignettes and photo-ops with Santa Claus. Holiday carolers will sing joyous classics at both the sixth-floor rooftop Sundance Terrace and in the lobby space Saturdays & Sundays in December, prior to Christmas, from noon–2:00 p.m. Tickets to experience are available on Tock here. Tickets start at $20 per photo for non-dining guests.  For guests who would like to dine prior to their photo with Santa, pricing is $10 with proof of brunch or lunch purchase.

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Christie Porter
Christie Porterhttps://christieporter.com/
Christie Porter is the managing editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade, writing about everything under the sun, but she really loves writing about nerdy things and the weird stuff. She recently published her first comic book short this year.

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