What to Do During Thanksgiving Weekend in Utah

Hosting a memorable Thanksgiving holiday entails more than a well-cooked bird, you’re also expected to entertain hard-to-please in-laws, hyperactive iPad kids and the rowdy cousins you only see once a year. You could go the traditional route—ditch dish duty in favor of some old-fashioned Black Friday doorbusting, followed by a stroll around Temple Square to repent for your shopping sins. Or, you could take advantage of local businesses offering uniquely Utah activities for all ages. Between burlesque shows, brewery tours, luxury dining experiences and tree-lighting ceremonies, there’s a little something to satisfy all your out-of-towners’ holiday proclivities.

Snap a Photo with Santa at Hyatt Regency Hotel 

The Hyatt Regency hotel, a sleek and modern building in the heart of downtown, has pulled out all the stops this holiday season. The impressive interiors have been decked out in Christmas decor, and their 6th-floor terrace has been transformed into Santa’s Village. Visit on a Saturday to snap a photo with Santa and enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies. When you’re ready to warm up, head inside to Mar | Muntanya for Spanish tapas. The restaurant’s cocktail special, hot mulled cider with your choice of spirit, is the perfect nightcap for Thanksgiving weekend. 

Spice it up at a Burlesque variety show

After wholesome Thanksgiving toasts and bellies stuffed full of feasts, why not mix it up with a night of extravagant entertainment? Mountain West Cider is hosting a Burlesque Variety show on Nov. 25, complete with live performances, music by violinist Katya Murafa, comedy acts, and more. Find tickets here.

Dine in Style at Montage’s Alpenglobes

Embrace every angle of Deer Valley’s alpine scenery when you dine inside Montage’s private alpenglobes. The private dining rooms accommodate up to eight guests, with domed windows allowing you a full view of the sweeping mountain vistas. The hotel is also hosting a range of holiday activities like ornament decorating workshops, archery classes, holiday bazaars and tree-lighting ceremonies! See the full schedule and make a reservation.  

Support Local Makers at the Holi-Gay Market 

For all your holiday gift needs, support local artists and businesses at Church & State’s Holi-Gay Market on Nov. 26th. The free market will feature 20 LGBTQ+ vendors offering everything from jewelry, to vintage finds to art and more! 

Leave it all on the Rink at the Gallivan Center

Test your balance, and your patience, at the outdoor ice rink in the heart of downtown. The Gallivan Center always dresses up for the holidays and stays open as late as midnight during the weekend. The ice does tend to get crowded during peak hours, so make sure you’re properly bundled (and/or boozed) up before braving a crowd.

Cheers to Local Brewers on Utah Pint Day 

Organized by the Utah Brewers Guild, Utah Pint Day invites craft beer enthusiasts to sip and support their local brewers. Starting on Nov. 24, sixteen participating breweries will be offering specialty pours and events, and select locations are selling Pint Day glassware featuring art from Delaney Stevens. Find all participating brewers here

Enjoy Dazzling Displays at Tracy Aviary’s Lightwalk 

Beginning on Nov. 24, Tracy Aviary will become illuminated with eight acres of twinkling light displays. Meander through tunnels and mazes while you enjoy holiday beverages, and don’t forget to make a stop at Santa’s life-size gingerbread house. Some of the aviary’s nocturnal residents are bound to be active, so keep an eye out for them as you enjoy the grounds! Reserve tickets here.

Stroll Through a Life-Size Village of Gingerbread Houses

Traverse Mountain’s Outlet Mall announced their grand opening of Gingerbread Village on Nov. 18th, which is open to the public until Dec. 31st. The village features charming gingerbread-inspired homes and a 30-foot-tall gingerbread tower. The Mall also just lit Utah’s tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree, which can be viewed in all its illuminated glory in the mall’s center. 

Get a Sneak peek of Hogle Zoo’s ZooLights 

Hogle Zoo’s iconic ZooLights are always a hit during the holiday season, but tickets are in high demand and can be hard to get ahold of during the regular season. Luckily, the zoo is offering a preview of their lights during Thanksgiving weekend for only $8 a ticket. Learn more and purchase tickets here!

Enjoy Wheeler Farm’s annual Holiday Market 

Wheeler Farm invites shoppers to shop and support local at their 2023 Holiday Market Nov. 24-26th. Visit the farm on Saturday for holiday light displays, wagon rides and family-friendly activities. On Fridays, the farm will host a very special guest — Santa greeting visitors on the historic Farmhouse. More info on hours and schedule here

Avrey Evans
Avrey Evanshttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Avrey Evans is the Digital and the Nightlife Editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has been writing for city publications for six years and enjoys covering the faces and places of our salty city, especially when a boozy libation is concerned.

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