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Blurred version of the feature image used to fill empty space behind the feature image Lindsey is enjoying the Christmas lights at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City During the Christmas Season

  • Written by Lindsey Huster
  •  / 
  • 6 min read
  •  / 
  • Last updated 2 months ago

Salt Lake City, Utah should be on your shortlist to visit during the Christmas season.  The Salt Lake City area offers so much to be desired around the holidays, everything you think of when you think of Christmas!  Beautiful churches and temples, holiday events, light displays, opportunities to give and so much more!

I wrote about this a little in last year's post,  Getting in the Christmas Spirit.

Downtown Salt Lake City

Downtown Salt Lake is a must during the holiday season.  The most popular place in Utah to see Christmas lights is Temple Square.  Although they do not count the lights, it’s easy to guess there are over a million sparkling lights on display.  Check their website for more information regarding dates, and special events and to learn more about the history of the lights.

The lights at Temple Square are truly magical and not to be missed!  Tips: Pay $10 to park in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  First, take the elevator up the main level to see the indoor Christmas tree and maybe even catch some live choir music on the balcony.  Next, ride the elevator to the top floor to overlook the lights and the Salt Lake Temple.  Then, explore the Temple Square grounds and all the beautiful lights.

Temple Square is lit up with Christmas lights
Temple Square is lit up with Christmas lights
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An artistic black and white photo of Lindsey at Temple Square
An artistic black and white photo of Lindsey at Temple Square

After strolling around Temple Square, be sure to cross the street to see Macy’s Christmas Candy Windows at City Creek Mall.  These themed candy displays are unique and will have you asking yourself, “How did they do that?”  Continue on through City Creek Mall for various shops, even if you don’t need to shop it’s worth the walk to see this unique mall.  It’s named City Creek because it has a creek running through it.  Tip: We always head to Kneaders for a bowl of hot soup and fresh bread to complete the evening.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my pictures of the candy windows. 🙁 We will need to get some next time we are downtown!

More Christmas light displays

Hogle Zoo Lights

Keith and I visited Utah’s Hogle Zoo Lights last year on a weeknight and it was perfect. The weather was just right, the crowd was just right and the lights and animals were fun to see during the winter. This was our first visit to Hogle Zoo and it was a relaxing night to get outside for a couple of hours to enjoy another light display. This is a great option if you are looking for something low-key, especially during the week.

A large Christmas light train display at Utah's Hogle Zoo
A large Christmas light train display at Utah's Hogle Zoo
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Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point

Keith and I attended the Christmas light display, Luminaria, at Thanksgiving Point two years ago.  We were absolutely blown away by the number of lights, the unique displays, and the thought that went into this event! We went on the weekend and it was quite crowded, plus you need to plan ahead to order tickets, but it is well worth the price of admission and the hustle and bustle of the event. After the lights at Temple Square, Luminaria would be my top pick to view lights in the Salt Lake City area.

Taking a selfie in front of a large light display at Luminaria
Taking a selfie in front of a large light display at Luminaria

The Festival of Trees

If you happen to be in town during the Festival of Trees event you must attend. It only lasts 4 days, but the feeling you leave with will last much longer than the short show. This truly is the spirit of Christmas. Christmas trees, wreaths, centerpieces, and more are decorated and donated to the show. The “Opening Night” is a semi-formal event where the trees can be purchased through an auction. The money raised is for Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT. This event is much more than just trees though. Many of the trees tell a story about someone who is/was a patient at Primary Children’s Hospital. Their stories will make you cry, smile, laugh, and be inspired long after the season.

There are so many Christmas tree displays at the Festival of Trees
There are so many Christmas tree displays at the Festival of Trees
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So much more to see and do

There is so much more to do in Salt Lake City during the Christmas Season. I will be writing more posts on additional ideas and suggestions.

Sunset of Salt Lake valley with Christmas lights on the light poles
Sunset of Salt Lake valley with Christmas lights on the light poles

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