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Celebrate the Holidays in Salt Lake

Tuesday December 7, 2021

‘Tis the season, and while the temps are dropping, the lights, events, and holiday cheer is bubbling up in Salt Lake. Whether you’re looking for family fun or more elevated evening diversions, Salt Lake has something in store. As the urban gateway to Utah, Salt Lake offers a true city experience at the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest scenery and outdoor offerings.

Complete with a bustling downtown, and a host of burgeoning neighborhoods, Salt Lake serves up something for everyone on your list. From shopping to dining, to professional ballet, to virtual events, to some of the best Christmas lights in the nation at Temple Square, you’ll be surprised at everything happening in Salt Lake.

FOR THE GIFT GIVERS AND HOLIDAY MARKET GOERS  

HOLIDAY MARKET 2021

UMOCA x Visit Salt Lake x
Salt & Honey Makers Market
20 South West Temple
Holiday Market 2021

This year, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) has teamed up with Visit Salt Lake and Salt & Honey Makers Market to create the most unique holiday gift shop in Salt Lake City. Bring the kids! Santa will be here Saturday from 11:30 – 1:30 for a reading of the Polar Express and complimentary photos. There will be family art activities for all ages, along with holiday movies screening in the museum auditorium. Lastly, don’t miss out on free gift wrapping at UMOCA. Just bring any item you buy from either the museum or Visit Salt Lake and we’ll wrap it for you!

HANUKKAH MARKET

IJ & Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center
2 North Medical Drive - Hanukkah gift shop
Virtual Hanukkah Market

For over 25 years, the Hanukkah Market is a social event at the I.J. & Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center, consisting of food vendors, live music, and crafts for the entire family. But to keep everyone safe in 2020 and this year they’ve turned the event virtual, with a Hanukkah gift shop at the Center. November 15 through December 19, the Hanukkah online market will include jewelry, fine art and photography, handmade ceramics, books, and coffee. You may come out as the best gift giver in the family.

CITY CREEK CENTER SHOPPING

50 South Main Street
ShopCityCreekCenter.com

If your spouse is too nosy and online shopping isn’t a viable option, City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City is open for holiday shopping from 10 am to 9 pm, Monday through Saturday. The indoor/outdoor mall will feature beautiful holiday décor throughout the space, a photo-op with their oversized Christmas tree, spots for festive selfies, and the beloved annual Macy’s candy window displays. The Giving Machines, large vending machines that instead of giving out food or treats allow you to purchase important items to donate to charities, are located in front of the Food Court. Santa is unfortunately not able to be there in person this year, but Macy's is providing Macy's Santaland at Home, a free online interactive trip to the North Pole that your little ones will love. 

We all want some sort of normalcy, and we vote giant floating candy ornaments as that normalcy. The candied displays carry on as a tradition dating back to 1970, when ZCMI occupied the space that is now Macy’s City Creek. The annual tradition continues at the west exterior windows of Macy’s this year. The impressive candied displays also promote Macy’s Make-A-Wish Believe program. For each letter addressed to Santa that Macy’s receives (in person or online), they’ll donate $1 to Make-A-Wish.

FOR THE TWINKLE LIGHT FANATICS

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT TEMPLE SQUARE

Temple Square
50 N West Temple
ChurchOfJesusChrist.org

Despite the ongoing renovation on Temple Square, the renowned Christmas lights display is open to the public. From the day after Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, the grounds are decorated beautifully and are open to the public for free every night until 10 pm. In addition, an animated nativity will be projected on the ceiling of the Salt Lake Tabernacle every 15 minutes from 4:30-10 pm. Combine it with a trip to City Creek across the street, and enjoy a full evening of Christmas festivity.

ZOO LIGHTS

Utah's Hogle Zoo
2600 Sunnyside Avenue (840 South)
HogleZoo.org

Hogle Zoo continues to put on their annual lighting display made up of over 200 illuminated displays and a 135-foot tunnel of lights. From December 3-31 from 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm, you can roam the zoo at night while listening for a possible lion roar in the distance. Also, little ones and little ones at heart can still find Santa at Zoo Lights, but his visits will be socially distanced via the "Santa Shed." Treats and drinks are available, including specialty hot chocolate and s'mores. This event does require tickets, which you can purchase online.

CHRISTMAS IN COLOR

Salt Lake County Equestrian Park
11161 South 2200 West, South Jordan
ChristmasInColor.net

Love the magic of holiday lights, but not as big a fan of the cold? Stay in your car and drive through literally millions of lights that are synched to music you can tune in to through your radio at Christmas in Color, held at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park. It's fun and creative and magical, and a part of all proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Get tickets here.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING FESTIVE

THE NUTCRACKER BY BALLET WEST

Capitol Theatre
50 West 200 South
BalletWest.org

What better way to ring in the holidays than with the renowned and celebrated dancers of Ballet West? With a live orchestra, an incredible theatrical venue, some of the most talented dancers in the world, and the classic story, you can't miss. Tickets are available on the website, and there are many performances available throughout December. And if you just can't get enough of the well-known ballet, many other dance troupes will be performing it as well throughout the Salt Lake valley.

Candlelight Christmas at This Is The Place Heritage Park

2021 CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS

This Is The Place Heritage Park
2601 East Sunnyside Avenue
ThisIsThePlace.org

Bundle up and get ready to step back in time to a REAL old-fashioned holiday! This Is The Place Heritage Park recreates the 1800s version of Salt Lake, with over 50 real historic buildings and experiences that will make you feel like you've just stepped out of a time machine. Candlelight Christmas, running Monday-Saturday 5 pm-9 pm until December 23, will truly make you feel like you're in a Christmas card. Listen to the Heritage Village Carolers, visit with the real Father Christmas, see a live Nativity, enjoy a warm meal, and go home with pioneer gifts for your loved ones. Purchase tickets online here.

12TH ANNUAL NEW YEARS EVE MASQUERADE BALL

Hilton Salt Lake City Center
255 South West Temple
LefleauEntertainment.com

It's time to put 2021 behind us in style, with a classic masquerade ball. Dancing, dining, door prizes, party favors, and a best mask contest will all help you ring in 2022. Purchase tickets here.