Ever since Christmas was advented, Utahns have been drumming up new ways to celebrate the season. Here’s a helpful list of holiday activities along the Wasatch Front & Back — one for each December day leading to Christmas.
(Check for specific times, dates, costs & availability. Utah.com will not be held liable for ruining your holidays.)
A worthy tradition going on 44 years. Immaculate and innovative Christmas trees decorated by individuals/families/businesses/groups are sold to the highest bidders. All proceeds are donated to Primary Children’s Medical Center.
City tree-lighting ceremony with hay rides, crafts, cocoa, gingerbread houses and candy windows. Oh, and Santa. (You’re going to be seeing a lot of him at these events. Best to make any requisite naughtiness reparations ahead of time.)
Balance bold Christmas colors with neutral politics. This old-world celebration features food & craft booths and a silent auction that benefits the Wasatch County Children’s Justice Center.
A lot of lights and a lot of Santa at the events on this list — and this one has both — but you’d be hard pressed to find another one with African Pancake Tortoises.
Tune up your carolizer with the Herriman Harmonyx. It’s free, so if you get kicked out for being off-key, at least you won’t be out any money.
Put kids (3+) in their pink bunny PJs and let the pros do their thing. Fifteen bucks gets them a meal, crafts, a gift, a photo and some QT with the Clauses.
See the lights display at Layton Commons Park (up all through December) as it was meant to be seen: from a hay bale on a flatbed trailer, with free snacks.
Hayrides a little mundane for your taste? See Christmas lights FROM A BOAT.
Christmas doesn’t get any more Utahn than this. Their 25th anniversary tour includes 22 shows between Phoenix and Rexburg.
Lights, s’mores, treats at the gift shop and a 120-foot tree.
Nothing breaks up a long day of holiday shopping like a few turns around the ice rink.
A little more interactive than your average Christmas walk-through, this lets your sugared-up kids hunt down the crafty little helpers right in their workshop. Burning some energy might prevent a tragic last-minute demotion to the naughty list.
Lights at the water’s edge with a sunset view of the northern mountains.
We’ve seen lots of combinations of lights and water so far, but this is the first with Christmas lights floating on a pond. Quite a sight at the southernmost point on this list.
Christmas lights of the drive-thru variety. (You’ll have plenty of other opportunities to show your frost-bitten mettle this Christmas season, no doubt; just take tonight off and crank the heat up in the car.)
File this one under, “Christmas celebrations that could just as easily be taking place in Medieval Europe.” Can be tough to find a seat but it’s well-worth the effort.
Waiting for Santa to come to town (via ski lift, cuz it’s Park City) is a lot easier when there’s a plaza full of Christmas fun to distract you.
This is the big one. The annual pilgrimage to literally millions of lights. Your Instagram followers will start to worry if you get any deeper into December without posting a Temple Square pic.
Tickets go fast for this classic at one of the most popular community theaters in America.
Christmas makes us nostalgic for days gone by. Maybe even days we never experienced. Visit this 19th-Century village for a live nativity, caroling, warm fires and timeless charm.
It’s fun to stand in line and see Santa sitting in a chair in the mall, but it’s pretty unforgettable riding a horse-drawn sleigh all the way to his home at the North Pole.
Between The Polar Express and toy trains buzzing around the Christmas tree & department stores, railroads have become associated with Christmas. Get literal with a yuletide ride on the Heber Creeper. Elves, chefs and presents handed out by Santa himself come standard.
As good a production as you’ll find anywhere, in our humble opinion.
If you choose to spend Christmas Eve at Snowbird, you’ll need to make sure to announce that fact to Santa Claus so he knows where to deliver the presents. This massive fireworks display should do the trick.