Things to See in Utah During Holiday Season

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During the Christmas season, Draper City Park includes this dazzling display: the "Tree of Life".  Photo courtesy of ldsliving.com

During the Christmas season, Draper City Park includes this dazzling display: the “Tree of Life”. Photo courtesy of ldsliving.com

With the coming holiday season, many students prepare by dressing warmly, drinking hot beverages, and playing Christmas music. However, in addition to these, Central Utah holds a few attractions to get people into the holiday spirit, both for locals and out-of-towners.

Some of the most popular holiday attractions, the lights at Temple Square and the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, attract people from all over the country. Also, a popular tradition among Utah residents, Temple Square, and the surrounding streets are naturally packed with tourists, sight-seers, and locals trying to get a look at the holiday display.

However, being downtown in the state’s capital, and an already known Utah attraction, Temple Square and the Gallivan Center are naturally busy and might be an unattractive visit for people looking for a spot with more elbow room.

Utah’s tourist information website, saltlakecity.about.com, suggests, “The downtown holiday lights are amazing, but so are the crowds. If you can, go on a weeknight when there’s no Jazz game. Downtown restaurants will be crowded, so call ahead. Dress warmly. If you have a small group, try taking TRAX downtown, or if you have a larger group, it might be more economical to drive.”

In addition to the lights, Temple Square also hosts events for guests looking to celebrate the more religious side of the holidays, with a nativity scene played throughout the night. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also continues to host their tours of the Temple Square grounds for guests interested in learning more about the site.

Another popular attraction is the Jingle Bus. Started in 2012, the Jingle Bus is a free to ride transit bus that has been converted to a holiday tour bus. Onlyinsaltlake.com, an online blog run by Salt Lake City local business owners says, “The festive route feature[s] many of our favorite downtown businesses such as Bennion Jewelers, Red Iguana at City Creek, Eva’s Bakery, Lamb’s Grill, The Capitol Theatre, Café Molise, Toaster’s Deli, and Jade Market.”

Finally, a closer option for Snow College Students is the Festival of Lights held in Spanish Fork. The Festival of Lights has entertained both visitors and residents of Spanish Fork for 23 years and is the only attraction on this list that doesn’t require visitors to leave the comfort of their car.

Visitors of the Festival of Lights drive through a display of holiday-themed light displays covering the entirety of Spanish Fork’s Canyon View Park. Admission varies based on the size of the vehicle. Spanish Fork’s official city website lists admission prices as “$7 per car; $20 per large passenger van or any vehicle towing a trailer ($20 per trailer); $30 per bus.”

This holiday season, students have various ways they can get into the holiday spirit, with hot cocoa, warm sweaters, and holiday attractions all over Utah.

Will Barney attended Snow College for two years. He graduated from American Leadership Academy (ALA). After Snow College he is attending Southern Utah University, and plans to get a B.A. in English with a minor in Secondary Education. Will is a Horror connoisseur, and enjoys comic books and video games.

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