Family-Friendly Christmas Events In Utah

  Ho-ho-ho! As December rolls around, it’s about time to ramp up the Christmas spirit in the household. Here’s a running list of Christmas-themed activities and events in Utah that families can enjoy together during this holiday season:


Hogle Zoo’s ZooLights

The 16th annual ZooLights is back at Hogle Zoo. The event features light displays of animals, characters and holiday scenes around the zoo starting Dec. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will also be an “around the world-themed” scavenger hunt, a 135-foot kaleidoscopic light tunnel, a 20-foot grand tree and visits from Santa. ZooLights members get $3 off their tickets, and children 2 years old and under can go for free. Tickets for adults (13+) are $14.95, and children between three to 12 years old can get in for $11.95.

The Nutcracker at Capitol Theatre

The longest-running production of The Nutcracker is back! With the lowest tickets priced at $30, the performance will run through Dec. 24 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City. Embark on a fantastical journey with young Clara on Christmas Eve as she travels to the Land of Sweets, where she encounters magical beings like the Sugar Plum Fairy and the evil Mouse King. Led by Tchaikovsky’s score and Willam Christensen’s choreography, Salt Lake City’s very own dance company, Ballet West, puts up a well-beloved production that attracts thousands of patrons from all across Utah each year.

Pioneer Theatre Company’s A Christmas Story Musical

The Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC), one of the four professional theatre companies in Utah, is presenting A Christmas Story, The Musical from Dec. 9 to Dec. 24. PTC’s production is adapted from a Tony-nominated musical based on the 1983 film. The musical will be directed and choreographed by Karen Azenberg, PTC’s artistic director. The music and lyrics are written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The story follows 10-year-old Ralphie Parker in 1940 as he sets out on an adventure of a lifetime on Christmas Day looking for a very specific gift no one seems to be able to grant him. The showing times are as follows: Monday to Thursday, 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.; Dec. 24: 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Ticket prices are set between $48 – $72 if bought in advance. They will be $5 more expensive on the day of the show. Children aged 5 to 18 get half-priced tickets Monday through Thursday.

Holidays at The Leonardo

The Leonardo, a science and art museum in Salt Lake City, is hosting a series of Christmas-themed workshops throughout December. The longest-running workshop is the Gingerbread Lane Workshop where families and friends can learn to build a gingerbread house from the master, Jon Lovitch, himself. Tickets cost $25. What’s Christmas without some snow? The museum is also offering a one-time workshop on snow globe-making on Saturday, Dec. 10. Tickets are $20 per person.

Utah Symphony Christmas Performances

Utah’s very own symphony orchestra is hosting a number of Christmas-themed performances throughout December. “Here Comes Santa Claus” brings to life all your favorite Christmas classic tunes on stage at the Abravanel Hall on Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The symphony will bring the performance to Ogden as well on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at Val A. Browning Center. P.S. There may or may not be a special appearance by Santa himself. Ticket prices range from $5 to $26 before tax. Another performance parents can take their children to is Tim Burton’s The Night Before Christmas in Concert. Showtimes are 7 p.m. from Dec. 21 to Dec. 23. Tickets for this show are slightly more expensive, with the cheapest ticket priced at $22.50 before tax.

Holiday Open House and Art Fair at Red Butte Garden

Thanks to Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks, admission is free for the holiday open house and art fair at Red Butte Garden on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patrons can find handmade gifts from local artists including jewelry, glass art, natural soaps and more. The event will be held at the Richard K. Hemingway Orangerie.

Window Stroll and Giant Gingerbread House at the Grand America Hotel

What is made out of 150 pounds of Rice Krispies, 80 pounds of chocolate, 2000 eggs and tons of other sweet stuff? A life-size gingerbread house. The Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City has had a long-standing tradition of creating a giant gingerbread house for its guests, and this year is no exception. Staff members reportedly spent 950 hours assembling the exhibit this time. Patrons who answer a quick quiz about Fig’s adventure will be entered into a drawing for a one-night stay at the hotel.

Salt Lake Children’s Choir Christmas Carols Concert

The Salt Lake Children’s Choir will be hosting a Christmas concert at the Cathedral of the Madeleine on Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Following a tradition that began in 1984, this year’s concert will feature works by Bach and other familiar carols from all around the world, including “The Wexford Carol,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “O Leave Your Sheep,” “Still, Still, Still,” “Il est né le Divine Enfant,” and the Finnish carol, “Arkiluosi kaikka heita.” The audience will be invited to join in several carols as the evening comes to an end.


Skating at Millcreek Common

The Millcreek Common Skate Loop, the largest skating rink in Utah, has just recently opened for business. The rink will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily starting Dec. 22 through Jan. 2, 2023. Otherwise, operating hours can be found on their website. Tickets are priced at $7.


Deer Valley’s Visit with Santa Claus and Torchlight Parade

Should you happen to be having fun at Deer Valley Resort on Christmas Eve, remember that Santa Claus will be stopping by Snow Park Lodge from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Silver Lake Lodge from noon to 1:30 p.m. before his long evening run. On Dec. 30, Deer Valley will be hosting its annual Torchlight Parade at dusk, which may be around 6 p.m. on Big Stick Ski Run on Bald Eagle Mountain. Complimentary hot chocolate, cider and cookies will be served on the Snow Park Plaza from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Breakfast with Santa

Ogden’s infamous Christmas Village will be lit up through Jan. 1, 2023, from 5 p.m. to midnight every day. Aside from being able to meet Santa six days a week in the village, families can also have breakfast with the jolly man himself and Mrs. Claus on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Ogden Union Station from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.