- Courtesy Photo
While many folks have been in holiday mode since they took down their Halloween decorations, for others, Thanksgiving weekend and the days following mark a real transition to all things Christmas-y. It's also the time that a lot of big-time light displays are available for the delight of anyone who gets in the spirit with the help of a little sparkle. Here's a partial roundup of where you can find some of Utah's fanciest holiday lights, and how best to enjoy them.
Christmas in Color: Another year of the drive-through experience kicks off at the Salt Lake County Fairgrounds, with more than a million lights providing a magical display, all set to the favorite holiday songs playing on your own car radio. For those who prefer not to be out in the cold, and a social-distanced opportunity to enjoy lights, it's a great choice. Make reservations online; VIP experience is also available, including refracting glasses, lightbulb necklaces, car activity card and more. Through Jan. 1, times vary by date, $35/$60 per vehicle, 11161 S. 2200 West, South Jordan, christmasincolor.net
Christmas in the Canyon at Tuacahn: Southern Utah sparkles with more than a quarter-million lights, plus live Nativity show, train rides, open fire and visits with Santa Claus. Tuacahn's Café will be open for dinner and treats. Nov. 26 – Dec. 23, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. nightly, free, 1100 Tuacahn Dr., Ivins, tuacahn.org
Liberty Park Lightwalk: A new addition to the downtown holiday lightscape, this walk-through location features a 110-foot long light tunnel (replicating a similar structure from an English castle), an 8-foot-high light maze, a kid-size maze and a performance stage draped with lights. A Christmas market and food trucks round out the on-site services. Dec. 2-18, free, 1100 E. 600 South.
Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point: For its fifth season, the Lehi location transforms Ashton Gardens into a dazzling showcase of more than 6,500 programmable luminaries, featuring animated sights like flying reindeer and accompanying seasonal music. Kids can enjoy looking for the Luminaria Yeti throughout the attraction, and a 120-foot Christmas tree anchors the location. For a quieter opportunity for seasonal experience, the Light of the World Garden features lanterns illuminating a Nativity scene. Enjoy special refreshments like firepits for s'mores-making while you're visiting. Through Jan. 1, $12-$24 with reservation time required, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, thanksgivingpoint.org
Ogden Christmas Village & Electric Light Parade: Ogden kicks off its downtown seasonal activities with the annual Electric Light Parade on Saturday, Nov. 27 beginning at 5:30 p.m., with a route that runs down Washington Blvd. from 22nd St. to 26th St. showcasing illuminated floats and live music. That evening also marks opening night for the Ogden Christmas Village, with lights on from 5 p.m. – midnight daily, and visits with Santa Clause available Monday – Saturday. Nov. 27 – Jan. 1, free, 2549 Washington Blvd., Ogden, ogdencity.com
Temple Square Holiday Lights: After taking a hiatus last year due to the pandemic, one of the most popular seasonal attractions in Utah will return, albeit in a modified form. Lights will go on nightly beginning Nov. 26, but ongoing construction activities will result in a more limited display than in some previous years. The Tabernacle will also host a family-friendly, projected animated Nativity experience called "Peace on Earth," running nightly every 15 minutes; the show and its accompanying audio is also scheduled to be available online. Nov. 26 – Jan. 1, free, 50 N. Temple, churchofjesuschrist.org
Local "Lights On" events: Multiple municipalities throughout Utah will be taking advantage of the post-Thanksgiving week to light their local Christmas trees, offer a gathering place for treats and Santa meetings, plus other fun activities. Kanab City Center (20 N. 100 East) hosts the lighting of its civic tree plus the Christmas Light Parade down Center Street, Nov. 27 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Logan (160 N. Main St.) marks the arrival of Santa and the lighting of the tree on Nov. 27, with events beginning at 5:30 p.m. Riverton City Park (1452 W. 12600 South) presents light-up giant storyboards of "The Night Before Christmas" and other lights Nov. 30 – Dec. 31. Sandy City serves up hot chocolate to accompany its annual lighting of the City Hall grounds (10000 Centennial Parkway, Sandy) on Nov. 29, beginning at 5 p.m. Spanish Fork lights up its Main Street with festive floats and wagons (and Saint Nick at the end) in the Winter Light Parade, Nov. 27 beginning at 7 p.m.
Your local town probably has something going on, even if it's not listed here. Visit city websites for more information, and let that holiday light shine on wherever you happen to be.