Salt Lake City loves Christmas lights displays, and so do I…making us a match made in holiday heaven. Utah is magical in the winter anyway, with its “greatest snow on earth,” so don’t miss a chance to see all that snow lit up by Salt Lake City’s best Christmas light displays!
Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point
Luminaria is Thanksgiving Point’s answer to the need for holiday lights. It’s a mile-long walk through a variety of themed Christmas light displays scattered through Ashton Gardens.
Luminaria is located south of Salt Lake in Lehi, Utah, and is well worth the drive and the entrance fee. My boys loved the games, interactive exhibits, and s’mores that go along with the pretty lights at Luminaria.
Christmas in Color
If you prefer to see amazing light displays from the comfort of your car, check out Christmas in Color in South Jordan. Pack as many people as you can in your vehicle (you pay per car) and drive the mile through glittery, flashy light displays.
This is the classic Christmas light display in Salt Lake City, so if you’re visiting Utah, make sure to take a trip to Temple Square downtown. Thousands of twinkly lights surround the stunning temple (which is always well lit) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as Christmas carols play from speakers nearby. Also, it’s free!
City Creek Center
Across the street from Temple Square is City Creek Center, a mall that also boasts impressive holiday light displays, as well as a coffee shop (just saying — some of us need hot beverages to keep us going).
Christmas Street in Taylorsville
What better nod to the community spirit of the holidays than a street where all the homeowners really get into the Christmas spirit? There’s a “Christmas Street” in Taylorsville, on 3310 West and Royalwood Drive, and it’s amazing.
This cul-de-sac has been doing this for decades, and every house features a large board with a verse from “The Night Before Christmas” out front. Some houses go a little fancier than others, but every single one was participating when we ventured out there. Worth a drive, for sure.
Christmas Street in Sugarhouse
Sugarhouse boasts its own cul-de-sac where the modest brick bungalows all decorate their houses with holiday lights. This street, located at 1500 East 1735 South, has had this tradition for 70 years and even has a sign declaring “Christmas Street” at the entrance.
Be prepared to wait in a line of cars at peak times, but for a free drive through a neighborhood that does it up right for the holidays, it’s worth it. Alternatively, park nearby and walk around for a more relaxing (but colder) experience.
Winder Lane Holiday Lights
If you prefer your neighborhood holiday lights with treats at the end, head out to the Winder Farm Country Store in West Valley City. On your way there, drive down Winder Lane (4400 West 4100 South) where the Winder Dairy families all decorate their houses for Christmas. At the country store you’ll find scones, hot cocoa, and eggnog as well as other dairy treats for sale.
Gardner Village’s Elf Displays
Gardner Village is already one of Utah’s most charming places to shop, with a collection of adorable shops that sell quilts, candy, yarn, antiques, bridal wear, furniture, toys, and basically anything that sounds fun to peruse.
For Christmas, they not only light up the village shops but also feature whimsical elf displays and an elf scavenger hunt to keep the kids busy while you shop. While Gardner Village’s Christmas lights aren’t necessarily the best in the state, we were delighted by the elves that popped up around every corner (or overhead! or climbing a tree!)
Gardner Village also has a well-deserved reputation for good restaurants, so it’s a lovely place to grab dinner and spend an evening.
Candlelight Christmas at This Is The Place Heritage Park
I did NOT make it to Candlelight Christmas this year, despite my best efforts, because I couldn’t manage to be in Utah during the right dates. But I can vouch for how charming This Is The Place is during the holiday season, so I’m sure their evening Candlelight Christmas is magical, with all the historical buildings of the village lit up for the holidays.
ZooLights at Hogle Zoo
Like many zoos, Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo has its own holiday lights display. ZooLights includes “life-size animal-shaped lanterns,” which I am now dying to see. (And possibly adding to my Christmas list. Santa’s elves make those, right?)