Utah’s This Is The Place Heritage Park in Winter – Worth It?

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This Is The Place Heritage Park is one of our favorite spots in Utah in the summer, with its plethora of kid-friendly activities. Which led me to wonder…is there anything worth doing at This Is The Place Heritage Park in winter?

As it turns out…YES. The main winter attractions at This Is The Place Heritage Park are Christkindlemarkt and Candlelight Christmas, but as we (accidentally) found out, show up on a random snowy day and your kids will still have a great time.

When to Visit This Is The Place Heritage Park

The main season at This Is The Place is from March to October. In the spring, you can see baby animals, but summer is the main, busy season. During this time, there are TONS of activities to engage in, from gold panning and pony rides to leather stamping and Native American dancing.

During the winter season, from October to March, the village gets a lot quieter. Entrance fees are lower and fewer buildings are open. There are still artisans at work, such as leather-workers, and you can still take the train ride around the village. 

That is, unless there’s snow.

If you happen to show up on a snow day, like we did, you’ll find that NONE of the buildings are open, and entrance is free! While I was initially disappointed, it turns out that we had a great time even without organized activities.

This Is The Place Utah
This one-sixth model of a ship that sailed across the Atlantic centuries ago makes for a fun play place in any weather for kids visiting This Is The Place Heritage Park.

Things to Do with Kids At This Is The Place When Nothing is Open Due to Snow

You may think I’m crazy, but we had a great time burning off steam here during the snow day. First of all, there are tons of interesting statues and monuments to explore, including a new Pioneer Children’s Monument, and statues of covered wagons crossing streams. 

The ship replica playground is always a favorite, and the kids could still play there even when the other buildings were closed. Plus, even when they are closed you can peer inside the windows of the log cabins and imagine what life was like for this pioneer families. Any easy (and cheap) way to keep kids occupied for an hour or two!

This Is The Place at Christmas
If you aren’t in the Christmas spirit by the time you attend the (free) holiday event Christkindlemarkt at This Is The Place, you will be by the time you leave!

Christkindlmarkt

This German-themed Christmas market runs for a few days at the beginning of every December and is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Admission is free, and it’s a fabulous place to buy Christmas presents. 

There are a few kid-friendly activities available for a fee as well, including pony rides the day we were there. Check out the website for a schedule of the events at Christkindlemarkt, which include a lantern parade, live nativity, St. Niklaus Parade, musical entertainment, and dancers.

Huntsman Hotel
The historic Huntsman Hotel gets super dressy during the holidays.

Candlelight Christmas

This Is The Place usually closes at 5 p.m., but for two weeks in December it stays open in the evenings for Candlelight Christmas. I’ve never managed to be in Utah for this magic, but I’ve heard it’s pretty special. Sure, there’s music and shopping and a nativity and all that jazz, but just the thought of the pretty Heritage Village all lit up against a snowy night is enough to give me the shivers. If you’re a sucker for feeling like you’ve time traveled back a couple hundred years, this is the place for you.


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