It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there are so many fun things to do with kids in the Salt Lake area! So, get out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with this wide variety of activities.
Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park
The entire family will enjoy Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park. The village looks exactly like an old-fashioned Currier & Ives card, so you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you visit Father Christmas, enjoy the live Nativity scene, and listen to the Heritage Village Carolers as you stroll through the park’s quaint streets.
Make crafts and homemade gifts inside and then visit the gift shop and ZCMI Mercantile for unique gifts for the people on your holiday shopping list. If you get hungry during your outing, the Huntsman Hotel has yummy food available (hot soup might be a nice choice).
December 10–23 (except Sundays), 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Christmas Bird Count at the Tracy Aviary
The National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count is the longest running citizen science project in the country, and the kids can get in on the fun at Salt Lake’s Tracy Aviary. This is an especially good event for kids who are interested in animals or in helping out the environment.
The Tracy Aviary’s kid group is responsible for surveying Liberty Park’s birds, and bird experts from the aviary will be on hand to help kids identify and count birds. Light snacks, hot cocoa, coffee, and tea will be on hand for participants.
December 14, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Santa Lucia Day at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
Learn a traditional Norwegian Christmas song to sing around the tree, participate in a parade through the museum with Santa, and make crafts to take home (wreaths, spiced orange pomanders, and a Swedish Dala horse bunting).
December 13, 12:00 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Holiday Family Paint Night
Want to paint some Holiday decorations that you can use year after year? Go to Easely Art Studio in Sandy and sign the whole family up for this holiday-themed beginning painting class. No experience of any kind is required to enjoy the event. All the art supplies are provided for you, and you’ll leave with a completed masterpiece.
December 23, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Breakfast with Santa at Gardner Village
Treat the entire family to a morning of magic with Santa at Gardner Village! Enjoy the setting of the charming Mill Plaza as you eat a tasty buffet breakfast in the presence of Santa. You’ll also enjoy holiday music, an activity, and a special surprise from Santa himself.
December 13, 14, 20, and 21, 10:30 a.m. to noon
Winter Solstice Celebration
It’s the winter solstice on December 21st, and the Red Butte Garden is throwing a party to celebrate the event! Learn about the solstice, create winter crafts, and explore winter all throughout the garden. Tickets are just $5.
December 21, 9 a.m. to noon
The Nutcracker by Ballet West
If you haven’t seen the Holiday classic ballet The Nutcracker, it’s time to take your kids to see it! Ballet West is proud to present this holiday classic in a $3-million-dollar production. It’s truly a stunning show that will get you and your kids in the Holiday spirit!
See performances throughout the month (through December 26th). Get tickets here.
Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point
Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point is filled with incredibly beautiful light displays. Make your way through the captivating Ashton Gardens while taking in the breathtaking scenes. You’ll see over 6,500 programmable luminaries on the hill—each light acts as a pixel in various symbols of the holiday season. At the top, be amazed by the 120-foot tree, all lit up!
There is more to enjoy than just lights, as well. Check out the nativity scene with glowing lanterns, bronze sculptures, and peaceful music. There are also interactive games and exhibits for the whole family. If you need a snack, enjoy s’mores by the campfire and other tasty sweets.
Through January 4, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sleigh Rides with Rocky Mountain outfitters
Want to take an authentic sleigh ride in the snow? The sleighs are pulled by the best draft horses around (and they even have an alternative option if there isn’t enough snow for a sleigh to run)!
This is perfect if you want a romantic sleigh ride or a fun outing for a group of family or friends. You can even take a special sleigh ride with Santa or take a sleigh ride to the Midway Ice Castles!
Available throughout the winter season.
ZooLights at Hogle Zoo
ZooLights is a bright, sparkling, festive light display at the Hogle Zoo! This is the 13th year of this event, and it just keeps getting better and better.
Enjoy over two hundred lighted animal and holiday-themed displays. Warm up with hot cocoa or tasty treats. Also, the Hogle Zoo recently had 10 life-size animal-shaped lanterns made specifically for this event, and they are debuting this year! To celebrate, all zoo members get 50% off admission to this event, any night this year.
Through January 5, various times depending on the day.
Ice Skating at the Gallivan Center
Is there anything more magical than ice skating to holiday music in the brisk winter air? Enjoy ice skating at the Gallivan Center in this newly expanded rink. Winter skating includes a pretty fantastic lighting and sound system with holiday music and lights.
If you need a snack or a hot drink, concessions include pretzels, hot dogs, pizza, and hot chocolate and coffee, among other things.
Heber Valley Railroad North Pole Express
Hop on the Heber Valley Railroad’s North Pole Express! This 90-minute round trip to and from the North Pole includes chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa. You’ll sing Holiday favorites and be entertained by elves along the route. Each child will meet the North Pole’s Santa and get a special gift from him. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!
Through December 23, various times depending on the day.
If you have a favorite Holiday activity to do with kids that I haven’t mentioned here, please tell me about it in a comment below!