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Salt Lake City at night with holiday lights

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Our Favorite Things to Do in Salt Lake City This Holiday Season

Salt Lake City offers an abundance of opportunities for family recreation in the area. It’s an attractive retirement destination for older adults who love exploring the outdoors — and for their family and friends who come to visit! We’ve put together a list of 10 things to do in Salt Lake City during the holidays and winter season.

1. Lights at Temple Square

Celebrate the holiday season at Temple Square, where you can take in the spectacular light display with over one million lights aglow. Enjoy the lights in the evenings the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Learn more at TempleSquare.org.  

2. Christkindlmarkt Salt Lake City

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping! The Christkindlmarkt offers a unique holiday shopping and cultural experience inspired by the world-famous German Christmas markets. Highlights include a live nativity, gnome fest, whimsical parades, and a visit to St. Nikolaus Haus. Christkindlmarkt SLC runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2022, at This is the Place Heritage Park.

3. ZooLights at Utah’s Hogle Zoo

Bundle up and bring the kids and grandkids for a fun and festive light display with a kaleidoscopic light tunnel and life-size animal lanterns. Warm up with hot cocoa and stay for a visit with Santa before he goes back to the North Pole. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy this family yuletide tradition! Get your tickets at HogleZoo.org

4. Ice Skating at Gallivan Center

Lace up your skates and join family and friends at the public ice skating rink at Gallivan Center open from mid-November through February. It’s a picture-perfect place for ice skating under the holiday lights in downtown Salt Lake City. Visit Thegallivancenter.com/ice-skating for more information.

Senior couple ice skating in the city.

5. Family History Library

The holidays bring families closer together, and it’s also a great time to learn more about your family history. Plan an outing to explore your family tree at the Family History Library in Temple Square, home to the largest collection of genealogical records in the world. Access millions of records in an interactive database, talk to experts, and spend time retracing where your ancestors lived. Get started by planning your visit to the Family History Library.

6. Clark Planetarium

Looking for an indoor adventure on a cold winter’s day? Check out Clark Planetarium, a museum and planetarium in downtown Salt Lake City. It’s an out-of-this-world experience with interactive space-themed exhibits the whole family will enjoy. Admission is free; plan your visit at slco.org/clark-planetarium.

7. Utah Olympic Park

Relive the magic of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games with a visit to Utah Olympic Park. The park offers a variety of Olympic-themed activities, including guided tours, the Alf Engen Ski Museum, and an Olympic Bobsled Experience at the Winter Games Sliding Track.

Utah ski resort in the Salt Lake City area

8. Area Ski Resorts

For those who love fresh powder, gorgeous mountain views and family-friendly ski resorts, Salt Lake City is the place to be! You’ll find 11 ski resorts within a one-hour drive from greater Salt Lake City, including Snowbird, Solitude, Park City and Deer Valley. If you don’t feel like driving through the mountains, you’ll find several ski areas are accessible through the public transportation system. Bring the family for an adventure — skiing, snowboarding, sleigh rides, sledding, shopping and more. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, even just sitting by a cozy fireplace in the ski chalet.

9. Snowshoe Trails

If snowshoeing is more your speed, you’ll find an abundance of trails to explore in the area. The Willow Heights Trail located near Solitude Ski Resort has wide-open terrain and a low grade that’s relatively easy for beginners.

10. Ice Castles in Utah

Discover a magical frozen attraction located at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway Utah, less than an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City. Explore ice caverns, tunnels and breathtaking LED-lit ice sculptures. The Ice Castles in Utah are typically open from January to late February or early March, depending on the weather.

The Ridge Is Your Home Base for Winter Fun

Looking for the perfect retirement spot — a place close to family, friends, and fun winter activities in Salt Lake City? Learn more about The Ridge Foothill in Salt Lake City and The Ridge Cottonwood in Holladay, UT, our vibrant, eco-conscious senior living communities with beautiful views of Mount Olympus and endless opportunities for adventure.