Free Salt Lake City Holiday Events


Most of us dig deep into our pockets during the holiday season - for gifts, dining out, and entertainment - but holiday cheer doesn't have to be expensive. There are lots of free holiday events and activities in the Salt Lake area that will bring joy to the season without breaking the bank.

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    Photo by Jeff Clay

    Christmas concerts on Temple Square and nearby locations begin with "Bells on Temple Square" Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle and continue almost nightly until New Year's Eve. Some events require tickets obtained in advance; others do not require a ticket. Most events are free, but "Savior of the World," performed in the LDS Conference Center, is $8 for evening performances and $5 for matinees.

    Christmas Lights and Concert Series

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    Courtesy the Gateway

    The Gateway will kick off the holiday season with it's annual "Light Up the Night" on Nov. 22, featuring holiday musical performances, a special appearance by Santa, and a countdown to the tree lighting ceremony.

    Nov. 22, 2014, 5:30 p.m.

    The Gateway Shopping Center
    400 W. between 200 S. and South Temple

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    Joe Sohm, Visions of America

    The lights at Temple Square, the Gallivan Center, City Creek Center and Gateway are one of Salt Lake City's best holiday traditions, and best of all, they're free!

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    Arctic Images

    Free activities at Thanksgiving Point include live reindeer on the plaza and ice sculpting demonstrations.

    • Live Reindeer in the Plaza: Nov. 28-Dec. 23, Monday-Saturday, 12-10 p.m., Sat. noon-10 p.m.
    • Ice Carving Demonstrations: Dec. 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, and 17, 6:30 p.m.

    3003 N. Thanksgiving Way in Lehi

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    Community Christmas Events

    Comstock Images

    Check out this list of free hometown holiday celebrations in communities throughout the Salt Lake Valley, including Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Salt Lake City, Sandy, Taylorsville, West Jordan and West Valley.

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    Scot Zimmerman

    The Utah Governor's Mansion is decked out for the holidays, and free tours are available to the public throughout December.

    Tuesday and Thursdays, December 2-18, 2-4 p.m.

    603 E. South Temple

    Parking is available east of the Governor's Mansion behind the Utah Arts Council building. The lot is accessible from H Street.

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    Laurie Rubin

    Red Butte Garden's annual free open house event features local handmade gifts for sale, free cider and hot chocolate, and acres of winter garden to explore.

    Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7, 2014, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

    300 Wakara Way

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    Wasatch Community Symphony Orchestra

    This lively and festive concert is a crowd-pleaser sure to get all of your friends and family in the spirit. Holiday classics and some lesser-known pieces are featured in our annual Holiday Celebration Concert.

    Sunday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.

    All Saints Episcopal Church
    1710 S. Foothill Dr.

    Admission is free; donations accepted

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    Silva Screen

    The Utah Film Center and the City Library present: Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol. This showing will feature a post-film discussion with University of Utah Atmosphere Science professor Tom Garrett.

    Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, 7 p.m.

    Salt Lake City Library
    210 E. 400 S.

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    Courtesy Echoes of Christmas

    "Echoes of Christmas" is a free community music and theater event presenting the story of the first Christmas. The audience walks from scene to scene as actors and singers - as well as live sheep, goats, a camel and a donkey - present portions of the Christmas story.

    The show runs continually from 7 to 9 p.m., with new scenes starting approximately every five minutes. Walking through all six scenes takes about 40 minutes.

    December 11-13 and 15-17, 2014, 7-9 p.m. nightly

    Liberty Park North Entrance
    900 S. 600 E., Salt Lake City

    Free, no ticket required, donations accepted

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    Energy Solutions Arena

    The Larry H. Miller Family and Robert C. Bowden present the 30th Annual Christmas Carole Sing-Along featuring Lexi Walker. Come and experience the sights and sounds of the season. Guests will receive a special gift package including a holiday treat while supplies last.

    Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, 7 p.m.

    EnergySolutions Arena
    301 W. South Temple


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    Courtesy Cathedral of the Madeline

    The Cathedral Choir's annual Christmas Carol Services feature music of the Advent and Christmas seasons, including plainchant, choral works, and traditional carols.

    Performances Dec. 17, 18, and 24; see website for details


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    Comstock Images

    Visit Salt Lake is hosting the Santa Claus on November 29. Have your child’s photo taken with Santa and turn in your wish list for the holiday season. All printed and digital photos are free of charge.

    Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, 3-7 p.m.

    Visit Salt Lake Visitors Center

    90 South West Temple, Salt Lake City