Salt Lake City Holiday Events and Performances

Mormon Tabernacle and Temple on Temple Square
••• Mormon Tabernacle and Temple on Temple Square. Scott T. Smith / Getty Images

Christmas is a time to enjoy home and hearth, but it's also a wonderful time to enjoy going out and getting in the holiday spirit, especially if you're traveling to somewhere like Salt Lake City for November or December. 

Whether you just want to look at Christmas lights, catch a holiday theatrical or music performance, or want to go on a one-of-a-kind adventure in a winter wonderland covered in snow, Salt Lake City has an event for you and your family this Christmas season.

We've selected the best holiday events happening this year in Salt Lake City below, but remember that although this list is up-to-date, it's best to call the venue or visit the official website of each event to get the most current details before attending any event.

  • 01 of 27
    Temple Square
    ••• Jeff Clay

    Temple Square is one of the best places to see Christmas lights and has one of the best Christmas concert series in the city, culminating in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas Concert on December 14 through 16 at the Conference Center Auditorium.

    Christmas concerts take place from November 25 through December 23 (Monday through Saturday) in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00 p.m. daily featuring a variety of local choirs coming together for mini Christmas concerts. You can also head over to the Assembly Hall or the North Visitor's Center for evening concerts—which also features local talent—on the same dates.

    Additionally, thirty-minute organ recitals are given in the Tabernacle Monday through Saturday at 12:00 noon and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Performances are by the Tabernacle organists and guest organists.

  • 02 of 27

    From November 7 through December 30, experience a different kind of holiday performance with the Desert Star Theatre's holiday season production of "Christmas Vacation: The Polarized Express."

    This zany musical comedy follows a little girl as she takes a journey aboard the Bi-Polar Express on a quest to discover if Santa Claus is real or just "fake news." 

    Known for its off-the-wall holiday hits and dinner-theatre style performances, Desert Star in Murray is a great destination for some holiday cheer if you're staying in SLC this Christmas season.

  • 03 of 27
    Heber Valley Railroad North Pole Express
    ••• Google Images

    Heber Valley Railroad's North Pole Express features a historic train ride through the beautiful Heber Valley, plus cookies, hot cocoa, and a visit with Santa, and it's quickly become a favorite holiday tradition for many Utah families.

    Running daily except for Sundays from November 24 through December 23, trains depart at various times throughout the day—check the website for times and availability.

  • 04 of 27

    Salt Lake City must have a thing for off-the-wall comedies because the Off-Broadway Theatre is also putting on a hilarious Christmas parody production called "Star Ward Christmas" from November 17 through December 23.

    This unique musical parody takes popular characters created in a previous production of "Star Ward" and sets them off on another adventure to save the galaxy from the dork side. Tickets must be purchased in advance, so visit the company website above and get yours today. Also, "may the Farce be with you!"

    Continue to 5 of 27 below.
  • 05 of 27

    Thanksgiving Point becomes "holiday central" with a series of holiday events throughout the months of November and December, starting off with highly popular "Luminaria" at the Ashton Gardens, which runs November 20 through December 30.

    Other events include a variety show by local comedy storytelling group the Uncalled for Trio, popular a capella group Voice Male's holiday concert variety show, and a special "Breakfast With Santa" featuring games and visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus and other North Pole characters.

  • 06 of 27

    The Utah Symphony hosts a variety of holiday-themed shows throughout the month of December at the Abravanel Concert Hal in Salt Lake City. This year's line-up includes "Holiday Hits" with Midtown Men and the Utah Symphony, "A Broadway Christmas" with Brian Stokes Mitchell, and a special performance with LeAnn Rimes of "Today Is Christmas" on December 19.

  • 07 of 27

    More than 90,000 people visit the Festival of Trees each year to see over 1,000 imaginatively decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, centerpieces, gingerbread creations, playhouses, and quilts, which are auctioned to raise funds for Primary Children's Medical Center.

    In​ addition, the festival provides activities for children and entertainment for the entire family. From December 1 through 4 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah with leftovers from the auction available for purchase throughout the month.

  • 08 of 27
    Christmas Around the World
    ••• Brigham Young University

    The Brigham Young University dance department's popular annual "Christmas Around the World" revue features a cast of more than 200 dancers, singers, and musicians presenting the dance traditions of different cultures united by the message of peace on earth. The show has two performances on December 1 and one on December 2.

    Continue to 9 of 27 below.
  • 09 of 27

    Ring in the holidays with Willam Christensen’s beloved production of "The Nutcracker." Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, "The Nutcracker‘s" dazzling blend of costumes, sets and choreography creates an enchanted storybook world that has captivated Utah audiences for more than 50 years. Dates run from December 2 through 30 with a variety of evening and matinee performances at the Capitol Theatre.

  • 10 of 27

    Enjoy one-on-one time with Jolly Old Saint Nick over a warm, tasty breakfast, along with holiday crafts and play time at the Discovery Gateway, Salt Lake's popular children's museum. Breakfasts take place on Saturday, December 9 and Saturday, December 16, and tickets are required in advance to attend. Proceeds from ticket sales go to support keeping the museum's events program running!

  • 11 of 27

    This year’s KUTV Holiday Pops Concert featuring the Choral Arts Society of Utah and West Valley Symphony takes place on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. and will benefit the 2News Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. Joining the concert this year is a special guest, the One Voice Children's Choir. This event takes place at the Cottonwood High School Auditorium in East Murray, Utah and requires advanced tickets to attend.

  • 12 of 27

    Red Butte Garden's 16th annual open house event features local handmade gifts for sale, free cider and hot chocolate, and acres of winter garden to explore on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Continue to 13 of 27 below.
  • 13 of 27

    Each year, the Salt Lake Community College's Grand Theatre celebrates the holidays with several special performances and shows, and in 2017 it's bringing two holiday favorites to the stage for one magical night of operetta storytelling: "Amahl and the Night Visitors & A Christmas Carol" November 30 through December 2.

  • 14 of 27

    This on-stage recreation of Charles Dickens’ beloved story has been a popular Salt Lake area Christmas tradition for 30 years, and now that the Hale Centre Theatre has moved into its new location in Sandy City at the Jewel Box Stage, it's bigger than ever! Catch ​A Christmas Carol" on select dates December 1 through 23.​

  • 15 of 27

    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 their annual Holiday Celebration Concert, which takes place this year on Sunday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m.​​ at Hillside Middle School. Admission is free.

  • 16 of 27

    At This is the Place Heritage Park, visitors can stroll through a pioneer village decorated like a Currier & Ives card, enjoy a visit with Father Christmas, see live reindeer, witness a live Nativity scene, listen to the Heritage Village Carolers, make crafts and homemade decorations, and shop for unique gifts. Special events occur nightly, excluding Sundays, from December 8 through 23.

    Continue to 17 of 27 below.
  • 17 of 27

    The Dickens Festival is an arts and crafts fair in the recreated atmosphere of Old London. Shop for unique gifts while enjoying carols, entertainers, mini-productions of "Scrooge" and "Oliver Twist," and a visit with Father Christmas. Events this year run 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. December 7 through 9, 2017 at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah.

  • 18 of 27

    Each year, Michael McLean presents "The Forgotten Carols," the story of a nurse caring for an elderly patient who warms her heart by reminding her of long-forgotten Christmas carols with a touring company. This year, the company stops in St. George on December 7 for two performances at the Cox Auditorium.

  • 19 of 27

    The Salt Lake Men’s Choir is excited to present "’Til the Season Comes ’Round Again" on Dec 8 through 10, 2017. This musical medley features a collection of holiday favorites from the past 36 years of Christmas concerts. Performances take place at the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City.

  • 20 of 27

    Local favorite Peter Breinholt has been selling out theaters with his self-styled acoustic music for more than a decade, and his Christmas concerts have been a tradition since 2003. He will be performing songs from his Christmas album as well as favorite original songs with his four-piece band and string section. Performances take place in 2017 on December 15 and 16 at the Jeanné Wagner Theatre in Salt Lake City.

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  • 21 of 27

    If you're tired of seeing "The Nutcracker," check out the Odyssey Dance Theatre's productions of "The ReduxNut-Cracker" throughout the SLC region on select dates December 1 through 23. Get ready for a present-day life twist of the original Tchaikovsky score, re-imagined and arranged in a pop/hip-hop style.

  • 22 of 27

    On December 18, 2017, the Larry H. Miller Family and Robert C. Bowden will present the 34th annual "Christmas Carole Sing-Along" featuring One Voice Children's Choir and the West Valley Symphony of Utah. Come and experience the sights and sounds of the season, where guests will receive a special gift package including a holiday treat while supplies last.

  • 23 of 27

    The Cathedral Choir's annual Christmas Carol Services feature music of the Advent and Christmas seasons, including plainchant, choral works, and traditional carols. Highlights include the St. Cecelia's Day Concert on Sunday, November 19; Christmas Carol Service on Monday and Tuesday, December 18 and 19; and the "Ceremony of Carols" on Thursday and Friday, December 21 and 22.

  • 24 of 27

    A Kurt Bestor Christmas draws more than 20,000 delighted fans every year and features 45 musicians on stage, sophisticated sound and lights, and special guests combined with warm storytelling and humor. Bestor truly creates an intimate rapport with concert-goers, and this year he's performing at the new Eccles Theater on December 14 through 16, 2017.

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  • 25 of 27

    Holiday light displays are an indispensable part of the season, and Salt Lake City comes alive with these colorful lights during the holiday season. No matter if you're visiting around Thanksgiving or even New Years Eve, you'll have a chance to check out some of the great displays in SLC.

  • 26 of 27

    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, just click through the link above and explore all that Salt Lake City has to offer.

  • 27 of 27

    If you're over the holidays or, realistically, it's past Christmas Day and you've found yourself in Salt Lake City for New Year's Eve, there's a ton of fun things to do during the day and to ring in 2018. Keep going and check out the linked guide above for all the best New Year's Eve events in SLC.