The holiday season is a favorite time of year and light displays are a special part of that. Here are the best lighting displays to go see in the Salt Lake City area for 2018. Temple Square, the Zoo, Heritage Place, and Ashton Gardens put on a show every year before and after Christmas.
Catch one or more to get into the spirit and make the most of the long nights of December.
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Temple Square and downtown Salt Lake City are lighted with more than a million lights, glowing from the Gateway complex to Temple Square, down Main Street to the Gallivan Center, and along Broadway Boulevard.
Temple Square, the main attraction, is lighted for the holidays starting the night of Nov. 23, 2018. That night through January 1, 2019 you can enjoy the lights in the mornings from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and in the evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. On the nights of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concerts the lights are on until 11:00 p.m. On New Year's Eve they will be on until 12:30 a.m. at Temple Square and until 1:00 a.m. at the Church Office Building, Main Street, and Conference Center Plazas.
A variety of local groups including school groups and church choirs perform daily at six different venues. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert and the LDS Church First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional attract visitors from near and far.
The downtown holiday lights are amazing, but so are the crowds. If you can, go on a weeknight when there's no Jazz game. Downtown restaurants will be crowded, so make a reservation if that's possible. Dress warmly. You can take TRAX downtown.
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This year visitors to downtown will have the chance to hop on and hop off the Jingle Bus, a free holiday-themed bus that will run between City Creek Center, the Gateway, Temple Square, City Creek Center, Capitol Theatre, and the Gallivan Plaza, hitting all the holiday lights and storefront decorations along the way.
The bus will run from November 24, 2018 to December 30, 2018, from 5 to 10 p.m. every day of the week except Christmas Day.
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Take a mile walk through Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah, where you'll see 8,000 programmed luminaries across the hill in the shapes of poinsettias, flying reindeer, and other seasonal symbols.
At the top of the hill, you'll be greeted by a 120-foot Christmas tree aglow with lights. Luminaria is open Monday through Saturday from Nov. 19, 2018 through January 5, 2019, with time slots from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; the last admission is at 9 p.m. Closed Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. You can purchase tickets online.
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Hogle Zoo's biggest special event of the year, ZooLights, runs from November 30, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2019; it is closed on Christmas Day.
Hogle Zoo began Zoolights in 2006 with more than a million sparkling holiday lights and animated light displays. ZooLights occurs after the zoo's regular hours, so the lights, not the animals, are the main attraction. However, some animals will be on display during ZooLights, and some are more active at night.
Dress warmly. Hours are 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Heritage Village, a re-created pioneer village, is decorated like a Currier and Ives Christmas card. Enjoy a visit with Father Christmas and see the live Nativity scene. The Heritage Village Carolers provide an inspiring backdrop to the glitter of lights, the glow of warm fires and the smells of Christmas.
Join in the fun of making crafts and homemade gifts in one of the decorated historic homes or pioneer cabins. The Gift Shop at the Visitors Center and the ZCMI Mercantile will be open.
Warm up with a hot soup at the Huntsman Hotel.
Open December 7-22, 2018. (Monday-Saturday evenings) Tickets can be purchased online.