If you’re looking to put a little sparkle into your December, chances are you might want to check out one of Utah’s best light displays.  With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest and brightest, as well as smaller local creations.  In the best of list below you’ll find both free and paid displays, as well as walk through and drive through. 

Temple Square 

Any list of Christmas light displays  in Utah couldn’t start by mentioning the lights at Temple Square in Downtown Salt Lake City; for several weeks this popular destination in the heart of the city is resplendent in a wide variety of lights and decoration.    The display is popular with tourists and locals, usually resulting a bustling atmosphere.  

Temple Square Lights runs November 23rd through January 2nd this year.  Evening hours are usually 5.00 p.m. through 10.30 p.m. but do check with the official website before planning your visit – it’s cold out there!

Entrance to Temple Square is completely free.

The Winter Walk @ The Gateway

The second annual Winter Walk is a unique holiday light stroll held nightly during Winterfest.  The Gateway will close down Rio Grande, allowing guests to stroll the property looking at the Winter Wonderland light display while they sip on the hot beverage of their choice — from cocoa to spiked cider.

The 2019 holiday light display was created in partnership with Utah Artists Alliance and local artists. It’s filled with unique one-of-a-kind custom sculptures and arts installations, turning the entire Gateway into a dreamy winter wonderland of light and art. It all adds up to the perfect setting for everyone’s “holiday card” photo with ample shopping and dining options while they enjoy the photo ops.

Luminaria (Lehi)

Running all December and into the start of January is this unique walk through display at Thanksgiving Point, with prices starting from $15. What is Luminaria though?  This one is best explained in the organizers own words:

You’ll have to experience it yourself to find out, but we’ll do our best to give you an idea or two. Imagine all the light displays you’ve seen before. Now, imagine something entirely different and you’re on the right track.

This enchanting mile walk will transport you into a magical holiday world as you make your way through the captivating Ashton Gardens. The Grand Allee’s 6,500 programmable luminaries blanket the sweeping hill, where each one acts as a pixel in a moving picture of blooming poinsettias, flying reindeer, and dynamic symbols of the season. And on top of that 40-foot hill, you’ll be met with the colossal 120-foot tree—all lit up and ready to be admired.

Looking for a quiet moment of reflection? View the nativity scene before entering the new Light of the World Garden. Glowing lanterns and peaceful music accompany this space featuring 35 monument- sized bronze sculptures depicting scenes of Jesus Christ from the New Testament.

Continue your holiday stroll while indulging all your senses in special touches like s’mores at the glowing fire pits, hot chocolate and sweets from the gift boutique, interactive game areas for children and adults alike, even peppermint-scented mulch.

Festival Of Lights (Spanish Fork)

Head South for this fun festival that offers a number of themed displays with themes spanning everything from Cowboys to Dinosaurs to North Pole.  The Festival Of Lights in Spanish Fork Utah is a drive-thru celebration that features over a million lights!  The Festival of Lights has been operating and growing since 1992.

Festival of lights runs nightly form 6.00 – 10.00 p.m.  Cost is $8 per car,  $22 per commercial vehicle towing a trailer or $30 per bus. Cash and credit cards are accepted

Christmas In Color

Another drive-through light display with two locations in Provo and South Jordan.  Christmas In Color offers more than just a fabulous light display, it also offers synchronized music, you just need to tune in with your car radio!

The event usually runs until the end of December running 5.30 – 10.00 p.m. most nights (later at weekends).  Prices start at $25 per vehicle. 

Neighborhood creations

As well as the more formal displays listed above, you’ll find certain neighborhoods around town love to get together and create their own mini-displays.  Some are quite impressive and all are free!

Christmas Street (SLC)

One of the more well known local displays takes place on the aptly named Christmas Street.  The community event has run for more than 70 years; you’ll know you’ve found the street when you spot  the large banner welcoming drivers into the small circle where each homeowner puts on their own part of the display.  More details on their Facebook page.

Frosty Winter Wonder (Avenues)

Head to the top of the Avenues in Salt Lake City and you’ll find this impressive one off display.  You’ll really need to see it in person to believe it.  Here’s the Facebook page with more info.

Light Houses (Sandy)

Roughly where Wasatch meets 1700 east in Sandy Utah you’ll find this other community celebration of the holidays.

Stuart
Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.