For many, walking around and looking at beautiful holiday lights is an annual tradition and some of the best quality time they’ll get around this festive time of the year. Whether it’s a romantic evening stroll or a cherished family drive, the magic of the twinkling lights sets the perfect festive mood.
Whatever the reason for your excursion, you’ll only want to see the best of the best. Here are the 8 best holiday lights in Salt Lake County you need to see.
The Gateway Holiday Lights
Location: 400 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
The festive glow at The Gateway’s holiday lights is a must-see downtown attraction for locals and tourists alike. This contemporary display brings a lively atmosphere to the heart of the city, offering a merry experience for families. Take advantage of the many photo ops and snap a magical holiday photo with its oversized woodland animals, engaging displays, and new sculptures.
Kids, especially, will love the balloon twister, adding an extra element of fun to the festivities. The hotel will keep the holiday spirit alive until December 31st, making it a delightful and convenient destination for those seeking a dose of seasonal cheer.
Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
Location: 805 E 18th Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Frosty’s Winter Wonderland is a massive holiday light show illuminating the family’s yard and home with more than 300 festive decorations. Visible from afar on the Salt Lake City hillside, this display attracts around 200 cars every night, plus plenty of people on foot.
From huge inflatables and candy canes to Santas and snowmen, the yard is filled with glowing decor that will surely make you smile. These lights shine bright every night from 6 pm to 11 pm, offering a warm and cheerful spectacle for all. Forget the fancy words; it’s just a great, down-to-earth celebration of the season.
Christmas in Color
Location: 11161 S 2200 W, South Jordan, UT 84095
Cost: Price varies ($35 or $45/vehicle)
Christmas in Color is the world’s largest drive-thru animated light show. It features over a million lights perfectly synchronized to various festive tunes which you can hear right through your radio.
Drive by arched pathways and dancing displays, including snowmen, elves, candy canes, and much more. On top of that, every ticket that is purchased helps contribute to the show’s “Come See the Lights” initiative to give back to our community.
General admission + party pack (1 ticket, 2 light wands, 4 3D glasses, 2 lightbulb necklaces, and 1 air freshener) costs $60 while the VIP package (admission, skip line, and a party pack) is $75. For more information on dates, times, and ticket prices, click here.
World of Illumination: Candy Rush
Location: 155 N 1000 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Cost: Starts at $39.99 per car
World of Illumination presents another year of holiday magic to their carloads of patrons in the Utah State Fairpark. Candy Rush, this year’s theme, features larger-than-life Christmas characters and confections.
This mile-long animated drive-through light show lets you marvel at the whimsical Sugar Plum Fairies, a gigantic gingerbread village, and sweets as far as the eye can see. Chef Kuma, the delightful host, adds an extra sprinkle of fun and magic to the show.
The show features a 20 to 30-minute audio-visual experience and more than a million lights synchronized to music in a way that is both awe-inspiring and beautiful. Moreover, it’s very family-friendly so it’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit with your loved ones. Please note that the show is only open Tuesday to Sunday (and Monday, Dec. 18 & 25) at 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Christmas Street in Sugar House
Location: Glen Arbor St (1500 E 1745 S), Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Christmas Street in Sugar House has been around since the late 1940s. Recognized as the OG Christmas Street and a Salt Lake classic, this longest-standing tradition has faced challenges this year. However, due to the massive support of the community, they received resources that will allow them to keep this tradition going for years to come.
In addition to the well-lit and well-decorated homes, there’s also the bright “Christmas Street” banner that marks the entrance and a Christmas tree at the end of the street in the middle of the cul-de-sac. Homes feature bright lights to small displays such as penguins in the North Pole and Polar Express theme. Many people drive this street but you can also park and walk around.
Though the houses aren’t glamorously decorated as they are more based on each household’s unique style, it’s fun and heartwarming to know that the entire street seems to get into the holiday spirit. If you would like to donate to keep Christmas Street alive, click here.
Location: 589 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Cost: $17.95/adult (13+); $13.95/child (3-12); 2 and under are free and Tracy Aviary members get $5 off
Lightwalk at Tracy Aviary is an original holiday light experience. Wander through the gardens and be mesmerized by its Christmas Light Maze—a unique journey through a custom-designed, stunningly illuminated tunnel.
The trees are decked out with thousands of lights, creating a winter wonderland that is both magical and simple. But that’s not all – Santa drops by at 6 pm every evening. You can meet Santa in a life-size gingerbread house and take pictures with him for free.
Local school choirs and musicians also bring some festive tunes to the scene. Additionally, you enjoy a hot cup of cocoa and warm treats in your hand while you and your loved ones explore the acres of lighted paths. You can buy tickets at the gate but I highly recommend you buy them online for convenience.
Location: 2600 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Cost: $14.95/adult (13+); $11.95/child (3-12); 2 and under are free and members get $3 off
Hogle Zoo’s ZooLights is an annual sensory-friendly, holiday-themed light adventure that is worth visiting. Starting at 5:39 pm, the whole zoo lights up with holiday cheer. Aside from the glowing light display that features holiday scenes and life-size animals throughout the zoo, you’ll also get to see Santa, reindeer, and enjoy crafts and the carousel.
One of its highlights is Santa’s arrival and while waiting to take a photo with him, you can write a letter to Santa so you can pass it to the man himself. After that, a stroll across the bridge beneath a light tunnel completes this festive journey. The holiday vibes during this event are strong, and it’s a fun and affordable way to enjoy the season with the whole family.
However, please note that this is an after-hour light display so most habitats will be closed or dark to allow animals to get a full night’s rest. On top of that, this is a separate ticketed event and it’s not included with daytime admission.
Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point
Location: 3900 Garden Dr, Lehi, UT 84043
Cost: Price varies (general admission range from $20 to $29/person)
Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point is back and it’s brighter than ever. It’s an enchanting mile walk through Ashton Gardens that features 28 themed areas filled with millions of twinkling lights. The luminaire hill is a standout – a light and music show on 6,500 programmable luminaries, showing moving images of flying reindeer, illuminating snowflakes, and other signs of the season.
The songs and shows are further accentuated by the incorporation of the iconic 120-foot tree already on top of a 40-foot hill. The Fire & Ice show is a fiery spectacle with real flames dancing to music while the nativity scene and biblical sculptures allow you to take a moment to reflect and enjoy the event in a serene setting.
While you continue your stroll, indulge in holiday treats like s’mores, hot chocolate, and sweets from cottages along the way. Moreover, encourage your loved ones to engage in interactive game areas for added fun and more memories. Click here for more information on ticket prices, dates, and times.