The Big Day is only two weeks away, so trim up the tree and whip up a batch of cookies, or maybe you're already elbow-deep in gingerbread and tangled in a string of blinking bulbs.
Brighten your spirits this holiday season by touring some of these shimmering sites, and wake up to a scrumptious brunch (cooked by someone else) with Santa as the guest of honor. Whether you’re looking for a romantic stroll or an afternoon of family fun, we’ve tracked down the festivities you’re looking for, starting with the best Christmas trees and lights around:
If you're looking for a new family tradition this year, head over to Park City on Dec. 21 for the second annual Electric Parade and watch the historic district light up the night on the shortest day of the year. The parade is free, open to the public, and involves a range of glittering cars, trucks, trolleys and bicycles that will have the kids clapping with excitement. KPCW will be in charge of some special holiday music programming, and there will be a chance for participants to win cash prizes in five different categories.
Participants will meet at City Park on Dec. 21 at 5:45 p.m. and depart for Main Street at 6 p.m. The route will proceed up Park Avenue, to the top of Main Street, down Swede Alley, across Heber Avenue and conclude on lower Main Street.
There is no entry fee to participate, but participants must register by December 20thby emailing Executive Director, Alison Butz at Alison@historicparkcityutah.com. For more information on HPCA and the 2011 Electric Parade, please click here or contact Christa Graff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 435-640-7921.
Other places to see the lights:
Christmas Street 1500 East and 1735 South Sugarhouse
This tiny cul-de-sac earned its unofficial title over 60 years ago, and they've been bringing holiday cheer to visitors ever since. The illuminating exhibition is best experienced on foot, so slip on some woolly socks and a pair of boots to take a stroll on "Christmas Street."
Christmas Utah 5631 Whispering Pine Circle Murray (Marty Slack's house)
Marty Slack's slapstick display features cartoon faces and a synchronized light show set to music. To limit the long lines of traffic, Marty recommends parking at the church on Vine Street to keep his neighbors humbug-free.
Hogle Zoo (ZooLights!) 2600 Sunnyside Ave. Salt Lake City
Animated animals glitter among their wilder, real-life counterparts at this yearly celebration. Santa's reindeer make a special appearance at the nightly Reindeer Parade to Santa's Station where children can give their wish lists to the man himself.
Thanksgiving Point 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way Lehi
Avoid frozen limbs and chattering teeth as you stay warm and dry in the car and take a drive along this million-light tour. Thanksgiving Point members can enjoy the glistening trees and narrated nativity for half the usual $8 fare.
Winder Dairy 4400 West 4100 South West Valley City
Check out the festively decorated grounds of Winder Dairy as you wrap your hands around a warm cup of hot chocolate and indulge in fresh pastries. You'll feast with your eyes and your tastebuds during this afternoon of family fun.
Temple Square 50 West North Temple Salt Lake City
Among professional Christmas light displays, this pièce de résistance is not only the most beautiful; it's also the cheapest. For the cost of gas, visitors can enjoy a myriad of dazzling displays and twinkling trees.
Where to meet Santa, even though he's pretty busy this time of year
Ogden's Christmas Village Mon.-Sat. through Dec. Municipal Gardens, 2500 Grant Ave
Every evening Monday through Saturday, children can drop by Santa's castle to sit on his knee and whisper special Chrismas wish lists in his ear. Proceeds from photos with Santa benefit the Christmas Village.
Little America's Buffet with Santa Dec. 18 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Grand America's Breakfast with Santa Dec. 17 and 24 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
Join Santa for breakfast at the Grand America or brunch at Little America to find out how he developed his rotund physique. He'll be passing out treats for all the good little boys and girls who attend the event.
Fashion Place Mall Visit Santa through Dec.
Don't let A Christmas Story mislead you; a mall is the perfect place to ask for a Red Ryder BB gun. Fashion Place hosts jolly old Saint Nick throughout the holidays, so bring the kids to see Santa and get some Christmas shopping done on the side.
Breakfast with Santa at the Discovery Gateway Dec. 17
Take part in a Christmas breakfast feast with Santa and let the kids unleash their creativity with a holiday craft. Children will have the opportunity to visit and play with Santa and will receive a special parting giftbox.