Typically a tourist destination anyway, once the holiday lights are turned on the day after Thanksgiving, Temple Square is a hotspot for families and couples every evening. I went the other night by myself and had a great experience. Armed with a Christmas tune in my head and my trusty camera, I was expecting to feel odd walking the grounds alone. Instead, I felt like I fit in with everyone else. It seemed it was the place to be. There was a crowd outside the square listening to a lone bagpiper play festive holiday tunes. A lot of people were walking around taking photos of all the lights. I had fun enjoying the scenery.
One thing that was different this year was the amount of trees that weren't lit up. It looks like the recession has affected the LDS Church as well. In years past, it seemed every tree was draped with a string of lights but that wasn't the case this year. I found that even with less lights, the mood was still festive and full of Christmas brevity.
Something new this year was a hot chocolate stand outside the Joseph Smith building.Â It was the perfect touch for the festive stroll. At the reflecting pond outside the temple there were beautiful displays of the nativity and wise men. It was nice to see happy families touring the property and taking photos. Horse-drawn carriages circled the property and although it's a bit pricey, with a group on-board it's not so bad. Visiting Temple Square is always one of my favorite Christmas-themed events.
My other must-see is a tiny street dubbed "Christmas Street" during the holidays. Located in Sugarhouse, it's becoming more popular every year. I had driven by the street years ago and considered it my secret find. It seems the word has gotten out though, and now I usually find a line of cars parading the tiny neighborhood street to see the holiday lights.
Located on 1500 East and1735 South, it is a quiet neighborhood street except this time of year. I went by the other day and was surprised that it was pretty desolate. I was there at 6pm and it wasn't too crowded. It was really nice. I recommend going at off times to avoid a long line of cars and waiting half an hour or longer to enter the street.
As usual, each house along the dead-end street was lit up with different light displays. Some were elaborate, some were classy and some were very simple; it was a real mix of lights. I was amongst families taking photos of their kids in front of people's houses. It was relaxing and festive. This is a pleasant place to visit during the holidays. I often wonder what it would be like to live on that street. It's great that every resident participates in the charming spectacle. It's a Christmas treat and one to see every year!