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Sugar House Journal

Santa sightings, Christmas concerts and tree lightings: Inexpensive holiday fun for the family

Dec 01, 2019 11h06 ● By Christy Jepson

A child explores the unique retail experience, Christmas in the Wizarding World at The Shops at South Town. (Photo courtesy The Shops at South Town)

By Christy Jepson | [email protected]


Budgets can get tight around this time of year. Sometimes taking your family to certain holiday events can be pricey. But don’t despair. Take a peek at this list (but not Santa’s!) and enjoy inexpensive holiday fun for the whole family.


Draper Tree Lighting Ceremony: Monday, Dec. 2 from 6-8 p.m. at the Draper City Park. This celebration will consist of lighting over 65,000 lights, including those on the large willow tree in the center of the park. You can also visit with Santa, listen to live music, and stroll through the park. Each night after Dec. 2, the lights come on at 5:15 p.m. and turn off at 10:30 p.m.  

Candy Cane Hunt: Monday, Dec. 9 from 4-5 p.m. at the Draper Historic Park, 12625 S. 900 East. Children ages 6 and younger will enjoy this free event that starts at 4 p.m. sharp. Not only will there be thousands of candy canes hidden throughout the park, some of those candy canes can be redeemed for a new holiday toy. There will be a special arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire truck to meet the children. Santa will be available for photos in the gazebo. There will also be hot chocolate and jumbo marshmallow roasting.  


            Night of Lights: Monday, Dec. 2 from 5-9 p.m. at the Herriman City Hall and Crane Park (5355 W. Herriman Main St.). Enjoy the night while watching the tree lighting, visit with Santa, make a holiday craft, eat at one of the many food trucks, listen to live music and watch a laser light show.           

A girl visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Riverton’s annual Christmas event, Santa’s Arrival in Riverton. (Photo courtesy Riverton City Communications)



Santa’s Arrival in Riverton: Monday, Dec. 2 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Riverton City Park (1452 W. 12600 South). Come greet Santa as he and Mrs. Claus arrive to the park on a fire truck. Enjoy making crafts, cookie decorating, visiting with vendors, writing letters to Santa, roasting marshmallows, and enjoying a free warm scone with honey butter and a cup of hot chocolate.

‘Twas the Lights before Christmas: Dec. 6-12, 14-18, 21-23 from 6-9 p.m. at the Riverton City Park. This new holiday event costs $10 per vehicle. While staying warm in your car, you can read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on giant storyboards and see holiday lights. (Enter the park through 12800 South via 1300 West)

Christmas Night of Music Concert: Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at Riverton High School, 12476 S. Silverwolf Way. Beautiful holiday music will be performed by a 100-member choir and orchestra from the area.


Mad Holiday Science: Thursday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Sandy Library, 10100 S. Petunia Way. Santa Eggbert will explore science with a holiday twist. Children will get to watch: The Northern Lights, foam the melts before their eyes, indoor fireworks and dry ice experiments.

Christmas in the Wizarding World: Visit this unique retail experience now until Jan. 6. The hours at The Shops at South Town are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. This is the final year that this event will be in Utah. Visitors can browse for free or if there is a Harry Potter fan in your family there is a wide selection of Harry Potter merchandise.

Santa’s Toy Bag presented by the Utah Puppet Theater: Monday, Dec. 23 at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Sandy Library.    

South Jordan

 Light the Night Tree Lighting Celebration: Friday, Dec. 6 from 6-8:30 p.m. After the tree lighting ceremony, walk down Towne Center Drive and enjoy the festive holiday candy window displays, shop at the Winter Market, visit with Santa, enjoy hot cocoa, gingerbread house displays, live music, sleigh rides, drum line and a holiday movie.

SoJo Choral Arts presents the 15th Annual Sounds of the Season Choir and Orchestra Holiday Concert: Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. at Bingham High School, 2160 S. Jordan Parkway. This is a free concert and will last a little over an hour.

Salt Lake City

The Utah Olympic Oval Holiday Festival: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6-10 p.m. At this event there will be an oval figure skating ice show, crafts, a visit and pictures with Mrs. and Mr. Claus, a photo booth and public ice skating. Admission is $5 for adults (13 years old and older) and $3 for kids (3-12 years old). Ice skate rentals are $3.50 per person. There is free entry when you bring a non-perishable food item benefiting the Kearns Food Pantry. Skate rental fees will still apply, however. The Utah Olympic Oval is located at 5662 S. Cougar Lane (4800 West) in Kearns.

Christmas Carole Sing-Along: Monday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. This free concert is presented by the Larry H. Miller family and will feature songs by Ryan Innes, with the emcee being Jason Hewlett.

The Grand Christmas Hotel Holiday Window Stroll at The Grand America Hotel: From now until Dec. 31 be amazed at the 14 handcrafted whimsical holiday-themed window displays. Open Monday through Thursdays 4-8 p.m., Friday and Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and from Dec. 21-31 the window displays are open Monday-Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Parking fees apply if you park at the hotel. The hotel is located at 555 S. Main Street.

West Jordan

The Magic of the Christmas Season: Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the West Jordan Library, 8030 S. 1825 West. This festive night is presented by Mont “Magic” and children who attend will find out what happened to The Grinch and learn what other reindeer games Rudolph wasn’t allowed to play. Children will find the answers to these silly Christmas questions and learn some magic tricks.

A Visit from St. Nicholas: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Bring your kids for an afternoon of Christmas stories and take your picture with Santa. This is a free event at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 West).

West Jordan Arts Annual Holiday Concert: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6-8 p.m. featuring several of West Jordan’s City’s musical groups including the West Jordan Symphony, Mountain West Chorale, West Jordan City Band and the West Jordan Jazz Band. This event will be held at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 West).

The West Jordan Symphony’s 26th annual Handel’s “Messiah” sing-along: Sunday, Dec. 15 from 7-9 p.m. at the Viridian Event Center, 8030 S. 1825 West. This program will feature local soloists and the West Jordan Symphony and Mountain West Chorale.