Monday, November 25, 2019

14 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Utah County

14 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Utah County blog cover image


There are so many events and places to see throughout Utah County during the holiday season. If you're looking for lights, Christmas spirit, kid-friendly activities, and joyful time with family, then these 14 ways to celebrate the holidays in Utah County will provide you with a variety of options.




1. Santaquin Parade of Lights

If you have ever had that “wow” moment when you see an abundance of gleaming Christmas lights, then the Santaquin Parade of lights will give you that same feeling. The event is Saturday, December 7, 2019, starting at 7:00 pm. The theme this year is “Small-town Magic” and is free for all. Let the Christmas spirit move you with this impressionable event.



Christmas lights reflecting off the water

2. Provo River Christmas Cruise

You would not think to be on the water in the middle of winter. However, this exciting event in Provo from December 1st-23rd offers a boat ride on the Provo River. During this venture, you will get to capture the essence of Christmas through lights, holiday scenes and, of course, Santa! This boat ride is just $8 per person and children ages 2 and under are free.



a large group of people focused on a festively lit pavilion

3. University Place Live Nativity

If you are seeking a religious adventure for Christmas, the University Place in Orem offers a live nativity scene. Experience the whole story of the night Jesus was born and meet new people that share in the same love you do. The scene will be set in ‘The Orchard’ and you can cozy up with warm drinks and treats. This live nativity scene is on December 6th, 2019 from 6-8 pm.




4. Santa’s Grand Arrival at University Place

Also located in Orem, Santa and his lovely wife, Mrs. Claus, will make their grand entrance at the University Place on Friday, November 29th, 2019 from 9:30-10:30 am. There will be live entertainment and giveaways. Starbucks is happy to provide limited free cocoa and treats.



visitors looking into outdoor holiday pop-up shops

5. Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s

The first Cabela’s in Utah located in Lehi will be hosting Santa’s Wonderland again this year. Grab a free photo with Santa from December 1st-24th. There will also be free kid's crafts and activities. While you’re in Cabela’s be sure to check out their gift shop for seasonal fudge and roasted almonds flavored in vanilla or cinnamon sugar.




6. Photo’s with Santa at Provo Towne Center

If you are looking for more opportunities to take a snapshot with the great Santa Claus, then head over to Provo Towne Center mall. Santa will be at this location from November 29th-December 24th. Starting at 10 am and lasting to 6 pm, you and your family can let Santa know what is on your list and capture an unforgettable moment.



a red barn, silo, and surrounding trees decorated with Christmas lights

7. Light Up Christmas

On Friday, December 6, from 7:30-9:30 pm, attend the Light Up Christmas event at the Covey Center in Provo. This event is a concert that is sure to warm your heart and ring in the Christmas spirit. The concert will feature Christmas classics and contemporary music. The cost to attend varies between $12 and $18.




8. Eagle Mountain Holiday Light Decoration Display

There is nothing quite like grabbing your coziest pair of socks, a thermos full of hot chocolate and heading out to view everyone’s holiday decorations. In Eagle Mountain, the holiday lights are so spectacular the city makes a map for people to follow every year - https://eaglemountaincity.com/community-relations/city-events/. Be prepared to see some amazing lights and enjoy a quiet time with your family.



shoppers walk through an outdoor mall decorated with holiday lights

9. The Outlets at Traverse Mountain

If you are in search of a giant Christmas tree with an amazing display, then look no further. In Lehi, The Outlets at Traverse Mountain boasts a 75-foot living Christmas tree. Each year it is lit with over 500 strands of lights and 900 ornaments. There is no cost to see this spectacular tree and it is lit every night through the month of December.




10. Santa Parade and Tree Lighting

The city of Lehi hosts a Santa parade and tree lighting ceremony every year. This year on December 7th at 5:30 pm you can catch Santa and all his friends! The parade coordinators encourage local members of the community to walk with their leashed pups in the parade as well! Christmas and puppies? What more could you ask for? Concluding the parade, there will be a tree lighting in the Main Street Plaza with hot chocolate, cookies, and Santa.



Santa with smiling children in Santa hats

11. Silent Santa

The mission behind this event is to provide children with sensory sensitivity a chance to have one-on-one time with Santa. This is an opportunity in Lehi on November 30th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Lehi Legacy Center. Enjoy this special event without the crowds and noise.




12. Christmas in Color

This mile-long drive-thru light tunnel is a must-see! There are over 1 million lights in to see and they are synced to Christmas music. Christmas in Color is in Provo and is quick to become a favorite Christmas tradition. The cost is only $27 per car and is open Monday-Thursday 5:30-10 pm and Friday-Saturday 5:30-10:30 pm.




13. Festival of Lights

Located in Spanish Forks, this one-of-a-kind Christmas adventure is sure to be a family favorite. Beginning November 28th, 2019 through January 1st, 2020; you can visit this beautiful display for only $8 per car. Tune your radio to 99.7FM to listen to music while you drive through the park. This event is open every night from 6-10 pm.




14. Salem’s Pond Town Christmas Light Display

This light display is unique because the lights float on a pond in Knoll Park. You can see a lighted bridge, trees and light-formed trees. There is no cost to see this display and it opens November 29th and will stay lit through January 1st, 2020. The display has long hours - 5:30 pm-11:00 pm, so you can assure you will have plenty of time to do a host of events throughout the night.




From the wintery boat rides, to live nativity scenes, to photos with Santa, and Christmas tree lightings, the holiday season is filled with exciting opportunities to immerse yourself in everything Utah County has to offer. With these 14 ways to celebrate the holidays in Utah County, you can better prepare you and your family for a well-thought-out Christmas adventure!

Monday, November 18, 2019

The 7 Best Places to Eat Out on Christmas in Utah County

The 7 Best Places to Eat Out on Christmas in Utah County blog cover image


Sometimes life overcomes us, and we forget to prep, cook, or even buy Christmas dinner. With most grocery stores being closed, your options become limited. It has been proven that gathering around a dinner table to enjoy food and break bread with friends and family creates joy. On the other hand, eating out on Christmas is a good way to create a Christmas tradition for yourself or with your friends and family. No matter your situation, these 7 places to eat out on Christmas in Utah County will leave your belly full and heart happy with pure Christmas joy.



a tall hamburger with all the fixins along with french fries

1. Black Bear Diner

With two locations in Orem and American Fork, Black Bear Diner is a great choice for breakfast, since it is served all day. This delicious diner offers a host of comfort food including classic 2-egg combos, omelets, pancakes, waffles & French toast, full-course dinners, specials, kids’ meals, and desserts! You can also catch a great deal with their lunch menu. Some of the delicious options include the Western BBQ burger, chicken strips, and parmesan sourdough cheeseburger. If you’re seeking more of a traditional Christmas meal, try the open-faced hot turkey sandwich - turkey served on sliced white bread and completed with red-skinned mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce. Ring in the Christmas spirit with a hot cup of coffee and a warm slice of Grandma’s Famous blackberry cobbler.




2. IHOP

Right now, through the Christmas season, you and your family can enjoy Elf on the Shelf holiday specials at IHOP. The fun green pancakes come in a variety of combo options and hot chocolate specials. Choose from one of four locations - Orem, Springville, American Fork, and Payson. Holiday hotcakes are a popular item and IHOP often has specials. This Christmas season you can receive a family feast that includes fries, pancakes or waffles, churro bites, and chicken breast strips. Additionally, kids eat free every day from 4-10 pm until Jan. 1st, 2020.



topped pancakes with eggs, bacon, and hash browns

3. Denny’s

If you have ever talked with a person that lives outside of America, they would say that Denny’s is an American staple. You can enter any Denny’s restaurant and immediately be enveloped with the smell of delicious food. This diner is perfect for late-night dinner or early morning travelers. Denny’s likes to treat their customers as if they were their own family. With that in mind, they want to deliver a true Christmas feast. Munch on some apple bourbon pancakes while you wait for your turkey and dressing feast. Other holiday items include cinnamon roll pancakes, garlic peppercorn sirloin & chicken tenders’ dinner, and pumpkin or pecan pie - just to name a few. Even if you had plans to cook Christmas dinner, you may want to head over to Denny’s anyways for one of these delectable treats.




4. Village Inn

Hello, Free Pie Wednesday! Treat yourself to delicious pie flavors such as pumpkin, banana cream, caramel pecan silk, country apple, or cherry at one of the two locations in Utah County - Orem and Provo. If you are looking for more of a savory bite, try one of their many home-style dinners including slow-roasted turkey, 6 oz. top sirloin, all-American meatloaf, or chicken pot pie. Create a Christmas dinner with sides like cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn.



two couples laughing and passing food across the table

5. Yamato Japanese Restaurant

Ditch the traditional Christmas dinner and eat oriental instead. Sushi is always delicious and at Yamato Japanese Restaurant in Orem, you can’t go wrong. This restaurant has great reviews, 4 out 5 stars on Yelp. Whether you are in the mood for Katsu, Gyoza, Nigiri, Sashimi, full entrees or California Rolls; Yamato will deliver high-quality and delicious food right to your table. Dumplings are a local favorite, so be sure to order some.




6. Panda Express

This large restaurant chain is more than just a fast-food experience. Panda Express uses fresh produce that has lasting flavors in their entrees. If your family wants to cozy up at home in their pajamas, sipping hot chocolate next to a warm fire, then grabbing this delicious take-out food is a perfect idea. Grab a plate or bowl filled with orange chicken and fried rice. Don’t forget the egg roll! Panda Express is open during normal business hours and has two locations in Provo, two locations in Orem, and the remaining locations in American Fork, Pleasant Grove, and Saratoga Springs.



dark brownie bites alongside a cup of icing

7. Starbucks

I bet you can already taste that sweet peppermint mocha. The Starbucks coffee chain is open on Christmas with a handful of spots throughout Utah County including Orem, Spanish Fork, Pleasant Grove, Springville, American Fork, Lehi, Saratoga Springs, and Eagle Mountain. Starbucks offers a variety of holiday drinks and treats. If peppermint mocha isn’t your flavor, try a seasonal chestnut praline latte or sugar cookie latte. The kids always love getting a candy cane cake pop, or snowman cookie. For something more savory, try an egg, sausage, and cheddar sandwich or one of three flavored egg bites. Starbucks’ menu has many different options whether you want savory, sweet, or fit options. Additionally, Starbucks often has sales on their tumblers and mugs over the holidays, so keep your eyes peeled! Coffee helps with that.



a holiday spread filled with meats, olives, and pastries

It can be a stressful time when preparing for Christmas, don’t let Christmas dinner be one of them! Whether you want to gather around the table with friends and family or enjoy a quiet, comfortable and relaxing evening to yourself, be assured you can find it in Utah County. With several different options to choose from, the family can enjoy delicious food and on a budget. From the hot, buttery, flaky biscuits at Black Bear Diner, to the green pancakes at IHOP, to the full feast at Denny’s, to various flavorful pies, to oriental feasts and take-outs, and to coffee and treats; these 7 best places to eat out on Christmas in Utah County will keep you stress-free, and full!

Monday, November 11, 2019

The 5 Best Christmas Activities in Utah County

The 5 Best Christmas Activities in Utah County blog cover image


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Buckle your Santa belt and slip on your elf shoes because Utah County is the place to be to maximize your Christmas experience. Kids and adults are anxious to see and do all things Christmas related. From the snow-capped trees to the colorful display of lights, to the ho-ho-ho of Santa, this list of the 5 best Christmas activities in Utah County will provide you with memorable adventures to last all year.



kids happy to meet Santa

1. Christmas Village - Eagle Mountain City

What better way to get in the spirit of Christmas than to visit a Christmas village? On Saturday, December 7, 2019, from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm the family can immerse themselves in all things Christmas. Experience Renaissance times with a Blacksmith demo while enjoying various vendors. Kids are encouraged to bring a letter for Santa - they will receive one in return. Other activities include a petting zoo, mini pony carriage rides, and of course getting to meet Santa and his live reindeer! Don’t worry about going hungry while you visit Christmas Village, there will be an abundance of food trucks to choose from. The event is free and is in the Cory Wride Memorial Park at 5806 Pony Express Parkway, Eagle Mountain Utah.



a group of runners dressed as Santa, on the course

2. Provo Santa Run 2019 - Provo, Utah

If you are looking for a way to get rid of that extra Thanksgiving weight, then look no further than this joyful activity. You can join dozens of adults and kids for this family fun run on Saturday, December 7, 2019. The race begins at 4:30 pm and lasts until 6:30 pm. The best part about this run is that you can dress as Santa (suits provided). During your run, you will encounter staff members dressed as elves at the break stations. Here, they will be handing out cookies and milk! If you wish to participate, racers will begin at ‘The Shops at Riverwoods’ - 4801 N University Ave, Provo, Utah. You can sign up for the race at https://www.raceentry.com/races/provo-santa-run/2019/register. The cost for a Santa runner is $37.50 and kids ages 8 and under are free with a paid participant. You can also opt-in to receive a medal for an additional $7.50. Following the run, there will be additional Christmas fun. Grab your family and run, Santa, run!



a parent and child hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree

3. The Giving Tree - Orem, Utah

Many families believe that Christmas should be about giving and helping others. This event in Orem allows that opportunity. The Giving Tree located near RC Willey is decorated with ornaments provided by Utah County Sub for Santa and the United way and represents families in need. From November 29th - December 14th you can check out an ornament from The Giving Tree between the hours of 10:00 am and 9:00 pm. To ensure timely delivery of gifts, please return unwrapped gifts by December 14th to University Place located at 575 East University Parkway, Orem Utah. This event is a joyous time to teach younger generations about giving and will leave a special place in your heart.




4. Holly Days in the Park- Riverton, Utah

On December 6th – 7th, 2019 families can enjoy the Christmas tradition of Riverton, Utah. Beginning at 6:30 pm and lasting until 8:00 pm, put on your pajamas Friday night and experience a host of activities for all ages. Kids will have the chance to decorate cookies, roast marshmallows, and write their letters to Santa. There will be local vendors and entertainment. On Saturday night, feel free to wear any Christmas outfit but they will be holding Ugly Sweater contest so keep that in mind when you’re preparing your outfits! Families can grab a cup of free hot chocolate and take a moment to read the giant storybook pages of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This spectacular event is being held at the Riverton City Park, Large Pavilion, 1452 W. 12600 S, Riverton, Utah. The cost is free and is open to all ages, big and small.



a display of snow-covered trees, candy canes, and Santa's sleigh

5. Zermatt Swiss Christmas- Midway, Utah

This unique Christmas activity offers fun for the whole family while you embrace its European heritage. Held at the Zermatt Resort, this is an event that offers an Old-European Christmas Market- free of charge as well as many more activities for kids and adults. The event located at 784 West Resort Drive, Midway, Utah opens at 11:00 am and goes until 7:00 pm. Begin your day by strolling through the Swiss Christmas Market and checking out the vendors. Try your hand at candle dipping, starting at $9.50, you can take a single white-candle and dip it into a variety of colors to create your personalized holiday candle. Kids can harness their artistic side and build a gingerbread house! To assure availability, you must pre-purchase the gingerbread homes, but all tools and furnishings will be provided. The gingerbread house activity is on Saturday, December 14th only from 11-4 pm and the cost is $29.50. Experience an old Swiss tradition and carve a Rabeliechtli (turnip lantern). This carving tradition used to be considered an “end of harvest” tradition but slowly transitioned into a Christmas one. You can purchase one for $8.50 or pay $14 for a pre-made Rabeliechtli.

Additionally, kids will get the chance to visit with Santa and enjoy various crafts including cookie decorating, holiday crafts, and a special surprise! This part of the event is also on December 14th from 11 am-4 pm. Prices begin at $13.50 for children and this time, adults are free with a paying child. For more information and to buy tickets visit: https://zermattutahevents.com/swiss-christmas.




With so many adventures awaiting you, this list of the 5 best Christmas activities in Utah County should fulfill your need to see and do all things Christmas. Utah County is a beautiful and popular spot for locals and tourists, so there will always be an abundance of activities. From the Swiss Markets to Giving Trees, to races, and holiday villages and parks; Santa will be impressed your family took the time to engage in the holiday spirit!