Monday, December 30, 2019

The 9 Best Winter Activities in Utah Valley

The 9 Best Winter Activities in Utah Valley blog cover image

The winter holiday and the winter season, in general, is an excellent opportunity to hit the open road and see what America has to offer. Indeed, one of the most popular spots in America today is the state of Utah. Utah provides a chance to see beautiful mountain ranges, including Mt Timpanogos and Box Elder Peak. If nature isn’t your thing, Utah also offers quite a bit of culture. For example, the city of Provo is home to several museums and art galleries. Whatever it is that you like to do on your winter holiday, Utah has it. However, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of activities that are available to you. In this article, we will break down 9 essential winter activities that you can do while staying in Utah.

old fashioned theater showing Sundance films

1. Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival belongs in the category of once in a lifetime opportunities. If you find yourself in or near Park City, you must see the spectacle that is the Sundance Film Festival. Over the past several decades, the Sundance Film Festival has become a hotbed for unique and groundbreaking movies, art collections, and celebrity guests. Sundance tickets go fast, so we recommend you plan this stop well in advance of going. Even if you are not attending the events, the sights alone are worth it.

an ice sculpture of a snowflake

2. Midway Ice Castles

I think we can all admit that going to some amusement parks are just too expensive and overcrowded. If you want to give your kids a fantastic experience without paying the price, then Midway Ice Castles is the spot for you. These natural and man-made ice caverns bring a sense of wonder and amazement to any family vacation. Also, you and your family can witness a breathtaking fire show before entering the ice castles. Hot chocolate will also be provided for all the kids and adults who want to act like kids. Tickets are $15 to $18 for anyone over twelve and $10 to $12 for kids.

3. Dog Sledding

Have you ever wanted to take a step back in time? Several outfitters in Park City allow you to experience the sensation of dog sledding through the winter snow. These sleds can take you and your family to a variety of fun spots throughout area. Rides can take anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour. Dog sledding in Park City can be on the expensive side with the average sled ride costing around $420.

a pair of white skis ready to hit the slopes

4. Skiing

You can’t go into the Utah mountains without encountering breathtaking skiing locations because there are dozens of ski resorts scattered across the state. If you are in the Utah Valley area, you have to go see the mesmerizing mountains of Deer Valley Resort. Deer Valley provides some of the best skiing in Utah with over two thousand acres that can accommodate more than 50,000 skiers per hour. Lift tickets can cost anywhere from $150 to $200 a day, depending on how early and how many you order at a time.

5. The Crater at Homestead Resort

When you are on your winter vacation, swimming is probably the last thing that is on your mind. However, the crater at Homestead Resort is home to a massive geothermal spring. Geothermal springs are perfect for the winter months because of their high mineral content and constant heating. The high mineral count will refresh your aching muscles and soothe your dry skin. While the water, which is at a constant 96 degrees, will perk you up after you have spent the day in the cold.

6. Tubing

You know, it's okay if you don’t want to spend your winter vacation skiing, we won't judge. Skiing isn’t for everyone; it can take a lot of time to learn and even more time to master. If you want to experience the joy of skiing without the skill required, then we think tubing will be perfect for you. Soldier Hollow has you covered with a thrill-inducing tubing slope. Hurl yourself down a 1,200-foot hill. When you arrive at the bottom, don’t worry a lift will take your tube back to the top for you so you can spend more time going down a hill at neck break speed. For a two-hour ticket, it will cost $26 for adults and $13 for kids.

7. Hiking

Hiking on your winter vacation may seem like a weird prospect. However, the beauty of the Utah mountains, combined with the whimsical effect of snow, will provide once in a lifetime experiences. The Utah Valley is home to dozens of resorts that offer excellent hiking trails for both beginners and experts alike.

8. Snowshoeing

We have talked about hiking, and now we are going to talk about a unique hiking experience. If you enjoy hiking and want to take that joy into the snow, then you will love snowshoeing. Snowshoes are a type of shoe that makes the process of walking on snow a much simpler one. Most resorts have snowshoes that you will be able to rent for you and your family. The only thing we would recommend is to make sure you have warm clothes and water because snowshoeing is a strenuous activity.

9. Museums

Just because you are in Utah during the winter season doesn’t mean you are required to spend the entire time outdoors. Both art and historical museums are a great way to spend time with your family while at the same time, learning something valuable. For example, the city of Provo is home to the Museum of Art at Brigham Young University, which provides one of the most excellent collections of art in Utah.

a mother and son smiling and sharing a sled

Before you begin any vacation, the most important thing to do is research and stay informed of the places you are traveling to. Utah Valley provides dozens of activities and locations that are guaranteed to make your winter vacation memorable.

Monday, December 23, 2019

A Beginners Guide to Snowmobile Touring

A Beginners Guide to Snowmobile Touring blog cover image

Snowmobiles are a great way to exercise your adventurous side during the cold winter months. After thoroughly researching what type of snowmobile is best for you based on the type of excursion you will embark on, you can begin planning your snowmobile tour. There are some necessary steps and some more intricate steps to take to ensure you have a fun, safe, and unforgettable tour. With this beginner’s guide to snowmobile touring, you will learn how to effectively plan your excursion and grow to become an experienced snowmobiler.

a blue snowmobile poised to head down a snowy canyon

Location, Location, Location

As mentioned above, where you go will highly depend on what you need to bring and for how long you will be gone. Research the type of terrain your snowmobile can handle and be sure to account for the incline. When looking for a place to tour, check the trail's website to ensure they have parking. The trailer needed to haul the snowmobile can be quite lengthy and it would create more of a hassle to park it far away from your intended trail. Asking your local community of snowmobilers is a great place to start; there may be snowmobile complex’s in your area that offers amenities such as restrooms or a lot of room to park.

two snowmobile riders taking it slow on a wide groomed area

Take it Slow

Have you ever been so ambitious about something and it not turn out the way you had hoped? Usually, that is due to taking on too much at once. This same concept applies to snowmobiling. Let’s face it; you are going against freezing temperatures and whatever the current weather has in store for you on your tour. If you take on too much for the first time, you may feel depleted; the ambition can quickly fade away. So, plan ahead and plan small. Start with a small loop, with a wide and flat trail for one day and that can serve as the “ice breaker” you and your snowmobile will need. From there, you can begin planning longer trails with more challenging terrain.

a group of snowmobiles outside the lodge waiting for riders

Analyze your Map

It is not enough to simply know where you’re going to park that trailer and head off on a trail. Study a map of the area so that you don’t get lost or end up on ungroomed trails in private property. Most trails also have intersecting trails, so you want to make sure you stay on the one you had intended to. You can also see the distance and other points of interest on a map that you can venture to. Having always to check the map while you’re moving is not only dangerous but time-consuming. It is also recommended to check the areas department of travel and or forest service website for road conditions and trail information.

an icy snowmobile after its trek to the top of a mountain

Plan your Stay

If you plan on having your snowmobile tour far from home, you need to prepare in advance. Not just to ensure you secure a room during busy months but so that you can research which places can accommodate your trailer. Don’t get stuck sleeping in your vehicle, book ahead. Your map should tell you what lodging is nearby so that you don’t have to travel too long to get back to your trail. Another option is to find a campground that is open year-round. Winter camping is more popular than you might think and can fill up fast. Camping allows you to stay close to or on your trail and will have room to accommodate your trailer.

Know your Gear

Aside from knowing what gear to bring, you need to understand what your equipment is designed to handle. One of the most common issues that beginner snowmobilers run into is that they will wake up to a frozen helmet, windshield, and other frozen accessories because they were not waterproof. If it does happen, a nice trick is to place some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle mixed with water, and it should melt the ice right off your windshield. Other important information to know about your gear is what each piece is for and how to secure it properly. More experienced snowmobilers suggest packing duct tape for quick fixes, should anything go awry.

Packing the Essentials

Besides the obvious - jacket, gloves, snow pants, and beanie, you will want to make sure you are packed for freezing temperatures with the wind chill. Protect your face with a helmet, goggles, and bandana. You can also opt for a full ski mask. Along with warm clothes, you will want to pack thermals, a fleece under a jacket, and a double-lined snow jacket. It sounds like a heavy top, but you will be thankful for it while you’re riding. Bottoms would include thermals, snow pants, thick socks, and snow boots. Extra things to pack should consist of bungee cords, waterproof duffle bags, and thermos’.

Fuel Stops

This is a necessity when it comes to planning an excursion. You need to plan out fuel for you and your snowmobile. Stay hydrated and energized so that you can enjoy a full day of snowmobiling. Fuel stops for your snowmobile should be planned; never pass up the opportunity to stop and top off the tank. You never know when the next time it will be available, and you will be surprised at how fast time gets away from you. Likewise, planning food stops along the way is just as important. Include a few snacks in your snowmobile pack too for when you stop to take in amazing and scenic views along your tour.

Emergency Planning

On the off chance that an emergency should arise; you will need to be prepared. Pack a first aid kit and essential survival tools such as a fire starter, shelter, and a repair kit. Experienced snowmobilers suggest putting your cell phone in a zip-lock bag and placing it a couple of layers inside your jacket. This will prevent it from freezing and keep it dry.

Now that you have a foundation to go off for your snowmobile tour, be sure to have fun and stay safe! Check with local shops and community members for tips and use this beginner’s guide to snowmobile touring to plan accordingly so that your ride is memorable, and you can gain experience and skills.

Monday, December 16, 2019

6 Beautiful Trails to Snowmobile in Wasatch Mountain State Park

6 Beautiful Trails to Snowmobile in Wasatch Mountain State Park blog cover image

It's always amazing when we find hidden gems in our life. Places that will leave you wanting more and with memories to boot. Wasatch Mountain State Park is a hidden gem in Utah that offers not only fun, engaging, and scenic views during warm months but also during the winter. With options like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, you are sure to have fun and not be disappointed. Within Wasatch Mountain State Park, you can find an arena of trails for snowmobiling or OHV’s. The area that this refers to is called the Wasatch Mountain Snowmobile Complex. Some of the trails include Snake Creek, Midway Reservoir, and Cascade Springs. All of which have different variants that will suit your needs.

Wasatch Mountain State Park is in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Utah Department of Transportation. This is a unique park because it provides excellent entertainment and amenities such as restroom facilities, parking, and over 70 miles of regularly groomed snowmobile trails. The golf course - Wasatch Mountain State Park Golf Course, is open only to snowshoe activity and cross-country skiers during the winter season. You can access the park from the welcome center, which is off the intersection of Snake Creek Canyon Road and Warm Springs Drive. The visitor’s center is open from 8am -5pm Mon-Sun. With all of this in mind, this list is a compilation of 6 beautiful trails to snowmobile in Wasatch Mountain State Park, but you should also check out the rest of the park when you have the time.

solo snowmobile rider watching the sun rise from behind the mountains

1. Mill Flat-Tibble Fork

With picturesque and serene views of Lone Peak and Mount Timpanogos, Mill Flat-Tibble Fork trail offers a 15.7-mile roundtrip trail. While you climb up the groomed trails to the summit, you can expect a few switchbacks and snowdrifts. On your descent from the summit, you will have the opportunity to travel through American Fork and into Tibble Reservoir. Whether you are an experienced snowmobiler or just starting, this trail offers a variety of difficulty levels. However, heed caution as some of the trails incorporates steep hills. Most snowmobilers start their day at the trailhead for Mill Flat trail which is three miles up Snake Creek Canyon Road. You can also access the trail from the American-Tibble Fork side. The camping parking lot of Tibble Fork Reservoir offers three groomed snowmobile trails, including the Mill Flat trail.

snowmobile rider crossing groomed terrain

2. Cascade Springs

The Cascade Springs Trail can also be accessed off the same trailhead located in Tibble Fork Reservoir. This 8-mile trail roundtrip offers various beautiful views while you snowmobile. You can enjoy the farmlands from Charleston, views of Heber Valley, and Deer Creek Reservoir. Along this trail, you will also encounter Soldier’s Hollow Olympic site, which was home to the biathlon competition. Finally, near the junction of Decker Pass, you will be immersed in the Cascade Springs beauty of natural springs that surface and pool throughout the canyon. During the warmer months, Cascade Springs is filled with hikers flocking to the tall waterfall to capture its beauty. This trail holds a strong reputation and is the perfect spot to take your snowmobile for the day.

five snowmobile riders lined up as snow falls

3. Cummings Parkway

Known for be a moderate snowmobile trail, Cummings Parkway still provides numerous opportunities to enjoy the beauty of Wasatch Mountain. Like Cascade Springs, you can view the Heber Valley from the summit of the trail. One of the great things about this trail is that it connects with Mill Flat Trail. This will allow for an extended ride past its designated 8.2-mile trail. While the Cummings Parkway trail is wide and flat, the U.S. Forest Service advises that drifting is highly probable on the ridgeline.

snowboarders watch a snowmobile go by pulling a sled

4. Snake Creek Trail

Designed for snowmobilers of all abilities, Snake Creek Trail can be accessed from Heber Valley to the eastern slopes. The 3.9-mile trail will ascend you past the Wasatch Mountain Golf Course and will intersect with the Mill Flat Trail as well. Snake Creek has access to views of Heber Valley following various switchback trails. Many visitors have reported seeing deer and wild turkeys on this trail, so keep your eyes open! The view from the top of the trail is breathtaking and easy to get to since Snake Creek Trail is open for snowmobilers with all types of experience or skills.

looking down on a snowy forest

5. Little Deer Creek Trail

This is one of the longer trails in the Wasatch Mountains. With 6 easy miles of adventurous fun that goes through the canyon, Little Deer Creek is also one of the only designated campgrounds inside this State Park. This means that once you have had a fun-filled day, you can kick back around the campfire and get back to your more primitive roots. You can also enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. However, if you want to stick with snowmobiling and want an even longer ride, Trail 3 intersects with Little Deer Creek Trail and is an additional 12 miles. Seeing the canyon and hearing the quiet serenity of the forest, makes this trail a must-ride.

6. Midway Reservoir Trail

The Midway Reservoir Trail is a great place to ride on because it is a little more adventurous than the others. This trail will take you out of Wasatch Mountain State Park campground and up to Pine Creek Canyon, and then to Midway Reservoir. All of this is done in only 4.8-miles. Don’t venture off this trail, or you will enter private property and ungroomed trails. This trail also features a trailhead with amenities but because they are popular, space can be limited.

Snowmobiling is exciting and will leave you with many memories. Why not create those memories in an unforgettable setting? These six beautiful trails to snowmobile in Wasatch Mountain State Park offer the opportunity to grasp those memories. Whether you are seeking high summits with gorgeous views of Heber Valley or you want to wind through switchbacks in the quiet forest, the trails at this park were made for you.

Monday, December 9, 2019

7 Epic Places to Go Sledding in Utah Valley

7 Epic Places to Go Sledding in Utah Valley blog cover image

Utah is full of winter activities - from the mountain summits to the frozen lakes. Both adults and children can enjoy sledding throughout the winter break. You can use the traditional concave sled, snow tube, sleigh, or opt for a newer method like the snow scooter. While it is easy to grab the top of a garbage bin and head for the nearest ditch, there are many sledding spots in Utah Valley to enjoy. This list is a compilation of 7 epic places to go sledding in Utah Valley.

a wood and metal sled waiting for a rider

1. Tibble Fork Reservoir

Plan for this sledding adventure because this epic spot includes a handful of snowy hills to take your sled down. While the Tibble Fork Reservoir is technically in Provo, Utah, this particular spot is located 17.2 miles north of Provo. There is no groomed, designated sledding hill here, but people who have visited this spot in the past say that there are hills above and below the large parking lot. Most people ride the ridge that follows down the damn, or for more of a thrill, there is a small bowl on the upper hill with a jump. You can spend the day at the lake for free, but the canyon to get to the Reservoir has a toll of $6, so be prepared for that too.

child in a red snow suit sledding down a hill

2. Silver Lake Amphitheater

Open from sunrise to sunset, Silver Lake Amphitheater in Eagle Mountain earns a spot on our list. To find the hills within the Amphitheater, you will need to look for it just off Pony Expressway and Silverlake Parkway. The cost to sled here is free! It would be the perfect opportunity for an impromptu sledding day. The local’s favorite hill is located right in front of the Amphitheater stage. It is large enough to hold a high capacity of people while offering a semi-groomed, moderately steep hill. Other sledding paths provide a stretch of the slope, making it the perfect time for sled races! The Silver Lake Amphitheater is favorite during the rest of the year, and in wintertime, it is no exception.

a mother pulling a small child through the snow on a sled

3. Bicentennial Park

This beautiful park located in Provo will not disappoint. Bicentennial Park offers a wide range of activities during the warmer seasons, but it will not disappoint during winter either. One of the best things about this park is that it is located near a couple of restaurants. So after you're exhausted from a long day of sledding, or you want to take a break, the chance to grab a bite is nearby. Bicentennial Park is a favorite amongst locals due to its tall trees and a little pond. You can find this park at 1400 S 1600 E, Provo. It is next to a residential area as well, so remember to mindful of residents. Bicentennial Park is sure to create lasting memories, so be ready to make a day of it.

two smiling girls on their sleds

4. Cherry Hill Elementary

At Cherry Hill Elementary, you can find beautiful and exhilarating hills to sled. Located in the middle of Orem at 240 E 1800 S, the hills are an excellent spot for little ones and adults. Because of its central location, you can easily have your friends or other family members meet you there or meet new friends while you have fun!

two girls sharing a toboggan as light snow falls

5. Peteetneet Academy

Doubling as a sledding hill and a playground, this epic sledding spot in Utah Valley is a great way to spend the day. The sledding hills are located just next to Peteetneet Academy at 10 N 600 E in Payson and are described as long and sleek. The hills can get busy during weekends, winter break, and holidays so be sure to plan ahead. Even if the hills get busy, it can be beneficial because prior sledders pave the way and pack the snow for a smoother ride. There is no fee to sled down these hills, but bring food, water, and your sled or tube.

a mother and child about to fall off their sled

6. Oak Canyon Junior High

Not your usual sledding spot, but just as amazing as designated sledding hills. Located at 111 S 725 E, Lindon; Oak Canyon Junior High School offers many hills for families to take on. Grab the toboggan and friends for a fun-filled day. Oak Canyon Junior High School is a public space, so the popular winter activity is free to everyone. The hills surrounding the school are perfect for all ages too because they are easy enough to climb back up. Be sure you don’t go during regular school operating hours, as it can be a safety concern for students. When you’re there, don’t forget to take a snapshot of the beautiful mountain view in the background!

7. Rock Canyon Park

A locals’ favorite spot to hit the sledding hills, Rock Canyon Park is full of energy and great times. This is the largest park in Provo and has numerous hills and levels of intensity to choose from. Even if the park looks to be full, rest assured there is still plenty of room for you and your sled! This park is complete with an assortment of amenities including bathrooms, and playgrounds. With plenty of parking options and no entrance fee; Rock Canyon Park has earned itself the number one spot with locals.

As with any winter activity, be sure you prepare yourself by packing warm clothes and extra blankets, gloves, hats, etc. Check the weather and road conditions as well; safety is a number one priority. Once you know you’re prepared, get ready to head to one of these 7 epic spots to go sledding in Utah Valley and create many winter memories.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The 6 Best Skiing Locations In and Around Utah County

The 6 Best Skiing Locations In and Around Utah County blog cover image

Skiing is our Nation’s second-leading winter activity, right behind snowboarding. It is a family-filled event packed with fun, thrill, and beautiful scenery. Utah is known for its vast landscapes and serene deserts, but also for its tall-majestic mountains. In the winter, you can find yourself immersed in the beauty of snowcapped mountains that are home to dozens of light and powdery ski resorts. This is a compilation of the 6 best skiing locations in and around Utah County.

a skiier with a backpack looking down from the top of the mountain

1. Brighton Resort

This wonderful white mountain averages around 500 inches of snow every year. With day tickets starting at just $29, this resort should be on your winter adventure list. The mountain has 66 trails to run on with a vertical range of 1,875 feet. Brighton Resort offers camps and lessons for little kids including ski and snowboarding skills. The best part is that kids under the age of 10 ski free of charge! If you are seeking a less crowded ski resort to play with family, then this would be an ideal spot compared to some of the neighboring resorts. The terrain at Brighton Resort greatly varies which is good for all levels of experience, and you can’t beat the price.

a skiier midair with their skis crossed and arms outstretched

2. Alta Ski Area

The opening day at this ski area is November 29th! Alta Ski Area is a Snowbirds neighbor with 2,614-acres, located in Alta, Utah. Alta Ski Area is a place for only skiers. You can also find one of the best ski schools in the U.S. with diverse terrain and high-volume snow. Alta Ski Area boasts natural trails and you can purchase a ticket to both Alta and Snowbird. For adults, the Alta-Bird pass is $160, and children are $100. Multi-day passes and season passes are also available for sale. When you are done hitting the slopes, stay at one of Alta’s lodges at the base of the lifts and dine on premier dishes. This is a must-see resort for skiers looking to immerse themselves in a natural ski environment.

resort visitors playing in the snow while not skiing

3. Snowbird

Snowbird Ski Resort is near Salt Lake City and is a great place to run the slopes as it is not controlled by the Forest Service. This means that as long as there is snow here, it is open! This place is best for experienced skiers as most of the terrain is rugged and very steep. There are places for beginners here, but the areas are limited. The North face of the mountain gets the freshest powder and makes it a better area to ski on. The lifts are efficient, and Snowbird is a smaller resort that is not packed by city tourists. Ticket prices for half-day at Snowbird is $123 for adults and $62 for youth during peak season. Prices are subject to change but you can save and buy them discounted online.

various skiiers at the top of the run, waiting to go down

4. Deer Valley Resort

This luxury ski resort near Park City delivers the best possible experience for its customers and members. The resort maintains the trails by grooming them like a champion. Their goal is to provide you with the best service so that you do not have to lift a finger once you arrive. Take the blue square run up the 9,570-foot slope and cruise back down to where you began. If you are seeking more a challenge, the Daly Chute #10 Black Diamond is wide at the top, narrow in the midsection, and opens back up towards the end of the run. During your run, you can encounter the crater-like cornice after a gentle slope, this ensures that you receive a challenge to build your skills. The luxury resort also offers snowshoeing and high-quality dining experiences. Prices vary for lift tickets depending on the month and day you plan to visit.

lots of skis standing up against a fence at the bottom of the hill

5. Sundance Mountain Resort

Sundance Mountain Resort is up Provo Canyon and only one-hour away from Salt Lake International Airport. The resort boasts over 450-acres of land with 42 ski runs. A full day pass - 9:00am-4:30pm - for adults ages 13 and older is $90 and children ages 6-12 are $61. From the sweeping curve of the blue square to the steep slopes and gullies of black diamond, you can rest assured that you will challenge yourself and gain new skills. The quiet resort is a beautiful place to get away in its log cabin exterior. When you get to the top of the ridge, you will be immersed in dramatic scenery that captures the very essence of skiing. Sundance also offers night skiing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. At the Nordic Center, you can participate in other snow activities like snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

a skiier dressed in black heading down an extremely steep slope

6. Park City Mountain

Named the #1 most accessible resort by Ski Magazine, Park City Mountain in Park City, Utah is home to 7,300 acres of peaks, bowls, and terrain parks. This park was first opened in 1963 when the last silver miner opened ski lifts on what is now Park City Mountain Resort. Some run highlights include the Aplande - a double blue squared trail where you can gain speed and come out onto the Lower Boa for a slower ride back. There is also Fool’s Paradise - a black diamond trail that hoards the best powder on the other side of the resort. It’s called Fool’s Paradise because it has fewer people on a busy day. A single-day pass to Park City Mountain is $121 for ages 13 and older and $63 for ages 5-12. Other pass options include Park City Youth Pass, Epic Pass, and Epic Local Pass.

After reviewing some of these resorts, I'll bet you can't wait to run into your garage and load up the car with all your ski gear! From within the tall mountains that are home to luxury resorts like Deer Valley, natural resorts such as Alta, and the champion-groomed trails of Park City Mountain; these 6 best skiing locations in and around Utah County will fulfill that inner winter adventure seeker!

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 - 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.


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 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:

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!

Monday, November 4, 2019

The 9 Best Craft Breweries in Utah

The 9 Best Craft Breweries in Utah blog cover image

There is nothing quite like sitting down at a brewery and sipping on a cold, well-crafted beer. Whether you seek Ale, Lager, or another unique beer, Utah has an abundance of beers crafted by experienced brewers. While you might be used to the taste of corporate companies’ brews, there is a special experience about sampling various types of hand-crafted beer. Small-company breweries put a lot of hard work into crafting their beer, ensuring that every sip is delicious and has just the right amount of flavor and ABV percentage. This list of 9 best craft breweries in Utah will reveal a variety of craft breweries and what they offer while you are enjoying the beauty of Utah.

a colorful lineup of craft beers

1. RoHa Brewing Project - Salt Lake City

This locally-owned brewery has been handcrafting beer for over two decades. The name derives from the original owners - Rob Phillips and Chris Haas (RoHa). The RoHa Brewing Project uses engineering knowledge and analysis skills to bring their customers great tasting beer. The owners want you to know that while there are many breweries there is always room for better tasting, crafted beer. This brewery offers pale ale, deep ale, IPA, and some seasonal drafts like Pumpkin Black and Back Porch Pale Ale. Pair it with a delicious dessert and this local hotspot is sure to please!

rows and stacks of silver beer kegs

2. Salt Flats Brewing - Salt Lake City

This brewery prides itself on crafting beers for a classic time when people would drink beer to enjoy their time around friends and family. Started in a garage, and geared towards racing fans, this brewery is ready to take you around the racetrack with Ales, Wits, Lagers, and Stouts. Salt Flats brews smooth 4% ABV beers. This means that you can stay longer and have a session with others without getting inebriated in the first two rounds.

a row of silver tanks used for brewing

3. Uinta Brewing - Salt Lake City

Started in 1993, Uinta Brewing crafts a variety of beers including Hop Nosh IPA, Double IPA, Golden Ale, Pilsner, Lager, and Kolsch. Interesting fact, this brewery was the first business in Utah to go 100% wind-powered. Check out their website for a full timeline of their history and how they continue to bring their customers delicious beer. If you are looking for a brewery that is truly a family, then look no further than Uinta Brewing.

front entrance to Bohemian Brewery with their distinct green logo

4. Bohemian Brewery - Midvale

Using their traditional knowledge and skill of brewing, Bohemian Brewery opened its doors in 2001. The owner and his family harnessed their ancestral brewing techniques that can be dated back to the 1200s. Here, you can sit down and enjoy a classic Lager using old brewing methods. You can also experience a brewery tour to see the exciting process of Bohemian crafting. Tours are done on the first Wednesday of each month. Pair your Lager with an old-world European food choice and this brewery will surely take you back in time.

a sampler platter of 20 different beers and ales

5. Red Rock Brewing - Salt Lake City

This award-winning brewery serves high-quality crafted beers and amazing food! Red Rock Brewing opened in 1994 and has been a hot commodity since. Here you can enjoy draft classics that are under 5% ABV, Fine Lines beer, and an Artist Palette sample. All of which have been selected to bring you the best-tasting experience in Salt Lake City.

a group of friends all raising their glasses together

6. Desert Edge Brewery - Salt Lake City

With the tagline of “Damn Good Beer”, how could you not stop into this brewery? Desert Edge Brewery has been serving up crafted beer since the 1970s and offers a large menu of different beers. Some of the featured crafts are Utah Pale Ale, Latter-Day Stout, Game Day Red Ale, Vienna Lager, and you can sample a guest craft as well. Desert Edge Brewery believes that a small-business mindset is best for customers because it provides an authentic experience compared to a corporate company.

several copper brewing tanks so large that a ladder is needed

7. Epic Brewing Company - Salt Lake City

Priding itself on being Utah’s first brewery to sell high alcohol content beer since the prohibition, Epic Brewing Company is a go-to spot for locals. There are three series of beers that are unique to Epic Brewing Company: Utah Series, Elevated Series, and Exponential Series. Epic Brewery uses 22-oz bottles to showcase their beer but there are 12-oz cans available in selected beer. From the classic taste of drafts to the pucker of a sour IPA, this brewery will leave you coming back for more.

adobe-styled exterior of Moab Brewery

8. Moab Brewery - Moab

Being Moab’s only microbrewery and distillery along with being the largest restaurant, Moab Brewery is busy every day. Don’t let that stop you from checking out their many crafted beers. Grab a Pilsner on tap, a canned Lager, or a bottle of Scotch Ale. While you sip on your crafted beer, enjoy a pub burger or one of their other various types of food on the menu. Moab Brewery is in the beautiful red rocks of Moab, so be sure to head out for sight-seeing afterward.

9. Wasatch Brew Pub - Park City

Established in 1986, Wasatch Brew Pub is among the most acknowledged brewery in Utah. With locations in Park City and Salt Lake City, Wasatch Brew Pub brings its customers delicious, crafted beer including Apricot Hefeweizen, Nitro Porter, and Pale Lager. These are just a few items on their long list of brews. Stop in at either of their locations to experience a wholesome menu and friendly staff. Wasatch Brew Pub caters towards tradition and stakes claim of bringing breweries and microbreweries back to Utah.

Utah has a lot to offer whether you are a local or a tourist. When you are done exploring the tall mountains, hanging out on a lake, or hiking through the red rocks of Moab you can stop in, relax and enjoy various crafted beers and a delicious bite to eat. The best part about all these breweries is that they are made from hard-working people who have invested their time in providing customers with the very best of beer. Whether you seek a dark ale or pale IPA, this list of breweries will leave your taste buds satisfied.