Are you looking for things to do in Utah in Winter? Perfect! Get ready to plan some winter activities in Utah?
If you think skiing when you think of Utah, that is a great thought to have! Utah offers world class skiing. But it also offers a wide variety of other, amazing activities in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas.
Let’s explore some of the fun things to do in winter in Utah!
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Utah Ski Trip
Utah has the “greatest snow on earth” according to a study done at the University of Utah. (I am sure it wasn’t biased in any way!) Salt Lake City has 10 ski resorts.
Popular Ski Resorts
Park City, Deer Valley, Solitude, and Sundance are the more popular tourist ski resorts. They have beautiful accommodations. Park City is a great town with lots of shopping and entertainment for when you are off the slopes.
In my opinion, Alta is one of the best ski resorts because it has a higher elevation than the others and you can be sure to have the best snow.
Beginner Ski Resort
Midway Ice Castle
If you are looking for other winter activities in Utah, one place to explore is the Midway Ice Castle. Typically, this venue opens in early January.
Midway, Utah is located close to Park City. The Midway Ice Castle is a hand-crafted ice structure. There are tunnels and slides made of ice to explore. It really is a beautiful work of art. The ice castle is built entirely by hand using hundreds of thousands of icicles. The ice castle includes LED-lit ice sculptures (at night), ice thrones, ice carved tunnels, and slides.
The ice castle tickets range from $17 -21 per person
We loved going to the castle. Most people prefer to go during the night when it is lit up but if you have little kids the day time is perfect because it is warmer and not as crowded. (Making it easier to keep track of your kids.)
We loved that there was hot chocolate and snacks available to eat right inside the castle.
The Midway ice castle is the perfect place to take amazing pictures! It is one of the best things to do in Utah in Winter!
Soldiers Hollow is located near Midway. It offers the longest snow tubing lanes in Utah. This 1,200-foot track is so fun! And the best part is that you do not have to walk back up the hill. There is a lift service for towing people up.
A trip to the Soldier Hollow tubing is the perfect Utah winter activity! This adventure will have you racing to get back to the top of the hill to go again and again.
Weekdays (Monday- Thursday) | 4 pm to 6 pm
Fridays | 10 am to 8 pm
Saturdays | 10 am to 8 pm
Sundays | 12 pm to 2 pm
Weekend (Fri-Sun) 2 Hour Session
Youth (ages 6-12): $23
Child (ages 3-5): $13
Soldiers Hollow is so much fun!
Snowshoeing is a fun Utah winter activity. A lot of the ski resorts offer trails designated for snowshoeing, including beginner trails and tours.
Some of the resorts that have trail are:
- Cherry Peak Resort
- Park City Mountain
- Sundance Mountain Resort
- Alta and Snowbird Resorts
- Snowbasin Resort
In southern Utah Cedar Breaks National Monument and Brian Head Ski Resort have some great options.
Snowshoeing is like hiking in the winter! If you like hiking and cold weather you will probably like snowshoeing. My husband really enjoyed snowshoeing with friends. It is nice to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
The Elves at Gardner Village
Gardner Village is a cute boutique shopping area located in West Jordan, Utah, about 20 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City.
During different seasons the village is decorated for a holiday. During winter, there are elves placed all over the property. You can go on a scavenger hunt to find the elves. When you are done you can go to the bakery and get a cookie!
My kids love going and searching for all the elves. They have so much fun and if the weather is nice, it is even enjoyable for mom!
Gardner Village is open during normal business hours and this activity is free! This event runs November 21 to December 31.
Ice Skating at Gallivan Center
If ice skating outdoors is your idea of the perfect winter activity, than the Gallivan Center is a perfect choice.
Bundle up and get outside for some fun. The ice rink is located in downtown Salt Lake City, and is a block from a shopping district called City Creek (you can stop there to see Santa during Christmas time and do some shopping).
This outside venue is a fun Utah winter activity. It is not operating for the 2020-2021 season but you can include this fun activity in the future!
Another place close to Park City to have some winter fun is Heber, Utah. Heber is home to “The Heber Creeper” a train ride for every season. True to its name, this rail ride creeps along. But you are not on to get somewhere quick. Instead, you are there to enjoy the sights both in the train and outside.
In the winter, the Heber Creeper becomes the Polar Express. This is one of the best things to do in Utah in winter! The train provides hot chocolate and candy canes. And of course Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus make an appearance.
Train tickets cost $35-$75 depending on what class of ticket and dates. Obviously, the closer to Christmas the more expensive it gets.
We went a few years ago and the kids had a great time. You could look out the window and see holiday decorations. Santa and Mrs. Claus came to each train and handed out cookies and hot cocoa. Our kids loved the experience!
Grand America Christmas Displays
Christmas time is a great time to visit Salt Lake City. The Grand America is one of the nicest hotels in the Salt Lake Area.
During Christmas time you can walk around the main floor of the hotel to see Christmas displays portraying “The night before Christmas” poem. To give you an idea on how big the hotel is, it will take you at least 30 minutes to walk around and look at each display.
The hotel also has a two story ginger bread house. Get your cameras ready! There will be a hotel employee to hand out a special treat, and to take pictures if you’d like. You do not have to stay at the hotel to experience this. It is a great free winter activity in Utah!
This Is the Place Heritage Park Candle Light Processional
This is the place park is an outdoor area located east of Salt Lake City, close to the University of Utah. The area is very large, and is open all year, offering a re-creation of a pioneer village. During Christmas they have a special Christmas event.
You will go back in time and celebrate Christmas as the pioneers did. There are many crafts and activities available throughout the park.
The highlight for my kids was the bakery. Homemade fresh baked gingerbread men are available for free!
My kids also liked the Christmas carolers. The carolers are dressed in pioneer attire and will show up at many of the historic houses. Making candles and seeing Santa Claus is another bonus of this event.
We really enjoyed the Christmas events at This is the Place Heritage Park!
The Hogle Zoo is located across the street from This Is the Place Heritage Park. The zoo puts on a magical display of lights every night in December from 5:30 – 9:00pm.
This event is around $10 for adults and $8 for kids.
This is a great Utah winter activity, and tradition for many Utah families.
This is one of my favorite Utah Winter activities. The Giving Machines provide a service opportunity for you and your family.
These machines are located on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Go ahead and walk in the building, and to your right you should see large, red vending machines.
There will be ropes to help you know where to stand in line. Employees will hand you what looks like a menu, showing you the vending machines’ offerings. You can choose to donate chickens, vaccines, and more.
I always want to do something special during the holiday season and this is the perfect service project. When you get a menu, you will see that one side there are choices for your local community and for the United States. The other side is dedicated to third world countries.
We loved picking out different items that specifically went to certain people. It was an incredible experience. We can’t wait to do this in the future!
This amazing activity will have to be put on hold this year but hopefully will return once the pandemic is over.
If you do not want to spend a lot of money sledding is the perfect winter activity in Utah. Most of the local parks on the East side of Salt Lake City have nice sledding hills.
We like to go to a place called Iron Mesa Park located in Sandy, Utah. The hill is unreal! But there are many other parks to choose from.
It’s best to go after a recent snowstorm. The one downside to this awesome hill is that the slope is southward facing, which gets a lot of sun in the winter. But the hill is so big that you can still manage with bare spots.
We pack up our sleds and bring hot chocolate in a thermos. It’s a great time!
Ice Fishing on Strawberry Reservoir
A winter activity in Utah that you may enjoy is ice fishing. I actually have never done this activity but my brother in law does this every year. Strawberry Reservoir is located 23 miles east of Heber City.
If ice fishing is new to you there are ice fishing rental companies that will actually drop everything you need off at the fishing site. The best time to ice fish at Strawberry Reservoir is early in the season (as soon as the ice is thick). Some people actually catch fish that are 18-24 inches long. This might be one of those activities you might want to try this year!
Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees is one of my favorite Utah winter activities because it helps those in need. Located at the Sandy Expo Center in Sandy, Utah, the space is quite large. (2020 it is virtual)
People in the community will decorate beautiful trees, and you have the chance to buy them. The proceeds go to a charitable cause.
My sister-in-law had a neighbor that died of ALS. She and friends have been making a tree each year, and the proceeds of the tree go to Primary Children’s Hospital. Others have lost family members to cancer, or have other causes close to their hears. Each tree honors those that have passed.
We love walking around and looking at all the beautiful trees. Some of these trees sale for thousands of dollars.
There are food options, and there is a stage area for concerts.
Christmas Light Display's
There are lots of displays around Salt Lake City, Utah. The most popular location is Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake, but the temple is under construction right now and I believe the light display is on hold until they are finished. Temple Square offers many Christmas concerts as well but this year they will be virtual.
Displays in Utah
- Temple Square – Salt Lake City
- Thanksgiving Point Luminaria – Lehi
- Christmas in Color – South Jordan and Provo
- Tree of Life – Draper
- Festival of Lights – Spanish Fork
- Zoo Lights – Salt Lake City
- Riverwoods – Provo
Go See a Play
We love the theatre! Around Christmas time the Hale Center Theatre has a spectacular Christmas Carol production. My kids are big fans!
We also like to see as many of the plays that are offered throughout the winter. Hale Center Theatre is a local theatre. The Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake is where you will want to go to see the off-broadway shows. We enjoy both venues and think this is one of the best things to do in Utah in winter!
If you want to go south, there are a couple of great options in St. George, Utah. One is called the Tuachan Christmas in the Canyon. Tuacahn is an outdoor amphitheater in Ivins, just outside of St. George. This event offers a live Nativity, train ride, and Santa greeting.
This 20 minute show is available at 7:00 pm and 8:00pm Nov 27th – December 23rd. Cost is $3 per person. The train ride through the Padre Canyon is $2 and runs at 6:00pm and 8:30pm.
You can enjoy all the lights at Tuacahn free of charge.
Run a Race in St. George
Southern Utah has some beautiful weather in the winter. Several races are held in January and February. The St. George half Marathon is one of the bigger races to look forward to.
This is probably one of those things to do in winter in Utah you didn’t think of! I know I didn’t at first!
The Dickens’ Festival is a Olde English craft fair. There are period costumes, shops, and boutiques. This event is usually held the first week of December in Northern and Southern Utah. This year St. George will be the only venue available.
If you love Charles Dickens and the time period of that classic story you will love the Dicken’s Festival.
Things to Do in Winter in Utah
Hopefully, this gives you some great ideas of things to do in winter in Utah! It is such a great time of year! There are plenty of winter activities that will help make this season so much better. Have so much fun!
If you have any questions about Utah winter activates or other upcoming trips come join me in my private Facebook Group.
This group is a place where you can ask any question about your upcoming trip and help others plan their trips. It is also a place where I put travel deals.