Are you looking for things to do in Utah in Winter? Perfect! Get ready to plan some fun winter activities in Utah.
Visiting Utah in the Winter or just planning a Utah winter staycation is a great choice!
If you think of skiing when you think of Utah in winter, that is a great thought to have! Utah offers world-class skiing. But it also offers a wide variety of other, amazing winter activities in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas.
In this post, we are going to go over Utah winter vacation ideas, fun Christmas activities in Utah as well as other fun winter activities in Utah. After reading this you will want to plan a Utah winter vacation!
Let's explore some of the fun things to do in winter in Utah!
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Utah Winter – All About Winter Activities in Utah
Before we jump into all of the fun things to do in winter in Utah, let's answer some questions you might have about Utah Winter.
Is Utah Good to Visit in Winter?
Yes! If you love winter sports, Utah is one of the best winter destinations in the USA. The temperatures can vary from season to season but for the most part, Utah rarely gets extremely cold in the valley.
Is it Hard to Drive in Utah in Winter?
It doesn't snow every day in winter, for the most part driving in Utah in Winter is great. If it does snow, Salt Lake City has an amazing road crew. The plows will run all night long and all day to keep the roads safe. The most important thing to remember is to be careful when driving in snow. Hopefully, you won't find yourself in a snowstorm!
If you are skiing there are parking lots at the base of the canyons where you can park and then take public transportation up to the ski resorts. It is very convenient and much safer.
What is There to Do in Salt Lake City in Winter?
This is a great question! The rest of this post will be about all the fun things to do in Utah in Winter and many of them are in Salt Lake City. I know many people worry about what to do in Salt Lake City if they do not ski but don't worry there are many fun Utah winter activities to enjoy.
1. Utah Ski Trip
Skiing is one of the most popular Utah Winter activities. 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!) Utah 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.
Locals will tell you, 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
Skiing is one of the best things to do in Salt Lake City in Winter!
2. Midway Ice Castle
If you are looking for other winter activities in Utah be sure to check out Midway Utah. There are so many fun things to do in Midway Utah in Winter including the Midway Ice Castle. Typically, this venue opens in early January. It is one of the best Utah attractions in Winter.
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 -22 per person
We love going to the castle. Most people prefer to go during the night when it is lit up but if you have little kids the daytime is perfect because it is warmer and not as crowded. (Making it easier to keep track of your kids.)
We love that there is 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!
Utah Winter Vacation Idea
If you are traveling to see the Midway Ice Castle plan to stay in the area. The ice castle is located on the property of the Homestead Resort. This locally owned resort is really cool. There is a geothermal hot spot where you can swim even in winter.
One of the most dreamy dining experiences is also in Midway. Imagine yourself surrounded by beautiful mountains covered in snow, then encapsulate yourself in a bubble so that you are nice and warm. The Café Galleria has Alpen globes where you can have amazing views and be warm! If you want to live the Utah Winter dream, Midway is the place to go.
Midway is a great area for a Utah winter weekend vacation!
3. Soldiers Hollow
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!
4. Woodward Park City Snow Tubing
Another location for tubing is the Woodward Park City Tubing Hill. It is located in Park City, Utah. This is a new tubing area that replaced the Gorgoza Park Tubing Hill.
There are lots of Utah Winter activities at Woodward. There is an indoor trampoline park, a ski lift with a few slopes, and of course snow tubing. If you are visiting Utah in the Winter, Woodward should be on your list.
Prices can vary from $40-$80
10:00am – 6:00pm
Each session is 2 hours long.
Snowshoeing is a fun Utah winter activity. A lot of ski resorts offer trails designated for snowshoeing, including beginner trails and tours.
If you have never snowshoed before or if you just want a more experienced guide, there are private guided snowshoe excursions in Park City.
Snow Shoe Trails
Some of the resorts that have trails 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.
6. 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!
This is one of the best things to do in Utah in Winter if you are staying near Salt Lake.
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 is a free Utah winter activity! This event runs from November 21 to December 31.
This is a Utah Christmas activity we enjoy almost every year.
7. Ice Skating at Gallivan Center
Image courtesy of Visit Salt Lake City[/caption]
If ice skating outdoors is your idea of the perfect Utah winter activity, then 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 great option for Utah winter activities.
Adults: $12 (Includes Skate Rental)
Children: $10 (13 and under)
Weekdays – 4 pm – 9 pm
Weekends – 12 pm -12 am
Holiday hours vary.
There is also outdoor skating rinks located in Midway as well as Millcreek Common Skate Loop. Ice skating is a favorite Utah winter activity.
8. Polar Express
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 it to get somewhere quick. Instead, you are there to enjoy the sights both on 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. Buy your tickets in early October otherwise, you will not get to experience this Utah winter activity.
We have been a few times. Once when our kids were little and as recently as last year. Our kids had a great time on both occasions. 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!
It is one of the Utah Christmas activities we have really enjoyed over the years and one of the best things to do in Utah in Winter.
9. Grand America Christmas Displays
Christmas time is a great time to visit Salt Lake City. One of the best Christmas activities in Utah is located at The Grand America. 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 of how big the hotel is, it will take you at least 30 minutes to walk around and look at each display.
Ginger Bread House
The hotel also has a two-story gingerbread 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!
10. 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. It is one of the best Utah Christmas activities in the area.
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 Utah Christmas events at This is the Place Heritage Park!
It is one of the best Utah Winter activities to add to your list!
The Christkinlmakt is free! It is also located at This is the Place Park. It is typically the first weekend in December.
There are live performances, specialty shops, delicious German cuisine, and even traditional German Christmas characters such as Krampus.
It is a fun way to experience a German Christmas market right in Salt Lake City. It is a fun thing to do in Winter in Utah.
We had so much fun shopping. There are beautiful German candle fans and ornaments. We also loved eating the delicious poffertjes and the kinderpunsch.
It was super scary seeing Krampus! I had to go home and do some research on what he was all about! Overall we had a wonderful time and I would highly recommend going!
This is one of the best Salt Lake City winter activities. We have made it a tradition to go every year.
12. Zoo Lights
Image Courtesy of Hogle Zoo[/caption]
If you are looking for Utah Christmas activities, 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 – 9:00 pm.
This event is around $14.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids.
This is a great Utah winter activity and tradition for many Utah families. It is one of the Utah Christmas activities that is very popular.
13. Giving Machines
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 or nearby in downtown Salt Lake City. Last year they were at City Creek just outside of the food court.
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 on one side there are choices for your local community and the United States. The other side is dedicated to third-world countries.
We love 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!
Check to see if there is one near you – Giving Machines
The Giving Machines are one of the best Christmas activities in Utah.
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!
It is one of our favorite Utah winter activities!
15. 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 utah Winter activities you might want to try this year!
16. 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.
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 her 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 hearts. Each tree honors those that have passed.
We love walking around and looking at all the beautiful trees. Some of these trees sell for thousands of dollars.
There are food options, and there is a staging area for concerts. You should add this to your Utah Christmas activities list.
17. Utah Christmas Activities – Christmas Light Displays
Image courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS.[/caption]
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 that are AMAZING! The most famous Christmas concert is performed by the Tabernacle at Temple Square with a featured celebrity guest.
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
All of these Utah Christmas events are exceptional!
18. Go See a Play – A Christmas Carol
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!
19. Tuacahn Nativity
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 8:00 pm Nov 27th – December 23rd. Cost is $5 per person. The train ride through the Padre Canyon is $3 and runs at 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm.
Enjoying the lights at Tuachan is a free winter activity in Utah and one of the best Utah Christmas activities!
20. 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!
South Jordan Utah also holds a Santa Sprint 5K in December.
21. Dicken's Festival
Image Courtesy of Real Estate of St. George Utah[/caption]
The Dickens' Festival is an 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.
If you love Charles Dickens and the time period of that classic story you will love the Dicken's Festival. It is a fantastic Utah winter and Christmas event to attend.
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 Utah winter activities that will help make this season so much better. I like that there are lots of fun things to do in Utah in Winter but also that there are special Christmas activities in Utah on this list. Have so much fun!
If you want to learn more about Utah, I have you covered. From Spring Break in Utah, Fall Break in Utah, to the Utah National Parks. Also, be on the lookout for all the fun things to do in Utah with kids and the best Utah hikes with kids.
If you have any questions about Utah winter activities 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.