The Holiday Season in Park City

photo credit: On the Snow

photo credit: On the Snow

There are many reminders throughout the year that Park City is, truly, a small town, and the holiday season is definitely one of them.

As visitors fly in to celebrate the holiday season in Park City, the town steps up to welcome them all. Park City offers events throughout December that blend tourists and locals into a happy quilt of diversity during the Season of Light.

Jump right into the spirit of things with your children by participating in the Giving Tree Festival. This second annual incarnation of the Park City Rotary Club-sponsored event features a parade of individually-decorated trees at locations around town, each of which is being auctioned off to benefit the charity it honors. A great place to start is at the Park City Visitor Information Center (at Kimball Junction on the west side S.R. 224 – across from Redstone), where two of the trees are located. Grab a map and be sure to stamp your visit at each location, as completed maps (those with at least 15 stamps) can be submitted by Dec. 2 for a chance to win prizes! The event culminates on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 2- 5 p.m., with a community celebration featuring Santa at the Treasure Mountain Inn (top of Main Street across from Wasatch Brew Pub).

Also on December 3rd, Park City Resort begins a holiday tradition with a tree-lighting ceremony at Canyons Village. Starting at 2:30 p.m., the event includes live music from Candy’s River House, followed by s’mores, ornament and cookie decorating at 4:30 (while supplies last), culminating in the tree lighting at 6 p.m. For more information, click here.

That night, join a locals’ favorite and adults-only tradition – the Park City Santa Pub Crawl on Main Street. The format has changed this year from a structured start at just one location, to a more freeform event, with participants invited to begin at any of the participating locations. Creative costumes are encouraged, and organizers are suggesting folks bring cash to make it easier on the bartenders. This year’s locations include Butcher’s Chop House & Bar (751 Main), The Cabin (825 Main – Candy’s Riverhouse will be playing live, and there’s no cover for those in costume), Downstairs (625 Main – bring an unwrapped toy for the annual toy drive), No Name Saloon & Grill (447 Main), Rock & Reilly’s (427 Main) and O.P. Rockwell (268 Main, where Rage Against the Supremes will be performing). More information is available on the event’s Facebook page.

The annual holiday celebration at Park City Ice Arena will be held on Dec. 7, with a visit from Santa, free skating and rentals, face painting, carols, holiday ornament-making, cookies and hot chocolate from 5 – 7 p.m. This year, Santa and his elves will feature a surprise guest during their on-ice performance! Click here for more information.

Jolly Old St. Nick makes his highly-anticipated arrival via Park City’s Town Lift on Saturday, Dec. 17, continuing a beloved tradition that begins at 5:30 p.m. on the Town Lift Plaza. Click here for details.

Deer Valley Resort welcomes Santa on Dec. 24th, where he’ll be greeting guests from 9 – 11 a.m. in the Snow Park Lodge area. From 12 – 1:30 p.m., look for him in the Silver Lake Lodge area.

Dec. 24th is also the date for the 54th annual Torch Light Parade at Park City Resort. The celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. at Park City Base Area with complimentary holiday music, cookies and cocoa, followed by the on-hill parade.

Hanukkah begins the evening of Dec. 24 this year, and Park City’s Temple Har Shalom has historically held a celebration at their beautiful location on S.R. 224. Check out their calendar for more details.

On Dec. 30, Deer Valley Resort holds its torchlight parade on Big Stick Run (behind Snow Park Lodge), beginning at dusk, or around 6 p.m. Complimentary hot cider and cookies will be served on the Snow Park Plaza from 5:45 – 6 p.m.

Park City Resort’s New Year’s Celebration will be at Canyons Village Stage, starting with DJ Velvet at 3 p.m., followed by Metro Music Club at 5:30, and topped off by fireworks at 7:30.

The holiday spirit extends to neighboring communities, as evidenced by the Heber Valley Railroad’s beloved North Pole Express. Just 20 minutes from Old Town, the very special experience runs through Dec. 24, and pays homage to the classic children’s novel, “The Polar Express.” It’s a 90-minute trip to the North Pole that includes Mrs. Claus’ famous chocolate chip cookies, cocoa, songs and of course Santa, who presents each child with a special gift. Available dates, departure times and tickets can be found by clicking here, where you can choose from First Class or Coach, but purchase early, as popular dates always sell out.

This year marks the final season of Ballet West’s current production of “The Nutcracker,” which will make way for a new version in 2017. (Younger kids might enjoy Ballet West Academy’s abbreviated, yet fully-costumed, version at 2 & 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, at The Eccles Center.) Staged at the century-old Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City, it’s worth the 30-minute drive from Park City to experience the land of the of the Sugar Plum Fairy in person. If you’re going to one of the matinee performances, be sure to stick around for the after-show Sugar Plum Party held right on the stage with cast members, cookies, punch and an ornament, all for just $11 per ticket. For dates, times and tickets, call 801-869-6900 or click here.

While you’re downtown, head over to Temple Square to check out the legendary Christmas Lights and Nativity scenes, approximately two blocks from the Capitol Theatre (take the TRAX train for free up Main Street). The impressive display attracts visitors from all over the world, illuminating daily at 5:30 p.m. You can plan your visit to coincide with one of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s concerts, a not-to-be-missed experience for folks of all faiths.

From holiday activities for the entire family, to intimate dinners at one of Park City’s celebrated eateries, December is just one more reason so many people Choose Park City for their primary and second homes. Call me today to help you choose yours!

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