Top 6 Christmas Activities at Temple Square in December

Top 6 Christmas Activities at Temple Square in December

Feature photo can be found here: Salt Lake Temple – Christmas Pathway by Lance Bertola

The holiday season is definitely the most magical and wondrous time of the year to visit Temple Square and the Salt Lake Temple. Every year after Thanksgiving, the 35 acres are completely transformed by Christmas lights, decorations, and several nativities placed on the grounds for the holiday season. Every part of the decorations—from the white Nativity scene surrounded by floating lights in the reflecting pool, to the luminaria around the square, and the inspiring music and concerts—is meant to draw attention to the story of Christ’s birth.

There is so much to do in December! Besides seeing the thousands of Christmas lights, free concerts (from schools, to church choirs, to bands) and performances are taken to a whole new level. So whether you’re a local or a visitor from afar, make sure you do these top 5 activities when you visit Temple Square!

1. Christmas Lights

Every season on Temple Square is beautiful, but Christmas time is particularly special. The brightest and most remarkable phenomenon that happens is when Temple Square comes alive with thousands and thousands of lights.

Along with the lights, find inspiration in the handmade paper lanterns bearing the message of “peace” in many different languages, as well as the variety of ethnic nativity scenes on display at the Church Office Building plaza.

Visitors are welcome to come see the lights any time during the Christmas season from dusk until 10:00 p.m. through December 31.

2. Nativity Scenes

Not to be missed is the life size nativity scene staged on the lawn in front of the North Visitors Center, bringing focus to the reason for the season. Here you can gather to listen to the story of the birth of Christ.

Other nativity sets on Temple Square include one at Main Street Plaza in the middle of the reflection pool and the ethnic nativities on the Church Office Building plaza.

3. Free Concerts

Choral and musical groups will present free music, carols, and songs of the season at a variety of venues. You can find out more information here. Adults and children of all ages are welcome to attend any of the Christmas performances.

Performing groups include high school and collegiate student choruses, ensembles, and madrigals from Utah and surrounding states, as well as children’s choruses, community choirs, and other musical groups.

4. #LightTheWorld at the Giving Machines

Be sure to take part in the 2018 Light The World campaign by visiting the giving machines in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building! There are five around the world this year, and you can help others in need by making a purchase at the giving machines. These special “vending machines” have things you can purchase from coats and glasses to goats and water filters for people in need. Each donation will help someone, and that’s what the Christmas spirit is all about. Don’t miss this opportunity for the whole month of December!

5. Savior of the World

Savior of the World is a sacred and beautiful musical drama based on scriptural accounts of the birth and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Performances are Friday, November 16, through Saturday, December 29, and are presented at the Conference Center Theater (located in the northwest corner of the Conference Center) on Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. Reserve $10 tickets at

6. Indoor Christmas Decorations

Each building at Temple Square receives special attention when it comes to Christmas decorations. Themed decorations, dazzling trees, and pretty much everything to set the right mood for the celebrations. Be sure to visit the North Visitors’ Center, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and the Church History Museum!