It’s the most wonderful time of year and the holiday season is in full swing in downtown Salt Lake City—specifically Temple Square.
Strolling around the temple and Church sites is a fun family tradition many enjoy, but there’s more to it than just the bright lights. As you walk around the temple and enjoy the Christmas spirit, take some time during your visit to explore the many wonderful things Temple Square has to offer during the holiday season.
1. Attend the Temple Square holiday performances.
Local church and school music groups often perform at different venues around Temple Square. The performances for this year can be found in the Assembly Hall, the Church History Museum, the Church Office Building, the Conference Center, the Family History Library, the lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the North Visitors' Center, and the Tabernacle. You can get the full performance schedule here.
View this post on Instagram If you haven't already, come kick off your Christmas Season at Temple Square tonight! We are performing at 3 PM in the JSMB, 4 PM in the Church History Library, and 7 PM in the North Visitors Center! Photo by Steven R. Evans A post shared by The Larks (@singinglarks) on Nov 30, 2018 at 1:25pm PST
2. Visit the Nauvoo Cafe for some hot chocolate.
You’re going to get cold while walking around the light displays, especially if it’s snowing. The Nauvoo Cafe in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building has delicious hot chocolate so you can warm up after you’ve made your rounds seeing the lights.
View this post on Instagram Christmas time is here!! Come warm up with a delicious cup of hot cocoa before you go see the lights on Temple square! 😍☕️🎉#josephsmithmemorialbuilding #templesquare #nauvoocafe #LightsAtTempleSquare #dinelocalslc #visitsaltlake #brightenyourdayatthenauvoocafe #hotcocoa A post shared by Nauvoo Café (@nauvoocafe) on Dec 1, 2016 at 4:31pm PST
3. Watch Mr. Krueger's Christmas in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
There’s nothing like an uplifting movie to put you in the Christmas spirit. Starting at 4:30 p.m. every night in the Legacy Theater, Mr. Kreuger’s Christmas plays every 45 minutes and The Nativity: A Bible Story plays between showtimes. Both films are free and open to the public, and seats are available on a first come, first served basis. The last showing of Mr. Kreuger’s Christmas is at 8:15 p.m. and the last showing of The Nativity: A Bible Story is at 8:45 p.m.
View this post on Instagram In 1980, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produced a Christmas special called Mr. Krueger’s Christmas. It is a heartwarming Christmas story that featured the famous actor, Jimmy Stewart and was originally broadcast on NBC, December 21, 1980. You can now see this Christmas classic film with your friends and family on Temple Square in the Legacy Theater, located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. See show times at the Legacy Theater in the link found in our profile. A post shared by Mormon Newsroom (@mormonnewsroom) on Nov 23, 2018 at 12:01pm PST
4. Explore the North Visitors' Center.
The North Visitors' Center has some incredible things to see and explore. You can walk through the lifelike displays of Book of Mormon stories and see beautiful artwork along the walls. But what people really love to see is the 11-foot statue of Jesus Christ. The beautiful, star-filled room with the Christus in the center is stunning and invites the Spirit.
View this post on Instagram The #Christus portraying the #SaviorOfTheWorld #JesusChrist on display in the #NorthVisitorsCenter #TempleSquare #SaltLakeCity #salt_lake_city_pics #instaslc #instautah #Canon7DmarkII 📷📸📲📱 A post shared by David C. Moore (@saltlakecitydave) on Apr 3, 2017 at 10:25pm PDT
5. Stop by the giving machines to #LightTheWorld.
The giving machines in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building are up and running! There are five around the world this year, and you could help others by making a purchase. The 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.
View this post on Instagram Utah Refugee Connection was one of the local charities selected to participate in the #LightTheWorld Giving Machines Campaign. If you are downtown, stop by the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and purchase an item to benefit local refugees and the Utah Refugee Connection. You can purchase a sewing kit, picture dictionary, an essentials kit, a volleyball, diapers or a cleaning kit. This is a fun, simple way to make a difference for others. Thank you @ldschurch & LDS Charities for this great opportunity! A post shared by Serve Refugees (@serverefugees) on Nov 28, 2018 at 3:22pm PST
View this post on Instagram Tonight the Service Machines were unveiled at the Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg. in Salt Lake City! Let the giving begin! 🌟 Our family had such a wonderful time last year picking out gifts for local charities while visiting Temple Square. We are excited to go back this December and have that experience again. Are you planning on visiting one of the 5 service machines around the world this month? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Click the LINK IN BIO for more info on how you can #lighttheworld this December! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ www.lighttheworld.org?cid=66220096 A post shared by Making your LDS Life Easier (@ayearoffhe) on Nov 28, 2018 at 10:35pm PST
6. Check out the Nativity scenes.
The incredible Cedar of Lebanon nativity is set up just outside of the North Visitors' Center as a beautiful reminder of Christ’s birth and the reason we celebrate Christmas. There are also other Nativity scenes set up on the Church Office Building plaza and around the temple grounds you won’t want to miss.
View this post on Instagram 📸 @temple.photos 📌Salt Lake City Utah LDS Temple ———————————————————— “I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass.” Gordon B. Hinckley ———————————————————— #housesofthelord #lds #mormon #ldstemple #ldstemples #mormontemple #temples #ldstempleaday #ldsconf #ldsmissionary #mormons #jesus #sharegoodness #ldstemplesphotos #imamormon #mormonlife #lighttheworld #jesuschrist #ilovetoseethetemple #ldsquotes #houseofthelord #latterdaysaints #hisday #bookofmormon #templesquare #christmaslights #thechurchofjesuschristoflatterdaysaints #saltlakecity #utah #saltlaketemple ———————————————————— Follow @housesofthelord for more temples A post shared by Houses of the Lord (@housesofthelord) on Nov 27, 2018 at 3:46pm PST
View this post on Instagram I spent all of about fifteen minutes on Temple Square back in December of 2014, dropping by on my way downtown to meet some friends for a Christmas dinner at a restaurant that no longer exists. But that quick window was timed perfectly to put some of my favorite just-after-sunset blue in the sky behind the Salt Lake Temple, and the results added a silver lining to a surreal and bittersweet stretch that followed my dad’s passing earlier in the fall. Sometimes I’ll wander around for hours in the cold trying to get “the shot,” but sometimes everything comes together perfectly right away, and I can still feel my fingertips when it’s time to pack up the tripod. #saltlaketemple #saltlakecity #templesquare #templesquarelights #thechurchofjesuschristoflatterdaysaints #lighttheworld #christmas #christmasmemories #eternalfamily #timing #longexposure #lazyshutters #blueskies #cloudscapes #saltlakecity_utah #visitutah #utahunique #werutah #weareutah #utahgram #utahisrad #utahphotography #reflection A post shared by Joshua Terry Photography (@joshterryphoto) on Dec 2, 2018 at 6:08am PST
7. Check out the Deseret Book window display in City Creek.
The City Creek Deseret Book is a fun place to warm up and see more nativities from around the world. This year, the store's window display is full of unique nativities. The store also has a beautiful art gallery, books for the whole family, and other gospel-related products that will bring the Spirit into your home.
View this post on Instagram I almost forgot to share the finished product of my friends’ window display I got to help with. Didn’t she do an amazing job? Bravo 👏🏻 @szkloglass #deseretbook #templesquare #saltlakecity #downtownsaltlake A post shared by Jessica Hills (@jesshills) on Nov 21, 2018 at 7:48pm PST
8. Walk around City Creek.
There is so much to explore at City Creek, especially during Christmastime. There’s a giant Christmas Tree perfect for a family photo by Nordstrom, and your kids will love to visit Santa near the food court.
View this post on Instagram It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...I took this pic last weekend while doing some shopping & the setting reminds me of a nostalgic Christmas card🎄 #christmastree #christmas2018 #saltlakecity #citycreekcenter #cityscapes #christmastime #christmasspirit #wintervibes #capture_today #christmasiscoming #tistheseason #holidayspirit #beautifulscene #themostwonderfultimeoftheyear #christmasnostalgia #christmasshopping #holidayseason #christmaslights A post shared by Renee (@reneednoble) on Nov 29, 2018 at 5:59pm PST
9. Learn about the Salt Lake Temple in the South Visitors’ Center.
The South Visitors’ Center is a fun place to learn more about the Salt Lake Temple and the history behind it. There is a small replica of the temple in the main part of the building, along with replicas of handcarts hauling the material that pioneers used to build the temple so many years ago. While you’re here, you can also learn more about the importance of families in God’s plan.
Image from templesquare.com.
10. Take a tour of the Beehive House.
The Beehive House was the home of Brigham Young and is now a free museum for the public to enjoy. As you tour the historic building, you'll see pioneer artifacts and learn about Brigham Young's life. There are also beehives used for decoration around the house that symbolize "the strong sense of community and diligent work ethic of the Latter-day Saints called to settle the West," according to templesquare.com.
View this post on Instagram Looks a little like Charleston but it's actually Salt Lake City. #utah #habituallychictravels A post shared by Habitually Chic® (@habituallychic) on May 28, 2017 at 5:39pm PDT
11. Explore the Family Search Discovery Center.
The Family Search Discovery Center is located on the first floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The interactive technology will show you photos, stories, and information about your ancestors and allow you to record stories for your own family history.
Images from Newsroom.
11. Don't miss the Conference Center lights.
There are more beautiful lights to see just across the street from the temple. The Conference Center plaza is decorated with gorgeous lights and you can even go inside and take a tour.
Image from Newsroom.
Lead image from lds.org
The words of the classic Christmas hymn Silent Night are artfully engraved on the figurines in this 10-piece nativity set. The intricate detail of this Silent Night Nativity makes it easy to feel the emotion of Mary and Joseph as well as the others present when the Savior was born. Include this Nativity in your home this Christmas. Buy it here.