The Lights on Temple Square: What to Know If You Go

by | Nov. 21, 2012

LDS Life


Photo by Joey Ferguson.

•    Christmas concerts: You can attend concerts in the Assembly Hall Tuesday through Sunday at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 each evening. Also Tuesday through Saturday at the North Visitors’ Center, concerts are performed at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 p.m. Here on a Monday? Don’t worry. You can see them in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building Monday through Saturday 1:00 to 5:00, every hour on the hour. But watch out! These concerts all end on December 23rd. Get the full schedule here.
•    White nativity on the reflecting pool.
•    Nativity on the north lawn: Located on the north side of the tabernacle, this nativity plays about every quarter of an hour, complete with narration by President Thomas S. Monson, music, and lights.
•    The Christus statue: Located inside the North Visitors’ Center.
•    The Joseph Smith Memorial Building: Inside you’ll see one of the biggest Christmas trees of your life, and the building itself is stunning inside and out. You can also see Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with shows every 1 ½ hours.
•    Children’s nativities from around the world, located in the Church Office Building Plaza.
•    Savior of the World: This ticketed event (available on lds.org) plays at the Conference Center Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with an additional 2:00 matinee on Saturdays.
•    Lion and Beehive Houses: These are decorated with traditional pioneer Christmas decorations. You'll see unexpected items like fruit in the decorations; pineapples were a welcoming sign during that era, so they are incorporated into the theme. Candles will also be aplenty--the predecessors to the twinkling Christmas lights we have today.
•    The Deseret Book Christmas window display: Across the street from Temple Square, on South Temple, is the magical window display of the Deseret Book store reminiscent of old ZCMI tradition. Last year, with “A Charles-Dickens-meets-Willy-Wonka Victorian-style gingerbread-man-making machine,” the store won the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance window display award and gave out over 50,000 cookies. This year they’re planning an even bigger one, rumored to be over 150 feet long and called The Toy Train Production Line.

You can come see the lights starting the Friday after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. The lights turn on at dusk and usually turn off around 9:30 each night, though the time may vary according to scheduled events.

You can also check out our beautiful photo essay of the lights on Temple Square throughout the years here or read about other temples around the world that put on Christmas light displays.

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