Holiday markets, Santa run and more: 5 events you don’t want to miss

Folk Dancers dance in the annual “Christmas Around the World.” (BYU Photo)

The holiday season offers some of the best annual activities in the Provo area. From light shows to BYU performing arts. Here are five classic, holiday events to enjoy.

#1 Lights at Temple Square 

A nativity statue seemingly floats on top of the reflecting pond near the Salt Lake Temple. © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved

It’s the classic event that brings hundreds of thousands of people every year to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Guests come to enjoy the lights, life-sized nativity scenes, music and the famous cedar of Lebanon, a 70-foot-tall tree whose seed was brought back from the Holy Land and gifted to the Temple Square gardener 75 years ago, according to

In addition to the lights, don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy one of the many live performances that occur across seven locations on Temple Square, or to grab a warm treat at the famous Nauvoo Cafe or Lion House Pantry.

The lights came on Nov. 3 and will remain lit until Jan. 2. Visit between 6–7:30 a.m. or 5–7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

#2 Ice Skating: Peaks Ice Arena and the Gallivan Center

The Peaks Ice Arena, located in Provo, hosted ice hockey during the 2002 Winter Games. (Josh Ellis)

Ah, ice skating. The classic date that gives you an excuses to break the ice and hold your date’s hand. Those who want to stay close to the BYU campus can visit the indoor Provo Peaks Ice Arena Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Adult admission is $5, skate rentals are $3. In need of a FHE activity or group date? checkout Peak’s family night deal on Mondays, when 4-6 people can skate for $25 including rentals.

Filled with the perfect ambiance to create a winter wonderland, the Gallivan Center’s ice skating rink in Salt Lake will have students wishing it was winter year round. (Gallivan Center.)

For those willing to travel a bit further, the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake, opening for the season Friday, Nov. 16, offers a beautiful outdoor rink complete with Christmas lights and music.

Adult admission is $9, including skate rental.


#3 BYU Performing Arts Events

Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus, and BYU Singers combine to perform at a previous concert. (BYU Music Department)

Celebration of Christmas on Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 1, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the de Jong Concert Hall will feature performances by BYU Singers, Concert Choir, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus and BYU Philharmonic.

Christmas Around the World will be held Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 1, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Center. The BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble features more than 200 dancers, singers and musicians celebrating the ethnic diversity of Christmas around the world. Tickets range from $11–$22.

#4 Provo Holiday Market

Checkout local brands’ and boutiques’ products at the Provo Holiday Market Nov. 30, 5–10 p.m. at the Startup building.

#5 Santa Run 5K

Hundreds of Santas wait to begin the annual Santa Run, complete with elf helpers and Christmas tunes. (Joe Coles)

Enjoy milk and cookie stations and Christmas music while elf volunteers cheer you to the finish line — did we mention a Santa suit is included in the race registration? The Santa 5K will be held Dec. 1 at 4 pm at the Shops at Riverwoods. Race registration is $36.50.

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