I grew up in Philadelphia. Well, right outside.
Every Christmas, we’d go to either Skytop Lodge up in the Poconos, or Longwood Gardens out in Delaware.
When I moved out to Utah, I solemnly accepted that my days of gorgeous classy Christmas lights were over. There was just no way the West could do Christmas the way the East Coast did.
Boy, was I wrong.
Not only does everyone get into the holiday spirit in a BIG way out here, but they have countless light shows around Christmastime to get others into the mood, as well.
The week before Christmas this year, my friend came out to visit from Mobile, Alabama. It was the first time she’d be seeing real snow, so I made it a point to take her out to see all the wintery sights.
One night, when we were strolling Temple Square in the snow, she mentioned off-hand that she loved Christmas lights.
Christmas lights?! I can do Christmas lights!
Luminaria | Christmas of Lights
I immediately crafted a list of all the Christmas light sites in the Salt Lake valley, and we ticked them all off in the few days we had left.
We visited the Christmas in Color drive through experience in Sandy, and, most impressive, the Luminaria showcase at Ashton Gardens of Thanksgiving Point.
The four of us wandered through the lights for about an hour and a half. We started with the most incredible gingerbread house display I think I have ever seen.
To think that humans hands crafted everything from the walls to the trees to the pretzel chairs to the tiny gingerbread beer steins — that’s just plain incredible.
After the gingerbread houses, we wandered through several light parks, ogling the contrasting colors and the perfectly laced trees.
I bought Little Man a Disney-esque light wand to play with while we were there, and he was enthralled.
It was truly inspiring to see the vision and creativity required to put on a light show like Luminaria — from the timed musical light show to the blue light waterfall to the “glitter” lights dancing across the path.
Each scene was more magnificent than the last.
And, to make it even more entertaining, there were fire pits galore to get toasty by, and giant Lite Brite peg boards for the kid in all of us.
At one point, there was even a real life reindeer to help kids get into the holiday spirit. You could almost imagine Santa hanging out by the pen, waiting for Christmas to arrive.
Overall, I would recommend Thanksgiving Point’s Luminaria to anyone searching for the true spirit of Christmas during the holiday.
Can’t wait to go back next year!