Park City: The Best Utah Town for Christmas

Ski vacations have a magical way of creating incredible family memories, especially when combined with the festive cheer of Christmas. For a holiday filled with fun, adventure, and family bonding, Park City, Utah, stands out as a premier destination. This Utah ski town, with its convenience and array of holiday festivities, is perfect for families seeking both the thrill of the slopes and the warmth of Christmas celebrations.

As locals living just outside of Park City, we get an inside view of all of the festivities and think that there’s no better ski resort to ski at Christmas time than Park City.  It’s packed full of charming decorations, fun holiday events and lots of festive cheer both on and off the mountain. 

Skiing park city

Why Choose Park City for Your Christmas Getaway

Park City, Utah, shines as a top choice for a Christmas vacation for several reasons. Its blend of convenience, festive atmosphere, and family-friendly amenities make it a standout destination for holiday ski travelers.

Ease of Access

Just 35 minutes from Salt Lake International Airport, Park City offers quick access to the slopes. This proximity makes it ideal for even short weekend getaways during the busy holiday season.  Since Park City is located just off of I-80, you’ll have fast great roads until you’re almost to the resort.

Complimentary Shuttle Service

 With a comprehensive free shuttle system, High Valley Transit, Park City provides easy transportation throughout town, eliminating the need for a rental car and making it easy to explore without the hassle of parking.  Truthfully, if you’re staying in town, it’s much easier to get around without a car than with one, since parking is pretty limited.  The shuttles go from the resorts, to downtown and out to Kimball Junction.  They’re great for getting around town, but keep in mind that they get VERY BUSY every morning from about 8am-10am when people are trying to get a ride to the ski resorts.

Read Next: 17 Thrilling Park City Winter Activities

Direct Ski Access to Historic Main Street

Park City’s unique layout allows skiers to ski directly into Historic Main Street after a day on the slopes, where shopping, dining, and cozy cafes await.  This makes Park City really unique, so you can have ski-in ski-out lodging that still is right in downtown with easy access to shopping and restaurants.  Note:  The only runs that take you to Main Street are blue runs, so you’ll need to be at least an intermediate skier.

Skiing in utah

Diverse Accommodations

Whether you prefer a quaint Airbnb or a luxurious hotel, Park City caters to all preferences and budgets, with many hosts adding festive decorations to enhance the holiday spirit.  If you’re looking to save a little bit of money, staying farther out of town and booking far in advance is the best way to plan a Park City Christmas ski trip on a budget.

Read Next: 25 Best Utah Adventures With Kids

Holiday Activities in Park City

Park City transforms into a winter wonderland with tons of activities designed to celebrate the season.  Whether you’re on a solo trip, a couples getaway, or a family ski trip, Park City at Christmas is MAGICAL!  

Skiing…of COURSE!

What would a Christmas trip to Park City be without SKIING?  It’s hands down our favorite thing to do in Park City in the winter.  With terrain for beginners to experts across Park City and Deer Valley, there’s no shortage of skiing fun to be had. If you’re looking to go skiing, book your tickets in advance as holiday lift ticket prices are HIGH.  Better yet, get a pass deal through the EPIC Pass (Park City Mountain) or IKON (Deer Valley).  Both offer season pass deals as well as multi-day tickets that will save you a TON over the window lift ticket price, and give you the flexibility of not being locked into a specific date.  

Sleigh Rides

park city sleigh ride with horses

A family favorite, sleigh rides through Park City offer a picturesque way to enjoy the holiday lights and scenery. Our kids love taking an Apres ski sleigh ride to wind down for the day.  They’re surprisingly relaxing, and such a good way to get away from the crowds.  Evening sleigh rides are usually really cold so make sure to bundle up to stay warm enough.


For a dose of adventure, snowmobiling provides an exhilarating way to explore the winter landscape. There are several places to rent or you can go on a tour with a company in Park City.  A few of the tours just let you ride around in a field, but if you have more than a few hours, you can easily spend a full day out driving sleds.

Holiday Shopping

From unique finds on Historic Main Street to outlet shopping, Park City has something for everyone on your list.  Main Street has more high-end and specialty shops so if you’re looking for something that’s distinctively Park City, that’s the place to start looking first. Make sure you stop by Java Cow Ice Cream while you are downtown. It is great place to stop for a shopping break.

Sledding and Tubing

woodward tubing park city

If you want to extend your time on the snow after the ski hill closes, sledding or tubing is the way to go.  There are little sledding hills tucked into many of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of Park City, and with a short drive, you can go tubing at Woodward or beat the crowds by going snow tubing at Soldier Hollow in Heber Valley.  

Ice Skating

Midway ice skating Utah

Lace-up your skates and enjoy gliding across Park City’s ice rinks for a quintessential winter activity.  The main rink in Park City is indoors at the Park City Ice Arena, near the hospital.  For outdoor skating, which we highly recommend, you have a few options.  At the Park City Mountain base area, there is an outdoor rink but it’s quite small.  It’s great for about 20 minutes.  If you want an incredible outdoor skating experience, head to the Midway Ice Rink.  It’s the largest outdoor skating rink in Utah and is located only about 20 minutes from Park City in charming Midway Utah.  

Midway Ice Castles

midway ice castles Utah

A must-see, the ice castles in Midway offer a magical experience with ice sculptures, slides, and tunnels.  This is a really unique location and it pure magic.  For the best experience, go about an hour before sunset so you can experience the ice castles in Midway in both the light and in the dark when it’s lit up beautifully.  

midway ice castles Utah

Christmas Festivities in Park City

North Pole Express on the Heber Valley Railroad 

Utah North Pole Express Heber Valley Railroad

This is our favorite local Christmas tradition and it’s absolutely MAGICAL with kids.  Embark on a magical journey aboard the North Pole Express, where you’ll be whisked away through a winter wonderland to Santa’s workshop. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies as you sing along to Christmas carols with elves, and kids will love the special visit from Santa Claus himself. The train cars are festively decorated, and the cozy atmosphere captures the spirit of the season. Tickets for this typically sell out in August or September as soon as they’re released so plan ahead. 

Tree Lighting Ceremony at Canyons Village

Kick off the holiday season with the tree lighting ceremony at Canyons Village. This festive event features live music, free hot chocolate, and the chance to meet Santa Claus. The highlight is the lighting of the massive Christmas tree, which illuminates the village with thousands of sparkling lights. It’s a community gathering that brings together locals and visitors in a picturesque setting. The ceremony symbolizes the start of the holiday season in Park City, filling the air with excitement and anticipation.  If you’re in town just after Thanksgiving, make sure to attend this Park City tree lighting!

Park City’s Famous Electric Parade

Park City’s Electric Parade lights up Main Street with a dazzling display of vehicles and floats covered in holiday lights. This unique parade showcases the creativity of locals, with everything from cars and trucks to bicycles and skis transformed into glowing works of art. Spectators line the street, enjoying the festive atmosphere and the parade’s inventive light displays. It’s a fun and festive way to enjoy an evening in Park City, offering a twist on the traditional holiday parade. After the parade, many continue the celebration in the town’s restaurants and bars, making it a lively night out.  This is an event that the whole town comes out for, so make sure not to miss it!

park city ice skating

Park City Main Street Snow Globe Stroll

Explore Main Street as it transforms into a living snow globe with the Snow Globe Stroll. Life-sized snow globes dot the street, each depicting a different winter scene or holiday tradition. It’s an interactive and fun way to enjoy the holiday season, perfect for families or a romantic evening stroll. The snow globes are beautifully lit at night, adding to the magic of the holiday decorations along Main Street. Our kids aren’t a fan of shopping on Main Street in Park City, but all love the Snow Globe Stroll.  To entice the kids, plan to end the evening with a stop at Java Cow for Ice Cream and treats.

Kurt Bestor Christmas Show

The Kurt Bestor Christmas Show is a favorite holiday tradition in Park City, featuring the Emmy-award-winning composer and performer. Bestor’s concerts are known for their blend of traditional holiday music, original compositions, and heartwarming storytelling.

Other Things to do in Park City:

Holiday Singalong in Park City

Join the community for a festive holiday singalong, where locals and visitors come together to share in the joy of the season through music. Led by local musicians, the singalong features classic Christmas carols and holiday favorites. It’s an uplifting event that celebrates the power of music to bring people together. This is a great all-ages event regardless of your musical abilities.  

Torchlight Parades at Park City and Deer Valley

The torchlight parades at Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort are a breathtaking sight, as skiers descend the mountain trails after dusk with flaming torches in hand. These parades create a stunning visual effect, lighting up the night with a ribbon of fire. The event concludes with festivities that often include music, hot beverages, and sometimes fireworks. It’s a tradition that gathers the community and visitors to celebrate the season in a spectacular setting. The torchlight parades are a longstanding tradition that rings in both Christmas and New Year in true Park City style.

Attend the Christmas Eve Service at Park City Community Church

Join the local community for a Christmas Eve service at Park City Community Church. This interdenominational service welcomes all, offering a moment of reflection and celebration of the holiday spirit. The church is beautifully decorated for Christmas and is a great way to focus on the true meaning of the season with others in Park City.  Whether you’re religious or simply seeking a peaceful experience, the Christmas Eve service is a meaningful way to embrace the holiday.

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