Christmas lights on Temple Square in Salt Lake City dazzled onlookers. Photo: Andrea Whatcott/UVU Review

By Dale Jones
Staff Writer


It’s that time of year again. The time of year when you get stuck inside watching movies and wondering when the warmth is going to come back so you can have fun outside again.


We often find ourselves trying to think of fun things to do during the winter months in the wonderful cold weather.  Looking at Christmas lights could be the perfect solution.


The biggest Christmas light event is the Temple Square lights in downtown Salt Lake. But guess what? Now people don’t have to travel to Salt Lake to see a great show of Christmas lights.  Just a 15 to 30 minute car ride south of Orem and Provo are two fun little light shows, much closer than the lights displayed in Utah’s capitol.


The first one is in Spanish Fork. There, they have the “Annual Spanish Fork Festival of Lights” put on by the city, which only costs $5 per car and the price goes up the larger your vehicle gets. The lights can be seen from now until Jan. 1 at Canyon View Park in Spanish Fork from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. If the local radio station is tuned to 99.9 FM, viewers can also listen to Christmas music while driving and looking at the lights.


The second set of lights is found just a little further south of Spanish Fork in Salem. Salem puts together a small but fun set of lights on Salem Pond, known as the “Salem Pond Holiday Lights.”


You can park your car, get out and walk around the pond to see floating lights in the shape of Christmas trees as well as a nativity scene on the west end of the pond. One of the coolest features is being able to walk across the pond’s bridge, which is covered in lights itself. Looking to the east, a dozen or so lights in the shape of more Christmas trees, can be seen.


These lights are located at Knoll Park in Salem and are on every night at dusk and run to the end of December.


For those who don’t want to drive south, don’t worry, just drive over to the shopping center at Riverwoods in north Provo.


At the Riverwoods there are Christmas lights everywhere and even free horse carriage rides. People can view the lights Monday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.


The carriage rides are available on Monday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  One of the best features about the lights at the Salem Pond and the Riverwoods is that they are free.


Or for fun, just drive around town and check out neighborhood lights or make an adventure of it and get lost trying to find the houses with the best Christmas lights.  All these wonderful lights and more are fun to see and experience. Take a date or go with a group of friends to enjoy the lights available in Utah Valley. Don’t forget to dress warm and maybe even take some hot chocolate. It’s cold outside. So get off your couch and stop watching all those movies and check out the sweet lights in the valley.