Candlelight Christmas | This is the Place Heritage Park

This is the Place Heritage Park hosts a fun Christmas event every year called Candlelight Christmas. This is one of our favorite state parks to visit because they always have a lot of fun activities for the children to learn about life as a pioneer. Candlelight Christmas is no different. You step back in time and celebrate Christmas pioneer style, and it is definitely worth visiting. We look forward to this event every year.

Pioneer Village

This park has historic buildings from the days of the Utah pioneers, and at Christmas time they are all decorated for the holidays. Certain buildings are set up with Christmas activities that are authentic to pioneer days. Some of the activities are interactive like pioneer dancing, or making a craft or writing letters to Father Christmas. It is always surprising to me that our boys love the pioneer dancing so much. Make sure to stop here.

There are always fresh cookies being baked, while others are more informational where you learn about the time period or watch them print a Christmas card in the print shop. There are so many activities that we recommend planning on spending the entire evening at the This is the Place Village.

All of the buildings are all decked out for Christmas.
There were freshly printed Christmas Cards for a quarter each.
We enjoy listening to the craftsman share about their trades.
They have different crafts each year.
You write your letter to Father Christmas, then burn it in the fire so the smoke carries your wishes to Santa.
Watching the volunteers cook in the pioneer ovens is so interesting.
Pioneer Dancing is so much fun!

Train and Wagon Rides

The train shuttle is up and running, so you can ride around the village and see a few Christmas lights. We like to ride the train to the top of the village by the hotel, and then walk down main street and pop in and out of the different buildings. When you check in at the Visitor’s Center, they do give you a map that shows where all the activities are located. There is also a wagon ride which is a ton of fun, and definitely puts you in the pioneer spirit.

Ride the train up to the bank and walk downhill.
We took a wagon ride for free.

Live Nativity

The barn area is converted into a live Nativity. There are a few pictures with signs, and scriptures, as well as small areas set up to represent the shepherds and wise men. As you climb up to the barn, you will see the star lighting the way to see baby Jesus. Inside the barn, you will find the little family, as well as some animals. Please remember to maintain a spirit of reverence as you approach this area.

We loved following the star to see baby Jesus.
We had a quiet moment with Mary and Joseph and their tiny (and very real) baby.

Father Christmas

“Father Christmas” is part of Candlelight Christmas. He has a special place on the 2nd floor of the Visitor’s Center, and we stopped to see him on our way out the door, but you could easily stop and see him when you first arrive. The boys each got a candy cane, and a few minutes to visit with Father Christmas. You can take as many photos as you’d like for free.

Our boys love sharing their wishes with Father Christmas.

The Atmosphere

Part of the charm of this event is walking through the village. There are carolers singing through the streets, and the old homes are decorated for Christmas. It’s beautiful and peaceful.

The Pioneer Village is lovely at Christmas
The workers and volunteers do such a nice job making it feel like pioneer times.

Tips for Families

If you are planning on going make sure to arrive as close to opening as you can so that you can enjoy all the fun. There are so many activities, that it is tough to fit them all in if you don’t plan on the full evening.

This is the event we recommend most to families. We felt like this event was worth the money since there was SO much to do, and it is so unique compared to other Christmas events. And make sure to dress for the weather because a lot of these activities are outside, and you will be walking around the village all night. We were all bundled up for this adventure.

Candlelight Christmas is a favorite of our family.

Candlelight Christmas runs during the month of December and it is open from 5-9 pm every night except Sunday. You can find more information on current ticket prices and dates on their site. For other Christmas adventures, use our Christmas Activities in Utah post for a huge list of ideas.

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