Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas lights in the nights

This year has been the season for seeing the lights in a variety of venues.
In addition to the traditional lights on Temple Square — which are always gloriously beautiful and really, really cold — we've seen the lights at the Utah Lake State Park, the Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point and the lights off the freeway coming home from Logan.
We made a journey up to the Alpine Living Nativity and to Midway to the International Creche Exhibit.
For those who've never seen these or who want to see these, I've put together a little primer:
+ The lights at Temple Square are free and full of beautiful lighted trees plus a life-size ceramic Nativity scene. It's always well attended (translation: crowded!) and it can be freezing. The Visitor's Center is open though and warm. And you can take the Trax up, park your car in any of the lots on the route, from the end of the line in Draper to 13th South and avoid the traffic. It's free to ride the Trax in the downtown area.
+ Christmas in Color is a new drive-through lighted display event in Provo at the Utah Lake State Park. It costs around $25 a car and you drive on a marked path with headlights off to see the lights.
The displays include a couple of car tunnels, singing snowmen, dancing lights and music that is synchronized to the light show.
+Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point in the Ashton Gardens is new and involves strolling along the garden paths to see 25 different lighted areas. The trees are just one part of this offering. There are lighted bushes, overhead canopies and a stream. It's inventive and clever. The center display with several thousand luminaries is a tapestry of colors and patterns. Small children will like it for a few minutes. Older ones and adults could easily spend a couple of hours in awe at the creativity and colors. A bit pricey: Adult tickets are $20 each. Children are $17.
+There are also the lights in Spanish Fork and a display off the freeway on the way back from Cache County. They are cheaper, about $5 a car.
+The Alpine Living Nativity is an interesting and aromatic event held outside and in the barns at the farm owned by mayor Don Watkins.
It only costs about $5 in donation and includes a free hot chocolate at the end. There are live camels and sheep and a burro. (Hence the natural aromas.) It replicates a visit to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus.
+The Interfaith

Creche Exhibit in Midway is stunning and free. The collection of Holly Zenger is displayed in  the Midway Town Hall in a series of rooms set up all around the meeting hall. On the stage is a breathtaking display of Fontanini nativity figures. Outside, there's ice skating and the opportunity to buy something warm from a food truck. It's over for this year (usually on the first weekend of December) but it's an annual Christmas treat so you can go next year


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