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Where to see Christmas lights at temple visitors’ centers and historic sites in 2023

Christmas lights are scheduled for Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Mesa Arizona Temple, Temple Hill in Oakland, Los Angeles California Temple, Washington D.C. Temple, Mexico City Mexico Temple and the Hamilton New Zealand Temple

From New Zealand to Washington, D.C., several temples and visitors’ centers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a tradition of Christmas lights to celebrate the birth of the Savior.

Here’s a list of the Church’s temple visitors’ centers that are hosting events this holiday season. Please send information about any additional light displays at temple visitors’ centers or historic sites to churchnews@deseretnews.com.

Temple Square in Salt Lake City

A Nativity scene is illuminated by a candle in front of Christmas lights.
A Nativity scene is illuminated by a candle in front of Christmas lights at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News

The lights on Temple Square in Salt Lake City turn on Friday, Nov. 24, and will remain on from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily through Jan. 1, 2024. There isn’t a formal lighting ceremony.

There are also daily concerts, both in the evening and livestreamed midday. See the daily concert series schedule. Also, international Nativities can be seen in the “Christmas Around the World” display in the FamilySearch Library and “Christmas With the Saints” in the Church History Museum. This year, Light the World Giving Machines in downtown Salt Lake City are at the City Creek Center.

The Temple Square and Salt Lake Temple renovation projects are ongoing, and the Beehive House, Lion House and Joseph Smith Memorial Building are closed for renovation.

See ChurchofJesusChrist.org for information.

Read “Christmas traditions from around the world and other things to see at Temple Square” for more on holiday events at Temple Square.
See photos of the Christmas lights at Temple Square.
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Christmas traditions from around the world and other things to see at Temple Square

Mesa Arizona Temple

Christmas lights adorn the trees and gardens of the Mesa Arizona Temple grounds.
Christmas lights adorn the trees and gardens of the Mesa Arizona Temple grounds on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. | Scott P. Adair

The lights on the Mesa Arizona Temple grounds turn on Friday, Nov. 24, and will be on 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31. The nearby visitors’ center at 454 E. Main will have an international Nativity display. The temple is at 101 S. Lesueur, Mesa, Arizona.

See mesatemple.org for information.

Read “Christmas lights and Biblical displays portray the Nativity story at the Mesa Arizona Temple” for a photo gallery.
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Temple Hill in Oakland, California

Days of Christmas 2023 begins Friday, Nov. 24, when the lights around the Oakland California Temple are turned on at dusk. The lights are on from dusk to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. There is a Light the World Christmas concert on Nov. 24 at 5 p.m. and events almost daily throughout December.

The Oakland California Temple is at 4770 Lincoln Ave., Oakland, California. See templehill.org/christmas for a schedule of the performances at the visitors’ center. Free guided tours of the lights are available, too.

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See photos of the Oakland California Temple Christmas lights

Los Angeles California Temple

The lights on the grounds of the Los Angeles California Temple and Visitors’ Center were turned on Nov. 24 at dusk. They will be on through Dec. 31 starting at dusk. The temple is at 10777 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, California.

See facebook.com/LATempleVC for information on events and templetours.org/los-angeles-temple to schedule a virtual tour of the visitors’ center.

Washington D.C. Temple

Christmas lights shine following a ceremony to light the display at the Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, Maryland, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. | Brian Nicholson, for the Deseret News

The Festival of Lights will open Nov. 30 and be on from 4:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. each evening until Jan. 1, 2024. The displays include more than 400,000 lights, Nativity creches displays and Christmas tree decorations. There will be free performances almost each evening at the visitors’ center. The Washington D.C. Temple is at 900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, Maryland.

See dctemple.org and dctemplevisitorscenter.org for information and a list of events.

See “Honor Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, by becoming a peacemaker, says Elder Renlund” for more about the lighting ceremony.
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Hamilton New Zealand Temple

The Temple View Christmas Lights on the grounds of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple are on Saturday, Dec. 16, to Sunday, Dec. 31, through 9 a.m. There will be performances Dec. 16 to Dec. 24. The temple is at 509 Tuhikaramea Road, Temple View, Hamilton.

See facebook.com/nztemplechristmaslights for information, including nearby available parking.

Manila Philippines Temple

With umbrellas due to the rainy weather, many gathered for the 2023 Manila Philippines Temple Lighting Ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Local Church leaders, friends from various faiths, and local and national officials were part of the gathering, shared The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Philippines Facebook page.

The lights on the Manila Philippines Temple will be on Tuesday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., throughout the Christmas season. The temple is at 13 Temple Drive, Corner White Plains Ave., Greenmeadows Subdivision, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila, Philippines.

Mexico City Mexico Temple 

The nearly 250,000 lights on the grounds of the Mexico City Mexico Temple were turned on Nov. 26 by a group of four youth at the invitation of Elder Sean Douglas, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Mexico Area presidency.

Nearly 250,000 lights shine around the Mexico City Mexico Temple grounds.
Nearly 250,000 lights shine around the Mexico City Mexico Temple grounds on Nov. 26, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Douglas spoke at a Christmas devotional broadcast around the country prior to the lighting ceremony. 

“My humble prayer and invitation is that every one of us can leave here tonight completely committed to light the world. We do it for the Savior and for the Father. We do it one act at a time, one day at a time,” Elder Douglas said. “… Together we will make the darkness flee before the light of the Savior. Jesus Christ is the source of infinite light.”

The lights on the Mexico City Mexico Temple will be on evenings until early January. The temple is at Av. 510 90, Pueblo de San Juan de Aragón, Gustavo A. Madero, 07950 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Read “Christmas lights shine around Mexico City temple” for more about the lighting ceremony.
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Christmas lights shine around Mexico City temple

Joseph Smith Birthplace in Vermont

More than 200,000 Christmas lights are on the grounds and trees at the Joseph Smith Birthplace, 357 LDS Lane, South Royalton, Vermont. The light display is on Nov. 24 to Jan. 1 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the visitors’ center will be open until 8 p.m.

Nativity displays, Christmas music and light refreshments are available at the South Royalton meetinghouse, 175 LDS Lane, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends through Dec. 23.

See facebook.com/JSBirthplace for more information and churchofjesuschrist.org/learn/locations/joseph-smith-birthplace for more about the site and to schedule a virtual tour.

Ohio Historic Sites

Blue and multicolored lights line the walkway and white lights are on trees near the Johnson Inn in Historic Kirtland, Ohio.
Lights line the walkway and are on trees near the Johnson Inn in Historic Kirtland, Ohio, in December 2023. | Elder John Rozier

Hundreds of Nativities from more than 70 countries around the world are on display in the Historic Kirtland Visitors’ Center along with antique Christmas cards and tree ornaments.

This is the 20th year of the exhibit, which goes until Dec. 31 and is open 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday–Saturday and 1 p.m.-7 p.m. on Sundays. The exhibit will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, and will be closed Christmas Day. There are free hot chocolate and cookies on Friday evenings. The Historic Kirtland Visitors’ Center is at 7800 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland, Ohio.

See christmasinkirtland.com and facebook.com/HistoricKirtland for information and churchofjesuschrist.org/learn/locations/historic-kirtland for information on the historic site, including scheduling virtual tours.

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Editor’s note: This was originally published on Nov. 24 at 11:26 a.m. and has been updated.

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