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Christmas traditions from around the world and other things to see at Temple Square

Lights, music and cultural traditions are on display through the end of 2023 on and around Temple Square in Salt Lake City

Ongoing construction on Temple Square in Salt Lake City should not deter visitors from enjoying several Christmas-themed activities at historic sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the 2023 Christmas season.

For the following activities, refer to the Temple Square holiday hours for each location and building closure details. Refer to this map for construction zones and activity locations.

Christmas lights

There is no longer a formal lighting ceremony on Temple Square, but lights turn on Friday, Nov. 24, and will remain on from 3:30 to 10 p.m. and from 6 to 8 a.m. daily through Jan. 1, 2024.

Children look at luminaries prior to the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center on Temple Square on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Lights on at Temple Square concerts

Opening the 2023 Christmas season on Temple Square are four concerts from Temple Square Performances in partnership with the Excellence in the Community:

On Friday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m., enjoy “Christmas Is Here” with vocalists Melinda Kirigan-Voss and Brian Stucki, accompanied by Jared Pierce. At 7:30 p.m., hear Thurl Baily in “The Gift of Christmas.”

On Saturday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m., Senxao presents “¡Feliz Navidad!” featuring Christmas classics in Spanish. At 7:30 p.m., Lark & Spur concludes with “Season of Light.” 

Daily Christmas concerts by local choirs

Temple Square Performances hosts daily performances by school and community choirs, as well as various instrumental groups. The 285 free, nonticketed, 40-minute performances are open to the public Monday through Sunday from Nov. 25 through Dec. 23 at the:

New this year are midday concerts from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle, which will be livestreamed. A brief Christmas message will be shared by representatives from various Church departments at the beginning of each concert.

See the detailed schedule that lists times and locations of all performing groups.

Christmas lights at the Church History Museum on Temple Square in 2021. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Christmas with the Saints

Beginning Nov. 20, the Church History Museum has focused on traditions from around the world. Different themed activities are available in the Drawing Room on the second floor of the museum during the following weeks:

  • Nov. 20-25: Christmas in North America.
  • Nov. 27-Dec. 2: Christmas in Central and South America.
  • Dec. 4-9: Christmas in Asia and the Pacific Islands.
  • Dec. 11-16: Christmas in Africa and the Mediterranean.
  • Dec. 18-23: Christmas in Europe.
  • Dec. 27-30: Christmas in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to various crafts and activities, pick up a recipe card featuring an international recipe to add to your celebrations at home. Enjoy Christmas decorations around the museum and musical performances in the auditorium.

One of the many Nativity displays on Temple Square, Nov. 23, 2018. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

International Nativities

A collection of Nativities from around the world will be displayed on the plaza outside of the Church Office Building from Nov. 26 through Dec. 31.

Christmas around the world display

This display showcases Christmas foods and traditions from different countries and includes activities for children. Visit Nov. 27 through Dec. 31 at the FamilySearch Library.

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Light the World Giving Machines

These service vending machines allow you to share light by purchasing and donating humanitarian services and items such as water, child vaccines, beds and educational supplies. Several are located at City Creek Center beginning Nov. 21. Those who are unable to visit a physical machine can still participate at GivingMachine.org. Learn more about Light the World.

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Visitors purchase items from Light the World Giving Machines at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

This annual broadcast from the Conference Center features inspirational messages about Jesus Christ from Church leaders. Music is provided by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. View livestream on ChurchofJesusChrist.org or YouTube on Sunday, Dec. 3, or watch on demand.

‘Music & The Spoken Word’

The public is invited to join live performances of “Music & the Spoken Word” each Sunday. Due to the holidays, there will be no live performances Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. Specially prepared prerecorded programs will be broadcast and streamed.

On Dec. 17, the 30-minute performance will feature some numbers from the Christmas concert and a special appearance by guest artists Michael Maliakel and Lesley Nicol. No tickets are required. For streaming and broadcast options, check the Watch and Listen page.

Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

This year the annual Christmas concerts by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square feature Broadway’s Michael Maliakel and actor Lesley Nicol on Dec. 14, 15 and 16 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Concerts are sold out.

The 2022 “Season of Light: Christmas With The Tabernacle Choir” starring Tony Award-winning Disney and Broadway star Lea Salonga and world-renowned screen and stage actor Sir David Suchet premieres Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS app. BYUtv will air the special on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. ET on BYUtv, BYUtv.org and the BYUtv app.

The Bells at Temple Square

The “Visions of the Season” concert by The Bells at Temple Square handbell ensemble, scheduled for Nov. 18, was canceled due to the funeral of President M. Russell Ballard. Watch the 2022 concert on demand on the Choir’s YouTube channel and in the “Watch and Listen” section on tabchoir.org.

The “Savior of the World” musical production in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City is sold out, but tickets may become available prior to each show. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

‘Savior of the World: His Birth and Resurrection’

This musical production of the “Savior of the World: His Birth and Resurrection,” sold out for the 2023 season, features scenes surrounding the birth, life and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Two-hour performances run Tuesdays through Saturdays (including Saturday matinees) from Nov. 24 until Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Center Little Theater. Tickets, which were free this year, became available Nov. 1 and quickly sold out. Check with the ticket office (801-570-0080 locally or toll-free 1-866-537-8457), as additional tickets may become available.

Map of Temple Square shows where construction is taking place around the Salt Lake Temple.
Map of Temple Square shows where construction is taking place around the Salt Lake Temple. Christmas lights and music can still be enjoyed in multiple locations outside of the construction areas. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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