Guests take in the colorful sights at WildLights at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. (Bettina Hansen/Seattle Times/TNS)
Southern Utah is famous for its golfing, cliff jumping, and warm weather. However, for those living here, or even visiting during the winter months when it may be too cold to go tan at the pool, what other options are there? St. George provides many ways to keep up with the cooler weather and still enjoy many of the fun outdoor activities that it is so well known for.
Although most people enjoy St. George in the winter for its lack of snow and ice, some people would feel like they are missing out on the holiday season without it. Thanks to Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Southern Utahns can enjoy these as well. Tuacahn’s Christmas in the Canyon has created an out-door ice skating rink for visitors to enjoy alongside hot cocoa and a live Nativity scene.
Because ice isn’t commonly found in St. George, they have created state-of-the-art synthetic ice, according to Kevin Smith, Tuacahn CEO.
“It is definitely something everyone should try,” said Kammi Johns, a sophomore business administration major from Logan. “You can enjoy all the perks of Christmas time, outdoor ice-skating and wandering around the center, and you can ditch the giant winter coats and scarves.”
Christmas in the Canyon begins Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, and hours are from 5-9 p.m. Tickets are available for $7 per person, however group rates are available for $5 per person.
One of the best ways to spend a cool winter evening is listening to Christmas music and admiring hundreds of twinkling lights on display.
You could easily pack some friends into a car and drive around looking for over-the-top light displays on houses throughout the city of St. George, but several students prefer to do something a little different.
“The lights at the St. George Temple are some of the best in the city,” said Jonah Keese, a freshman biology major from Sandy. “My family comes here every year for Thanksgiving and we all look forward to it. The lights are gorgeous and it’s only a 10 minute walk from campus.”
The St. George Temple has a ceremony on the day following Thanksgiving complete with music and speakers. The lights will be on throughout the end of the year, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the brilliant display.
Steep rocks, cold weather, and ice usually don’t mix super well. This is one of the main reasons hiking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of winter outings. But for those lucky enough to be living in Southern Utah, hiking is one of the most accessible of fun activities to do.
“St. George really prides itself on all the outdoor activities, and the best part is we can do many of them year-round,” said Micah Smith, a sophomore business administration major from Salt Lake. “If you can brave the cooler air for a while, you can enjoy some of the best hiking in Utah.”‘
Parks such as Snow Canyon and Zion are only a short drive away and provide many hikes to choose from, with different difficulties to fit all hikers. The busiest months are in the warmer seasons, so hiking in the winter allows for less crowds.
Southern Utah may be known for its warmth and sunshine, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing all the fun when it drops too cold for swimsuits. St. George offers many ways to enjoy the holidays if you just know where to look.