Salt Lake City - Foothill Cultural District
• While the turkey is in the oven, take the family over to Hogle Zoo for the annual Feast with the Beast event. Watch as zookeepers deliver a Thanksgiving feast to the animals—everything from turkey shaped piñatas to pumpkins—for the animals to stomp, roll, drop and chomp. There will also be crafts for the kids and a giant pumpkin drop.
• After your Thanksgiving Day feast, stretch your legs—and enjoy the incredible views—as you walk, run or hike along the beautiful Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
• Take a trip to the Natural History Museum of Utah on Saturday, Nov. 30 and join the HawkWatch crew and observe live raptors up close for the “Birds in the Lab” event.
• Ready for ski season? Start the morning off carving turns at Snowbasin Resort, which is slated to open Thanksgiving Day. Snowbasin will also hold its annual Thanksgiving dinner in Earl’s Lodge.
• Starting November 30, the City of Ogden will kick off the Christmas season with the sixth annual Santa Fun Run (5K) at 4:30 p.m. Participants dress up as Santa and receive milk and cookies following the race. Following the race, head over to the annual Christmas Village and Electric Light Parade. The parade is filled with elaborate floats, sensational themes and performers. Fireworks will fill the sky following the parade to announce the opening of the Christmas Village ─ one of Utah’s largest holiday celebrations.
Midway - Heber Valley
• There is always something for everyone at the Homestead Resort during the Thanksgiving holidays. From their Grand Thanksgiving Buffet to swimming in the crater, a 10,000-year-old geothermal spring hidden within a 55-foot-tall beehive-shaped limestone rock.
• Take a ride on the Heber Valley Railroad’s North Pole Express. This 90-minute adventure is fun for the whole family, with elves serving hot cocoa and a visit from Santa.
Monument Valley – San Juan County
• The best way to see Monument Valley is by taking part in one of the many tours by professional Navajo guides (Dinès). You will experience the heart of Monument Valley along the 17-mile General Loop while learning about the native Pueblo culture.
• Goulding’s Lodge has everything from family suites and a traditional Navajo restaurant to a museum and trading post to keep the family fed and entertained while exploring the nearby natural wonders.
• It is important to make reservations early for Cedar City’s Garden House restaurant. Their Thanksgiving feast with carved turkey and all the traditional fixins is up there with mother’s homemade cooking. Call (435) 586-6110 to make your reservations now.
• To burn off those extra calories, explore Cedar Breaks National Monument. If it’s an early snow season, the trail is great for snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.
• Continue the holiday spirit by attending Parowan Christmas in the Country. The event includes a holiday bazaar, Santa parade, Christmas concerts, candle light parade, home tours, lighting ceremony and much more.
• Begin your Thanksgiving Day with an unforgettable sunrise hot-air balloon ride over Canyonlands National Park with Canyonlands Ballooning. Then head to Buck’s Grill House or Twisted Sistas’ Café for a traditional Thanksgiving Day feast.
• Looking to explore the outdoors? Check out Hauer Ranch for horseback riding tours, where you can ride the same trails as John Wayne in his legendary films.
• If you are looking to spend your holiday break in the great outdoors, Kanab has something for everyone. Within two hours of this centrally located Southern Utah community are three National Parks, five national monuments, a renowned National Recreational Area, two state parks, two national forests, and unlimited adventures.
• Zion Pondorosa Ranch, located on the east side of Zion National Park, is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner at their full service resort. The ranch is located on a 4,000 acre forested plateau bordering Zion.
• For that once-in-a-lifetime experience, spend a day (or more) at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary ─ the nation's largest no-kill animal sanctuary located in the breathtaking Angel Canyon. Best Friends offers daily tours, volunteer opportunities, and you may even find a furry friend to adopt.
For more information on events and destinations throughout the state of Utah, contact the Utah Office of Tourism at www.visitutah.com or 800-200-1160.