Shoppers roaming from store to store while sipping hot chocolate, parents searching for the perfect gift that will bring a smile to their child’s face, kids ushering their parents off to see the candy windows at Macy’s. These images become reality for the thousands of patrons who visit City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake during the holidays.
With more than 80 retail stores and 17 dining options, City Creek Center has made a name for itself as the premier shopping destination in the Intermountain West. And while City Creek Center offers an impressive array of shopping and dining options, it also offers a memorable holiday season experience.
By Amy Steinbrech
Photos Courtesy of City Creek Center
Shoppers always enjoy the perfect shopping temperature. “If it’s cold and snowy, as it may well be during the holidays, we can close our retractable roof to provide maximum comfort for shoppers,” said Linda Wardell, general manager of the City Creek Center.
City Creek Center is also the only shopping center in the world with a 1,200-foot creek running through it and three iconic water features. Visitors can also feed the fish every Saturday at 10 a.m. “The public is welcome to come help us feed the trout and it is one of the most fun things we do,” Wardell says.
There are also fountain and fire shows every hour on the hour in Richards Court near Nordstrom.
A Full Slate of Activities
City Creek Center offers a variety of activities for the young and young at heart this holiday season. Festivities kick off Nov. 17 when Macy’s unveils its legendary candy windows at 6 p.m. Next, Santa Claus takes center stage at 7 p.m. when he magically appears on the rooftop.
“This event has become a tradition for many families, and we’re looking forward to Santa Claus once again being in residence at City Creek Center,” Wardell says. The evening will wrap up at 8 p.m. with the debut of the fire fountain show and a special performance of selections from “The Nutcracker” by Ballet West.
In addition to its spectacular holiday décor and lights, City Creek Center also showcases beloved Christmas stories in four storybook lanterns located along the creek. “It is a great Christmas tradition to start and also encourages families to read together and share traditional Christmas stories,” Wardell says.
Once Santa Claus is all settled in, City Creek Center will offer photos with him starting Nov. 18. Making life easier for parents is a virtual line for Santa visits. Simply check in, leave a mobile number, and Santa’s helpers will text you when Santa is ready to visit with your family. “We know that families would rather shop and dine than wait in line,” Wardell says.
In addition to traditional family photos, you can get pictures of Santa with your canine friends on four Tuesdays — Nov. 22, 29 and Dec. 6, 13. “Santa Paws is another highlight of the holiday season. People get really creative with how they dress their dogs and all the fun things they do for them,” according to Wardell.
More details about Santa Paws can be found on the City Creek Center website.
Tired of schlepping through crowds of shoppers on Black Friday, typically the busiest shopping day of the year? According to Wardell, Black Friday morning is actually the perfect time to shop at City Creek Center because shoppers typically frequent big box stores then. “We still have all the good deals, but people don’t think about coming downtown until later in the day so this is a good place to come and avoid those crowds early in the morning,” Wardell says.
New parking rates are in effect at City Creek Center. Patrons can park free for the first two hours and the third hour is free with a validation. Restaurants that validate parking for the third hour include Cheesecake Factory, Brio, Texas de Brazil and Nordstrom Grill.