1. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Brigham City
Every year from March to November, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is home to about 1,200 bald eagles. You can also see hawks, northern harriers, and prairie falcons. Tundra swans usually stay until the end of December. Bring your camera and take the 12-mile auto tour, which makes a loop through the refuge. Visit the James V. Hansen Wildlife Education for interactive displays and a cool movie.
2. Zion National Park
Why visit Zion in the winter? It’s less crowded, and beautiful year-round.
3. Utah Olympic Park, Park City
Utah’s Olympic legacy lives on at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. Visit the Alf Engen Ski Museum and George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museums for free. Take a terrifying ride on the Winter Comet Bobsled, and watch world-class athletes compete at events such as 2015 Luge World Cup (December 5th - 12th).
4. Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City
Hogle Zoo is open year-round. A winter visit means fewer people and some of the animals are more active. Check out Zoo Lights during December, or just stop by for a visit after the holidays.
5. Hardware Ranch, Blacksmith Fork Canyon
Hardware Ranch supports up to 600 elk during the winter months, providing 300 tons of hay to keep them fat and happy. Take a wagon ride! The elk viewing season at Hardware Ranch starts on December 11th.
6. The Gallivan Center, Salt Lake City
Skate at the Gallivan Plaza ice rink, which is open seven days a week during the winter.
7. North Pole Express, Heber
Take the North Pole Express on the Heber Valley Historic Railroad. Ride along with Santa and enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and some fabulous winter scenery.
8. Arches National Park
Photograph Delicate Arch in solitude instead of being surrounded by tourists.
9. Soldier Hollow, Wasatch Mountain State Park
Go tubing at Soldier Hollow. The lift will drag you up the hill so you can save your energy for screaming all the way down!
10. Solitude Nordic Center
Snowshoeing at the Nordic Center is a don’t-miss winter activity. And of course, it’s the perfect place for Nordic skiing.
11. St. George
If you live in Northern Utah, at some point this winter you’ll miss the sun. Head down to warm, sunny St. George where you can play outside.
12. The Viking Yurt, Park City
For that special date night, The Viking Yurt is a don’t-miss winter restaurant. You’ll take a sleigh ride up to the yurt, which sits at 8,700 feet. Then, enjoy a delicious four-hour European meal. Reserve early; there’s only one seating per night with a maximum capacity of 40 guests. For a similar experience, try the Yurt at Solitude.
13. Bryce Canyon National Park
I love the way a dusting of snow brings out the topography of the hoodoos.
14. Ice Castles, Midway
Bundle up in your coat, hat, gloves and boots and wander through the ice castles.
15. Temple Square, Salt Lake City
Don’t miss the Christmas lights at Temple Square. While you’re there, catch a free concert. Afterward, grab some hot chocolate.