Between the sometimes-frenetic pace of the holidays, why not take time for an experience that illuminates the magic of the winter season? From public skating at the Park City Ice Arena to visiting the window displays along the shops on Main Street, there are many ways to get in a festive spirit. Here are four of our favorites.

The Polar Express
Join the Heber Valley Railroad for a magical ride to the North Pole. A family favorite, this 90-minute round trip on the Heber Creeper includes hot cocoa and Mrs. Claus’s famous chocolate chip cookies. Sing along to new and traditional Christmas favorites en route while elves, cocoa chefs, and special guests make cameo appearances. Best of all, Santa boards at the North Pole for the return trip, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift. A red caboose, first-class cars, and a private 1913 coach with a parlor and dining room are available for reservation, as well as regular North Pole Express seating. hebervalleyrr.org

Ballet West Academy Park City’s Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is as quintessentially winter holiday as reindeer, pine trees, and carols. This whimsical ballet feels like an ode to Christmas, and nothing is quite as charming as a production put on by an ensemble of local dancers who have been practicing for months. With multiple acts and wardrobe changes, the familiar story is a joy for all, accentuated by familiar faces. Ballet West Academy’s performance of The Nutcracker at The Eccles Center for the Performing Arts in Park City runs December 19–20. academy.balletwest.org

Snowed Inn Sleigh Company Sleigh Ride and Dinner
Ride up to the Snowed Inn via a horse-drawn sleigh nestled in warm blankets under the stars. The Snowed Inn Sleigh Company is a great holiday tradition, perfect for families or special occasions. Located on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort, horse-drawn sleigh rides are available with or without Western-style dining with live music at the lodge. Sleigh rides are from $25; sleigh rides and dinner start at $115. snowedinnsleigh.com

Deer Valley Resort’s Torchlight Parade
The Torchlight Parade is a wonderful way to ring in the new year. This annual tradition starts at dusk on Big Stick ski run on Bald Eagle Mountain behind Snow Park Lodge. Complimentary hot chocolate, cider, and cookies will be served on the Snow Park Plaza from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on December 30. deervalley.com

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