The Warm Beach Christian Camps in Stanwood, Washington, offers a big lights display during the holiday season. This is the display from 2006. (Thomas James Hurst/Seattle Times/MCT)
The Warm Beach Christian Camps in Stanwood, Washington, offers a big lights display during the holiday season. This is the display from 2006. (Thomas James Hurst/Seattle Times/MCT)

So far the beginning of December has proved snowless, at least nothing is sticking to the ground, but that doesn’t mean that cooler temperatures and holiday cheer can’t be felt around campus. With finals beginning next week, it might become necessary to take a few minutes to de-stress and mentally prepare for the countless hours of studying that finals require. Here are a few ideas that combine cooler temperatures, Christmas cheer and reasonable prices.

Festival of Trees

Christmas is a great time of year to be generous and share with those who may be suffering. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake. Featuring holiday-themed trees, activities and entertainment, 100 percent of the funds garnered from the Festival of Trees goes towards helping children being treated at Primary Children’s Hospital

In a press release, Robyn Austin, PR chair for the event, said “The Festival of Trees has something for everyone. There are over 800 trees, each with its own unique style – ornate, trendy, whimsical, creative, humorous and sentimental. The Festival also features wreaths, centerpieces, gingerbread creations, backyard playhouses, quilts, gifts, treats, activities for children and holiday entertainment.”

The Festival of Trees will be held at the South Town Expo Center in Sandy Dec. 3-6 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets for the event are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children.

Midway Ice Castles

Combining cooling temperatures with a sense of adventure, the ice castles in Midway are a great way for students to enjoy the beauty of winter. Built by skilled ice sculptors, the Midway Ice Castles have been growing for weeks. Sculptors shape and build the ice by slowly adding water, building majestic thrones, towering pillars and whimsical characters. A glacial, ice-blue color by day, the ice castles get their multi-colored night glow from millions of LED lights embedded in the ice.

Tickets are $13 a piece for this magical experience. While that sounds pretty expensive, even out of many student’s budgets, students can save up to 45 percent when they buy tickets online and use them before Jan. 31. According to their website, entering the code ICE at checkout provides a 35-percent discount.  “Next, after clicking on continue you will see the option to share and save $2 by signing into Facebook and sharing this sweet deal,” Ice Castle’s website said. “This will result in a 45-percent discount!”

Christmas Village

A tradition since 1962, Ogden’s Christmas Village and its spectacular displays and dazzling lights started this past weekend. Full of lights, holiday magic and just a little bit of “ho-ho-ho,” Ogden’s Christmas Village will dazzle spectators with their glowing winter wonderland of lights and cottages through Jan 1.

No tickets are required for this free event, making it the perfect option for spur-of-the-moment roommate dates. Santa will be available Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday 5 to 9 p.m. Anyone can share their wishes and letters, or even pose for a picture with Santa. Wish-sharing is free, and pictures are available for $5.

In addition to making your day merry and bright with holiday cheer, the Christmas Village will also host a number of special events, including performances in the amphitheater, gift shops, train rides and even an appearance by by Santa’s reindeer. Full of bright lights and bright smiles, Ogden’s Christmas Village is a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit this holiday season.

 

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