Guests and locals can feel the spirit of the holidays in the air with annual events throughout the Wasatch. Santa Claus lands on the Town Lift Plaza in Park City Dec. 19 to celebrate Christmas with y'all amid holiday carols, stories, Christmas cheer, hot cocoa and cookies. He then bounces over to the Snow Park Lodge area at Deer Valley Thurs., Dec. 24. Find the jolly old elf in the Resort base from 9  to 11 a.m., and then in the Silver Lake (mid-mountain) area from noon to 1:30 p.m. Bring your camera. Santa's a total ham.

Santa, not one to overstay his welcome, skis over to Park City Mountain Resort Dec. 24, so look for him on the slopes there. Later that night, enjoy holiday music and free hot beverages and cookies on the plaza at sunset. Finally, watch the Ski and Snowboard School snake down PayDay trail for a traditional torchlight parade.

Dress up like your own version of Santa to ski free at The Canyons, Dec. 19. The first 50 people who come dressed in full Santa costume will ski (or ride) free for the day.  It's a prime photo opp as the Santas take their first run all together. Santa will be on the slopes handing out candy to all the good boys and girls around the resort. Dec. 23-25. 

Book your holiday vacation now at any of The Canyons four world-class lodging properties for some great packages including the Winter Playland package that includes more than $500 in your choice of special resort gifts. The best part about staying at one of The Canyons lodging properties during the holidays is all of the extras at the hotels.  From daily cookies and cider in the lobby to movie nights, there are activities for all age groups for each day of holiday break.   

Deer Valley's award-winning restaurants are open during the holidays. The Mariposa in Silver Lake Lodge is offering a two-for-one entrée special Tuesday to Sunday, 6 - 10 p.m. through Dec. 17.  Reservations are necessary.

Don't touch the gingerbread house for dessert. Stein Eriksen Lodge in Silver Lake Village at Deer Valley has created a nine- foot-long, four-foot-wide, five-foot-tall gingerbread Thomas the Train for display only. Although it is edible, the confection is the eighth such masterpiece of executive pastry chef Raymond Lammers, who oversees the design and construction of a different gingerbread structure for the Lodge each year.

The train features more than 250 pounds of gingerbread and 80 pounds of icing. Thomas' wheels and eyes operate, and the colored icing matches the original colors of Thomas the Train. Lammers recreated the McPolin Barn, a Park City landmark in 2005.

More information:

Deer Valley Resort or call 800-424-DEER or 435-645-6522

Stein Eriksen Lodge 

The Canyons