Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City offers a hub for activity that please the eyes, ears, palate, and soul.
By Carla Boecklin
Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City offers a hub for activities that please the eyes, ears, palate, and soul. The three city blocks that comprise the Square are the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and, as Mormon pioneers are responsible for the founding of the city, the religion’s rich heritage provides one of the most significant reasons for travelers and locals alike to visit this historic area. However, holy purposes need not be the basis of your visit. The thirty-five acre property is home to nearly twenty awe- inspiring attractions, such as the Temple, The Salt Lake Tabernacle, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and the Family Search Center.
As the summer season arrives in the Salt Lake Valley, the outdoor elements of the Square come to life. Winding among the landmarks are gardens that include two hundred and fifty flower beds, more than one hundred and sixty-five thousand bedding plants, and over seven hundred varieties of plants from around the world. Every six months, hundreds of volunteers craft and replant these urban oases, which vary in design from formal French parterres to English cottage gardens. Free one-hour garden tours begin April 2nd and continue through the end of September.
For information: 801-240-5916.
Live music also creates a festive atmosphere in the summertime Square. Free hour-long Concerts in the Park are held on Tuesday and Friday evenings throughout June, July, and August. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy performances that range from barber shop quartets to bluegrass, from big- band to musical theater, and from Celtic to tween pop. While the Concerts are usually held in the Brigham Young Historic Park, poor weather may cause a show to move indoors to the Assembly Hall.
For information: 801-240-3323.
The Temple Square Concert Series is another option for live music in the summer. Complimentary hour-long performances by a wide variety of artists engage audiences on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm in the Assembly Hall.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been hosting the country’s longest-running live network program every Sunday morning since 1929, so discover history in the making while admiring a free performance. The Tabernacle’s amazing acoustics, seemingly boundless Organ, and colorful interior produce an atmosphere worthy of fascination. Be sure to note that from June 30th through September 4th Choir performances and rehearsals relocate across the street to the Conference Center, which is better suited to the larger summer crowds.
For information: 801-240-4150.
Transportation is simple as Trax takes you directly to the Temple Square platform. And don’t forget your appetite! On-site restaurants range from fine dining (The Roof Restaurant) to sandwiches (The Nauvoo Café) to home-style fare (The Lion House Pantry, located in Brigham Young’s personal residence). Please note that, while all events at Temple Square are free, some require tickets. Scott Trotter, Spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, advises that you check in advance whether a ticket is required for admission to your event.