We found a hidden gem tonight. The Alpine Living Nativity in Alpine runs for one weekend at the beginning of December, and it is amazing. This event is free, and complimentary hot chocolate is provided. The event was started by a family in honor of their mother who passed of cancer. The family was so grateful to the Huntsman Institute for the care they provided, that they started the Living Nativity and ask for donations to fund cancer research. We had no problem leaving a generous donation after we partook of the festivities. See below for required ticket information!
We were not at all prepared and we nearly froze, but this was one of our favorite Christmas experiences. Be sure to dress warm, because you will be walking around the property and mostly be outside. Before you take a short walk up a hillside, listen to the orientation, given by a shepherd, and warm yourself by the fire. There are live animals as you climb to Jerusalem, including donkeys, camels (both bactrian and dromedary for you camel buffs), goats, llamas (they came all the way from South America to see Baby Jesus!), sheep, and several centurions on horses. As you enter Jerusalem, which serves as a large shed for 11 months out of the year, stop and listen to the wise men. Then proceed through the craft section of the city and watch the spinners, basket weavers, potters, artisans, children playing games, leather craftsman, more live animals (feed the donkeys), and even use a 2 man saw (out of place, but a hit nevertheless).
As you leave downtown Jerusalem and near the stable, a small brass band gently plays hymns. Then you walk through the door and see him. Tears sprung up in our eyes. A hush fell over the children. Our 2 year old was all eyes and stood and stared. Joseph stood near Mary, who was holding the Christ-child. He couldn’t have been more than 4 months old. He quietly looked at each passerby. It was truly beautiful and inspiring. In a way, the cacophony of Jerusalem outside the quiet stable really set the tone for the event. We will do this again every year because of the Spirit we felt at that moment.
As you leave, hot chocolate is offered, and the opportunity to donate to cancer research is gently presented. Then it’s down the hill and back on the horse trailer. Dress warm, and bring a few dollars for donation. Plan on spending about an hour at the Living Nativity (not including wait time to get there). This event IS all it’s cracked up to be.
To get to the Nativity from I-15, take the Alpine/Highland exit and head east. Go all the way up the Highland Highway until you get to Kohlers Market which is 5300 W in Highland (also known as the Alpine Highway). Turn left (north) up toward Alpine. Stay on the Alpine highway through the round-a-bout and all the way to 900 North. The road veers east and there is a large church on the right hand side. You’ll know it by the 10,000 cars parked there.
UPDATE: You need tickets to go to the Alpine Living Nativity! For tickets, click here. They ask for a $1 donation when you request tickets online which we feel is worth every penny!