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Park City Gardens Holiday Open House taps the spirit of the season

Event will feature singer Wyatt Pike and a live manger

Park City Gardens Sixth Annual Holiday Open House and Live Manger

Park City Gardens will host its annual Holiday Open House on Saturday. The event will feature a live manger with friendly animals from Ivie Acres Farm and live music performed by singer-songwriter Wyatt Pike.
Courtesy of Park City Gardens

Visitors may get to actually hear a cattle low when they attend the Park City Gardens’ annual Holiday Open House on Saturday.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will run from 1-4 p.m. on Dec. 10, and include a live manger featuring animals from Ivie Acres Farm in Grantsville, said Gardens owner Sophy Kohler.

“They are a family-run petting zoo, and all the animals they bring are friendly,” she said. “Visitors can touch them and take photographs with them.”



Animals in the past have included camels, goats, sheep and donkeys, according to Kohler.

I wanted to do something different than pictures with Santa, because so many other people do that…” Sophy Kohler, Park City Gardens owner

“Last year they brought in a calf, and they also brought smaller animals that can be held,” she said. “Some years it’s been potbelly pigs, and they brought some bunnies.”



Kohler met Steven and Sherrie Ivie, owners of Ivie Acres a few years ago.

“Soaring Wings Montessori School used to have a summer fundraiser fair and social, and they brought (the Ivies) in for that,” Kohler said. “Then Park City brought them in one year for an event at City Park. So I got their information.”

As Kohler decided what she wanted to do at Park City Gardens for the holidays, she kept thinking of a live manger.

“I wanted to do something different than pictures with Santa, because so many other people do that,” she said. “I also wanted to do something with nature, because the Park City Gardens is mostly outside with trees and other things our nursery specializes in. So, I thought the animals would be a good twist.”

Park City Gardens’ sixth annual Holiday Open House will feature camels and other animals in its live manger.
Park Record file photo

In addition to the live manger, the Holiday Open House will feature live music performed by Park City’s own American Idol Season 18 contestant, Wyatt Pike, who is scheduled to perform a set at 2 p.m. in the greenhouse, according to Kohler.

“Wyatt’s mother has worked with us for years, and he is in town for the holidays,” she said. “We asked him and he agreed to perform a short gig for us. He will do a mix of his own songs and holiday songs in his singer-songwriter style.”

The greenhouse, which was built last year, will also be a hub of other activity throughout the open house, Kohler said.

“Last year we had some visual artists sell their wares in the greenhouse, and we’re going to do that again this year,” she said. “A lot of the local artists who are participating this year are those who sell their stuff in our boutique. And there will be some artists who will do some pop-up tables.” 

Calves and other friendly animals will be part of Park City Gardens’ Holiday Open House and Live Manger on Saturday.
Courtesy of Park City Gardens

The groups will include candlemakers, painters, jewelers and ceramicists, Kohler said.

“Everything that has been made locally will be noted,” she said.

Holiday and Christmas decor in the greenhouse will set the tone for these artists.

“While we will have plants that we showcase year round, we’ll also have some Christmas and Holiday favorites —  Christmas cactus, amaryllis, lemon cyprus, olive trees and citrus,” Kohler said. “They are all fun specialty plants.”

Park City Garden Christmas and Yule tree lot will be open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and the staff will be on hand decorating wreaths, Kohler said.

“All the trees come from far and wide, all from local farmers and providers, so they’re as fresh as you can get them,” she said. “We have also set aside a corner where they will do some custom decorating for customers. It’s a fun environment, and even if you don’t purchase a wreath, you can watch them put them together.”

If visitors want to decorate a wreath, they can purchase a plain wreath and go to the greenhouse, pick out some decorations and do their own decorating, Kohler said.

Adding to the coziness of the open house, Park City Garden Cafe, which will be open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., will offer free hot cider, and other hot beverages and food for purchase.

“People can come in, grab some snacks and hot drinks,” Kohler said. “We will also have a handful of free samples and other holiday specials.”

Parkite Wyatt Pike, an “American Idol” contestant, will perform during the Holiday Open House on Saturday at Park City Gardens.
Photo by Charlie Weinmann

This year marks Park City Gardens’ sixth annual Holiday Open House and Live Manger, and it’s become a seasonal tradition for Kohler and her staff, and for the community.

“While we see our lovely plant customers year round in the nursery, Christmastime is when we see people who come back every year just for the event,” she said. “We have families who even come from out of state to visit, and we get to catch up with them and see how much their children have grown. It’s really cool.”


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