New Year’s Eve is better spent in celebration than sitting on the couch and watching television specials. This year, take advantage of opportunities throughout the country to ring in the new year in a way you will never forget. If you’re in Utah, there are countless New Year’s Eve celebrations, and one of the following eight could become a tradition for your family.
Provo is a college town, but if you’re not particularly interested in frequenting college-age parties, consider the First Night Celebration at the Provo Towne Centre. Every year, the shopping center hosts a lively, multi-faceted celebration on Jan. 31. The celebration includes live music, dancing, concessions, crafts, games, professional face painting, karaoke, photo booths, and fireworks. It’s a New Year’s Eve festival of sorts that has something to offer for each member of your family.
EVE Winterfest is organized each year by Downtown SLC Presents, a nonprofit organization that seeks to heighten the public’s appreciation and interest in visual and performing arts. Last year, the celebration lasted for six days. EVE Winterfest features various concerts, performances, and activities for children and families throughout Downtown Salt Lake City. All of these events can be accessed through an all-access pass that you can purchase prior to the fest.
Park City’s naturally festive atmosphere makes for a perfect location for a New Year’s Celebration. Every year, the city hosts a New Year’s Eve Celebration that includes free hot cocoa, fire pits, fireworks, and live music on the Canyons Village Stage. And if you get hungry (or cold!), consider stepping into one of Park City’s charming shops or restaurants.
Deer Valley is widely considered to be one of Park City’s fanciest resorts. If you have the chance to stay there, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy it. But if it’s too expensive for your Park City vacation budget, you can still experience a bit of the resort with its annual Torchlight Parade. Held on the Big Stick ski run on Bald Eagle Mountain, the parade is a stunning winter sight. Free hot cider and cookies are also served on the resort’s Snow Park Plaza.
Similar to Park City’s family-friendly New Year’s Celebration, Snowbird throws an annual New Year’s Eve party that features a bright torchlight parade and a dazzling firework show. The celebration also includes fire pits and free hot cocoa. If an illuminated ski slope and booming fireworks don’t appeal to you, the resort will also host a dance party at their Wildflower Lounge for adults aged 21 and over.
Especially if you have small children, you may not know what to do on New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo understands your children may need to go to bed earlier than midnight. On Dec. 31, you can take your family to the Hogle Zoo and enjoy the last day of the zoo’s famous, holiday “zoo lights,” free noisemakers, and a countdown to 9 p.m.
Similarly to the Hogle Zoo’s efforts to make your New Year’s Eve a little more child-friendly, the Natural History Museum of Utah hosts a “Noon Year’s Eve” on Dec. 31. The event isn’t free, but it isn’t expensive either! Educational entertainment and activities, live music, and an explosion of confetti when the clock strikes noon? This is a dream come true for both children and their parents.
It may seem like all Utah has to offer on New Year’s Eve are torchlight parades and fireworks at ski resorts. And although this isn’t 100 percent true, it isn’t too far from the truth! But what distinguishes Brian Head’s New Year’s celebration from the others is that it takes place in a somewhat different landscape. Snowy mountains, yes, but with some stunning red rock thrown into the mix. Brian Head’s New Year’s Party could be the capstone to a nice weekend excursion to southern Utah’s red rock country