Utah is a winter playground that welcomes holiday vacationers with a variety of family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations across the state. From a torch-lit parade down the snowy mountain trails at Snowbird to a Dr. Who-themed party in West Provo, there are ball drops, fireworks displays, parades, live performances and masquerade balls that families with children can attend to usher in the new year. Take the opportunity to relax and settle in at one of many unforgettable Utah vacation rentals, then head out for fun and adventure. Check out the top places in Utah to celebrate New Year’s.
Spend the New Year in a vacation rental in Springdale for a celebration that the whole family can enjoy. The fun starts at the Canyon Community Center with hot chocolate around fire pits beginning at 6 p.m. Bring chairs and a blanket to huddle around a pit and watch the fireworks display which begins at 7 p.m. and runs until 8 pm. Take the worry out of parking by using the Zion Park Shuttle that operates in two loops — one serving the park and one operating in the town of Springdale. Park at one of the six stops along the route and ride to the Community Center for free.
2. St. George
St. George is the site of a black-tie event for adults that begins at 9 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m. with a rigidly enforced dress code. The theme is black and white, but colored masks with feathers are acceptable. Enjoy live music by a nationally acclaimed DJ, passed hors-d’oeuvres, free sparkling cider, and champagne toasts, along with professional red carpet photos, with prizes awarded to the best male and female masqueraders. The event takes place at the St. George Courtyard Marriott and is limited to 300 attendees, so it’s a good idea to purchase your tickets in advance. Attendees can also enjoy discounted room rates, limousine service, and tuxedo rentals.
3. West Provo
This is a great opportunity for fans of the show to dress as their favorite characters, assume a different persona for one night, and mingle with other characters from the show. Enjoy the cuisine of a local celebrity chef and the atmosphere at the White Willow Reception Center, where the event takes place. The Time Keeper is on hand with a diligent eye on the clock to alert you to the exact moment when the new year begins on this planet.
4. Park City
For an ultra-chic, hip Utah location, the hot spot is anywhere in Park City, where several of the highly acclaimed restaurants and hotels are offering special New Year’s Eve menus for adults and children. Enjoy three-, four-, five-, and six-course prix fixe meals at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria, the acclaimed Mariposa at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Village, and the up and coming new restaurant, Tupelo, with offerings such as braised buffalo short ribs, Maine lobster, shigoku oysters, Utah trout, and more. Perhaps a buffet style is more to your taste at the Hyatt Escala Lodge, or you’d rather eat quickly and start dancing early at 350 Main. With so many choices, you can be sure that a vacation rental in Park City is a great idea and provides you with a number of options that can make deciding what to do a refreshing challenge.
5. Washington City
Masquerade parties for New Year’s Eve seem to be the rage in Utah, and this one is a family-oriented festival that takes place at the Washington City Community Center. You and the kids can enjoy live music, dancing and fun activities in four rooms, each for a different age group. The Kid Zone offers a bounce house, inflatable slide, games, and prizes; the Fun Zone is sponsored by Camping World and features laser tag, dodgeball, and other activities; and the Teens-Only Zone offers different DJs throughout the night and dancing. There’s also country line dancing instruction, a fireworks display, and a midnight balloon drop with prizes.
Head to Snowbird for the skiing and the annual Torchlight Parade that is best viewed from the comfort of a pit fire on the Plaza Deck with complimentary hot cocoa. The torches form a line of fire that runs down the mountain. The fireworks display is right after the parade, followed by a variety of meal options at several local restaurants. After dinner, music, and dancing, finish the night and save some energy for spending New Year’s Day on the slopes or in the lodge.
7. Salt Lake City
What a novel and family-friendly idea to have a New Year’s Eve celebration for children during the daytime, giving parents the option of staying in with the kids, or enjoying an adult party after the kids go to bed. The Noon Year’s Eve Celebration takes place at the Natural History Museum of Utah and provides a kid-friendly environment and plenty of educational fun for everyone. Kids can rock out to a DJ and music countdown, followed by a confetti canon to ring in the new year (a few hours earlier than everyone else). There are party packs available to the first 1,000 kids and discounts at the museum store for anyone in the shopping mood. Salt Lake City has replaced EVE, its week-long winter festival that traditionally ushered in the New Year, with Last Hurrah, a one-night-only event that takes place at The Gateway and features live music on outdoor stages, indoor games and a 21-and-over speakeasy lounge until midnight.
Ogden offers another family-friendly New Year’s Eve event at the Treehouse Museum. The party starts at 11 a.m. with a countdown to “Noon Year’s Eve.” Magic shows, crafts, and games take the fun through the mid-afternoon, just in time to hit a special New Year’s Eve buffet at Harley and Bucks, or the Broken Heart Rodeo at the Golden Spike Event Center.
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