Facebook Twitter

EVE WinterFest and other local family friendly events to ring in the new year

SHARE EVE WinterFest and other local family friendly events to ring in the new year

Japanese drummers, Brazilian fire dancers, children’s theater, bounce houses, 2,000 inflatable beach balls, life-size Jenga and Connect Four, a live arcade and a giant MirrorBall drop at midnight will all be part of the activities at the Salt Palace for the grand finale of the EVE WinterFest, which is one of several family friendly activities throughout Utah to celebrate New Year’s this weekend.

This year, EVE WinterFest started on Dec. 26 and goes through New Year’s Eve. This is the first year that the festival has expanded to six days from three, making it more like a winter festival that provides activities for families throughout the week when most kids are on break from school, Nick Como, senior director of communication and marketing for the Downtown Alliance, said in an interview with the Deseret News.

This year is EVE WinterFest's eighth year. It originated from an event called First Night, which Como said was put on for around a decade before it was changed to EVE WinterFest.

“We wanted to move to something that was a little more inclusive and representative of our community,” Como said of the change from First Night to EVE WinterFest.

Como said that the change allowed the festivities to expand from one day to multiple days and focus a little heavier on art, culture and entertainment.

Throughout this week, there have been many venues and activities that families have had access to with an all-access pass, including the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, the Clark Planetarium, ice-skating at the Gallivan Center and comedy routines at the Off Broadway Theatre. The finale of EVE Winterfest at the Salt Palace during the final two days is similar to the original concept of First Night.

EVE WinterFest has grown in size with more partners and additional sponsors added each year, according to officials. On New Year’s Eve, the Salt Palace opens at 3 p.m., and tickets are available on-site or in advance online at eveslc.com. See eveslc.com for ticket pricing and events, which is $10 to $15 for children 9 and younger and $20 to $25 for those 10 and older. Como said attendance at the Salt Palace in the past at the time of the ball dropping has been around 10,000 to 15,000 people.

“My favorite part is looking at the sponsor banner and seeing how many different community partners we have in such a wide range,” Como said. “I think that’s really telling of how diverse our community is and how inclusive and accepting that we can all come together.”

In addition to EVE WinterFest, here are some other family friendly New Year’s events happening throughout the state this weekend.

• Hogle Zoo (2600 Sunnyside Ave): Hogle Zoo’s ZooLights have been on display during December, with the lights turned on starting at 5:30 p.m. On New Year’s Eve, the zoo will have a countdown to the new year at 9 p.m. instead of midnight, which will be the last day of ZooLights. Kids will be given a noisemaker to help countdown with the zoo’s special lighted countdown display. Zoo admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for children 3-12, free for children under 3 (801-584-1700 or hoglezoo.org).

• Natural History Museum (301 Wakara Way): The Natural History Museum will also be putting on a “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a countdown to noon. Families can explore the museum galleries, which include a special Power of Poison exhibition. The first 1,000 children will receive free party packs. There will be hot chocolate and cookies, music, a DJ-led countdown and other activities throughout the afternoon. The celebration is included with general admission, $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for youths 13-14, $7.95 for children 3-12; free for children under 2, U. students and staff (801-581-6927 or nhmu.utah.edu).

Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum (444 W. 100 South): The museum will have a Noon Year’s Eve Countdown starting at 11:55 a.m. with events until 4 p.m. Admission is $9.50 for general, $7 for seniors, free for members and children under 2 (801-456-5437 or discoverygateway.org).

• The Living Planet Aquarium (12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway, Draper): The Living Planet Aquarium will be putting on a Noon Year’s Eve party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will have a big balloon drop at noon. There will be face painting upstairs, a photo booth with free photos and raffle drawings every 15 minutes starting at 11 a.m. Admission is $17.95 for adults, $14.95 for students, military and seniors, $12.95 for children ages 3-12, free for children under 2 (801-355-3474 or thelivingplanet.com).

• Treehouse Museum (347 22nd St., Ogden): The Treehouse Museum has been putting on a New Year’s Eve party for 24 years now, said executive director Lynne Goodwin. This event starts at 10 a.m. with a countdown to noon instead of midnight for kids who can’t stay up until midnight celebrating. Kids will be given celebration packets and there will be magic shows and other activities for kids to do until 3 p.m. This year, a Chinese theme will be celebrated as New Year’s Eve is the last day of the museum’s Children’s China exhibition, which has been up since September. Museum admission is $7 for children 1 to 12 years old and $5 for those 13 and older (801-394-9663 or treehousemuseum.org).

• Provo Recreation Center (320 W 500 N, Provo): The city of Provo has teamed up with the Provo Recreation Center to put on a New Year’s Eve party in Provo from 7 p.m. to midnight. This year’s theme for the party is 007 espionage. There will be a fireworks show at 9 p.m. and midnight with entertainment and activities that include a magic show, animal show, a comedy show, laser tag, face painting, archery, photo booth, karaoke and crafts. Wristbands are $8 for youths 3-17 and $10 for adults (801-852-6600 or provo.org/community/recreation-center).