A Family New Year | Arts & Entertainment | Salt Lake City Weekly

A Family New Year 

How to ring in 2020 with revelers of all ages.

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Last Hurrah! at The Gateway - DAVID NEWKIRK PHOTOGRAPHY
  • David Newkirk Photography
  • Last Hurrah! at The Gateway

When it comes to New Year's Eve, celebrants can be sorted into two very distinct groups looking to get completely different things out of the night. The first is people without kids—or people who booked a babysitter far enough in advance that they don't have to worry about their kids on New Year's Eve. The second is people who need to entertain their kids in some way while ringing in a new collection of 365 days.

The first group tries to carry on the celebration as late as possible without any serious injuries or other adverse consequences. The second tries to wrap up the celebration as early as possible without any serious injuries or other adverse consequences. This publication is full of content catering to the needs of the first group. So as a public service, City Weekly also offers the following list of family-friendly activities for those ringing in the New Year with people who aren't usually allowed to stay up past 9 p.m.

Hogle Zoo Early New Year's Countdown (2600 Sunnyside Ave., 801-584-1700, hoglezoo.org): Let's be honest. If you've ever been a parent to kids who aren't yet old enough to know the difference, when the East Coast feed of the ball drop at Times Square comes on at 10 p.m. MST, you tell those unsuspecting youngsters that it's now the New Year, and send them to bed before they get any crankier. Hogle Zoo is ready to do you one hour better. The festive ZooLights exhibition opens at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, along with a special countdown display that will ring in 2020 at 9 p.m. local time, complete with complimentary noisemakers.

New Year's Eve on Temple Square (50 W. North Temple, 801-531-1000, templesquare.com): The lights at Temple Square are always a popular spot leading up to Christmas, but the very center of downtown will also host a variety of events that are free to the public with no tickets or passes required on Dec. 31. Five different musical performances will take place between 6-9 p.m. in three different settings. The list includes a family sing-along of Broadway and movie tunes in the Assembly Hall, Latino performers celebrating the New Year in a program called "Fiesta!" in the Tabernacle, and Stratford Street Big Band playing dance tunes in the lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Games at Last Hurrah! at The Gateway - DAVID NEWKIRK PHOTOGRAPHY
  • David Newkirk Photography
  • Games at Last Hurrah! at The Gateway

Last Hurrah! at The Gateway (400 W. 100 South, 801-456-0000, shopthegateway.com): Another downtown destination for evening fun is at The Gateway's Last Hurrah! from 8 p.m.-midnight. Live music is on tap all evening on multiple outdoor stages, while dining and drinks are available at food trucks and pop-up bars. Kids' activities include free karaoke at Dave & Buster's, a chance to make your own noisemaker at Discovery Gateway Children's Museum and extra shows at Clark Planetarium.

Noon Year's Eve at Natural History Museum of Utah (301 Wakara Way, 801-581-4303, nhmu.utah.edu) and Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (12033 Lone Peak Parkway, Draper, 801-355-3474, thelivingplanet.com): Both the museum and aquarium will count down until the magic hour of 12—but in this case, it will be noon. The museum features activities and music while the aquarium offers a live DJ and prize giveaways. Either way, there'll be an explosion of confetti at 12 sharp.

15th Annual New Year's Eve Powwow presented by Native American Events at Mountain America Exposition Center (9475 S. State, Sandy, eventbrite.com): Native American Events invites natives and non-natives to this annual social powwow in Sandy that runs from 6 p.m.-midnight. After the Grand Entry at 6 p.m., the night will feature food, arts and crafts, including a booth with Navajo tacos, frybread, Navajo burgers and stew.

Thanksgiving Point Night Bright (3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, 801-768-2300, thanksgivingpoint.org): The night will be doubly bright as guests are encouraged to dress in neon to attend balloon drops at 10 p.m. and midnight to ring in 2020 at the Museum of Natural Curiosity. Partygoers will also be able to dance to a live DJ and explore the museum exhibits.

Snowbird Torchlight Parade and Fireworks (9385 S. Snowbird Center Drive, 800-232-9542, snowbird.com): The Plaza Deck at Snowbird Center offers beautiful views of the mountain ski runs. It becomes even more stunning at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, when dusk arrives and skiers come down the mountain in a torchlight parade followed by a fireworks show. Making the setting even more perfect is the presence of fire pits and hot cocoa. After the parade and fireworks, the evening can continue at Snowbird's restaurants, which are featuring special menus.

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