As one of the major urban areas in the entire Great Basin region between the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains, Salt Lake City is a New Year's Eve hub for people from across Utah and beyond. Due to the city's religious roots, it's easy to find end-of-year events that are fun and appropriate for the whole family. But the nearby alpine resorts, flourishing music scene, and trendy downtown area will also attract all types of revelers.
Snowbird Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
If you're a fan of skiing or snowboarding, then Snowbird's New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks is a great way for you, friends, and family to celebrate the beginning of the year. Since Snowbird is about 30 miles from Salt Lake City, make an overnighter of it and stay at one of the many lodging options.
The fun starts at 6 p.m. with the torchlight parade followed by the fireworks show. Afterward, warm up by the fire pits with some hot cocoa and have dinner at one of Snowbird's restaurants before heading off to the Wildflower Lounge until midnight. If you're up to it the following day, you can even hit the slopes.
The White Ball
The New Years' Eve White Ball takes place at the Eventos Reception Center and is an end-of-year party suited for the whole family. It begins at 8 p.m. with a full buffet dinner and then continues on into the night with music, dancing, and a non-alcoholic champagne toast at midnight. The dress code is formal, so pull out your best party dress or suit for this bash.
At the Sheraton SLC, enjoy a sense of mystery at the masquerade ball. There will be a cocktail reception, dinner, and dancing. You'll also be entertained with a balloon drop, door prizes, and a photo booth. Wear your glitziest cocktail attire, toast the turning of the clock with champagne, and take off your mask at midnight. Jeans, sneakers, and sportswear are not permitted.
Give the year its Last Hurrah at the Gateway, a free event open to the public. There will be live entertainment on the main stage and you can stop into the Pop-Up Bar (if you're over 21) for a little warmup and an adult beverage. The kids can hang in the Game Room until it's time for fireworks at midnight. And it's all free, except for drinks in the lounge, thanks to community sponsors.
Early Countdown at ZooLights
New Year's Eve is one of the last nights to experience ZooLights at Utah's Hogle Zoo for the year, but on this night they also throw an early countdown party. It's a great event for kids (or adults) who don't stay up all the way until midnight. Kids are given a noisemaker to celebrate at 9 p.m. as if it were midnight, and a lighted countdown display helps them believe it's the real deal.
Take in the Lights in Temple Square
The magic of the Temple Square Christmas lights remains through New Year's Eve. The lights are on every night through January 2 and are turned on at dusk. An early dinner at The Roof restaurant gives you an opportunity to look down on the sparkling lights in the square.
Black and White Ball
It's the annual Park City Black and White Masquerade party, where you can dance your way into the new year. The event features celebrity DJ Ross One headlining the night at the Park City Live venue in Park City, located near the ski resorts about 40 minutes away from the downtown of Salt Lake City. This club event offers general admission tickets or VIP mezzanine tickets, which also include access to the exclusive Sky Bar.