SALT LAKE CITY —With the new year fast approaching, this weekend offers the last chance to check out several Christmas light displays and other events in the Beehive State, including the lights at Temple Square, the Vikings display at the Natural History Museum of Utah and Ballet West’s “The Nutcracker,” to name a few.
Ballet West’s “The Nutcracker”
Since its first full-length production in 1944, Willam Christensen’s “The Nutcracker” has been a crowd favorite in Utah. But Ballet West recently exchanged its old costumes and sets for bright new ones, giving a $3 million makeover to the production. See the new and improved ballet Dec. 29-30, 7 p.m.; Dec. 30, 2 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, $19-$97 (801-869-6920 or balletwest.org).
Temple Square’s Family Night Sing-Along
Come celebrate the new year with local actress, singer and director Jennifer Hohl, who will be hosting a family night sing-along at the Assembly Hall. No need to worry about hitting all the right notes, as “top-notch performers” will sing and guide families through each song. Whether you’re musically inclined or just enjoy joyously belting, sing in the new year at Temple Square on Friday, Dec. 29, 7 p.m., free (lds.org/events).
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
A pedal steel guitarist from New Jersey, Robert Randolph got his start in the House of God Church, an African-American Pentecostal place of worship. Much of his background bleeds through the funk and soul music of his group, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, which draws heavily from the 1970s style of Earth, Wind and Fire and Sly and the Family Stone. The band released its fifth album, “Got Soul,” earlier this year, and will play at O.P. Rockwell in Park City on Dec. 28 and the State Room on Dec. 29.
New Year’s Celebration at the Tabernacle
If you’re unable to attend the Temple Square sing-along on Dec. 29 — or if you’re just looking for some additional New Year’s fun — bundle up and bring your family to the Tabernacle, where five musical acts will help bring in the new year, starting at 6 p.m. with Japanese drummers Kenshin Taiko SLC and ending right before midnight with a performance from BYU’s nine-man a cappella group Vocal Point. The celebration takes place Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Tabernacle on Temple Square, free (lds.org/events).
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Why celebrate the new year with people when you can celebrate with penguins? Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is throwing its New Year’s Eve party during the day with a bash that includes family activities, prize drawings, a live broadcast with Utah radio station B98.7 and a confetti drop at noon. Come join the Noon Year’s Eve Celebration, Dec. 31, 11 a.m., 12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway, Draper, $19.95 for adults, $16.95 for students and seniors, $14.95 for children ages 3-12 (801-355-3474 or thelivingplanet.com).
Noon Year’s Eve — and Vikings!
Since this weekend presents the last opportunity to check out the Vikings display at the Natural History Museum of Utah, you might as well check it out Sunday afternoon, when the museum will also be celebrating the new year 12 hours early with Noon Year’s Eve, giving families with little ones a chance to celebrate well before bedtime. The festivity, which includes hands-on activities, music and a confetti drop, starts at 11 a.m., 301 Wakara Way, $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for youths ages 13-24 and seniors, $7.95 for children ages 3-12 (801-581-6927 or nhmu.utah.edu).
Ring in 2018 with Last Hurrah, a celebration that will fill The Gateway with live music, games and fireworks as the clock strikes midnight. Presented by Comcast NBC Universal, Last Hurrah will feature several musical acts, including Afro-Brazilian drum and fire troupe Samba Fogo and folk/rock singer Joshua James. The event will also bring back the indoor game room where guests of all ages can play giant versions of Jenga, checkers, cornhole and a light bright art installation, according to the Deseret News. Last Hurrah will also have a variety of food trucks and a speakeasy lounge where drinks will be served to those ages 21 and older. Check out the celebration on Sunday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-midnight, 400 W. 100 South, free (lasthurrahslc.com).
View here for additional New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Beehive State.