Kayla Ostler, 5, and her brother Wyatt, 4, both from Lehi, discover gingerbread houses on display as part of the Bakers of Utah Gingerbread Contest on Friday, December 6, 2019, at University Place in Orem. (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)
Isaac Hale Daily Herald
Connie Kawala, from Orem, checks out the gingerbread houses on display as part of the Bakers of Utah Gingerbread Contest on Friday, December 6, 2019, at University Place in Orem. (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)
Isaac Hale, Daily Herald
Santa Claus chats with Lydia Wiscombe of Highland during a Quiet Santa session on Thursday, December 6, 2018, at University Place in Orem. (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)
Isaac Hale, Daily Herald
After a quiet year with little activity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, University Place announced on Tuesday that it is back to full force for the holidays with a busy schedule of events starting with the Halloween season.
All events are free and will take place inside the mall or outside in The Orchard.
Throughout the month of October, people are invited to take a walk under the arch made entirely of pumpkins. Over 750 hand-carved foam pumpkins will be lit every night in October during The Orchard shopping hours. Hidden throughout the arch are six special pumpkins, and guests are encouraged to see if they can find them all.
With so many activities, University Place is encouraging the public to mark their calendars now. Activities include the following:
Saturday October 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New to The Orchard – Once a year Orem City opens its garage doors and shares all trucks and vehicles that serve the community. Sponsored by Waste Management, everyone is invited to come up close and explore all the vehicles in town including dump trucks, fire trucks, police cars and more. Feel free to get behind the wheel and chat with the men and women who operate equipment essential to community operations. This is the first time that this highly anticipated event will take place at the Verger. Please note that there will be noise, if you or your children are sensitive to sound, please bring hearing protection.
Free hot dogs will be available while supplies last.
From Monday October 11 to Friday October 15
Monday at 11 a.m. – Imagination: I love pumpkins! Bring kids ages 2-5 for a pumpkin-themed story hour. Registration required, please visit http://universityplaceorem.com.
Tuesday at 6 p.m. – Pumpkin Puree, Orchard Bash and ComedySportz Utah: The whole family will want to attend these events. There will be a pumpkin carving competition, a pumpkin fall and a fishing pond for young children. Registration for the pumpkin carving competition is required and prizes include a $ 300 gift card to University Place. Visit http://universityplaceorem.com to register.
Also on Tuesday night, ComedySportz Utah will perform, a live, family-friendly improvisation show. Come cheer on your favorite actor on the Verger stage.
Wednesday at 6 p.m. – Halloween Spooktacular: The Halloween celebrations continue on stage at the Orchard with a magic show, spooky tales, animal show and fire dancers. Enjoy free s’mores and apple cider while supplies last.
Thursday at 6:30 p.m. – Haunted Orchard of Villains: Bring your kids to The Orchard to meet and snap photos with spooky and beloved Halloween villains.
Fridays at 7 PM – Spooky Movie Night: Bring chairs and blankets to stay warm and watch âThe Mummyâ outside in The Orchard. Free popcorn while supplies last.
Christmas lighting in the orchard
Monday November 15 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Join us for the fifth year as we turn on the Christmas lights to officially welcome the 2021 holiday season. Special guests, the Grinch and the Who, will be there to help and entertain the guests. This year the lights will be on at the start of the event, make sure you arrive on time so you don’t miss it. Refreshments will be served while supplies last.
Lite Brite Nights
Every Thursday from November 18 to December 30 (except November 25) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Come and enjoy the interactive Christmas lights in The Orchard, including life-size color changing shapes and a giant Lite Brite. Warm up by the fireplace and enjoy free treats while supplies last.
The great arrival of Santa Claus
Friday November 26 at 9:30 a.m.
Come greet Santa as he arrives at University Place in style in a helicopter to kick off the gifting season. Located in the parking lot in front of the Tucanos Brazilian Grill, there will be entertainment and refreshments while waiting for Santa to land.
Visit Santa Claus at University Place Mall
From Friday November 26 to Friday December 24 (every day of the week except Sunday) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Once Santa has landed, take your kids to meet him one-on-one inside the Santa Claus Village Mall, located next to Forever Young Shoes at the west end of the mall. .
Gingerbread House Contest
From Monday November 29 to Saturday December 4 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Join us for our fourth annual University Place Gingerbread House competition. This year’s judges are Brenda Nibley from Gingergiddy, Mary Crafts from Culinary Crafts and Pete Tidwell from The Mighty Baker. The first place winner will receive $ 1,000!
The gingerbread houses will be on display throughout the week and guests are invited to vote for their favorite for the public’s prize. The gingerbread houses will be at the western end of the shopping center by Maurices. To participate in a gingerbread creation, register on http://universityplaceorem.com/events.
Santa and friends
Every Tuesday from November 30 to December 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Every Tuesday, Santa will be joined by a few of his friends, including princesses, holiday characters, and even villains from the dark side.
Every Wednesday from December 1 to 22, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Returning this year to University Place, Christmas carols will walk the halls of the mall to spread the holiday cheer with music.
Quiet Santa Claus
From Monday December 6 to Friday December 10 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
We are happy to announce that Quiet Santa is returning to University Place this holiday season. The Quiet Santa experience is specially designed for children with sensory sensitivities. One in five Utah children has some degree of sensory sensitivity, and Quiet Santa allows them to spend one-on-one time with Santa without being overwhelmed by crowds and noise. More details, including registration information, will be posted on the website as the dates approach.
Friday December 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A tradition to remember at The Orchard, join us for the return of Live Nativity from University Place. Walk through the humble story of Christ, told through real actors and animals, including a camel. Refreshments will be served while supplies last.
Chants and cocoa with Mme Claus
Monday December 13 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Come listen to a story and sing along with Mrs. Claus. There will be a hot chocolate bar and fire pits to keep you warm. This is an outdoor activity in The Orchard next to our Christmas lights, so dress warmly.
All events are subject to weather and the latest guidelines from national and local health services. Masks and social distancing are encouraged. For more details and a full schedule of events, visit http://www.universityplaceorem.com/events/.