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Kayla Ostler, 5, and her brother Wyatt, 4, both of Lehi, check out gingerbread houses on display as part of the Bakers of Utah Gingerbread Competition on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at University Place in Orem. (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)
Isaac Hale Daily Herald
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Connie Kawala, of Orem, checks out gingerbread houses on display as part of the Bakers of Utah Gingerbread Competition on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at University Place in Orem. (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)
Isaac Hale ,Daily Herald
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Santa Claus talks with Lydia Wiscombe, of Highland, during a Quiet Santa session Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at University Place in Orem. (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)
Isaac Hale, Daily Herald
After a quiet year with few activities during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, University Place announced Tuesday it is back in full swing for the holidays with a loaded schedule of events beginning with the Halloween season.
All events are free and will be located inside the shopping center or outside in The Orchard.
Throughout the month of October, people are invited to walk through the arch made entirely of pumpkins. Over 750 carved-by-hand foam pumpkins will be lit every evening in October during shopping hours at The Orchard. 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, Oct. 9 from 10-2 p.m.
New to The Orchard – Once a year Orem City opens its garage doors and shares all the trucks and vehicles that serve the community. Sponsored by Waste Management, everyone is invited to get up close and explore all the city’s vehicles including dump trucks, fire engines, police cars and more. Feel free to climb behind the wheel and speak with the men and women who operate the equipment essential to community operations. This is the first time this highly-anticipateed event will be at the Orchard. Please note it will be loud, if you or your child(ren) are sensitive to sound, please bring hearing protection.
Free hotdogs will be available while supplies last.
Monday, Oct. 11 — Friday, Oct. 15
Monday at 11 a.m. — Imagication: I Like Pumpkins! Bring kids between the ages of 2-5 for a pumpkin themed story time. Registration required, please visit http://universityplaceorem.com.
Tuesday at 6 p.m. — Pumpkin mash, Orchard Bash and ComedySportz Utah: The entire family will want to attend these events. There will be a pumpkin carving contest, a pumpkin drop and a fishing pond for the young kids. Registration for the pumpkin carving contest required, and prizes include a $300 gift card to University Place. Visit http://universityplaceorem.com to register.
Also Tuesday evening, ComedySportz Utah will performing, a family-friendly, live improv comedy show. Come and cheer on your favorite comedian on the stage at the Orchard.
Wednesday at 6 p.m. — Halloween Spooktacular: Halloween celebrations continue on-stage at the Orchard with a magic show, spooky storytelling, 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 take pictures with some spooky and beloved Halloween villains.
Friday at 7 p.m. — Scary movie night: Bring chairs and blankets to stay warm and watch “The Mummy” outside in The Orchard. Free popcorn while supplies last.
Holiday Lighting in The Orchard
Monday, Nov. 15 from 6-8 p.m.
Join us for the fifth year as we turn on the Christmas Lights to officially welcome in the 2021 Holiday Season. Special guests the Grinch and the Who’s will be there to help out and keep guests entertained. This year, the lights will be turned on at the beginning of the event, be sure to arrive on-time so you don’t miss it. Refreshments will be served while supplies last.
Lite Brite Nites
Every Thursday, Nov. 18 through Dec. 30 (except Nov. 25) from 6-8 p.m.
Come enjoy interactive Christmas lights in The Orchard, including life-sized color changing shapes and a giant Lite Brite. Warm up at the fire pits and enjoy free treats while supplies last.
Santa’s Grand Arrival
Friday, Nov. 26 at 9:30 a.m.
Come and welcome Santa Claus as he arrives at University Place in style in a helicopter to kick off the gift-giving season. Located in the parking lot in front of Tucanos Brazilian Grill, there will be live entertainment and refreshments while waiting for Santa to land.
Visit Santa at University Place Shopping Center
Friday, Nov. 26 – Friday, Dec. 24 (every day of the week except Sunday) from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
After Santa has landed, bring your kids to meet him one-on-one inside the shopping center at Santa’s Village, located next to Forever Young Shoes, in the west end of the shopping center.
Gingerbread House Competition
Monday, Nov. 29 – Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.-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 all week, and guests are asked to vote on their favorite for the People’s Choice award. The gingerbread houses will be in the west end of the shopping center by Maurices. To enter a gingerbread creation, register at http://universityplaceorem.com/events.
Santa and Friends
Every Tuesday, Nov. 30 – Dec. 21 from 5-7 p.m.
Every Tuesday, Santa will be joined by a few of his friends, including princesses, holiday characters and even some bad guys from the dark side.
Every Wednesday, Dec. 1 – 22 from 4-7 p.m.
Back again this year at University Place are Christmas Carolers who will be roaming the halls of the shopping center spreading holiday cheer with music.
Monday, Dec. 6 – Friday, Dec. 10 from 8-11 a.m.
We are pleased to announce that Quiet Santa is returning to University Place this holiday season. The Quiet Santa experience is designed specifically for children with sensory sensitivities. One in five Utah children have some degree of sensory sensitivity and Quiet Santa makes it possible for them to spend one-on-one time with Santa without being overwhelmed by crowds and noise. More details, including registration information, will be released on the website closer to the dates.
Friday, Dec. 10 from 6-8 p.m.
A memorable tradition at The Orchard, joins us for the return of University Place’s Live Nativity. Walk through the humble story of Christ, as told through real life actors and animals including a camel. Refreshments will be served while supplies last.
Carols and Cocoa with Mrs. Claus
Monday, Dec. 13 from 6-7 p.m.
Come and 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 departments. Masks and social distancing are encouraged. For more details, and a full schedule of events, visit http://www.universityplaceorem.com/events/.