Ring in the New Year with Small Town Charm and Big City Buzz

Idaho Falls may be the gateway city to the Yellowstone Teton Territory , but it’s also the perfect destination for winter festivities. From old-timey traditions like trolley rides and neighborhoods coming together for annual over-the-top light displays, there are holiday extravaganzas to enjoy for the whole family! 

Seventeen years running, OwensLights is created with 130,000 lights sequenced to playlists that can be listened to on 90.9 FM. Two thirty-five-minute shows repeat continuously from 5-10 p.m.

Just up the road in Rigby , The Ice Palace at LaBelle Lake pulls out all the stops for all ages with live reindeer, sleigh rides, ice slides and fireworks. 

For the older night owls, downtown Idaho Falls lights up with unique bars and hot spots that show off craft cocktails in sophisticated settings like XVIII , a speakeasy found in a  historic building, or classic go-to comforts like The Celt Pub and Grill . New Ford’s Bar sports a disco ball,  shuffleboard and pool tables making even the most reluctant socialite find their pace amid the crowds. The House on Park is downtown’s only venue open on Sundays ensuring Sunday can always remain a fun day. But with the 31st falling on a Sunday this year, there's no shortage of open watering holes. 

Come New Year’s Eve, there is no shortage of festivities. From the annual masquerade at New Ford’s to the Buzz Factory’s New Year’s Eve Party with the band American Hitmen or the official countdown to Idaho Falls 2024 at the Grand Teton Mall, there are DJs and dance parties that make Idaho Falls an easy travel destination that is not just fun but affordable and easy to navigate. 

The Snake River Event Center at the Shilo Inn is an easy one-stop dance party right off the Idaho Falls greenbelt with lodging right next door to ensure when your tired feet have danced the night away, they can effortlessly find their way home after Idaho Falls ' largest New Year’s Eve party. For those want to don their cowboy boots, head to the Cowboy Warrior Ranch on 5th Street for the chance to compete in the “Redneck Olympic Games” which translates to a cornhole tournament, 25 gun giveaway, a mechanical bull, goat roping, dancing and an open bar–and the best part, proceeds from the night got to the Cowboy Warrior Giving Back Foundation.

Check out the many accommodations around downtown Idaho Falls and get ready to welcome 2024 with small-town charm and big-city buzz! Looking for something more intimate? Check out the Teton House. Tucked into the historical landmark of the original Menan Bank, built in the 1900s, this family-owned restaurant is known for its charm and four-course menu just off the famed South Fork of the Snake River

Not far away, another unique staple to East Idaho’s culture, BJ’s Bayou is the diamond in the rough or more accurately the cajun in the wetlands–and New Year’s Eve at the southern-influenced restaurant is an area favorite. The holiday buffet includes all the Gulf Coast specialties, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole,  Crawfish Etouffee and last but certainly not least, Mrs. Cherrillee’s famous desserts! This year’s grand buffet will be served up with a soundtrack from one of the Gem State’s more rowdy acts, the Idaho Muscle Band. 

Looking for a more mountainous backdrop to make your New Year’s resolution? Check out Yellowstone Teton Territory’s post on Teton Valley events including the famous Grand Targhee Resort’s Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show !