1. Drop a potato
New Year’s Eve in Boise is all about the big potato. Yes, the fourth annual Idaho Potato Drop, which counts down to the New Year by lowering a glowing potato replica from a crane 200 feet in the air.
The event takes over Downtown’s Capitol Park, in front of the Statehouse, with activities starting at 1 p.m.
You’ll find an entertainment stage filled with local bands, dancers and other groups — the fabulous Summerwind Skippers precision jump rope team kicks things off, and Jeff Crosby and the Refugees will rock into the 2017 finale starting at 10:30 p.m.
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If you have small kids and want to make it an early night, you can watch the new “GlowTato” elevate to its perch at 6 p.m.
You can also check out wrestling performances, a snowboarding competition and a heated tent with hands-on crafts and other activities for families. There is also the heated VIP tent ($100 per person) for dancing, imbibing and staying warm.
If you’re not going VIP, it’s free. Click here for a list of bands and other performers.
There are loads of other New Year’s Eve events happening throughout the Treasure Valley, from fun family action at Wahooz Family Fun Zone and Indoor Adventure Park in Meridian to big-band swing and dancing with Kings of Swing at Chateau des Fleurs in Eagle to the Bulls & Broncs rodeo in Caldwell.
2. Glow in the Valley
▪ Have family members visiting? This is the last weekend to enjoy the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Winter Garden aGlow, 2355 N. Penitentiary Road, Boise. You’ll impress the in-laws with more than 300,000 dazzling lights in this annual display. It’s open from 6 to 9:30 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 1. IdahoBotanicalGarden.org.
▪ You’ve got a few more weeks to see Caldwell’s spectacular Winter Wonderland light display. It runs through Sunday, Jan. 15, in downtown Caldwell. Free.
3. Ski Bogus
Celebrate Bogus Basin’s 75th season with music, free cookies and fireworks on New Year’s Day — Sunday, Jan. 1. And from noon to 7:30 p.m., daily ticket holders and season-pass holders can play the 360 Degrees game by riding all of the ski lifts. Pick up a punch card, and when it’s filled, you’ll get a prize. There will be a DJ spinning tunes, a torchlight parade at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 7 p.m.
Bogus Basin is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
4. Get Reckless
Any time is a good time to hear alt-country rockers Reckless Kelly, but it’s even better on one of the biggest party nights of the year — New Year’s Eve. Brothers Cody and Willy Braun’s Austin, Texas-based band has deep Idaho roots. You’ll also hear their younger brothers Micky and Gary’s band, Micky and The Motorcars. The older-generation Braun Brothers — dad Muzzie and uncles Billy and Gary — will open.
The concert is at the Revolution Center, 4983 Glenwood St., Garden City. Show starts at 8 p.m. $29.50 general at Ticketfly. $35 at the door.
5. Support Bronco Basketball
The Boise State basketball team takes on Colorado State at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Taco Bell Arena in Boise. When these two teams faced off in a regular season game last February in Colorado, the match-up ended with a controversial buzzer-beater shot, and the refs ruled against BSU. That was followed by days of outcry from fans and sportswriters. Then CSU upset the Broncos at the 2016 Mountain West Conference tournament. Yep, fans are going to be lit.
An update from the Boise State Broncos Facebook page: “Celebrate the final day of 2016 with the Broncos and purchase four tickets for $16 at the door, or at broncosports.com/tickets with the promo code “2016.”