University Place plans free week of events for The Orchards opening

As part of the revamped University Mall property there will be a two acre park. Image courtesy Woodbury Corporation.

As part of the revamped University Mall property there will be a two acre park. (Image courtesy Woodbury Corporation)

Indoor and outdoor play areas for kids, green space, choreographed water fountains, pavilions, seating — these are all part of the large new park, called The Orchard, opening Oct. 3 at University Place. The park borders the exterior of the H&M store on the north side of the mall building.

The park opens on Oct. 3, with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. that will kickoff a week of events to celebrate University Place’s new feature. There will be a petting zoo, yoga, an outdoor movie, line dancing, farmers’ market, games, a performance by Jamesthemormon, and more.

“Everything is free,” said Cindy Nguyen, marketing director at University Place. “We just want everyone to come check it out.”

The park will be open to the public year-round. But the children’s play area, which is fenced and only accessible through the building, will be closed when the mall is closed, she said. A water fountain that’s choreographed to 10 songs will be active throughout the day, and will feature lights in the evening.

University Place staff already is planning for events post-grand opening. There will be a farmers’ market every Thursday through October. For Halloween, a pet costume contest will be held on Oct. 22 with a $1,000 cash prize, and the Haunted Half Provo race will finish at the park on Oct. 29.

Nguyen said they’re still working out events for the holidays, but there will be a large, planted tree that will be lit up every year. And they’re working out details for a live nativity scene. She said the best way to keep up with events, including the grand opening events, going on at the park is to follow University Place’s Facebook page and website.

Grand opening events, Oct. 3–8:

10 a.m. – Ribbon Cutting
11 a.m. – Build a Bear, Petting Zoo, Face Painting
3 p.m. – Magician, Cotton Candy, Balloon animals
5 p.m. – Scales and Tails
6 p.m. – Utah Valley Capoeira

10:15 a.m. – Kids Yoga
11:15 a.m. – Kids Zumba
7 p.m. – HIGH Fitness

10 a.m. – Breakfast with Orem Police Department sponsored by Black Bear Diner
11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Safety presentation, Fire department mini-training course
1 p.m. – Pumpkin Drop
7 p.m. – Outdoor movie, “Free Willy”

11 a.m. – Spooky tales
12-4 p.m. – Puppets in the Park
2-4 p.m. – KSL Read Today with free children’s books
4-8 p.m. – Farmers Market, Pow Wow

3 p.m. – Line Dancing, mechanical bull
7 p.m. – Foreign Figures, The Solarist

11 a.m.-2 p.m. –  The Shift Dance competition, oversized yard games, splatter paint
7 p.m. – Jamesthemormon, Motion Coaster


Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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