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Kids bring in new year at noon

Tor Davis, 5, rings in the new year along with dozens of other kids at the "Noon Year's Eve" celebration at the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia on Friday. The group tossed confetti, sang "Auld Lang Syne" and toasted the new year as the clock counted down to noon.
Tor Davis, 5, rings in the new year along with dozens of other kids at the "Noon Year's Eve" celebration at the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia on Friday. The group tossed confetti, sang "Auld Lang Syne" and toasted the new year as the clock counted down to noon. The Olympian

Admit it, not all of us stayed up to ring in the New Year. But that didn't mean there wasn't fun to be had during the day, or that ushering in 2011 had to happen at midnight.

The Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia hosted a “Noon Year’s Eve” party Friday, where children of all ages (and their parents) spent the afternoon making kazoos and party hats and counted down the New Year at the stroke of noon by throwing confetti and singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

“We do it at noon so families can celebrate together,” said Anna Sayre, operations and education manager at the museum.

Kids and their families walked over confetti-littered floors on their way to work stations to make crafts and to watch science demonstrations and magic shows. In traditional New Year’s style, children threw away old personal items and placed wishes on a tree.

Twin brothers Noah and Tyler Mesaros, 6, of Centralia, were planning to celebrate New Year’s at 9 p.m. Olympia time, when the ball dropped in New York City. The crafts they made earlier in the day would play a vital role in their celebration.

“I’m gonna throw the confetti in by brother’s face,” Tyler said.

For younger children, the museum party was just about all they could handle.

Trishia Lagerwey of Lacey took daughters Jayda, 4, and 2-year-old Bryna to the Hands On party last year and returned this year because it was the only party she could find that catered to younger kids. During their visit, the sisters made party hats fashioned with colored pipe cleaners and a cup celebrating 2011, even though they’ll be fast asleep by midnight.

“They are kind of done by the end of the day and can’t really celebrate,” Lagerwey said.

Megan Henry, an Olympia native who now lives in Baltimore, came down to the museum with her 2-year-old daughter and several other family members. The family planned to celebrate by making sushi, doing a little dancing and drinking hot cider.

The new year also promises to be an exciting time for the museum, as construction picks up on the $18.5 million museum off Marine Drive at a reclaimed industrial site. The 27,000-square-foot facility will include six major galleries and hundreds of hands-on exhibits. Galleries will include exhibits on Puget Sound, healthful living and forests. An outdoor exhibit space also is planned.

The new museum is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012, Sayre said.

Nate Hulings: 360-754-5476 nhulings@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/outsideolympia

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