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Kids get to see the ball drop at Long Island Children's Museum

The ball drops at the Long Island Children's

The ball drops at the Long Island Children's Museum. (Dec. 31, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Beth Whitehouse

Kids who couldn’t stay up till midnight still got to see a ball drop on New Year’s Eve – the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City dropped its own shiny silver ball at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the museum’s lobby.

More than 2,000 people came to the museum for its annual Countdown to 12! Celebration, with a theme this year of “Out of this World.” A green martian clung to the silver ball as it fell and confetti and streamers sailed down from the museum’s second floor into the crowd.

The afternoon also included craft stations where kids made spaceships with googly-eyed aliens inside, Reach for the Stars necklaces, and green holiday hats. They got their faces pained with colorful space creatures and, of course, the numbers 2014.

“The kids are loving it,” said Alicia Sage of Baldwin, who came with her best friend, Sandra Harris of Valley Stream, and their daughters, Addyson Sage, 3, and Ashley Harris-Atkinson, 4. “This is their chance to enjoy and see the ball dropping, because usually they’re never up.”

Heather Luzniak of Lynbrook brought her newborn, Avery, 15 weeks, for the baby’s first New Year’s celebration. “He’s been looking at all the colored streamers they have downstairs in the lobby -- when he’s not falling asleep,” she said.

Jennah Newton, 4, of Freeport, held her ears as the countdown to the ball drop began. “I like quiet!” she said. Her mom, Deborah, broke the news to her daughter: “It’s New Year’s Eve,” she said. “It’s going to be loud.”

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