Rainbow confetti fell and a silver disco ball dropped from the ceiling as the crowd danced energetically to pop songs at a Sunday New Year’s Eve celebration just for kids, billed as Times Square for pint-sized revelers.
Parents lofted their kids — most under age 10 — on their shoulders as they counted down to the new year. But the silver ball dropped hours before midnight at the 13th annual children’s new year’s party at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City.
Children streamed through the museum, enjoying the dinosaur-themed party that featured activities such as face painting and a fossil necklace-making station. They also played at the museum’s many interactive exhibits such as music rooms, a TV news station and arts and crafts.
Donny and Elana Knoll, of Forest Hills, brought their 2-year-old daughter Arya, who was also celebrating her birthday Sunday. Donny said Arya’s favorite part was the confetti, which she thought was rain.
“New Year’s Eve kind of became more about her birthday than the holiday,” said Donny, 33,. “It’s too cold outside so we thought this was a good idea.”
The frigid temperatures were no deterrent to the Sunday crowd, with hundreds coming out to celebrate the noon ball drop and many more expected by the second drop at 4 pm. Maureen Mangan, the museum’s director of communications and marketing, said up to 2,000 people were expected throughout the day.
The event is a family-friendly way for kids to also experience the excitement of New Year’s Eve, she said.
“Everyone can still get to bed at a reasonable time,” Mangan said. “We try to create the same feeling like it’s like Times Square, only it’s much warmer!”
Families often come year after year, making the party a tradition for the children.
Grayson Prestianni, 9, of Lynbrook, said this was his third time attending the festivities.
His resolution for next year is to “try to be more mature,” he said, to the amusement of his parents.
Brian Flanagan, of Bellmore, said it was his fifth year celebrating New Year’s Eve at the museum with his three daughters Brigid, 9, Colleen, 7, and Erin, 5.
His daughters said they loved watching the ball drop and confetti float down from the ceiling. They’ve set ambitious goals for the new year, aiming to become better athletes. Erin said she wants to finesse her cartwheel and handstand skills.
Others, such as 4-year-old Dillon Mansfield, of Northport, already looked forward to next Christmas. He was decked out in a Captain America costume, complete with a red eye mask, a gift from last Christmas.
When asked what he was excited about for 2018, he said simply: getting another toy from his grandparents.