Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 8:54 am | Overcast 66º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Kids Ring in ‘Noon Year’ at Santa Maria Discovery Museum

Annual event lets children noisily celebrate New Year's without staying up late

Juliet Jimenez, 2, of Santa Maria, celebrates the arrival of 2018 during the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum event Sunday afternoon. Click to view larger
Juliet Jimenez, 2, of Santa Maria, celebrates the arrival of 2018 during the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum event Sunday afternoon. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Equipped with their recently-assembled noisemakers, youths enthusiastically rang in the new year with a noontime celebration at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum on Sunday.

Approximately 200 people filled the Santa Maria museum for the annual Noon Year’s Eve event complete with a countdown, cookies and punch for the young crowd of partiers.

The sunshine outside did nothing to dampen the celebration that included making party favors at the creation station where plastic cups, paper plates, beans and glue — lots of it — became noisemakers.

“This is one of our favorite days of the year,” said Chris Slaughter, Discovery Museum executive director. “We get to celebrate a wonderful year in 2017 and an exciting year ahead for 2018.”

Holding her homemade noisemaker, Juliet Jimenez, 2, of Santa Maria, sat on the floor awaiting the countdown, during a rare moment of not being on the move. 

“We wanted to do something fun,” her mom, Christine Jimenez, said later, after chasing the energetic toddler across the museum.

The Discovery Museum marked its 21st year offering hands-on activities for families in Santa Barbara County. 

Slaughter said the new year will bring new exhibits and programs to the museum.

Youths and adults gather to countdown to the “Noon Year” Sunday at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. Click to view larger
Youths and adults gather to countdown to the “Noon Year” Sunday at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“We’re continuing to expand our age demographic with our makerspace, with our Vandenberg Launch Experience and green building programs that are infusing more science, technology, engineering and math into our programming schedule,” he said.

The recycling exhibit will involve plastic bottles traveling along a conveyor belt and returning as a recycled product.

“That’s going to be fun,” Slaughter said. 

Plans also call for expanded outdoor space to add “messy sand and water play,” safely in a fenced area.

The next phase of the Launch Experience space-themed exhibit should be installed in time for the May launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base of NASA’s InSight mission to Mars.

The Discovery Museum had 32,000 people go through its doors in 2017, and expect a similar, or larger, number of visitors for the year ahead.

Jace Hale, who turns 3 soon, smiles while shaking his noisemaker during the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum celebration Sunday. Click to view larger
Jace Hale, who turns 3 soon, smiles while shaking his noisemaker during the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum celebration Sunday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

With a funding gap, the museum must continue to focus on fundraising for the organization’s long-term sustainability, Slaughter said.

“We are grateful to our community for making this all possible — their donations of time, talent and treasure,” she said.

“The future is bright and we’re grateful for this community,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Santa Barbara Zoo hosted youngsters for the New Year’s Eve Kids Club, which included dinner, special animal encounters, night tours, s’mores and more for those ages 3 to 12.

Children could stay until just after midnight or take advantage of an overnight option.

Dean Noble, the zoo's marketing director, said the New Year’s Eve Kids Club was sold out.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Youths and adults make noisemakers at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum Sunday. Click to view larger
Youths and adults make noisemakers at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum Sunday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >