Friday, April 20 , 2018, 5:28 pm | Fair 60º


Local News

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration Caps Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum’s 20th Year

With 5 new exhibits added in 2016, organization looks to launch educational space exhibit and science of farming display next year


[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Armed with creatively crafted noisemakers and recently made party hats, children rang in the new year while dancing at noon Saturday in Santa Maria.

The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum hosted its annual Noon Year’s Eve party, a family celebration to let children greet 2017 — albeit a bit earlier than the rest of California.

“This is my favorite day of the year,” executive director Chris Slaughter told Noozhawk. “Creating quality family time, the moments where families can have quality time together, that’s what we’re all about.

“Today, it’s particularly evident with families making noise makers, dancing together and bringing on the Noon Year,” she added. “It’s a special day. It’s what we want to have happen here all year round.”

The celebration was capped with nonalcoholic bubbly, marking the museum’s 20th anniversary year.

In 2016, the museum added five new exhibits and welcomed more than 31,000 visitors, Slaughter said.

“But that’s just the beginning,” she explained. “What we’re looking for in 2017 are even more people through the door, more members and more new exhibiits.”

A recently signed education partnership agreement with the 30th Space Wing will lead to a Vandenberg Air Force Base space launch exhibit.

Other plans call for a “Made in Santa Maria” exhibit to turn the museum’s Creation Station into a “makerspace,” or work area with tools to foster creativity.

The museum also will become home to the after-school robotics program set to launch in 2017, Slaughter said.

Additionally, museum leaders are working with an advisory group, focused on the agricultural industry, to incorporate more about the science of farming, such as the lifecycle of a salad.

The nonprofit museum, at 705 S. McClelland St., is funded 100 percent from donations, but it has a monthly shortfall of approximately $10,000 to $15,000 to keep the facility open while maintaining affordable admission prices.

“The only way we can close that gap are by these private individuals, corporations and foundations,” Slaughter said. “It’s a big gap.”

Noon Year’s Eve also kicked off a month’s worth of programming centered on the theme, “A New Year, A Healthy New You.”

Activities for January include painting with fruits and veggies at Preschool Patrol, learning where our food comes from at Passport Thursday, and doing mindfulness meditations at Fit Friday.

“Everyone wants to live happy and active lives, especially at the start of a new year,” program director Amy Blasco said. “The Discovery Museum’s programs offer families a fun way to learn about their bodies and develop healthy habits together.”

The museum’s holiday membership special, available through Jan. 15, provides new and renewing members 10 percent off any membership, discount passes to the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum and Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach, and a Discovery Museum T-shirt.

Click here to purchase memberships online with the discount code of HOLIDAY, call 805.928.8414 or visit the museum. Click here to make an online donation.

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.

  • 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 >

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 PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

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 >