AUSTIN, Texas — As 2022 draws to a close, families have been celebrating the new year across Central Texas all day. One event was at Thinkery Children's Museum, where the museum hosted its "Noon Year's Eve" event.
The event was from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 31, which allowed kids to welcome in 2023 without having to stay awake until midnight. This was the first year that the museum has been able to host the event since 2019, and there were balloons and different do-it-yourself activities for children to partake in throughout the day.
"New Year comes at midnight," said Becca Drew Ramsey, director of museum experience. "This is late for little ones, but a new year is such an amazing milestone for some of our guests here today. This is their first new year. And so this offers an opportunity for families to mark that milestone, to celebrate that occasion."
Allan Cepeda, an Austin resident, went to Thinkery with his family, which includes his 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters.
"I don't think she's going to make it to midnight," Cepeda explained.
Cepeda was able to celebrate the new year with his two kids before midnight.
"It's another year with them," said Cepeda. "Another year to see them get bigger, another year to see them get smarter and explore and do things."
And while this was Cepeda's first time at the museum, others have made the end-of-the-year visit to become a tradition.
"This is our fourth balloon drop we've actually done here," said Sarah Lutes, mom of three. "We didn't come the last two years because of the pandemic, but we wanted to come back because the kids love [it]."
While this event happens yearly, Thinkery is open year-round. Thinkery's Open Door Initiative provides free and discounted museum visits, field trips and access to play-based learning programs.
Residents can learn more about the museum's programs here.