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Ringing in the new year with a mix of family fun, interactive activities, and learning, the Delaware Children’s Museum hosts their annual ‘Confetti Countdown’ on the Riverfront in Wilmington. In a vibrant yellow building by the river, this celebration guarantees an educational time for families.
Despite the common tradition of staying up until midnight to bring in the new year, Jen Bush, the executive director of DCM, emphasizes that many children often drift off to sleep before the clock strikes 12 at midnight.
This prompts the question: How does the museum adjust to ensure a meaningful and educational celebration for these young ones?
“This event is for families with young children, and it’s kind of the play on — since a lot of little ones can’t stay up till 12 o’clock midnight — they will celebrate at 12 noon,” she said. “We’ve got seven interactive exhibits in the museum, where kids can learn and play. We do a lot of events. We have a lot of educational fun programming that happens every day. And certainly, you know, the pinnacle of the year is on December 31st, when we do our ‘Confetti Countdown’ celebrations.”
The museum, entertaining 125,000 visitors each year, anticipates a busy New Year’s Eve celebration. To ensure everyone can partake in the confetti-popping experience, they’ve arranged for confetti cannon events at three specific times: 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m.
Bush notes that the museum’s appeal goes beyond colorful displays and intriguing objects; it’s about the overall experience, and serves as the first exposure to arts and culture for many.
“The construct of what makes us a museum, we do not curate objects, we curate experience. So we curate and offer playful learning opportunities and exhibits, events programming,” she said. “We like to think of the DCM as a launching pad for arts and culture. We are a springboard for future museum visitation. We are oftentimes a museum of first experiences, so it could be your first experience going to a museum or seeing a puppet or hearing a live band.”
Putting age inclusivity at the forefront, they will offer a diverse range of activities tailored for individuals from 18-year-olds down to 8 or 10 years old.
“In our STEAM program room, we are having a pom-pom party where they get to explore pom-poms and sensory bins and bags. They get to melt pom-poms out of a block of ice with salt and warm water [as a kind] of science experiment,” she said. “Then they get to build and stack them in a structure and then catapult them into a giant target. In our Studio D, which is our art space, we’re having firework painting and chalkboard drawing”
“It is a great opportunity for families to come together [and] celebrate the kick off the new year. And kick it off in a way that is fun, memorable, and educational, just a great way to make memories and do something fun together,” she added.
For this year’s New Year’s Eve festivity, the objective is to host 1,500 people throughout the day. General admission, covering individuals aged 12 months and above, is set at $12.
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