OGDEN -- The New Year's revelers descended in their best party finery just an hour before the clock struck 12. Some arrived already a bit wobbly on their feet.
By 11:30, at least a few partiers already were unconscious, smiling blissfully from beneath their sparkly homemade hats as they drooled on their brightly colored Onesies.
This was New Year's Eve the way the Treehouse Museum celebrates it: by counting down to noon on Dec. 31.
"We wanted to do a party at a time children would still be awake," said Lynne Goodwin, the Treehouse's executive director. "It must be midnight somewhere, right?
"We've been doing this for 19 years, and we always get a good crowd. Last year we had 700 to 900 children and parents. This year I think we have more."
Julie Taylor, of South Weber, helped her children Nathan, 6, Aaron, 4 and Alison, 2, design and construct construction paper party hats.
"They will not be up at midnight," said Taylor, as if she were trying to convincer herself. "Bedtime is at 8, and I hope they make it by at least 9. I may be asleep by midnight myself."
Her children love the Treehouse, Taylor said.
"Nathan understands that January starts the new year, but I'm not sure the others do. They enjoy a party."
Chris and Robyn Ramsay, of West Point, helped make hats for their children, Cassidy, 4, and Tucker, 2. Six-week-old Mikah slept through the festivities in a baby sling worn by his mom.
"They love the arts and crafts, and all the activity centers," Robyn Ramsay said of her kids. "This is our third year here. It's a family New Year's tradition."
She doubts any of the kids had a real grasp on the concept of New Year's.
"They know it's a party, and at this point that is probably all they need to know."
Husband Chris Ramsay said his children always have fun at the museum.
"It's creative and safe, and you can let the kids run free, within reason," he said. "They play in exhibits on geography and different cultures, and it wears them down, which is good because it's been too cold outside to play."
Rachel Corbridge, of Ogden, brought daughter Neriah Brotherson, 8, as part of an outing with extended family.
"My grandma's here. I have five sisters and lots of cousins," she said. "I like the kids having so much fun since they will probably go to bed early."
Parents looked on as children banged on musical instruments, built Lincoln Log villages, traced pictures of dinosaur heads, chilled out in a teepee, rode large play horses in pretend rodeos and jumped between counties, states or countries on different maps on the floor.
And then came the countdown to 12 (never mind that it was 12 noon). Children opened their goodie bags and found noisemakers, dragon spinners to send flying into the air and cardboard poppers to shoot confetti flying skyward at the strike of 12.
A tiny bag of M&Ms was included for use in a second countdown, a few minutes after 12, so children could eat a candy on each stroke of the clock, a nod to the Mediterranean custom of eating 12 grapes for a lucky new year. Very few of the colorful candies made it to midnight/noon.
After the cheers and confetti glitter died down, kids settled in for an afternoon of magic shows and more play.
"Next year with be the 20th year, so it will be even bigger," Goodwin said.
As for her own New Year's plans, Goodwin said she hoped for a restful holiday at home.
"We'll be vacuuming here for a good while," she said, with a laugh.
"I'll probably have a quiet celebration with my family at home. Maybe we'll watch a movie. But we will not have confetti."