OGDEN -- Many children miss New Year's Eve celebrations because they're asleep at midnight, of course.
On Friday afternoon at the Elizabeth Stewart Treehouse Museum, hundreds of kids got a full-blown holiday celebration with noisemakers, confetti, M&Ms, a magician, party hats, a toast and an official countdown to ring in the New Year.
"I've been here before on New Year's Eve and it's really fun," said 11-year-old Katarina Aikens. "It's exciting and I think it's super cool that they let us do a countdown at noon."
Instead of a ball drop as is done at Times Square in New York City, two balls were tossed in the air after the countdown. Whoever caught the balls got to keep them.
Eric Aikens, 8, said last year he won the ball toss. He said it brought him good luck all year.
"I hope to catch another one this year," he said. "I had a really lucky year because I caught that ball. I didn't get hurt much, I did really good in school and I got a really good teacher."
This marks the 19th year the museum has held the party, said Lynne Goodwin, founding director of the museum.
"We have been holding this celebration since we opened," she said. "We wanted to have something for the children so they could feel like they were part of the celebration and we wanted to do it while they were awake and alert and could enjoy themselves. Even though it's noon here, it's midnight somewhere in the world."
After counting backwards from 10, the children welcomed in the New Year by throwing confetti in the air and blowing into noisemakers. They then participated in an instant replay by eating 12 M&Ms at each stroke of the clock.
"In Italy, they eat 12 grapes, so we decided to follow their tradition but use M&Ms instead," Goodwin said. "We are also teaching them about different cultures and how they celebrate the New Year."
Children also got to make party hats and hold a toast with Sprite downstairs in the kitchen. Magician Christopher Fair entertained the children with a free magic show.
Alex VanBeekum, 11, said he was planning to come to the Treehouse but didn't realize it was New Year's Eve.
"I haven't been keeping track of the calendar so when I got here and saw the party it was a nice surprise," he said. "It's been a lot of fun."
Goodwin said the museum was expecting to see around 900 children before the day was over.
"We had about 900 come and celebrate with us last year, so that's about how many we planned on again this year," she said.
"We're really happy that so many children have chosen to come and celebrate with us. It's something we look forward to all year long."