'Noon Year's Eve' countdown included massive balloon drop
As published in The Topeka Capital-Journal
A "Noon Year's Eve" party and balloon drop Wednesday for some 400 children and their families brought total 2014 attendance at the Kansas Children's Discovery Center in Topeka to nearly 75,000 visitors, center officials reported.
Joanne Morrell, executive director of the center at 4400 S.W. 10th, said visitors from 42 states and the Armed Forces Pacific area came through the center's doors this past year. The year's final group Wednesday did a mid-day countdown to the New Year that was ushered in by the drop of some 900 balloons, Morrell said.
Since its opening in 2011, the Children's Discovery Center has greeted more than a quarter-million visitors, including guests from 23 foreign countries, Morrell reported.
In 2015, the center that features interactive, hands-on educational activities and displays for children will offer new programs including:
• Toddler Tuesdays beginning Jan. 6 at 10:30 a.m.
• Homeschool STEM Tuesdays beginning Jan. 13, which will feature programs involving science, technology, engineering and math.
• An expansion of engineering field trips and camps in partnership with Bartlett and West engineers.
• The fall hosting of the traveling "Children's China: Culture, Character and Confucius" exhibit.