The Lake County Discovery Museum held a program called "Ring in the New Year" that about 25 children and their parents participated in at Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.
The program introduced children to different cultures and customs around the world in celebrating the start of the New Year.
"Each table has crafts from different countries that the children can do and they can learn a little bit about what other countries do to celebrate," explained museum educator Nicole Stocker. "The program offered crafts representing Scotland, Denmark, India, China and the United States, where they do a different craft for each of those countries."
Children cut out red paper lanterns for China. The Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days with the culmination of a large Lantern Festival.
In a tradition for Denmark, children wrote letters to their parents.
In India, they have a celebration called Diwali, the Festival of Light, where they make a colorful mosaic called a "Rangoli." It is placed near the entrance of the homes to welcome family and friends.
In Scotland, the first person to enter a home is called a First Footer and they can bring luck and prosperity. The children made New Year's resolutions and predictions for the upcoming year and walked through a doorway with them and posted them on a bulletin board.
At the end of the craft activities, everyone gathered to re-create the New York Times Square ball drop, counting down and throwing streamers as a small glittered ball was dropped from the ceiling.
"I thought the ball drop was exciting," said Jillian Ritchey, 12, of Michigan. "We are going to celebrate with my aunt and cousins in Wauconda. On New Year's Eve, we are going to stay up 'til midnight and watch the ball drop in New York."