Kids celebrate New Year with a bang and a pop, pop, pop


Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on


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By Michael O’Connor


Any good New Year’s Eve party needs noise.

Fireworks are good. So are pots and pans pounded with a spoon.

But it’s hard to beat the snap, crackle and pop from hundreds of little feet stomping sheets of bubble wrap.

Bubble wrap has become the go-to noisemaker at area New Year’s Eve celebrations for kids.

More than 1,000 people turned out Monday for the annual Noon Year’s Eve party at Omaha’s The Durham Museum.

Kids and parents counted down until the clock hit noon, then the kids unleashed their foot-stomping fury on bubble wrap. It sounded like hundreds of tiny firecrackers.

Seven-year-old Aidan Hogan, who attended with his dad Tim, summed up the bubble wrap stomp with one word.


So what makes the material so appealing to kids?

“It’s a safe way to do something loud and physical,” said Amy Noble, a Wisconsin grandmother who attended the Durham party with family she was visiting in Omaha.

Later in the evening, tens of thousands of people watched downtown Omaha’s Holiday Lights Festival fireworks, according to organizers.

On a brisk evening, a full crowd stood on the 13th Street bridge over the Gene Leahy Mall as people played on the icy pond below. Others jammed downtown streets to enjoy the fireworks from within the heat of their vehicles.

“It’s just nice to see downtown alive on New Year’s Eve,” said Vic Gutman, a festival organizer with Vic Gutman & Associates.

The Omaha Children’s Museum first started using bubble wrap for its New Year’s Eve party nearly 10 years ago, said museum spokeswoman Christina Kahler.

Kids love the popping, and that they can control how fast they squeeze the bubbles. Kahler likened the sound to popcorn kernels popping.

The Children’s Museum event also includes face painting and pizza, but the bubble wrap is the highlight, she said.

The Durham celebration also offered other activities like balloon animals and live music by a band that played kid songs that included “Dinosaur Party” and “Hey, Mr. Robot.”

But the bubble wrap stomp was tough to beat.

Kids aren’t the only ones who love the wrap.

Admit it, grown-ups. You love popping it, too.

For you, the best thing about that porcelain dolphin your aunt sent for Christmas was the bubble wrap in the package.

Mike Bresel, account manager for Midwest Box Company of Omaha, said there’s no doubt bubble wrap is appealing.

Bresel, whose company sells packing materials, said the reason is simple.

“It makes a lot of noise.”

Contact the writer: 402-444-1122,

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