The entrance line stretched from the science center's main doorways to the waterfront promenade by 11 a.m. Monday. While the center often has busier days, with several thousand visitors, "they don't usually all get here at the same time," said Lori Blau, senior director of guest services.

Once inside, visitors packed the science center's usual exhibits on dinosaurs, the human body and space, but could also participate in crafts making the noisemakers, party hats and snow globes.

Half an hour before the peak of the celebration, Milkshake took to the stage, drawing children to press their faces up to glass barriers underneath railings around the museum and to crowd in front of the stage as though they were about to see Taylor Swift or PSY – two featured acts in Times Square on Monday night.

They included Jen Zwarich and her 6-year-old daughter, Bridget, who typically enjoys the science center's body and space exhibits but was excited to see the popular local band perform for the first time.

"I think it's just the idea of a celebration that's really different," Jen Zwarich said.

Six-year-old Landon Barrick had a succinct reaction to the show and the revelry.

"It was awesome," said Barrick, who came with his grandparents, Don and Suzi Barrick of Catonsville, and 4-year-old brother Mason Barrick. While the event was a little loud for the youngest Barrick, it was a holiday must for the family.

"This is our second year here, and we'll be back next year for sure," Don Barrick said.