Within the confines of a museum’s walls, children can explore our planet’s rich history, dive deep to the bottom of the ocean, and discover what other galaxies look like. These institutions of wonder also often feature some incredible opportunities for youngsters to go beyond the usual exhibitions – museum slumber party, anyone?
Some of us have been fantasizing about what it’s like to stay overnight at a museum since reading The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler or seeing Night At The Museum. While an organized sleepover at your local museum might not include an epic mystery or an ancient Egyptian curse, odds are it will be one of the most memorable evenings of your life. Consult our list below to discover which museums in the country have the best sleepovers.
Dinosaurs, mummies and neanderthals, oh my!
The Penn Museum
During the Penn Museum’s overnight experience “40 Winks with the Sphinx,” kids ages six through 12 (and their guardians) are encouraged to explore the darkened Philly museum with a flashlight and participate in an evening scavenger hunt that takes them from Ancient Egypt to the land of the Maya and everywhere in between. Afterward, catch some winks beside the world’s third-largest Sphinx and pillars from Pharaoh Mereneptah’s 3,200-year-old palace. Breakfast awaits in the morning, as does the rest of the museum — this time, by daylight.
Who wouldn’t want to spend the night sleeping among dinosaurs? By attending “Dozin’ with the Dinos” at Chicago’s Field Museum, you can do exactly that. Kiddos from six to 12 years of age should come prepared with a sleeping bag, flashlight, and of course, their sense of adventure. Learn about the terrible lizards by watching the 3D movie “Walking the T-Rex,” and then see all there is to see in the museum’s various exhibitions. If you purchase a premium package, you’ll also get a behind-the-scenes tour.
American Museum of Natural History
Surely one of the country’s most popular museum sleepover experiences, the American Museum of Natural History’s “A Night At The Museum” gives attendees ages six through 16 the opportunity to hang out after hours at one of New York City’s top museums. Spend time with the dinosaurs, get to know our earliest ancestors, or learn about underwater creatures all without the usual crowds. You’ll also enjoy a viewing of the 3D film “Earthflight,” just before winding down. PS: Parents, the museum offers a separate sleepover experience for grown ups you might want to check out, too.