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Spend the Night at the Museum


Night at the Museum (2006), along with its two sequels in 2009 and 2014, has fascinated children with its on-screen displays of life in a museum after everyone else has gone home. Now, children can experience that themselves, as there are several establishments that have developed overnight programs that allow a child to live out their cinematic dreams. Though the children won’t find themselves in a battle for the Smithsonian alongside exhibits that have come to life, they can still have a learning experience that is both fun and unique. 

Dozin’ with the Dinos
At the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, families and children ages 6-12 can enjoy a fun overnight stay by purchasing either the standard, premium, or tour packages. Explore the different exhibits late at night and doze with the dinos. ■ fieldmuseum.org

Operation Slumber 
Located in New York City, New York, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum Complex gives children exclusive access to the ship and space shuttle pavilion, and they get to sleep on the aircraft just like sailors did. With a guided tour, unlimited simulator rides, and planetarium shows, it is bound to be a night of fun and excitement for everyone. ■ intrepidmuseum.org/overnight

Smithsonian Sleepovers
The Smithsonian Institution is hoping to resume their Smithsonian Sleepovers for the Summer of 2022. With a variety of experiences to choose from like the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Air and Space Museum’s Udvarhazy Center, or the National Portrait Gallery, children will have options when picking their next adventure. ■ smithsoniansleepovers.org

Overnight Adventures
The Tallahassee Museum in Florida offers an overnight experience that is a fun and engaging way to learn about the cultural and natural history of the Big Bend region. It includes plenty of hands-on activities, themes, and customizable options like a night prowl, animal encounter, crafts, and games. ■ tallahasseemuseum.org

Safari Night
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo offers a night of fun and learning as your safari guide leads your group on walking tours of different parts of the zoo. With hands-on activities and animal encounters, it is bound to be a great experience. ■ brzoo.org

Sleepovers at the Aquarium 
The Florida Aquarium in Tampa offers two customizable overnight programs in Adventures after Dark and Sleep with the Fishes. Each sleepover can be customized to your specific party. ■ flaquarium.org

Sleep Under the Sea 
At the Georgia Aquarium, you can count fish instead of sleep as you fall asleep at night. With access to countless presentations, a bedtime snack, a complimentary breakfast, as well as guided tours and activities, children will sleep great in front of their gallery windows. ■ georgiaaquarium.org

Family and Adult After Hours Programs 
Experience the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden with your family after everyone else has gone home. ■ cincinnatizoo.org

Family Overnight Safaris
With access to up-close animal encounters and to select exhibits after hours and in the morning, along with a morning scavenger hunt, your family is bound to have a fun and educational time at the Bronx Zoo. ■ tickets.wcs.org

Sharks after Dark 
This event at the New York Aquarium includes a behind-the-scenes tour, animal meet and greet, commemorative keepsake, movie in the Hudson Canyon exhibit, an evening snack and morning breakfast, and admission to the aquarium. ■ nyaquarium.com

Roar and Snore Safari 
There are a variety of different options for different people, including an adults-only night, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. ■ sdzsafaripark.org

Nightcrawler
At the Zoo Atlanta, families can spend the night while enjoying activities that are designed for families with children ages six and up. There will be interactive activities, team challenges, zoo tours, and opportunities to learn more about all of the wildlife there. ■ zooatlanta.org

Overnight at the Science Center
Located in Oakland California, The Chabot Space and Science Center offers two unique overnight programs. Families will enjoy fun hands-on programs, interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, as well as stargazing through historic telescopes. ■ chabotspace.org

Penguins + Pajamas Sleepover
Discover the oceans, tops of the rainforest, and outer space with this unique overnight experience at the California Academy of Sciences. Once you are finished with that, find a nice spot next to the variety of different exhibits like Claude the Albino Alligator, and drift off to sleep before enjoying admission into the academy the next day. ■ calacademy.org

Night Ops: Live-Abroad Overnight Adventure
This overnight adventure is perfect for those aircraft carrier enthusiasts. Visit and spend the night aboard the USS Hornet located in Alameda, California where you can learn all about the ship and sailor’s lives aboard it. Sleep in the crew’s quarters, and eat in the mess hall as you truly dive into life above a U.S carrier. ■ uss-hornet.org/overnights

Overnight Camping: USS Kidd
Experience the close quarter life that U.S. sailors experienced onboard the USS Kidd. The full two-day itinerary can be found online which includes a personal guided tour of the ship and its history of how it got its nickname as the “Pirates of the Pacific,” as well as a scavenger hunt. The night concludes with a good night’s sleep in the berthing compartments. ■ usskidd.com

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31 May 2022


By Anthony Bui

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