Who didn’t watch “Night at the Museum” and wonder what really happens in the museum after dark? Find out for yourself with one of these museum sleepovers for kids! These museum sleepovers include special activities, after-hours access to the exhibits, and more.
American Museum of Natural History – New York City
For Ages: 6 to 13
A Night at the Museum Sleepover takes kids through the dim-lit halls of the American Museum of Natural History and its towering dinosaurs, 94-foot-long blue whale, and herds of buffalo. The museum sleepover begins at 5:45 p.m. and runs until 9 a.m. for kids and their parents. Admission includes a fossil fact-finding mission, 3D show in the LeFrak Theatre, an evening snack, light breakfast, and take-home activities. Cots are provided, but kids need sleeping bags, pillows and flashlights of their own. Sleepovers are held on various Friday and Saturday nights throughout the year. Scout Nights for children ages 6 to 16 are offered.
Carnegie Science Center – Pittsburgh
For Ages: All Ages
The Carnegie Science Center offers themed museum sleepovers, including a Polar Express Sleepover, Engineering Challenge Sleepover, Camp-In Sleepover and Beauty and the Beast Sleepover. Sleepovers include live shows, an Omnimax movie, theme-related activities, and free time to explore the museum exhibits. Late-night snacks and continental breakfast are included as well. Bring a sleeping bag and a pillow. Sleepovers begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9:30 a.m., with more time to explore the exhibits during the day.
Museum of Science – Boston
For Ages: Grades 1 to 7
Groups of 10 or more are invited to spend the night at Boston’s Museum of Science, where guests will sleep beneath the watchful gaze of its T-Rex. This museum sleepover includes science activities and demonstrations, a planetarium show, IMAX show, and a Theater of Electricity Lightning! Show. Plus kids will have a chance to explore the museum in the dark! The program begins at 6:45 p.m. (with check-in from 5 to 6:30 p.m.) and ends at 11 a.m., and includes an evening snack and breakfast.
Museum of Science and Industry – Chicago
For Ages: 6 to 12
Groups of 10 or more can visit the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry‘s “Science Snoozeums” and sleep beneath a 727, near a giant heart or beside a toy-making factory. On select Fridays and Saturdays each month, guests can explore the museum, take part in a museum-wide scavenger hunt and catch an Omnimax film. Programs begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 a.m. and include snacks and breakfast. One parent for every five children must chaperone the sleepover. Dinner is available for purchase at the museum’s Brain Food Court.
Natural History Museum – Los Angeles
For Ages: 5 and Up
Children can select from a variety of themed nights including Dino Detectives, Once Upon a Butterfly, Extreme Flyers, Ice Age Adventures, Museum-ologists and Eye Spy Adventures at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. Sleepovers begin at 7 p.m. and end at 9 a.m. and families receive free admission to the museum the next day. Snacks and a light breakfast are provided, but guests should eat dinner before arriving. Bring sleeping bags and flashlights, too.
Science Center of St. Louis – St. Louis
For Ages: 6 and Up
Visit the Science Center in St. Louis for year-long Camp-Ins that include an Omnimax film, science demonstrations, activities, a planetarium show, and free time exploring the galleries. A pizza dinner, snack and continental breakfast are provided, and parking is included. Check-in is between 5 and 6:30 p.m., and the camp ends at 10 a.m. the following day. Tip: Look for special Sleeping Under the Stars sleepovers at the Planetarium, as well.
Field Museum – Chicago
For Ages: 6 to 12
The Field Museum‘s resident T-Rex, Sue, welcomes young kids to its “Dozin’ with the Dinos” museum sleepovers. Overnight guests get to excavate fossils, examine Sue’s bones and sleep next to the Field’s most popular exhibits, with additional perks available for a premium. Programs begin at 5:45 p.m. and end the next day at 9 a.m.
Milwaukee Public Museum – Milwaukee
For Ages: 6 to 12
Sleepovers at the Milwaukee Public Museum give families a chance to explore the museum in the dark in themed overnights. Sleepovers begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 a.m. the next morning on select Fridays throughout the year. Included in the price are educator-led activities, a planetarium show, self-guided flashlight tours, discovery hunts, access to museum exhibits, and all-day museum admission for the following day. A light evening snack and breakfast are also provided.
Cincinnati Museum Center – Cincinnati, Ohio
For Ages: 6 to 14
Join the Cincinnati Museum Center for its popular overnight programs. Children can explore the museum on their own, as well as interact with instructors at specific areas. Themes include Dinosaurs, LEGO, Super Friends, and Into the Wild. Museum sleepovers begin at 7 p.m. and last until 10 a.m., and include an Omnimax movie the following morning.
The Franklin Institute – Philadelphia
For Ages: 6 to 13
Enjoy a night under the stars at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The Franklin Institute Camp-In includes a live astronomy show, a planetarium show, an IMAX movie, rooftop stargazing in the Joel N. Bloom Observatory and exclusive shopping hours in the Sci-Store Gift Shop. Guests also get to sleep next to the museum’s most popular exhibits, including the Giant Heart and Your Brain. A light continental breakfast is also included. Camp-Ins take place on select weekends throughout the year and children who keep their Camp-In badge receive free admission to the Franklin Institute every day for a year!
Skirball Cultural Center – Los Angeles
For Ages: Ages 6 and Up
Spend the night at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and immerse your family in the traditions of the Jewish heritage. The museum hosts three to four overnight programs a year, including one themed sleepover that is connected to the latest traveling exhibit and one that allows children to sleep in Noah’s Ark. The program starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday and ends at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is required and families will enjoy hands-on activities, bedtime stories, animal-themed yoga and more. Dinner and breakfast are provided, too.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum – Cooperstown, N.Y.
For Ages: 7 to 12
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, offers families and groups the chance to sleep among the iconic athletes through the Extra Innings Overnight program. On select Saturdays throughout the year (divided into Youth Group and Members Only dates), families with children can enjoy the chance to explore the museum after hours. The program also includes a private screening of The Baseball Experience; activity stations at different exhibits; an evening snack; sleep accommodations in the Hall of Fame Gallery and other select exhibit spaces; a light morning breakfast; and a Hall of Fame knapsack with souvenirs from the sleepover. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and guests must check out by 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Connecticut Science Center – Hartford, Conn.
For Ages: 5 to 12
Join the Connecticut Science Center staff for its Overnights program with themed sleepovers. Sleepovers include challenges and activities; time with live animals, reptiles and insects; a 3D film; free museum entry the following day; light snack and breakfast and a special patch for completing the program. Check-in is at 6 p.m. and check-out is 8 a.m.