A Night at the Museum: The Best Museum Sleepovers in the US

What are the best museum sleepovers in the US?

best museum sleepovers in the US

Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Ever wondered what’s like to roam the halls of your favorite museum late in the evening? Many museums across the US now offer children and adults the chance to spend the night and explore their exhibits when the lights are out. During your next getaway, plan a trip to one of these institutes for an exciting Night at the Museum adventure. 

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History offers the ultimate museum sleepover experience. Kids aged 6-13 can relive the iconic Night at the Museum movie, by strolling through the museum’s many exhibits, including the massive T-rex and mammoth displays. Afterward, enjoy some star-gazing at the Hayden Planetarium Space Show. When it’s time for bed, kiddos can curl up under the blue whale, surrounded by an array of exotic animals.

Adults can also enjoy a sleepover at The American Museum of Natural History. This classy occasion begins with a champagne reception and live music before allowing guests to explore the museum. You can even catch a 3D film before snuggling up under the blue whale. You’ll also be treated to a nighttime snack and breakfast. If you’re worried about a crafty critter nabbing your bags during your overnight stay, drop your bags off at a Washington DC luggage storage service before heading to your zoo adventure.

The Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh is ideal for families looking to learn about all things scientific. The Carnegie Science Center’s Science Sleepovers are sure to astound all ages, with tons of exciting displays to discover after hours, including the BodyWorks and SpacePlace exhibits. 

After touring the museum, visitors can catch a movie at The Rangos Giant Cinema and enjoy a late-night snack. There are also themed activities to enjoy, so you’ll experience something different each time you visit. You won’t go hungry during your stay, as the museum provides a continental breakfast. 

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo flaunts one of the most unique sleepover experiences on this list. The Roar and Snore Safari is a night under the stars surrounded some of the most exotic creatures on the planet. Families will love learning about the park’s nocturnal animals and riding the Africa Tram after the sun’s gone down. 

The San Diego Zoo sleepover offers after-hours guided tours as well as close encounters with some of the zoo’s adorable residents. 

The Field Museum

The Field Museum is one of the best natural history museums in the country, and now you have the chance to spend the night at this famous Chicago institution. Dozin’ with Dinosaurs is for families and kids ages 6-12 and provides plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout the evening. 

Show off your artistic temperament and try sketching one of the museum’s many dinosaurs, or marvel at the many intriguing displays at the Griffin Hall of Evolving Planets. When it’s time to hit the hay, cozy up in the Genius Hall of Dinosaurs, surrounded by creatures from millions of years ago. You’ll also have a light bite in the evening and a continental breakfast in the morning.

National Archives

Are you looking to catch some zzz’s surrounded by some of the most important documents in American history? If so, consider a sleepover at the National Archives. Kids ages 8-12 will love learning about some of the crucial moments in US history, like the passing of the 19th Amendment. 

The National Archives sleepover boasts some entertaining activities, including a scavenger hunt across the museum. When it’s time for bed, you’ll get to sleep in the rotunda, surrounded by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. When you wake, you’ll be served pancakes by one of the museum’s archivists. 

The California Academy of Sciences

This eclectic institute in San Francisco is perfect for overnight stays. The Penguins+Pajamas sleepover offers a plethora of activities, from light shows at the planetarium, to late-night walks through the museum’s rainforest. Just before bedtime, you’ll be served milk and cookies for a classic late-night snack. 

One of the best parts about sleeping in The California Academy of Sciences is that you get to snooze in the aquarium section. Choose to sleep next to a vibrant coral reef, an underwater forest, or by Claude, the albino alligator. You’ll also get free admission to the museum the next day, so you see the sights all over again.

The Penn Museum

One of the best museums in Philly, the Penn Museum, is excellent for an evening of adventure. Kids ages 6-12 will love discovering the museum’s ancient artifacts during the 40 Winks Sleepover, including Egyptian sphynx and Mayan monuments that date back thousands of years.

The 40 Winks Sleepover also features an array of fun, educational activities such as a scavenger hunt, a workshop, and an art class. In the morning, your little ones will receive a light breakfast and free admission to the museum for the day, so they see all the exhibits they missed the night before.









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