Overnight at the Museum
Overnight at the Museum
By Alyson Gregory
Have you ever wondered what really happens inside a museum after dark? How about at a zoo or aquarium? Chances are your kids have, and thanks to the popular trend of museum sleepovers, you can turn your next day at the museum into an unforgettable night at the museum! From slumbering beside a space capsule to waking with the Wampanoags, these local venues host overnights that include special events and exhibit access for the ultimate family outing. Looking for your Scout’s next stellar troop activity and badge? Some programs will even provide a custom program patch! So power up your flashlights, take a vote and make your own history overnight!
Museum of Science
This popular Boston museum sleepover is open to groups of ten or more for students and scout troops in grades 1-7. Spark a love of science in kids from dusk until dawn with hands-on science discovery, interactive demonstrations, a late-night indoor Theater of Electricity Lightning show, a Sky Tonight Planetarium show and much more. Here’s your chance to sleep under a life-size T-Rex or journey to the moon in your dreams beside a model of the Apollo space capsule.
Battleship Cove Maritime Museum
Nautical Nights overnight camping program is an exciting way to experience a sailor’s life with activities such as Plane and Ship Spotting and Navy Lingo Bingo followed by a night in an authentic sailor’s bunk. Climb aboard with your Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop—the more, the merrier and pack your seabag!
Fall River, www.battleshipcove.org
EcoTarium Museum of Science and Nature
Targeted toward families, Family Fun Overnight: EcoTarium Campout is scheduled for an early summer night in June and focuses on the wonder and discovery of nature. Kids will learn about Leave No Trace principles, practice life skills such as knot tying and go on a guided nighttime nature hike. After sleeping indoor among the exhibits or pitching a tent outside if you’d prefer, there will be a sunrise wildlife tour in the morning—
following breakfast of course!
Franklin Park Zoo
Get wild with your favorite animals at the Snorin’ Roarin’ Sleepover program accepting groups of ten or more on Friday and Saturday nights year-round. Choose from the Tropical Forest or African Savannah theme, and go behind the scenes with zookeeper presentations and games, live animal encounters and more. Perfect for parties, Scout troops and youth groups, all guests receive one day of free Zoo admission.
Plymouth’s famed living history museum’s Overnight Program invites groups of twenty or more from March through November to explore 17th-century life through a multisensory experience. Choose between the Wampanoag and Colonial Overnights, and learn about different cultures through native people and role players, hands-on activities, and authentic games and craft techniques. Share a traditional and educational feast with your group for dinner featuring items such as Naussump and Shrewsbury Cakes!
Tall Ships Boston
The Liberty Fleet offers a truly unique opportunity to come aboard a working tall ship and spend the night in Boston Harbor from June through September. Each shipboard cabin is double-bunk style to simulate a sailor’s life on a schooner or “camping on the water” as they call it. Great hotel alternative and home base for exploring Boston as a family and getting your sea legs! Children must be 8 years old.
Out-of-State Museum Sleepovers
The Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk, CT, www.maritimeaquarium.org
Joseph Conrad Ship, Mystic, CT, www.mysticseaport.org
Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, VT, www.montshire.org
Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, Portland, Maine, www.kitetails.org
American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, www.amnh.org
Intrepid Museum, New York, NY, www.intrepidmuseum.org