Our Real Life Night at the Museum

No need for Ben Stiller or Owen Wilson to have an amazing adventure at a museum!

I was lucky enough to accompany my daughter and two of her friends (all age 9) for our first ever Smithsonian Sleepover at the American History Museum.

Smithsonian SleepoversSandwiched in between snack time at 7:30pm and breakfast at 7:30am, our mission was: “Solving a Smithsonian mystery of historic proportions!” The devious diva “Miss Rose” had stolen six valuable objects from the Museum and we needed to discover what was missing before bedtime.

At what other time would you get to roam through the museum’s displays and collect clues that guide you to solving this mystery?  All along the way, there were knowledgeable, friendly volunteers to help all of us take part in some great games, interesting experiments, and craft projects.

After all the participants solved the crime, it was time to claim our space on the floor, roll out our sleeping bags (or camping mattresses/cots which I wish we’d had) and sleep soundly knowing that we’ve protected some of America’s treasures – and had plenty of fun.

As my daughter put it: “Knowing that people would be walking through the next day made it that much cooler to sleep over!”  Being in one of the most famous and favorite museums in DC after hours and overnight was a thrill we won’t soon forget!

Additional Information

  • The Smithsonian Sleepovers website has lots of helpful tips to prepare for the adventure.
  • 2015 dates have not yet been posted; but you can sign up to receive email alerts.
  • Smithsonian Sleepovers take place at both the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum.
  • To participate children must be between the ages of 8 and 12 and need one adult chaperone for every three child participants.
  • The price of $135/person (including the chaperoning parent) quickly brings the 12-hour adventure to $270 for the parent and child.  However, we took advantage of a 4th of July special discounted price of $75/person.
  • FYI: The National Archives also hosts a sleepover.  Click here for dates and other information.
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