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Slumber With Skeletons at This New York Museum

Whales, mummies and adults are invited to a special sleepover

Adults slumber beneath a blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. (AMNH/D. Finnin)
smithsonian.com

Feeling exhausted? You might want to head for American Museum of Natural History. Yes, museum-going restores the soul, but at the New York museum this May, a trip to the temple of dinosaurs and dioramas will restore something else: sleep. As Caroline Elbaor reports forArtNet, the museum’s popular adult sleepover program is back—and better than ever before.

On May 5 and June 30, adults 21 and over can grab their sleeping bags and head to an exclusive after-dark slumber party at the museum. This is no child’s play: The event comes complete with adult beverages, jazz and grown-up flashlight tours in addition to access to everything from mummies to dinosaur skeletons.

The price is similarly grown up: Attendees will have to shell out $350 apiece to attend, and must bring their own sleeping bags (cots, however, are provided). But the wonder of sleeping in the museum’s hall of ocean life beneath a 21,000-pound fiberglass blue whale is something that transcends age.

Museum sleepovers have been gaining in popularity for both adults and kids. The Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, for example, offers sleepovers among its fossils, and the National Archives will let kids and chaperones who love old documents sleep next to the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights for one special night later this year. It’s a way to not just get up close and personal with a museum’s collections, but to explore it in a more relaxed and private atmosphere—and who doesn’t dream of the exhibits coming to life one the lights go out?

Hopefully, this year’s AMNH soiree will be more successful than in previous years. Elbaor reports that past guests have had bones to pick with the museum’s policies, which used to include a “no pajamas” rule to circumvent any potential hanky panky. This year’s regulations seem more relaxed, calling for “comfortable sleeping attire.”

Want tickets? Click here to buy. But be forewarned: They’ll sell out quickly. After all, not every evening is a night at the museum.

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