For the first time ever, the Smithsonian is letting children sleep over in the National Portrait Gallery—in addition to its scheduled “Smithsonian Sleepover” nights in the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History.
Basically these overnight excursions are the perfect opportunity for any kid to live out their Night at the Museum dreams—minus (one would hope) the actual stampedes and revived mummies. The National Portrait Gallery will be open to children ages 10-15, while the National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American History are open to kids ages 8-12.
The overnights, which run from 7 p.m. to 8:45 a.m. the next day, run from May through August. Here’s the breakdown of what kids can expect on their overnight adventures:
National Portrait Gallery Sleepover - Attendees will create their own artistic portfolios to display in a one-night-only gallery. Dates: Saturday, July 25; August 22
Museum of Natural History Sleepover - Kids will watch Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean in 3D, partake in games, puzzles, and exhibition-themed crafts, and snooze beneath the Phoenix—the museum’s resident North American Whale. Dates: Friday, May 15; Saturday, June 13; Friday, June 26; Friday, July 3.
National Museum of American History Sleepover – Kids attending this evening of mystery solving are tasked with finding out how six museum objects have gone missing. Through various games, experiments, craft projects, and more, kids will collect clues and solve the crime before rolling out their sleeping bags. Dates: Saturday, May 30; Saturday, July 18; Saturday, August 1; Friday, August 7; Friday, August 14; Friday, August 28.
For more information on how to reserve a spot at one of these overnights, head to the Smithsonian Sleepover website.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.